Leatt DBX Enduro Lite – Review:
Born and bred in South Africa, Leatt stems from the motocross circuit with its neck brace protection which, in 2010, spread to the mountain biking arena. Since then Leatt have expanded their range to include a wide range of protection from helmets, neck braces, body armour, clothing…list goes on. Leatt have some experience in their industry and some really innovative products.
We’ve been taking a closer look at the DBX Enduro Lite which won the Design & Innovation Award in 2016. The Design & Innovation Awards drive creativity and innovation in our industry so I had the bar set pretty high and I can tell you early on…..the award was well deserved.
Manufacturers all have a relatively unique take on how they design bags and the benefit to different riders / disciplines based on riding style. I personally found that the Enduro Lite, although clearly focused at Enduro, was a great all-rounder.
What I like about the Enduro Lite
Build quality – The DBX Enduro Lite was clearly made to last. The material is not the usual light weight stuff but a denser, more rugged material which forms part of a fully-welded system that makes the outer shell waterproof. I also like that the clips, zips, cords and straps have a little more bulk to them which makes them sturdier but also easier to use when wearing gloves.
Comfort – I wouldn’t say the DBX Enduro Lite was more or less comfortable than the usual market leaders. But, I really like what they did with their harness system which drives mixed opinion. Instead of the typical hip and chest straps, Leatt’s hardness design covers most of your chest. I personally found this more comfortable than the traditional hip strap design as I find that they can dig into my guts. The potential downside of this design is that you have less airflow to your chest but you can consider that you’re essentially shifting this heat from your lower to your upper torso. Again, my personal preference was for upper.
Storage – This is where the DBX Enduro Lite shines for me. For a “light” backpack, they do an excellent job at creating useful spaces/compartments which are easy to access and provide some unique benefit. I’ll start with the compartments on the chest harness. I found the positioning of compartments here are easier to access than on a hip strap. The phone compartment has a clear window so I can see the screen of any calls rather than having to dig my phone out only to decide it’s not important. The other parallel compartment is the same size, well ventilated and useful for storing gels and bars.
At the rear, there is a single secondary storage compartment which runs diagonally up the pack rather than the typical 2 block compartments you see. This makes for an ideal space for keeping a pump and tools. The traditional storage is great for tools but you’re forced to keep a pump in the primary compartment.
The primary compartment is large enough to fit a jacket and other small items. Within, you have the bladder storage which is uniquely covered in a heat reflective coating. This is essentially a combination of the shiny stuff you find in cooler bags and wetsuit material. Simple but very effective at keeping your drink cool.
Back protection – This is always a nice feature which more backs should incorporate. The system itself is relatively standard with a removeable foam pad. What I quite liked was that the foam pad was made of multiple layers. Although this may not be an intended feature, you can adjust the thickness of the padding to balance rigidity/protection vs comfort.
Price – Retailing at £119.99 / $139.99, the Leatt DBX Enduro Lite is well priced for the market and comparable to the likes of Evoc or Ergon. I personally think you get more for bang for your buck with Leatt.
What I didn’t likeThe bladder – The design of the bladder itself is again pretty standard however it transfers an after taste to your drink. I’ve been using it for a while now and it still seems to be lingering.
The phone storage – I love this compartment and use it on every ride but I need to keep it slightly unzipped as it gets moisture build up. Air tight with a clear window makes for humidity heaven. So far, the zip trick works and no sign of my phone disappearing. I think this is quite an easy fix for the next version of the pack.