By Amos Kwon
on 10.30.12
Photo by Shimano

Though the new Shimano Unzen Hydration Pack is named after the volcanic Mt. Unzen in Japan, it’ll serve you up something a bit more refreshing than molten lava on your next ride. Just like that volcano, though, the Unzen hides something intense under its sleek exterior. Side access, felt-lined pockets, a breathable back panel (nobody likes swamp spine) and even a tool organizer make it the perfect epic ride bag — and did we mention its reversible water reservoir?

Somehow, Shimano combines all of these add-ons without creating a bulky mess. Straps and buckling doo-dads on mobile hydration packs can be less than comfortable, bordering on restrictive during fierce activity. Designed largely for aggressive off-road riding, the Unzen uses a Rider Fit X-Harness for freedom of movement and expandable stretchy fabric that eschews excess straps. The Accu3D design of the Unzen hugs your body — keeping the pack with you even when you get out of the saddle. The hydration pack comes in 6L, 10L and 15L sizes. So what’s the only thing it doesn’t help? Saddle sores, unless Shimano starts making a morphine-drip accessory.

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