If you've ever ridden your bike with one of those shapeless bookbag wonders on your back, you'll appreciate the SIENA. Designed by cyclists for cyclists, it sits tight and rides right. From mountain biking to commuting, this pack rocks when it comes to hauling gear, books, groceries, hydration systems, whatever. But, you don't have to be on a bike to appreciate the cool comfort of our AEROFLEX suspension. The SIENA hangs right for just about anything you can dream up. Even its built in helmet holder can double as a place to stash your fuzzies on a long hike or snowshoe. Add a built-in raincover and our patented F.L.A.S.H. - Floating Length-Adjustable Shoulder Harness - system and you'll know why last year the SIENA sold out quicker than cold beer at a midsummer ballgame. First come first served. Available WET or DRY. That's with or without our BIG DRIP 2L hydrations system.
Volume: 30 L (1800 in3)
a Weekend Warrior
from Adelaide, Australia
Date Reviewed: May 4, 2003
Strengths: Good airflow across your back(Many brands now have adopted this in small packs). good load carrying support on hips. Well constructed and thought out. Nice adj harness. Good external storage areas. Wears well, mine still looks "new". Water bottles are no comparison.
Weaknesses: Wing bolts too short and shop had to replace with longer ones. No where useful to put a rear light. Curved back impacts internal room, making bladder and any other items hard to get in and out, also reduces internal storage considerably more than its size suggests. Would like other attachment loops. High profile on back.
I have been very happy with this pack once the bolts were fixed. My only regret is I didnt get the biggest one as a pack this size is obviously to carry a bit more than the usual tool and energy bar (although I have mainly used it for water carry) and so having the most room if and when you require it would be a bonus. I think mine is the 30litre but the curved back eats into the access to this space so the biggest size would have been better for my needs. Having said this I love this pack. The cooling back works and it sits comfortably even with a decent load. A couple of small improvements and it will be a perfect 5/5!!!
Similar Products Used: hicking packs, water bottles.
Bike Setup: Thing with wheels to move this water tank...
a Cross Country Rider
from SACK OF TOMATOES
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2003
Strengths: I own the 2002 Vaude Siena 40. First up, it’s a great pack. It keeps the center of the pack off my sweaty back. Its design keeps most of the weight on your hips. It fits tight and doesn’t move around or shift. The hip area is nicely padded and the hips pads swivel to adjust. It has tons of storage space in a central inner core, an inside zippered area, an area to store the bladder (you could easily store 2 full 100oz bladders in the pack with one in the bladder holder area), an outside zippered pocket, 2 big side net pockets, and 2 pockets for the helmet holder and a rain cover from the bottom. I don’t use the helmet spider much. There are side compression straps as well. The shoulder straps adjust although I don’t know what torso size is appropriate. I’m 6’ 1” and I use the extra large setting.
The listed size is 2200 cubic inches. This may include the large side net pockets and helmet spider.
Weaknesses: Now some complaints: in order to keep the middle of the pack off your back, the pack bows in the middle. This creates a very high profile. If you commute like I do on public transport, you have to be careful not to smack people when you turn around. When bike riding, it’ll catch on branches that other packs would not. The pack will not sit up straight and will topple over easily due to its design.
Because the pack bends in the middle, a full bladder does not slide easily into the bladder slot. You may have to remove items from the bottom of the pack to get it to slide in completely. The slot for the bladder hose is hard to snake through. You may need a longer hose because the bladder sits deep in the pack and may not reach far enough to drink easily.
The moving hips pads, SwingWings, are a problem and I’ve been told that for 2003, they are no longer on the pack. The problem was that the bolt Vaude used to hold the swiveling hip pads was too short and the constant movement of the pads would cause the bolt inside the pack to come off causing the whole pad to come off (but the straps still held on to it). I went to my local hardware store, got a longer screw, a larger size nylon bolt (that will not slide off due to the constant motion of the pads), and an end cap bolt so it would not catch items inside the pack. This seems to work.
Finally, there’s no good place for a light on the back. There’s a low, very near the bottom, strap, but it dangles the light too low to be seen well. This criticism could apply to a lot of packs.
