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Platypus Duthie AM 10 Review

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Platypus Duthie AM 10

Platypus is one of the top names in hydration and much like their competitor Camelback, they have a solid lineup of backpacks with integrated hydration systems for outdoor endeavors.  The Platypus Duthie AM 10 is the smallest member of the company’s All-mountain hydration pack line designed for big days on the mountain bike.  There is also the Duthie AM 12, Duthie AM 17, and women’s specific W’s Siouxon.  The 10 in this case refers to the 10 liter capacity, making this a more streamlined pack for singletrack or park riding.  For epic rides, I suggest checking out the larger packs in the line.  The Duthie includes Platypus’s excellent hydration reservoir in a 3 liter size, great system for carrying a full-face helmet and pads, and great organizational features.  Keep reading for the rest of our Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

Platypus Duthie AM 10: Fit and Comfort

The Duthie AM 10 has a very comfortable and well designed strap system that rivals most light daypacks.  The straps are contoured nicely and don’t dig into your shoulders or chest in any noticeable way.  They are made of a breathable and lightly padded mesh that I found comfortable.  The adjustable sternum strap helps keep the shoulder straps in place and stable.  I really appreciated the lightly padded hipbelt that added comfort over some competitive packs that just have a piece of webbing as the hipbelt.  Even thought this adds a little weight, it is a great tradeoff for comfort.  The Duthie AM 10 fit my 6′ torso perfectly but I always suggest trying on a pack with a little weight in it to see how it fits on your body before purchasing.  Moving to the back panel, you’ll find two sections of padding that offer a decent sized ventilation channel down the middle that aids in air flow.  On a sweltering Denver foothills day on the bike trail, I did notice the ventilated back panel offering some much needed breathability.

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Padded back panels and air channel. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Hipbelt pocket perfect for gells and other small items. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

Hydration

I’ve always been a fan of Platypus’s take on hydration reservoirs and I’m glad they didn’t reinvent the wheel for their mountain bike hydration packs.  The Duthie AM 10 comes with a 3 liter reservoir that is more than enough for a long day on the trails.  In fact, I usually fill it with only a liter when I’m going out for a typical afternoon ride.  It’s nice to have the capacity if I’m going to be getting out on a long, hot trail like Moab’s Slickrock.  The Platypus hydration reservoir uses a material that is stiffer than some competitors combined with an anti microbial lining that I’ve found to be easy to clean and less susceptible to ‘funk’.  The reservoir uses a simple slider that slips over the ziploc style top and seals it shut.  I see two main advantages to this system when compared to a screw top on the side of the reservoir: accessibility when filling and cleaning is more straight forward when coming in from the top and you also don’t have to worry about difficulty unscrewing an overtightened lid.  This is a well thought out design that works flawlessly in my experience.  The drinking hose is attached via a quick release that allows it to be removed easily for cleaning or replacement.  At the end of the hose is a bite valve on a right angle with a shutoff valve for transport.  I like the Platypus bite valve a lot and the only issue I find is that it is sometimes picky about how it is oriented in your mouth.  If you don’t have it horizontal when you bite, it doesn’t provide a good flow.  The hose in the Duthie AM 10 can be routed through either the right or left shoulder, depending on your preference and there is a magnet on the sternum strap that helps keep the hose in place when not being drank out of.

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Magnet holds hose in a convenient position. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Platypus bite valve with twist shutoff. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Slider ensures proper seal on hydration reservoir. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Hangers and separate compartment for hydration reservoir. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

Storage and Organization

This is an area where the pack really shines and I wanted to make a point of it in my Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.  I’ve used numerous hydration packs in the past that have been adequate for delivering water but a pain in the butt for storing riding essentials.  They either have too little space, the space is ill-organized, or the storage is hard to access.  The Duthie AM 10 has the perfect capacity for your typical half day outing, while being compact enough to take on your after-work rides.  I generally carry the following on my rides: 2 big air CO2 cartridges, spare tube, multi tool, tire irons, energy bars, rain jacket, small first aid kit, car keys, and cell phone.  The Duthie AM 10 easily swallows all of this but more importantly, there is a place for everything.  There is a separate fleece lined zippered pocket on the top that is perfect for my cell phone.  On the front of the pack is another small zippered pocket that I like to keep my bars in.  You could also use the small hipbelt pockets for fast access to energy gels, blocks, etc.  A large expandable stash pocket on the front can be used for multiple purposes such as carrying a rain jacket or other layers.  If fully expanded, even a full face helmet can fit in there for transport!  One of the things that bugs me in a lot of other biking hydration packs is difficult entry to the main compartment and thankfully the Platypus Duthie AM 10 solves this issue.  Using nearly full length zippers on the main compartment allows the bag to be completely opened, providing easy access to all the contents without having to dig.  This is great when you are doing a trailside repair and the last thing you want to deal with is searching for tools.  The inside of the main compartment of the Duthie AM 10 is well organized with a place for everything.  A zippered mesh pocket has a clip for your keys and is also a good place for your wallet/cash/id.  Below that are two mesh pockets that are good for stuffing your spare tube, tire irons, and a multi tool.  Additionally, there are two tube shaped pockets that I use to put my CO2 air canisters in.  When the pack is fully loaded, you can use the multiple compression straps to get everything down into a stabilized load.  All said, I can’t think of anything to improve upon in this section of my Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Front compression pocket hold helmet when expanded. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Front pocket for food and small item storage of things you want quicker access to. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Reflective panel with spot for a bike light is great for evening/early morning riding to and from the trails. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

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Large compartment opens wide for easy access and has multiple organization options. Platypus Duthie AM 10 review.

Platypus Duthie AM 10 Review Summary and Final Thoughts

I’ve used a number of mountain biking backpacks from numerous companies and I’m placing the Platypus Duthie AM 10 at the top of the heap.  Its comfortable fit, well-thought out and versatile organization, and solid hydration system all lead to a great pack for cross-country, enduro, and gravity mountain bikers alike.  If you are looking for larger capacity, check out the Duthie AM 12 and Duthie AM 17 packs.

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About Jesse

Jesse’s love of the outdoors brought him to Colorado back in 2004 and he’s continued to enjoy the natural playground ever since. Jesse is a professional photographer specializing in weddings and active lifestyle advertising. As a photographer with a love of hiking and camping, Jesse is constantly testing ways to carry camera gear into the backcountry. He has been a ski instructor at Breckenridge for 3 years and continues to do so in a part-time role. He was first put on skis at the age of 2 and spent 10 years snowboarding as well so he has a pretty good handle on what makes great snow gear. Jesse has been a multi-sport athlete for most of his life and loves to be active. To learn more about Jesse’s photography work, visit http://www.jessestarrphotography.com

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