Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Trail running pack
Display Avatars Sort By:
Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
Trail running pack on 12/14/2011 15:09:28 MST Print View

I am looking for light and comfortable trail running pack. Here is my list of priorities...

NO bouncing, I have used other packs for running and they never can keep the contents from bouncing around which eventually causes all kinds of irritation

1 to 2 liters of water, hydration bladder capable

probably about 10 liter capacity would be enough


Let me know what you guys have used, I am in need of something which is designed for running and think this is a good place to find out what is the lightest stuff out there.


Peter Rodrigues
(prodrigues) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Trail running pack on 12/14/2011 15:48:52 MST Print View


Here are some possibilities:

Nathan hpl 20
Salomon skin lab 5 pack
Ultraspire surge - new. Just reviewed on

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
Re: Trail running pack on 12/14/2011 17:18:25 MST Print View

If you can find one that doesn't bounce please let me know. I do have a Salomon Raid Revo 15 that I use. It does bounce some but I am able to reduce it to just a small movement by tightening the small waist strap.

Edited by youngster on 12/14/2011 18:19:18 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Trail running pack on 12/14/2011 18:19:24 MST Print View

I'm using a Osprey Talon 5.5, unfortunately discontinued :), but still can be found

it holds a 2 liter bladder very easy (could probably use a 3 liter in a pinch)- has a small zippered pocket for keys, first aid, snacks, camera, other smaller items, then a main pocket that is pretty roomy- insulating layer, windshirt, etc in addition has a stretch front pocket on the outside for additional bits- rain jacket, etc

very little to no bounce- adjustable waist belt, adjustable shoulder straps, adjustable sternum strap

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Trail running pack on 12/14/2011 19:51:02 MST Print View

I haven't tried it, but I would think Inov-8's pack would be good since they primarily make trail running shoes. They put the hydration pack inside the hip belt.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Trail running pack on 12/14/2011 20:15:48 MST Print View

your 10 liter capacity requirement is what gets me.
most 100 mile ultra runners use only a 5 liter or 8 liter pack at most. of course they have aid stations every 8 miles.

why do you need a 10 liter pack?
how long are the runs you plan to use it for?

Edited by asandh on 12/15/2011 08:22:02 MST.

Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
Trail Pack on 12/15/2011 06:55:10 MST Print View

I guess 10L is more than I need. 5L to 8L is probably enough. I will likely be using it to carry everything for a 6 to 8 hour runs without aid stations. I have never had a pack this small so I guess I don't know how small I could really go. I have been using a REI Flash 18, which is great little pack but terrible for running. Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming if there are more.


Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Trail Pack on 12/15/2011 07:44:48 MST Print View

I have a Nathan HPL 20
It is probably the most popular ultra running pack.
Nathan HPL 20
But it is a pretty tight fit for everything you might need in an "unsupported" 8 hour run unless you have intermediate water spots. I run with 2 hand held water bottles and one extra bottle plus food and clothing in the pack. if you use the bladder for water on a long run that cuts down what else you can fit inside by quite a bit.

Nathan also sells a couple slightly larger packs that I have never seen.

The Ultraspire packs are pretty expensive, but the Surge is getting a pretty good write up over on irunfar.
The Surge is comparable in size to the HPL 20.

the Ultraspire Omega is a larger 8 liter version of the Surge.

I have never seen or used any Ultraspire pack, they are pretty new. but they're getting good reviews and I plan to check them out.

All 3 packs mentioned above are specifically designed for long distance running.

. . .

Edited by asandh on 12/15/2011 09:26:11 MST.

. ..
Laser 20 on 12/15/2011 07:45:56 MST Print View

I knows it's a bit big but I'm a fan of my terra nova laser 20. No bouncing on me, you can do a bladder or 2 bottles, nice size hipbelt pockets, compression on both sides of the vertical zip makes the pack any size you like and if my memory serves me it's just a shade over 11 oz. The fabric is thin so you'll have to be nice to it, but it's held up well for me. No real complaints about it.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Re: Trail Pack on 12/15/2011 08:40:53 MST Print View

I was going to suggest the Flash 18, but see that you don't like it for running. I find it OK for running myself.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Ultimate Direction Wasp on 12/15/2011 10:09:20 MST Print View

Keep in mind that the weight sometimes quoted for the Nathan HPL 020 (6 oz) is a bit misleading. The actual empty weight is about 14oz.