So overall, it’s big and comfy and stays off your sweaty back. However, replace the screws/bolts on the swivel hips pads.
Similar Products Used: 'BAK CLASSIC & MULE, MEC (Canadian REI)
Bike Setup: Tomac 78 Special w/ Atom 80, Hayes rear disc
from San Jose,CA
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2003
Strengths: Great Materials and construction,lots of pockets and compartments.Unbelievably comfortable,adjusts to different body sizes.Vaude has been making packs for a long,long time and it shows in the details.Seems durable,only time will tell.
Weaknesses: Zippers seem to hang up if not pulled perfectly straight.The elastic loop to hold the hydration hose is worthless-get one of those Camelback hoses with the black sleeve that holds its shape.
This review is for the Semi pack which is a little smaller than the large Sienna.This pack is nice and big!Theres room to put lots of food and extra clothes for long rides in the winter and overnighters.The 1st thing I noticed is how light it felt even when almost fully loaded.The suspension really helps.When I 1st used it on some reaaly steep trails the frame bumped into the back of my neck,then I found out you can adjust the bag around on the frame,something you would normally see on much larger backpacking packs.This also helps to get the waist strap lower so you can tighten it up to take some of the load off your back and still be able to breathe good.All the rest of the h20 packs I've used had the waist strap too high making breathing uncomfortable and the strap useless. This pack should have some lash points to strap down extras such as a sleeping pad and bivi sack.I'll be having some sewn on mine soon. The helmet holder seemed a little small compared to the pack but it holds the helmet or whatever pretty tight. I've used the pack on some pretty wet rides and everything has stayed dry,but I haven't used the rain cover yet. Overall this is a great pack.I'm looking forward to lots of adventures with it Compared to other brand packs at the same price,this one is way better.The Jannds I've used seem just as durable,are a bit less expensive,but don't have all the nice little features that add up to a much more convenient pack.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak narrow gauge. The Vaude is way better.
Bike Setup: Titus Switchblade. Marzoccki Z1, Full XTR/Chris King/Raceface.
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2002
Strengths: Cools your back, light frame, good for tall people, good pockets, water compartment
Weaknesses: Is not a camelbak and therefore will not be bought by anyone outside europe
I actually have a different Vaude than this. Mine is taller, with mesh side pockets and a helmet carrier, but I don't know the name of the model so I am putting the review here.
These things are *much much* better than the relatively shapeless and hot Camelbaks. The wire frame with mesh sheet design of the back really keeps the bag a long way from your body, allowing air to circulate. Camelbaks and other bags based on the 'rucksack with lumps on the back' pattern just do not have this advantage.
Apart from that, the Vaude is really light with well-thought-out pockets and enough adjustability that it's not TOO bad for tall (6'6") people.
Leave the camel herd and put one of *these* on your bak today!
Similar Products Used: camelbak. It wasn't as good.
Bike Setup: sub22
a Weekend Warrior
from Princeton, NJ
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2002
Strengths: Aeroflex mesh back, swing wings, very adjustable, unadvertised pockets, well designed
Weaknesses: curvature of main pocket makes it much less efficient for transporting large rectangular objects (e.g. 8.5x11" papers, books, binders, laptops, etc); instructions for adjusting to fit your body should be more detailed; item description doesn't mention all the pockets; can be large for short rides
This is kind of embarassing, but I'm only now recognizing all it's features. It is well designed, including lots of adjustments, so it takes a while to figure out how to adjust it to fit your body. Of course, the reason I bought it was to reduce back sweating and it does that (at least while biking, while hiking there's less airflow and it's not nearly as effective, but better than a standard backpack). The swing wings, waist, and chest straps work well to put the weight on your hips and not your shoulders (although have to adjust differently for cycling position or hiking position). It packs a lot of room in the main compartment, but it's better for flexible things since it does have the curvature due to the bowed back. It has a thin mesh zippered pocket in the top of the main compartment which is good for keys, head bands, map, money, etc. It has an outside side zippered pocket good for heavier object (battery, tube, allen wrenches, camera, gps...), and can hold somewhat thicker objects taking some space from the main compartment. It also has a wide, short, thin velcroed outer pocket towards the bottom (where the color meets the black), which can be used for clothing (rain jacket, pants, or arm/leg warmers). It also has a wide, short, thin velcroed outer pocket underneath which holds the built in rain cover, but might could hold some light clothing (change of underwear, arm warmers). Finally, there are the two mesh sides pockets with elastic at the top which can be used for most anything (water bottles, shoes, tupperware containers of fresh picked berries, etc). Of course there's the helmet holder on the outside which can also be used for a jacket that you take off during your ride. It has a few reflective surfaces and places to clip a blinker. .
