AMA Member Tested: Fly Racing Stingray
May 01, 2014
Stay Protected And Hydrated
By Kelly Huffman
Fly Racing’s Stingray is designed to be a protective roost guard with a built-in hydration system. I have tried multiple brands of protectors, along with various hydration systems, and I’ve discovered that each was lacking in some area. I was eager to see how the Stingray stacked up.
First off, I found the Stingray to be a high-quality product. However, the initial set up and adjustments were complex. I was glad I had access to mirrors to get the straps positioned properly. That said, while it was a complicated process, within a few minutes of unwrapping the system, I did have a satisfactory fit.
The shoulder cups are removable and the hydration system can be easily used without the roost guard. The front chest protector plate has buckles to allow removal, and the hydration system can be worn like a backpack. I liked the ability to adjust the upper chest strap closer to or further from my neck, which allowed more clearance for my neck brace. Although each of the straps was very long, the excess could be trimmed if needed.
The Stingray is currently only available in one size, which is not ideal. I am 5-foot, 11 inches and weigh less than 150 pounds. Although this hydration system fit me OK, it would probably fit a larger body size much better.
Additionally, it did take slightly longer to fit, remove, and re-install than some other brands I have used. That may not be an issue when going out for a trail ride, but could be a problem in a race situation. Fumbling with gear for tools or parts stowed in a pocket during a race is not only stressful, it costs valuable time.
Although the storage bladder in this pack holds 70 ounces, I found that was not enough for a long day, but acceptable for shorter trail rides. At most longer race events, we have some limited free time at the gas stops, and can refill our hydration packs during those breaks. A larger filler cap would facilitate that, and be a nice upgrade to this unit as well.
Overall, the quality of the Fly Racing Stingray stands out. I appreciate some of the features and the combined roost guard/hydration system design is executed nicely. While it would benefit from a few minor refinements, this is a well-made system worth a look.
Kelly Huffman is an independent AMA Member Tester.