Tested: Mosko Moto Wildcat Backpacks
There’s a bit of an unspoken game that gets played every time you get a new piece of Mosko Moto luggage. That game is simply to discover all of the features and functions that are packed into every piece of their gear. All of the folks at Mosko Moto ride, and combined with the company’s open development process, there is no shortage of input on how to make great luggage. The end result is that each product is very well thought out and very functional. Mosko Moto’s new Wildcat 8L and 12L backpacks are no different. To sample all of the functionality built into these new backpacks, we’ve been using them for everything from hard enduro to adventure riding.
The 8L and 12L in the Wildcat backpack’s name refers to their storage volume, at eight liters and twelve liters respectively. Both packs share the same overall design and have several common features: the harness, ability to carry an included 3-liter Hydrapak hydration reservoir, adjustable harness sizing, removable waist-belt, goggle pocket, and the ability to carry an optional chest harness. Additionally, both packs have a beavertail outer pocket that makes these packs excel at carrying bulky or odd-shaped gear. The sides of the beavertail on the 8L can be unzipped to expand the pocket, and the beavertail on the 12L can be completely unzipped and cinched down with compression straps. Inside both pack’s beaver tails you’ll find a zippered organizer pocket which is great for keeping tools sorted.
Mosko Moto tastefully outfitted the Wildcat Packs with several Hypalon panels, which enable users to mount all sorts of additional gear. Both packs have Velcro straps in a couple of these panels to carry something like a folding saw, but unfortunately the included straps can’t wrap around a real saw like a Silky Big Boy. Thankfully, the straps can be easily swapped with your own straps, so customizing the pack to carry what you need is easy.
Take the time to really explore all of the pockets and provisions on the Wildcat backpack before you load it out with your gear. Like any backpack, try to keep the heavy items close to your back and lower in the pack. Once you have it loaded, take additional time to fit the pack to yourself. The genius in the Wildcat backpacks is the aptly named Wildcat Technology, which allows you to size the harness to your unique physiology, whether or not you’re wearing torso armor. Unlike other systems which use straps that can slip in their buckles, Wildcat tech gives you several fixed sizes which will not change size on you as you’re riding. The goal with this style of harness it to have the pack embrace your torso, keeping the pack in place. A removable waist-belt is also included with both packs and can add additional stability, especially if you’re carrying a heavier loadout.
The Wildcat 8L is a great option for riders who want to carry a full measure of hydration and just the essential extras, or riders who want less on their back. Load the 8L up with water, essential tools, some snacks, and stuff a packable rain layer in the beavertail if required. This pack stays fixed to your back when properly fit, and it does a great job carrying weight when it’s stuffed full of gear.
The Wildcat 12L is the pack to choose if you need to carry more, or you need more flexibility in your loadouts. The beavertail can be opened up more than on the 8L, giving this pack some real gear swallowing potential. Thanks to its compression straps, the pack can also be cinched down, so even if all you’re carrying is water and snacks, the pack will stay tucked in tight when it’s only partially full.
Both Wildcat packs can accept the optional chest harness, which is a great way to add some tacti-cool gear storage to your Wildcat pack. Starting from the exterior and working in, you’ll find a pocket for an inReach or inReach Mini, and a pocket for a small phone sized object. Open up the clamshell on the chest harness, and you’ll find Velcro panels on the front and back with a removable insert that has elastic strapping for gear organization. The chest harness is great for carrying things you would otherwise have to take your pack off to grab. Whether that’s a multi tool, a phone, snacks, or a means to exercise your second amendment rights – it’s all within reach in a pocket that won’t dump out its contents when opened. The chest harness attaches to the left shoulder strap on the Wildcat, and uses two buckles to attach to the right shoulder strap. To doff a Wildcat pack with a chest harness on, you’re looking at unclipping two buckles on the chest harness, and then the pack’s sternum buckle.
Mosko Moto’s Wildcat backpacks are incredibly versatile and functional backpacks. They’re able to go fast and light with just the essentials or carry a serious amount of gear to support all types of riding adventures. No matter how much or how little gear you load into these packs, the harness does a great job of carrying the weight and keeping the pack fixed to your back. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your Wildcat and you’ll have an outstanding riding backpack that fits like a glove and effectively carries your gear. For more information go to www.moskomoto.com.
For a closer look into Mosko Moto, check out our feature on the brand in Issue 69: CLICK HERE