Similar Products Used: Performance Monsoon Porter, Vaude Dash 10
Bike Setup: Trek 2500, Ultegra
a Weekend Warrior
from Portland, OR USA
Date Reviewed: December 5, 2001
Strengths: Holds a lot. Airflow design keeps you dry. So comfortable you barely notice it's on, even with 10+ pounds in it. Built-in chartreuse rain cover keeps pack dry and you visible.
Weaknesses: Puts weight on your butt (but still beats panniers!)
If you commute with a single pannier now, get rid of it and take the rack off your bike. This is your pack, period.
I barely notice I'm wearing it because it fits so well. You still get sweaty under the straps and hip belt, but that's it - the frame design keeps most of it 2" away from your back, allowing for airflow and keeping you dry. I also use it for hiking and x-c skiing because it holds so much gear. For hiking and most biking I use the hydration bottle, then I take it out for more room for all my commuting stuff. Also, it has a couple of nice internal pockets, and two nice mesh side pockets for extra water bottles or other large items. And it has ladder-stitched webbing loops down the straps so you can attach more stuff. Very cool.
The built-in neon yellow raincover keeps it dry, makes you visible in low light, and stashes into a built-in compartment in the bottom so you can walk into your office building not looking like a total geek. For riding in actual darkness, though, raincover should be more reflective - only a tiny VauDe logo in the center reflects.
Buy it if: you need to carry more than an underseat bag will hold. Skip it if: you have to carry 2 panniers' worth of stuff. Or if you like the bad aerodynamics and handling your bike gets from carrying a pannier.
4 jalapeno value rating - $100 is steep, though it IS worth it. 5 habanero overall - this is by far the best daypack I've ever had for hiking, let alone biking.
a Weekend Warrior
from Wheat Ridge, CO
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2001
Strengths: The Aeroflex back is the reason I bought this pack, and I have not been disappointed! I've been using hydration-packs for a few years, but not consistently due to the "sweaty-back" feeling of conventional designs - but no longer! You can actually feel the breeze move across your back!
Weaknesses: The curved design does limit the storage capacity of the flat zippered pockets - perhaps they could add more contoured pockets on the outside, or even a couple of smaller ones on the sides of the pack by the waistbelt.
If you like having your fluids close at hand while you ride, get this pack! No more fumbling with bottles and cages, and it won't cause any additional sweat on your back!
Similar Products Used: Camelback Classic, Camelback MULE
Bike Setup: Intense Tracer with XT/Sid 100/Mavic 517 ano
a Weekend Warrior
from Malden, MA
Date Reviewed: July 30, 2001
Strengths: Adjustable to fit your torso size (I am 6 feet 5 inches tall.) The helmet bungie shows that the pack was designed by bikers with every attention to detail.
I bought this pack early last year for my trip to Moab where I planned on biking and hiking in the desert. After looking at all the various CamelBack packs I was very disappointed. Those packs had no real structure to them. They were just bags with shoulder straps and a few bungies and daisy chains. Not to mention their price!
Then I saw the Vaude pack. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that its curved shape will deliver ventilation across your back. No more sticky, sweaty back when you need it least. Plus, the tag on the pack said it would hold a 70 oz. bladder, but I put in a 100 oz. bladder without any trouble. I like the pack so much that whenever I see one in a store I stop and tell the people I am with how good a pack it is.
a Cross Country Rider
from Orange County, CA
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2001
Strengths: Comfortable, amazingly adjustable, holds plenty, well designed.
Weaknesses: Curvature makes it hard to get items in or out; could use more pockets.
