- Water stays cold for hours
- 5 pockets with room to store everything you need
- Comfortable both biking and hiking
- Shift RS suspended back panel keeps the pack in position
- EVAP moisture wicking back kept me fairly dry
- Magnetic sternum strap keeps bite valve within easy reach
- Lots of unique features
- Only available in 2 colors – Blue or Grey
Price: $119 MSRP
How obtained: Review sample from company
Available: Online, retail, Gregory web site
Colors: Blue or grey
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 10+ hours
Weight: 1.81 lbs empty and max carry weight 15 lbs
Gear Capacity: 610 cu. In.
Hydration: Holds 3 liters of water
Frame: Internal Frame, perimeter wire, spring steel
Storage: 5 external pockets (4 with zippers) and internal sleeves/pockets
Well Thought Out Details
It has been years since I’ve used a hydration pack because of the weight on my shoulders and it shifted around too much. When I first unpacked the Gregory Avos 10L 3D-Hydro pack I initially was worried it was too large and bulky. But after using it on a couple of fat bike trail rides and on a recent trip to Colorado Springs, I was sold.
The Avos 10L details are well thought out and every aspect of the pack serves a useful purpose. The Avos is specifically designed for women, but Gregory offers a similar men’s/unisex model called the Endo.
Initially I watched the video to fully comprehend all the unique features of the pack. From the magnetic bite valve to the sunglass storage loop to an adjustable Shift RS suspended back panel, this hydration pack is chock full of features.
On The Bike
My first test ride with the Avos 10L was on my fat bike. I went out on some local single and double track trails for a couple of hours. Initially I was concerned about the added weight on my back/shoulders, but the Shift RS suspended back panel allowed me to adjust the location of the support belt. It helped to eliminate the weight of the pack off my shoulders and onto my hips.
The combination of the hip strap, sternum strap and built in frame kept the pack from moving around or bouncing while pedaling, standing over bumps/roots or dismounting/mounting the bike. Honestly, I forgot that I was wearing a pack and reached for my water bottle only to find the cage empty.
I frequently take pictures when riding, so the two hipbelt zippered pockets provided easy access storage for nutrition and cell phone.
The Avos is designed for MTB, not road biking. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have drop bars, but it would work for a commuter or hybrid with upright bars.
Hiking up Manitou Incline
On my recent trip to Colorado Springs, I took the Gregory Avos pack to use on some hikes. The first hike was a 2000 ft vertical climb up the Manitou Incline (approx. 1.2 miles) and a 3-mile hike down the Barr Trail. I knew the climb up would be strenuous and I needed plenty of water since there was none along the way. It was also necessary to keep my hands free for the climb but needed to carry hiking poles (for down the Barr Trail), a hat, and nutrition. The Avos pack met all the requirements.
The 3D Hydro reservoir holds up to 3 liters of water which translates to an extra 6.6 pounds on my back in addition to the 1.8 pound pack. I used the hipbelt and Shift RS suspended back panel to keep the pack in position and weight off my shoulders.
On the way up the Incline the sun was at our backs, so the EVAP moisture wicking ventilated back panel kept me fairly dry and cool. The sunglass QuickStow system on the shoulder strap let me secure my sunglasses mid-hike without taking off the pack.
One of my favorite features is the magnetic sternum strap that can be opened and closed with one hand. It also is integrated with the magnetic linkage for the DryLock bite valve. Any time I wanted to have a drink of water, I didn’t have to search for the bite valve, it was attached to the buckle. And since the bite valve wasn’t dangling it stayed clean and out of my way. The bite valve also had an easy on/off valve, so I didn’t have to worry about leakage. The insulation of the pack kept the water cool the whole hike and I used almost the whole 3 liters.
More Useful Features
There are many more useful features incorporated into the Avos 10 pack. These include:
- The 3D-hydro reservoir which includes Gregory’s proprietary 3D QuickDry soft-molded technology, integrated drying hanger and anatomical fit. Reservoir has markings for 1, 2, and 3 liters.
- Quick access hydration sleeve with SpeedClip mounting system. This hanger system allows for one-handed, snap-and-go reservoir installation and stabilizes the weight in the center of your back
- Removable zippered tool pouch is included with the pack. It has a dedicated, no-bounce storage pocket within the main compartment to eliminate bounce and protect tools.
- Crash pad protection pocket with protective foam for valuables you want protected from impact or weather exposure.
- Bike-specific organization with dedicated pockets and sleeves for tire and shock pumps, spare tubes, nutrition, etc.
- Safety light lash point on the front of the pack for night or urban riding.
- Molded webbing keepers to keep straps from flapping and out of your way.
- Stretch mesh stuff pocket for gear overflow and organization
- Comfort-grip molded zipper pulls which are even easy to use with full fingered gloves.
- High-vis reflective elements
- Helmet lash points for carrying your helmet when not riding
Need even more storage?
Gregory also offers an Avos 15 which has all the features of the Avos 10 but includes an extra quick-access pocket. It weighs just a little more (1.89 lbs) and sells for $129.95 MSRP.
I had stopped using a hydration pack a long time ago because of the added weight on my shoulders and it would shift around. The Gregory Avos 10 3D-Hydro Pack is nothing like the old-style packs from years ago. It’s designed to stay in place, not bounce around and shifted the weight off my shoulders. There’s plenty of storage and every aspect of the Avos pack has a purpose. There are so many features, I watched the company’s video, so I made sure I was aware of them all. From MTB and trail riding to commuting or hiking, this hydration pack is a winner.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.