Evoc vs. Mission Workshop vs. Dakine Bum Bags

1 Bum, 3 Bags

Words Dave Tolnai
Photos Dave Tolnai
Date Nov 10, 2020
Reading time

Recently, whenever I sit down to write a product review, I have a tremendous impulse to tell you about my lifetime of experience with similar products. I'll reach back 20 years and spin a yarn about the first time I encountered something vaguely related, or explain my deep seated prejudice towards similar ideas. I need to stop doing this.

I know that you don't care at all about the first bum bag that I ever owned. The one that I bought at the 3rd rate department store at the end of my street. My mom sewed a sweet Santa Cruz Skateboards patch onto it and I stuffed it with skateboard tools, spare hardware and broken copers, beginning my love affair with hauling around a bunch of stuff that I didn't really need.

Nor do you care that during the days of Camelbak being nothing more than a neoprene sleeve with a plastic bag inside, Roach was making a sweet backpack that held a bladder and had a pocket on the back that you could stuff full of tools and stuff and I owned one of those suckers! It's lost to history that it was Roach that brought the hauling-too-much-stuff-around-on-your-back trend to cycling and I was firmly on board from around 1994 until approximately 2010.

And I know that you really, really don't care about the days where I rode with absolutely nothing. No pads. No tools. No water. Just my keys and my phone tucked into my pocket.

All of these things form the framework around which my judgements on these two bum bags are built. They are critical experiences of over-preparation, under-preparation, back-based tools, hip based bags and confusion that are supremely important. Can either reach the bum bag pedestal on which I place my original counterfeit Santa Cruz hip pack? Will either cause me to revert to my days of over-preparation? Will I ever feel as free as those days where I rode naked, tempting fate and hydration?

See. You don't care about any of that. So on with the reviews.

Mission Workshop - Axis VX

The Mission Workshop Axis VX is a minimalist bag with a few internal pockets, but it is otherwise just one large container that will haul 2.5 L of whatever it is that you wish to carry. It is built from "VX-21 diamond ripstop fabric" and is described as being both rugged and weatherproof. The bag is held to your body with a single, and simple strap system and a Fidlock magnetic buckle. It is "Guaranteed Forever" (which sounds so much better than a "Lifetime Warranty", doesn't it?) and it will cost you US$190 to earn the privilege of wearing this bag on your body.

EVOC Hip Pack 3L

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the EVOC Hip Pack 3L. Where the Mission Workshop zigs, the EVOC zags! It's a maximalist bag with 2 main compartments, 2 additional compartments along the strap, several internal pockets, and zippers and velcro all over the place. It comes with an (optional) 1.5 L bladder (by Hydrapak - I didn't use it, but it is of good quality), and is held to your body with a simple webbed strap and a buckle. The back has foam and webbing and doodads, all added in the name of keeping your lower back cool and sweat free. It takes a more is better approach and US$120 will give you access to all of these things.

Filling Them up

The differences between these two show up as soon as you start trying to fill them up with stuff. Although relatively straight forward, I like the one large pocket that the Mission Workshop gives me to work with. It also has 3 useful internal pockets (one large one that zips, with 2 smaller ones tucked behind that) so it's easy enough to keep your keys, phone and tools separated. The size is interesting. I found that it was often either too much space if I wasn't carrying much stuff (phone, keys, tool pouch), and it didn't leave much extra room if I decided to bring one of my 1L Platypus bottles along. You definitely have to think a little bit about what you want to bring along for the ride, and plan accordingly. I'd love to see this bag borrow the side pockets from the EVOC, but other than that, I liked the simplicity. No gimmicks, no fuss, no muss.

The EVOC is much larger and will haul a lot more stuff, but I had some challenges utilizing all of it. There's one large pouch that is separated into two sections. Even if you're running the bladder, this will still leave you with room to pack lots of things. Without the bladder you have a tonne of room for jackets, beverages, pumps, spare tubes, a small pizza, etc. As well, it has those side pockets mentioned above, in which you could easily pack keys or other small things (it's not quite phone sized). So far, everything is incredibly well done.

