ACRE Supply Hauser 10L and 14L Pack: Reviewed

Words Morgan Taylor and Lyle Vallie
Photos Morgan Taylor and Gabriel Amadeus
Date Oct 6, 2014

Acre Hauser 10L
Words and Photos by Morgan Taylor.

I first got my hands on Acre Supply’s 10L Hauser hydration pack back in March, and it quickly became my go-to pack for riding. Waterproof, sharp looks, adjustable fit, and a functional layout made it one of the more versatile 10L packs I’d worn. It also had the advantage of being the smallest bag in which I’ve been able to comfortably carry my full size SLR in addition to my usual payload of rain jacket, food, pumps, tools, and tubes.

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Not many products can lay claim to this one.

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The Hauser is full of unique features such as adjustable fit and a multitude of waterproof pockets.

Acre’s line of mountain bike apparel and bags have a distinct aesthetic. While the branding may be new, the Acre trail line is a spinoff of San Francisco-based Mission Workshop, who have been producing versatile high end backpacks and apparel for urban cyclists since 2009. All of their products are made in the USA, and have a lifetime warranty.

While the multitude of pockets work well by themselves, I learned that they had a tendency to invade each others’ space. This issue was especially noticeable as I tried to get my camera in and out of the bag. Anything in the top, horizontally-zipped pocket and removing the camera was a hassle. Overpacking the front, vertically-zipped tool/cargo pocket and the same issue arose.

I have learned to pack the bag so the pockets don’t interfere – and have consistently found enough room to carry everything I need and keep it dry as well. The Hauser was shipped with a tool roll which is a neat way to keep things tidy in the front pocket, but I found it compounded the pocket interference issue.

Considering its background and aesthetics, I’m inclined to put the Hauser in the boutique category. However, given its form and function – and the fact that the pricing is actually pretty reasonable – the Hauser is a great addition to the market. It’s not often that a product becomes my primary piece right at the first moment of use and stays that way for the long term, but the Hauser gets that accolade.

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As one might expect from a domestically-produced piece, all of the details have been considered.

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Acre’s adjustable fit system gives you two options for each of the shoulder and waist straps.

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The mesh back panel is separate from the bag itself.

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The 14L Hauser in rolltop mode.

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And in the optional flap-and-buckle mode.

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The water reservoir sits in its own waterproof pocket that unzips all the way around. While seemingly overkill, it’s pretty effective in practice.

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Waterproof upper pocket fits a phone and lots more, but can interfere with getting bulky items out of the main compartment if overloaded.

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The vertically-zipped side pocket works well for emptying your pockets, but won’t hold your stuff in if you forget to zip it up (see Lyle’s comments below).

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The 14L Hauser that Lyle has been testing.

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The 10L Hauser quickly became my go-to riding pack whether or not I was carrying my big camera. Photo Kaz Yamamura.

In conversation with the folks at Acre it was suggested that they send us a 14L Hauser to complement my experience. I decided to pass that bag on to Lyle Vallie, who I knew would use the Hauser in a wide variety of conditions from daily commuting to trail riding to bikepacking. His thoughts on the big Hauser follow below.


Acre Hauser 14L
Words by Lyle Vallie. Photos by Gabriel Amadeus.

The 14L Hauser has been my everyday bag for 4 months now. From commuting, to North Shore trail riding, to a two week bikepacking trip in Idaho, the bag has been versatile and dependable for all but the largest loads. The waterproof design has been reliable, and the seams, zippers and buckles are holding up perfectly.

As a taller rider I’ve found many bags in the past don’t quite fit my torso. With the help of the adjustable straps, the volume, weight, and proportions are pretty much bang on for a person of my framework – and the look and build quality suits my tastes as well. The pocket layout and design is different from anything I’ve used before, and it took a while to adapt to how to best make use of the bag.

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17 days of Idaho singletrack with the 14L Hauser. Photo Gabriel Amadeus.

The main compartment has the option to either roll and velcro, or to fold and buckle. I was using the fold and buckle option for the first few months, as I have an aversion to rolltop velcro from past experience with other bags. However, I eventually warmed up to the velcro flap – it’s just faster – and so far, the velcro has proven to be durable.

In the big vertical zippered pocket I keep a small road pump, a shock pump, my bag of tools, and some lights. Basically, that is the ‘wet’ storage. Not that the zipper leaks – it doesn’t. These items just have a tendency to get wet because I will access this pocket trailside in bad weather. I can confidently say the rest of the pockets have remained totally dry.

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Packed to the gills. Photo Gabriel Amadeus.

The lower pocket with two integral tie down straps has come in handy a few times. At first I wasn’t into the idea of a pocket hanging open with straps coming out of it… but in the times I have needed to strap a roll to the botttom of the bag, the strap location (being on the back of the bag, rather than the bottom) has kept the roll in a good spot to not get caught on my saddle when mounting/dismounting. I even found giant silver tarp on the road one night, and strapped it to the bag by clipping the helmet/rolltop buckles to the lower pocket buckles.

About a month into using the pack I forgot to do up the zipper on the side pocket. While you are riding, the zipper is on the bottom edge of this pocket, and my phone fell out. Sure, this is user error… but maybe the pocket could have a shorter zipper? Recently I was scorned by my wife for putting my new phone back in that same pocket.

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The larger Hauser is a great fit for larger-framed riders. Photo Gabriel Amadeus.

A Few Nitpicks

The mesh straps broke in nicely, and are fairly breathable. The big side flaps provide support to the hips, at the cost of some heat retention. Basically the entire footprint of the bag is a sweat zone. Remember those early high school dances, where you are slow dancing with a girl, and thinking the entire time about how much your palms are sweating on the girls hips? Yeah. Thats the bag and me dancing. Sweatily.

Generally the Hauser sits nicely on your shoulders and hips, though I have found it has a tendency to move around on extreme steeps when you have it loaded. I found it would sometimes ride up, and occasionally take my jersey with it. [I have found this effect to be amplified when the bag is full but the water reservoir is empty. – Morgan] To combat this I generally give the waist strap (set in its lower position) a tug to keep it at my hips right before a steep descent.

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The long road home. Photo Gabriel Amadeus.

Another issue, if I had to find one, is that the waterproof liner material is somewhat loose, only anchored at the bottom of the bag in the main compartment. Retrieving something damp, rubber, or awkwardly shaped can be annoying. As Morgan mentioned above, you adjust to these idiosyncrasies and forget about them most of the time. For a bag that boasts waterproofness without the garbage bag aesthetic, I can’t complain.

Overall, I’m pretty into the bag. The few minor tweaks I would make to the design are specific enough to be nit picky so I’d say they nailed it.

Acre Supply sells the 10L Hauser for $195 USD and the 14L version for $205, without reservoir.


Are you ready to re-think waterproof hydration packs?

Comments

fuzzy_mc
0
Paul Mc Carthy  - Oct. 8, 2014, 11:22 a.m.

Ive had one of the 14L for the whole summer and its amazing. The fit is so comfortable compared to other packs. Im a huge fan.

Reply

nouseforaname
0
Nouseforaname  - Oct. 6, 2014, 11:46 a.m.

Nice to see some reviews of less 'run of the mill' products.

Reply

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