Vaude has some really clever ideas. The adjustable straps can be customized to your body. It has plenty of room for lots of stuff and the Aeroflex back for ventilation is really functional and comfortable. It's well built. In fact, I liked my Sienna so well, I also bought their Dash 8 for times when I only want to carry water and no extra gear (and weight). I was using the Dash 8 in a race and crashed hard on my back. The pack protected me, but the plastic clip that separates the bars of the Aeroflex broke. I called Vaude, and they said it's supposed to do that to protect the rider from injury. Then they took my address and I had a new plastic clip - no charge - in two days! Amazing service. They have my respect for both a great product and great service.
Best danm pack I have ever used. Ventilation is awesome. bought a couple of timbuk2 accessories for cell phone and mp3 player. my commute to work is definitely better with this pack. throw a bladder in there and your set for a long weekend on the trails.
If you need a versatile pack BUY VAUDE!!!
BTW - no need to worry about rain, the pull out rain cover has never let me down. 2 hours through the rain and everything in the pack was dry as a bone!!! Laptop included!!!
Similar Products Used: most all of them, used timbuk2 messenger bag for 2 years before the vaude bag.
Bike Setup: Klien Atitude comp, raceface everything, rolf propel, Marzocchi Z3 Long Travel 99
a Cross Country Rider
from Laguna Beach, CA
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2000
Strengths: Aeroflex Back keeps the ventilation going and the pack off of your back. MY Seinna 40 L pack is the best "camel back" type water carrier hands down. I would never consider any pack that doesn't have this ventilation. I would never consider any other pack period. Compared to the Trans Alp by Camel Back, this has way more room, is way more comfy with the air conditioning, and is way more stylish...the silver grey model. Would you buy a car without air conditioning if you lived the desert? No Way! So get rid of your sweaty camel back and get a vaude. I'd never go back.
Weaknesses: Possibly could use more internal pocket compartments to hold small gear.
Nothing comes close. Aeroflex air conditioning is worth its weight in gold.
a Cross Country Rider
from Wheeling, IL
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2000
Strengths: Fit, air flow, hydration ready, rain cover, helmet bungee, plus more.
Weaknesses: Arc design reduces pack capacity somewhat. Less clearance under branches.
I wanted a pack I could take on long rides and commute with. Also, I sweat a lot and hate the hot feel of a pack riding on my back. The "Aeroflex" design keeps the bulk of the pack away from my back and allows for copious air flow. I have the Siena 30 and it has just enough room for a change of casual clothes for work (including shoes) and a rain shell.
The interior mesh pocket holds my 100oz Blackburn bladder and there is an H2O hole for the straw. The waist belt is comfortable and the chest strap makes for a secure fit. The shoulder straps are comfortable and not bulky. The pack has a built in rain cover that stows in a velcro sealed pouch at the bottom of the pack. The helmet holder on the back works very well.
I use this pack everytime I ride. Now I always take a rain shell with me plus a Cliff bar and have plenty of room for tools, pump, etc. The only time I notice the pack is when I have to negotiate a low clearance branch.
Similar Products Used: Various Camelback and Blackburn hydration systems
Bike Setup: Stock 1999 GT Zaskar
a Cross Country Rider
from Siletz, Oregon, USA
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2000
Strengths: Comfortable shoulder straps, Good back ventilation, Plenty of cargo space,Price was right, 100 oz. water capacity. Very well made pack
Weaknesses: There ventilation arch on the back is a bit extreme and takes a little more room out of the cargo area than I like, but with the way the pack performes in other ways I can live with it.
I took this pack on a small 3 day tour and it never gave me any trouble or soreness. I've used it on epic rides and I never have thought it was to much pack. All in all I would recommend this pack to anyone. Good storage, ventilation and water capacity. It would be exellent for a commuter pack or epic Mt. rides. Not recommend for small rides.
Bike Setup: 1998 Specialized FSR, Raceface crank, XTR Ti Cassette, deraillers, brakes,levers and shifters, Marzocchi Atom Bomb, Hugi/Mavic 517 Wheelset, S-Works stem, Special Rise bars and Bontrager RE-1 pedals.