The part that I didn't really like on the EVOC is the front tool compartment. This compartment is designed with full zips down either side, so that you can flip it open like a tool pouch. This seems great, but I could never figure out a good way to use it. If you don't zip open the flap, the opening is far too small to give you much access. Every time I did open the flap everything that I had placed inside would fall out onto the trail, where I would then collect it, stuff if back in the bag, attempt to open the flap again for more access and repeat the whole process over again, like some sort of Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. It works well if you lay the bag flat on its back, but it doesn't work so well if you're trying to access things with the bag upright.

There are some small internal pockets that might keep some of your things in check, but they're pretty small, a little bit flimsy and hard to get at as two of them are tucked behind the edges of the flap. I only put things into this compartment if I could get them into one of the 3 pockets, or if I didn't mind that it might occasionally hit the ground. I like the idea, but the execution didn't work for me.

Strapping Them On

When you strap these bags to your body more differences are revealed. The EVOC has the edge in this category for a number of reasons. First, it's comfortable! All that padding and webbing and material keeps things tight. The straps are a bit harder to adjust, but they stay where you put them and they never move. This is a comfortable bag and it stays in place.

The Mission Workshop isn't quite as good at either of these things. I do love the Fidlok buckle which makes it very easy to buckle this bag. Otherwise the EVOC is more comfortable and stays in place well while the Mission Workshop tended to loosen up while riding. It was very easy to tighten it back up, but I'd like to see some straps with a bit more friction that to keep things tight. To compensate I would cinch the bag up like a girdle as I started out on a ride, and then inevitably have to adjust it once or twice as I went. As well, the minimalist webbing and lack of any sort of padding is just not as comfortable as the EVOC. It's not a dealbreaker, but it is not the bag I would look to for a long day of riding.

As for size, I wouldn't consider either of these bags low profile. I struggled to figure out exactly how to wear them. I wanted to put them under my shirt, but then it just looked like I had stolen a 6-pack from a convenience store. On top of my shirt felt wrong, as well. I usually went with a sort of reverse French Tuck (you could also call it a modified Gretzky), with my shirt kind of half-ass riding on top of the bag. I'm sure this looked funny too, but it felt better than the alternatives.

Materials and Construction

We touched on some of this above, but there are more things to talk about. Both of these bags are well built, but in totally different ways.

Mission Workshop

I don't know much about the history of Mission Workshop, but looking at this bag gives me old school feelings. It reminds me of Chrome or Roach or something like that, and if I was forced to choose a bag to protect my back while I got dragged behind a car, I'd turn to them. The material is interesting. It's quite stiff, and gives you faith in their use of the word "ripstop." I just ran it under my faucet and I'm not sure I would go with "waterproof" (they do only claim "weatherproof", but I was feeling dangerous), but I'd feel okay sticking my phone in this thing during a rainstorm. It's bare bones but I know that a human put some effort into making this bag for me and I fully expect to still be using it 20 years from now.


EVOC takes a different approach. It's not a bad approach, it's just different. There are many more things going on, and everything is a bit softer and more refined. Seams are hidden behind flaps of material and it all feels a bit more "designed" than "construct" I would fully expect that the EVOC will give me years of faithful service as well, but it doesn't have the same timeless quality as the Mission Workshop. But this could be considered a benefit, as well. The price and the essence of the Mission Workshop causes me to treat it like a museum piece on occasion, where the EVOC seems like it's happy to just take whatever you want to jam into it and get on with the job. For example, if I was ever on a ride and my riding companion...I don't know...had their hand fall off or something...I'd think for a bit about whether or not I wanted to put that severed limb into the Mission Workshop. With the EVOC, I wouldn't hesitate to jam that sucker in and keep riding.

Overall Impressions

As already stated, these bags couldn't be more different, and it's probably a bit silly that I'm comparing them. I mean, the only reason I am comparing them is because I couldn't make up my mind as to which I wanted when Cam offered them to me and it seemed a bit silly to write two bum bag articles so why not put them together.

If I'm heading out for a short ride and I just want to carry a few things, the Mission Workshop is the bag that I reach for. It's not the most comfortable and it costs a lot of money, but I like the way that it makes me feel while it goes about its business. Could it use a bit of refinement and a couple of extra pockets? Sure. But maybe that would ruin the whole idea.

