Amazing fit, so many features, and it is variable…
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Amazing fit, so many features, and it is variable allowing a lot of flexibility. You'll forget you're wearing it.
- Good fit
- A lot of features
- Comfortable to run in
- Not durable
- Pole straps don't work very well
I definitely don't run much further than 30km at a time, so I was hesitant to pick up a pack designed more for long ultras. But with the variable conditions I run through this has ended up being a fantastic running vest/pack. Despite looking a little silly, I actually take it hiking too just because it is so comfortable. And when I need it just for holding a can of bear spray comfortably it works well as it packs down pretty small.
The 3D fit system is amazing. The mesh is highly breathable thanks to having a bit of soft structure to encourage airflow. I can't think of any way they could make it better.
Now being a running sack it's not designed for hauling gear. Often I will run with a Patagonia Ultralight down hoody, Rab Flashpoint waterproof jacket, and Squamish windshell. I will also throw in a Buff, gloves, three Clif bars, an iPhone 5 (the 6 doesn't fit in any convenient pocket), a couple gels. Normally I just stick with two 500ml bottles, and will tuck a third one away if I really need it, which I rarely do.
Even when empty or half full this pack seems to be the perfect shape and tightness. Nothing shifts.
You forget you're wearing it very quickly, which is ideal in running.
The pocket layout is awesome. The front has a zippered phone pocket, waterbottle/flask pocket, and wrapper pocket on one side, and two small key/gel/nibble pockets, waterbottle/flask pocket and second waste pocket on the other. Underneath the arms are two slim pockets ideal for Shot Bloks, or similar long slim bars.
At the back are two zippered pockets on either side that sit behind a huge stretch "kangaroo" style pocket with opening on either side that can be accessed without taking the pack off. I can often fit a down jacket, and at least one shell plus buff and gloves in there.
The upper back is zippered shut and large enough to hold two small fist-sized shells and a down jacket if you really push it. The pack comes with a reflective emergency blanket in its own divider and there is a tiny headlamp battery pocket too. There are six small fabric grommets if you wanted to put stretch cord on for additional storage.
The pack comes with a cooling sleeve for a hydration bladder, and the hose runs down underneath the arm and up which is the best system for running I have encountered. It does not come with a bladder which kinda sucks.
The pole system is very clever, but hard to use, and my Black Diamond z-poles are just a bit too short to work well with it. It's pretty tricky, and time consuming getting them to fit correctly. It's so lightweight it really isn't a huge drawback, but worth noting.
I would highly recommend this pack for any kind of running. It's probably a bit much for your average hiker, and you wouldn't be able to bring all the comforts of home with you, so I would say this is really only for the experienced minimalist or trail runner.