The Nathan pack and the Ultimate Direction Wasp have been the two most commonly seen packs on participants in the Western States, Leadville, and other major ultras for several years now. Several ultra running bloggers have pitted these packs against eachother in side-by-side comparisons. The Wasp has almost four times the capacity of the Nathan (7 liters vs. 2 liters), and weighs 50% more (21 oz). Some reviewers seem to prefer the lighter weight of the Nathan, while others liked the greater capacity of the Wasp and found it more comfortable and secure (the fit of the wasp is more adjustable). Both are specialized race vests and have essentially no bounce.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Ultimate Direction Wasp on 12/15/2011 10:29:48 MST Print View

yes the HPL 020 weight was listed incorrectly on the Nathan web site for a couple years. I think that has been corrected.
My HPL 20, empty and without bladder, weighed 279g (9.8 oz). since I use handhelds and don't use a bladder, I modified mine a bit down to 241g (8.5 oz).
the HPL 20 does not hold a whole lot, but usually just enough.

Edited by asandh on 12/15/2011 10:30:39 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Mountain Hardwear Fluid 6 on 10/11/2012 07:51:32 MDT Print View

older thread, but thought I'd add the Mountain Hardwear Fluid 6 to the mix, this was recommended to one of our fellow BPL'ers

I've been using a couple of different lumbar packs w/ double bottles w/ success, but they are limited to moderate distances- lack of storage for food, insulating layer and the distances you can cover w/o water

I wanted something that could handle longer runs, was light and carried w/ little to no bounce- the Fluid 6 really fit the bill. It weighs in at a very svelte 9.5 oz (that's w/o a bladder which you have to supply- I opted for the lightest 2 liter I could find the Platy Hoser). The main pack is surprisingly roomy- can fit extra clothing, full days worth of food, emergency bits. The front vest portion has several smaller pockets that can handle gels/blocks/electrolytes and other items you might need handy (sunscreen, anti-chafe, etc). The side of the main pack had two elastic pockets that are able to hold your typical 20-ish oz running bottle, but unless your more flexible than me (which most folks are :) ) they couldn't be reached on the fly. They are a nice size to hold a cell phone, camera, etc though. The front of the pack has a full length bungee setup that allows additional items (raingear, etc) to be strapped on.

I haven't tried it, but it looks like you might be able to carry two bottles on the front of the vest, there are two smaller double bungees and it looks like the bottom of the bottles would fit into the stretch pockets

the adjustments are two sternum straps that can be moved to several different locations on the "vest" and two easily to reach straps where the lower portion of the "vest" is attached to the pack

I've got several 20-ish mile trail runs w/ this pack and can say it carries very nicely- this is my first vest style running pack and now I know why they are so popular.

I do wish they had one additional mesh pocket in the main pack to store items like tp, first aid, headlamp, etc- right now I'm just using a very small cuben bag to store the smaller items



on the job :)


Angelo Radano

Locale: New England
Re: Mountain Hardwear Fluid 6 on 10/11/2012 13:03:58 MDT Print View

Thank you for the review on the Fluid 6. I am also pondering the fluid race vest or the yet to be released UD race vest. But it seems the Fluid 6 might be a better/lighter option to my UD Wasp.

I wonder if someone like Chris Zimmer could knock out a vest pack for a fraction of the weight? I imagine it will be more difficult than creating a regular UL backpack since the fit and bounce factor of a vest are major factors.

René Jeninga

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Fluid 6 on 10/12/2012 04:26:17 MDT Print View

Will the Fluid 6 fit a 3 liter bladder?


Locale: Greater Gila
re: trail running pack on 10/12/2012 10:59:49 MDT Print View

I may be a bit biased, but I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Ultimate Direction SJ vest coming out in Mid-Nov. The weight is around 7.5 oz due to some phenomenal hex mesh, cuben fiber, and awesome lycra mesh. Storage capacity is right around 8L, and the perfect size for decent-length jaunts in the mountains.

I used this pack exclusively when I ran Hardrock 100 this year, and likely would not have ever wanted anything different. It was designed to use 2 bottles up front, but you can certainly throw a bladder in the back as well. Having bottles up front makes for a much more pleasant carry though, and the weight winds up being well-balanced and accessible.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: re: trail running pack on 10/12/2012 12:36:19 MDT Print View

this new Ultimate Direction vest sounds like what I'm looking for.
any photots anywhere ?
can't find much info.
where do the 2 bottles sit up front ? on shoulder straps or waist belt ?


Locale: Greater Gila
re: ULD trail running vest on 10/12/2012 13:42:41 MDT Print View


There's not tooo much information officially released at the moment, but more information on the official UD site should be uploaded next weed. However, there is a video showing it a bit here:

You will see that the bottles are secured on the shoulder straps Adventure-racing style. There is definitely no hipbelt since they severely limit your range of motion on technical trail.

Dave Grey
(dapperdave) - F
Re: Re: re: trail running pack on 10/12/2012 13:44:02 MDT Print View

If you look on the UD website at the bottom of the page there is a link to their blog which has more info.


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Re: re: trail running pack on 10/14/2012 13:08:49 MDT Print View

Eric- that lookss very interesting :)

the Fluid 6 easily fits a 2 liter, I'll have to try a 3.0 liter to see, my guess is yes, but I'll verify that