The EVOC is a great option when I need to haul a bunch of stuff (like when I take the dog for a ride and I need to carry a leash, water, treats, etc and keep them separate), or if I'm riding for a few hours. It's comfortable, stays put and I've never come even close to filling it all the way up. It gives me options and makes me feel like an adventurer.

Putting all of these contradictory ideas together, it sounds like the winner of my shootout is probably the EVOC Hip Pouch 1, which I haven't actually tried.. It has one easy to use compartment, side pockets, and nice padded straps that exude an essence of friction. Until I pick one of those up, I'll happily continue to juggle these two. Or....maybe....

Dakine Hot Laps 1L

The Dakine came late to the party and sounds roughly like what I have described above as my ideal bum bag (but there's no way I'm re-writing this whole article to fit this in, so we're just going to tack it on nicely, here at the end). It's the size that I think I need. It has one, easy to use pocket with some nice organizational features. It's nicely padded and has a really simple strap system. The only thing missing is some side pockets. And information. I can't seem to find info on this bag on the the Dakine site.

Material and finish wise, it's fairly similar to the EVOC. It has a nice ripstop material and looks and feels like any of the dozens of Dakine products you have hiding in your closet already.

Filling it up

The Dakine has really well designed storage compartments that swallow up a lot of stuff. If you're just looking to carry a phone, some kind of tool and your keys, it's perfect. It includes a nice little divider that makes it easy to separate tools from phone, and the back of the bag has a nice soft material for further phone protection. There's a couple of small pockets inside the front flap that are perfect for keys. On top of your phone and a compact tool, you can fit a tube and a pump, but you're pretty maxed out at that point. For me, this is about the right amount of storage for most of my rides.

Strapping it on

The strap on the Dakine is about as basic as it comes. It's a single buckle fixed to the left side of the bag. It only has one point of adjustment, and there might not be much room for our girthier friends to fit into this bag. I was pretty much at the max for the bag, and this lead to it being a bit tricky to adjust, as the end of the strap always seemed to be buried in a place where it was hard to grab.

The back of the bag is lined with a mesh material similar to those weird football jersey things that kids named Tyson wore in the 80's. I'd imagine the point it so reduce the amount of skin contact and create some airflow. This is fine.

This bag also comes with two interesting features. The first is a couple of straps on the back of the bag. I haven't tried it, but it looks like you could pretty easily strap a jacket in here, although it would wind up flapping in the breeze.

The other feature is the little strappy thing beside the buckle. This took me a few minutes to figure out, but once you open it up, you can strap in a water bottle. Even when I was riding a bike with no water bottle cage this didn't strike me as something that I wanted to do, but different strokes, right?

Dakine Overall Impressions

Since this bag showed up in my life, it has been the one that I use the most often. I'm seldom need to carry more than I can fit in this bag. It has great organizational features. It's simple. It fits pretty well and doesn't bounce around. The strap could use some refinement, and I'd love it if they added a pocket on the strap as well (in place of the bottle thingy, maybe). Other than that, this bag gives me everything that I want in a bum bag, 90% of the time.

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+1 Pete Roggeman
DarioD  - Nov. 9, 2020, 10:31 p.m.

I just returned that very EVOC pack today, just due to how useless the space in that front pocket seems to be. That, and it turns out there's a better version under a similar moniker - I believe this is the "Race" version, and the more well thought out model is the "Pro." I'm sure price reflects that though, so it might be closer to the Mission Workshop bag.


+2 Morgan Heater Pete Roggeman
hambobet  - Nov. 10, 2020, 2:13 a.m.

I just went for the dakine hot laps 5L after riding with the 1L for a while - seems a bargain compared to the even basic evoc, but still suffers from the fiddly annoying too many compartment problem in the front pocket. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with it and for £40 new (2L bladder included) you can't argue with the price!


+3 hambobet Morgan Heater Pete Roggeman
fartymarty  - Nov. 10, 2020, 3:18 a.m.

Ditto on the HL 5L.  I paid a little over £40 for mine.  So far so good.

