The Amplifi Hipster4 Glacier & Drinking System Hip pack is a well made, sturdy and well-fitting hip pack. It’s designed to be a lighter weight hip pack, with multiple options for carrying the essentials you’ll need on the trail. It’s stable when riding, with just a couple of small criticisms of its design, which at times made this pack a little frustrating.
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Amplifi Hipster4 Glacier - Technical details
The Amplifi is built using the Race Lite Airflow System which are shaped panels from 3D-molded EVA. The large and generous sized channels aim to create airflow against the back, also reducing weight and being comfortable over prolonged riding. Its 17cm x 25cm back panel spreads the load over your lower back, and the venting grooves are nearly 1cm deep which is beneficial to cooling.
With a claimed weight of 350g (pack only), it came to 362g on my scales. With the reservoir added, the weight totalled 578g. It’s not super light but the pack didn’t feel particularly heavy when first picked up. The Hipster4 is of a similar size to other hip packs, and it has a claimed capacity of 4 litres.
The body of the pack is made from 90% Nylon and 10% Polyester fabric, with a PU-coating that I found to be pretty water-resistant. The pack has a feel of good quality and construction to it, and it held up to abrasions and snags well.
There are two main pockets to the body. One of these pockets is for the uniquely-shaped 1.5L reservoir. This reservoir is well made, and has a detachable hose, that is unusually fabric covered. I like this for the fact that the hose is better protected, but also not so much as you can’t see if it’s gunked up with muck and needs a good clean.
The closure of the reservoir is a separate piece of plastic - I think that this cap could be easily misplaced, and whilst the roll-top and closing part is secure, it felt fiddly to put together. There is also a cap to cover the spout that was a fiddle to put back over when riding and could only really be done when stopped - not great for drinking on the go. I removed it pretty quickly.
There are two zipped pockets on the outside of the hip pack, and three mesh pockets for more organised packing inside the main compartment. There is also a zipped pocket on the inside of the closure of the bag. A secure key clip on a short lanyard is handy, plus some mountain rescue hand signs for reference. Additional zipped pockets on each side of the waist strap pads are small but useful.
The waist strap is wide on the hips, padded and secured with a decent-sized web strapping and clip. It’s wide enough to not dig in when the pack is fully loaded, and there is plenty of adjustment in it. It runs through the two hip pockets which help with getting it sat comfortably but also staying in place more effectively.
Amplifi Hipster4 Glacier - on the trails
I really liked riding with the Amplifi Hipster4 - it remained stable on rough descents, the waist strap was comfortable and didn’t dig in, and the varying pockets meant I could pack tools and equipment in multiple ways until I had the right set up. My only gripe is the lack of secure storage for a decent size pump (it's ok if you use CO2 cartridges), but that is a minor complaint admittedly.
As I’m not the biggest fan of hip packs, it was a nice surprise that this one worked well for me. I still tend to not overfill the reservoir and use the pack for shorter rides, as it’s still hard to fit in everything you may want to ride with, more so in the winter perhaps. For a couple of hours doing laps in the local woods, it’s just right.
The magnetic mount for the hose was great - it’s far enough round that it sits well, and only came loose once early on, possibly from my lack of attention to setting it right. The waist strap is easy enough to slacken and rotate around your torso so you can get at things, and the two zips set top and bottom are handy when you remove the pack. However, I had one or two occasions when the lower zip worked loose as I peeled the top part back, which let things spill out. This was solved by not putting too much in this section, and using the webbing pockets instead - these are big enough for tools and kit too.
Riding with the Amplifi Hipster4, on the whole, was good. Its stability on all sorts of trail conditions, ascending and descending - were great, it’s really well made, the grey-white colour definitely grubbed up quickly but it survived hosing down and comes back up well.
Amplifi Hipster4 Glacier & Drinking System - summing up
The positives of the Amplifi Hipster4 are that it is a good size, has multiple storage options, stability when riding and a decent sized reservoir. The slightly odd zip access when wearing it is a small gripe. Its minimalist approach to the design is perhaps a little bit tenuous, there are a lot of designs for hip packs that are lighter and more stripped-down, but the Amplifi Hipster4 Glacier uses a heavier gauge material and this balances out by making it more durable long term.
The actual pack is good, with a couple of small complaints - the fiddly closure on the reservoir and the secondary zip placement. Whilst both are minor flaws and can be worked around, it would make the pack near perfect at this price. It's a pretty expensive pack when compared to the Darien, Ergon or Evoc packs of comparable features and sizes.
Sales of the Glacier range contribute to clean water projects in Vietnam and the materials used to make the pack are 100% recycled PET - so some worthy and practical environmental bonus points for that.
Although the Amplifi Hipster4 Glacier is well made, with plenty of storage options and has good trail stability and comfort, I think at this price it needs to be that little bit more refined. When you compare to the Dakine Hot Laps or the Evoc Hip Pack, which are cheaper and hold nearly the same kit amount, the Amplifi seems a little pricey.