I was in two minds on getting this pack, I’d seen it on racing snakes and I AM NOT a racing snake. Traditionally I’ve been a mid packer but across the boards from club runs to Ultras I’m steadily making my way up the field.
So the pack arrived from www.outdoorwarehouse.co.uk and weighed a mere 500g with the two supplied bottles. Today I packed mine with my full waterproof kit, spare base layer, L50 maps & road book, hat, gloves, 1st aid kit, food, 1500ml of water, trekking poles and two head torches and my Leatherman Style CS multi tool.
The pack has two chest straps, one lower than the other and as you add kit in this makes these tighter. I’m not built in the way these straps are meant to be worn but whilst running I played around with them and there seemed little difference irrespective to how I wore them. They slide up and down to micro adjust as to how you want it to fit but I felt little bounce with two or just one done up.
The bottles on the chest are great for easy access, the water sloshes around a bit but I’m used to this from the iGammy on my OMM packs. This also makes re filling on the go so much easier and administration of things like elete or High5 tablets. I tend to carry one water bottle & one laced with electrolyte!
I didn’t experience it as I wasn’t out long enough but you may want to watch the weight distribution as you drink your water. I took from the right all the time which put all the weight on the left. Might be an issue but that’d be the same with all systems of this type.
There are also many other front pockets as well as the bottle pouches that make grabbing food easy on the go. Additionally there are a number of little pockets for my electrolytes, cash and others for iPhone, compass and GPS etc. iPhone 4S fits, be surprised if the iPhone 5 goes in!
On the ‘wings’ there a couple of zipped pockets which likely i’ll use for more food and the are also a pair of velcro fastening bellows pockets that took an extra bottle of water today. These would take a waterproof or other items you may want to be taking on and off without removing the pack, hats/gloves etc.
On the rear are two pockets, one that took my waterproof pants, maps, 1st aid kit and hat, gloves and base layers. There was still plenty of room for more food and can also take a bladder if you wanted and can be secured by the internal compression. This is partly made from a cuben fibre material that’s very very light and almost impenetrable. It’s the material used on sails for modern day racing yachts and you’ll find this on the front pouches and another couple of pockets too.
The other pocket is an expanding mesh and seemingly you can just keep stuffing items in here. My waterproof smock went in and head torch (unlikely as i was to require this on a Friday afternoon) and also had more room if required.
Further to this was the webbing bungee where I fixed my mountain king trekking poles. I didn’t need to use the specific pole loops nor did I take my ice axe on this occasion so this loop wasn’t used either. There was zero movement or rattle from the poles and until I was confident I kept checking to make sure these hadn’t fallen off. They didn’t fall off and nor are they ever likely to!!!
There are plenty of other elastic loops (4+) to pull buffs through or rolled maps etc. you won’t be short of where to stash stuff and actually be able to use it!!
The pack once on can be compressed by the internal bungee which has a single pull on the right shoulder which helps stabilise further. There are two additional bungees to pull closer still above the wing pockets too.
I didn’t get any rub from the wide shoulder straps nor any back rubbing which given the temperature and amount of sweat being produced I was very pleased with for its first go. I also didn’t get the irritating T-shirt rise either like I have with other packs.
Having plenty of high vis points and a fixed whistle the pack is sure to keep you safe on trail and road too.
This really is fantastic piece of equipment and if I was half a stone lighter or more then it would be better still. Despite my build for endurance and not for speed I felt the benefits of this regardless of my frame. It will only get better!
The pack has been designed by a chap called Peter Bawkin, he himself is not one to brag but he’s won a bit and he’s been there, done that. In his own words ”I don’t care about running. I just love to do it.”
Think the records below speak for themselves eh…
- Winner of the Tuscarora Trail 6-day, 250-mile race (2003)
- First person to run the 223 mile John Muir trail in less than 4 days,
- 94h04m (2003)
- Current speed record holder for the 141 mile Kokopelli Trail, 32h47m (2004)
- Cascades Trifecta: Rainier, Hood & Adams in 28 hours (2005)
- Double Hardrock Hundred, 200 miles with 68,000 feet of climbing, in
- 90h50m (2006)
- Current record holder on the 100 mile White Rim Trail, 18h43m (2006)
- Current record holder on Gannett Peak, the highest summit in Wyoming (2009)
- Mosquito-Tenmile Traverse: The longest ridge traverse entirely above
- 13,000 feet (28 miles) in the contiguous USA (2011)
- Volume Capacity: 61 in.3 / 12L
- Fluid Capacity: 2 x 20 oz. bottles / 2 x 591 mL
- Weight: 12 oz. (17.5 oz. with bottles) / 340 g (496 g with bottles)
- Height: 16 in. / 41 cm
- Width: 9 in. / 23 cm
- Depth: 4.5 in. / 11 cm
- GPS Pouch (buttons accessible)
- Bottle holsters can carry 26 oz.
- Gel or bar pouches (4)
- Electrolyte or valuables pocket (2)
- Fully adjustable Sternum Straps (2)
- Emergency whistle
- Features (Back):
- Cuben Fiber bellows for large or small loads
- Secure Lat Pockets, with full pocket behind (2)
- Two sizes main compartments
- Single pull bungee compresses entire pack
- Trekking pole (2) and Ice Axe loop (1)
Sizing At Chest (Unisex):
- S/M: 28 – 36 in. / 71.1 – 91.4 cm
- M/L: 36 – 40 in. / 91.4 – 101.6 cm
- Measure wearing the clothes you intend to wear
- A vest full of gear will fit smaller
- Cuben Fiber: Used for the sails of America’s Cup racing yachts, this non-woven fabric is 15 times stronger than steel and 40% stronger than Aramid fibers, and is extremely resistant to moisture, UV, and chemicals
- Velvetex: The edge banding is very soft for greater comfort
- Power Mesh: All pockets and super stretchy, so small loads won’t
- bounce and the vest expands as you need it to.