I also struggle with how to wear it - over jacket / top feels constructed (that tucked in t-shirt feeling) so generally wear it under with water hose running under my jacket clipped to my lapel.  Maybe need to size up my jacket next time I buy one.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Sean Chee  - Nov. 10, 2020, 5:51 a.m.

Perfect timing. I've been looking for hydro bumbags over the weekend. Looks like I will be giving myself the dakine pack for xmas. Looking forward to long moto enduro rides this summer without a sweaty camel back.


+2 Doug M. Pete Roggeman
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 10, 2020, 5:53 a.m.

I've got a Hot Laps 2L. I don't use it for biking much as I carry everything on my bike, but it's a nice size for other activities like hiking or skateboarding. The vestigial bottle carrier isn't something I use much, but occasionally it's nice to have. Good construction and comfortable to wear around the waist or bandolier style higher up.

I've also got a Patagonia 1L Black Hole waist pack. Small, light and streamlined for times when I just want to carry my phone, an energy bar and a wind vest.

Interesting reading about the 1L Hot Laps. I have never seen that for sale anywhere including the Dakine site. Before getting a 1L fanny pack I would have said that was too small to be useful, but it's actually a great size for a lot of activities as long as you have the luxury of also owning a larger bag.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Tadpoledancer  - Nov. 10, 2020, 6:05 a.m.

Im really pleased with my Evoc camera hip pack. Looks similar to this, but pretty great to be able to bring a proper camera without having to use a backpack. Wouldn’t use it with a really heavy camera/lens setup though.


+1 Tadpoledancer
Pete Roggeman  - Nov. 10, 2020, 10:51 a.m.

Deniz has been using one and will have an article up soon.


+1 Andrew Major
Dave Smith  - Nov. 10, 2020, 1:07 p.m.

I have been using one of the Evoc hip camera packs to carry really light mirrorless set up but if you have lower back issues stay the fuck away from them if you intend to carry a DSLR.  It is a lot of dynamic weight carried in that particular zone and I know from experience what a bad idea it is to load up and go.


+2 Pete Roggeman Dave Tolnai
JT  - Nov. 10, 2020, 6:38 a.m.

Mission was started by the OG founders of Chrome. Having used OG Chrome bags when I was a courier (after Timbuk2 got bought out and quit making the Tag Junkie, their largest mess bag), and when we switched it was a 'Whoa Nelly!' moment. Everything was laid out well and the quality was tops. It was comfortable in a way that a Tag Junkie could only dream of, even with a loaded mail bin tor two tucked inside. I would have no prob recommending any of Mission's bags off those years of practically living out of one. I have that Dakine 1L and it's a bit of a mixed bag (no pun intended. Honest. Why are you showing me the door?). You really need to plan what you bring, and minimize as much as possible. I like to carry a multi, chain, tire plugs and CO2 on most rides, in addition to the phone, snack(s), and minimal first aid gear. The space in there gets used up PDQ. Obviously it's not the tool for epics, but that's prob not the intent anyway. Also, that waterbottle holster is handy, but you HAVE to use the nipple lariat or you can expect your bottle to eject on rough ground.


Dave Tolnai  - Nov. 10, 2020, 5:16 p.m.

+1 for "nipple lariat"


+1 Andy Eunson
Cr4w  - Nov. 10, 2020, 6:43 a.m.

It's curious no one ever brings up the buckle. I hate those big buckles placed right at the spot where your body is hinging forward, pinchy pinchy. I got an Evoc Pro 3, which is secured by two large velcro layers with a buckle to secure everything. Zero pinching and even a little stretch for extra comfort. Plus it's a great hip pack, just enough room for everything without being too big. One of those ideas that barely caught on, like building properly proportioned bikes for XS or XL riders.


Andy Eunson  - Nov. 10, 2020, 8:51 a.m.

Buckles are important. I crashed a few years ago going off a drop when my saddle clipped the buckle on my bum bag. The buckle had a tendency to only latch one of the two latch things. It came off and flipped into my fork and over I went. Broke my finger. The fidlocks on my helmets are great but I’d be interested to see how this bumbag fidlock functions. Could it be undone by clipping the saddle?


toddball  - Nov. 10, 2020, 12:05 p.m.

How did you clip the saddle with a buckle around your waist?  The only way I can imagine this happening involves a rigid seatpost at full pedaling height.  That or (and?) grievous bum injuries from rear tire impact.


Andy Eunson  - Nov. 10, 2020, 2:15 p.m.

Steep drop, close to vertical for a short bit,  saddle down the full 125 which is as much as would fit that frame at my leg length.


+1 Andy Eunson
Dave Tolnai  - Nov. 10, 2020, 5:19 p.m.

I'm not going to say it would be impossible for the Fidlock to come loose during riding, but it would be really challenging.  It's a bit of a 2 step process - you have to lift the little handle and pull it away from itself.  Super simple, but fairly intentional.


+2 Vik Banerjee Pete Roggeman
Doug M.  - Nov. 10, 2020, 7:03 a.m.

Hope Dakine gets around to adding those jacket straps to the Hot Laps 2L. Much more useful to me than the daisy chain. The other thing they should add is a little zipper pouch/pocket on the unused left hip wing and it would be 11/10 perfection.


+2 Pete Roggeman jaydubmah
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 10, 2020, 9:14 a.m.

Give me the daisy chain and the straps on a 2L Hot Laps please. They are both useful in different ways.


toddball  - Nov. 10, 2020, 12:09 p.m.

I recently added some shock cord that runs through the furthest loops of the daisy chain and attaches to the loop at the top of the pack with a cord lock.  Might be worth doing if you find yourself regularly stuffing your Hot Laps 2L towards the point of zipper failure.  Now I have a bigger High Above pack....


+1 toddball
AndrewR  - Nov. 10, 2020, 1:20 p.m.

I bought a set of these: https://www.niteize.com/product/Gear-Tie-12.asp

I can tie my rolled up jacket to the hip pack, or the top tube or my handle bar in seconds. They are bright so easy to see if I drop them. They fold into the hip pack or a pocket when not being used and they don't mark the frame or handle bar. 

Great for quickly stashing the windproof or rain jacket for the climbs and being able to get it back on for a stop or a descent at this time of year.

With a combo of EDC 100 ml pump (holding the EDC tool), a Wolftooth B-Rad mini bag and a bottle cage I have managed every ride but four with an EVOC 1L hip pouch this summer.


Dakine  - Nov. 11, 2020, 1:17 p.m.

Thanks for your support! The Hot Laps 1L reviewed here wont be available until Spring '21, which is why it is not on our website at this moment. You will be happy to know that we updated the 2L with straps and a daisy chain so be on the lookout for that.


+2 Vik Banerjee Pete Roggeman
HitechTurtleneck  - Nov. 10, 2020, 8:35 a.m.

I’m never going back to wearing a bag.  Bottle cage, SWAT downtube and a small handlebar bag and I can carry enough tools/gear/snacks/water filter to ride 8 hour epics in Colorado.  I’ve got waterproof matches, a small fixed blade and an emergency blanket in the downtube so an unplanned overnight would be uncomfortable, but survivable.  Food and sealant are dense and heavy, but carrying them at the bottom bracket is way better.

Really stoked to see that Trek was able translate the “hole” to aluminum.  I think that it’s a feature that will be as necessary as a dropper post.  Personally, I won’t buy a bike without it going forward.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 10, 2020, 9:16 a.m.

I'm with you on that. If I can't carry all my gear plus 2 water bottles mounted to the frame I just won't buy it.


Marty Zaleski  - Nov. 10, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

I have a Dakine bag that looks to be the predecessor for the one you've reviewed. Have been using it about a year. Has all the same things except the external cinch straps. I find the water bottle holster on the site pretty useful on longer rides, where I expect to swap out the bottle on my frame when I finish its contents. I have had a full water bottle fly out of that pouch, though, when I was descending something rough in a hurry. I have also found that the waist strap will loosen in the course of a ride, leaving the thing to slide around and become less of a bum bag and more of a gut bag, unless you remember to muffin-top yourself at the top of each descent. These are small gripes. It's comfy and generally does what I expect. And it was cheap. I'd love to have the external straps at my disposal.


Skooks  - Nov. 10, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

I have been running the Evoc fanny pack all summer, and really like it. There is absolutely no down side to wearing it. It's very comfortable and I have never wished I had more stuff on my bike and less in my pack. I love having everything in one pack so I can jump on any bike and be good to go. I didn't see it mentioned above, but the Evoc pack holds a water bottle very well.


+1 Skooks
mudrunner  - Nov. 10, 2020, 12:48 p.m.

I've had that Evoc bag since last June and I'm actually really happy with it. I am not a fan of SWAT shirts as they just feel too hot and constrictive on summer rides. I despise backpacks even more. So the bum bag wins. 

I don't have an issue with the front compartment because I put all the small/loose items in one of the 3 internal pockets (it keeps things from jangling around). I keep a minimalist tool kit in a mesh bag, so nothing falls out. I opted for the bladder, so it takes up a bit more room that does not leave me  a lot of extra space if I want a spare tube and a jacket (I have to pick one or the other). For long treks, I stitched on two webbing straps that I can now loop a jacket through.

The breathable back design works really well, and the two side tensioning straps are great for adjusting on-the-fly (loose on the climb/cinched for the descent...or as the water gets used up). My only complaint is the magnetic clip for the bladder hose. It's a slide clip that goes on the belt. The magnet is quite strong and I've pulled off the clip many times....and eventually lost it. A closed loop clip would have been a better idea.

I've used this bag for 7 hour rides, as well as 1 hour rides....full and almost empty. It forces me to really think about what I am packing for a long ride, so I don;t haul the kitchen sink with me....and therefore, I enjoy the ride much more.


+1 Skooks
Karl Fitzpatrick  - Nov. 10, 2020, 1:09 p.m.

I also have a hot laps 2L and my hack of the day is that the bottle sleeve makes an excellent place to store a packable jacket that i can always have handy if the weather turns nasty. 

Oooooor... it's also fantastic for carrying a cheeky beer on a quick lap before dark to drink watching the sunset 



+2 Skooks Velocipedestrian
khai  - Nov. 10, 2020, 1:25 p.m.

I've got the 3L EVOC Hip Pack Pro and it holds more or less everything I need for short to mid length rides, though when the bladder is full (1.5L) it tends to bounce a bit.  Not a huge deal, but noticeable...  For epics or if I feel the need to carry more (jacket/extra gloves/etc.) I suck it up and carry an older 24L DaKine Seeker pack.  It's rugged, fairly water resistant (deluge ok, dunking no) and carries 3L down low across the lumbar.  Some people hate having stuff on their back.  I hate running out of water or not having a jacket if I need it.


Todd Hellinga  - Nov. 10, 2020, 3:12 p.m.

I just use the dakine classic hip pack. tube and lever strapped under seat with a ski strap, and then tools, small pump, co2 cartridge and inflation head, spare hanger/reverb collar, some zip ties, and my inreach mini. fits under jerseys, don't look like a kook! cheap, very not fancy, and very much does the job.


tdzride  - Nov. 10, 2020, 4:39 p.m.

I picked up a ShowersPass Rainslinger after reading about it here on NSMB. Very pleased so far! the open main pocket served me well with some simple organization. The only thing I miss is an optional bottle carrier attachment for a water bottle/tall boy


awesterner  - Nov. 10, 2020, 5:48 p.m.

To anyone reading this I highly recommend a High Above hip pack. Hand made in Bellingham by a really nice dude. Stiff waterproof shell material, with a really close fit. I have had 2 versions for the last five years and they are indestructible, and still look fantastic with tons of use. Surprisingly good value at 100-125USD depending on version and configuration 



Velocipedestrian  - Nov. 10, 2020, 10:22 p.m.

So many good links here. The French tuck is hilarious, but why were you scrolling Like Totally 80s?


4Runner1  - Nov. 11, 2020, 8:32 a.m.

Have the EVOC pro 3. Too much bounce, silly compartment design. Find that I have to tighten it to the point of discomfort. Now it hangs on my garage wall as I bought an USWE airborne 15. Problem solved.


bikerchef  - Nov. 14, 2020, 4:03 a.m.


I thought you worked for BIKE and got fired.  Boy was I wrong.

However, I still don't care what you think!

Happy Holidays!

Your #1 fan


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