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Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack?
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Aaron Lehoux

Locale: Southern Maine
Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack? on 05/04/2012 05:28:58 MDT Print View

I just finished reading through the lightweight daypack thread here and it didn't quite address my needs so I thought I would start a new thread to get everyone's thoughts. I'm starting to get more into trail running and my excursions are taking me further and further out so I want to be able to bring a little more gear/food along with me. Right now I'm running with a Camelbak XCT, and while I love it, I need a little more storage. I'm looking for something around 20L. I need to carry a 3L bladder (already have 2), bars, gels, wind protection, and a couple of base-layers for extra warmth. My biggest concern is stability. I will gladly buy something that weighs a few more ounces if it will keep a pack from bouncing. The only other main feature I'm looking for is on-the-fly compression straps so I can snug things up on the go as the bladder empties. A few of the packs I'm looking at are the Gregory Miwok 18, the Gregory Fuel 24, the Camelbak Octane 18x, and the Mountain Hadrwear Fluid 18. Any thoughts on these packs or any other suggestions? Thanks in advance for any guidance :)

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack? on 05/04/2012 06:05:46 MDT Print View

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack? on 05/04/2012 08:16:04 MDT Print View

are you talking about multi day runs ?
if not, I don't know why you would need a 20 L pack.
this pack should fit just about any long single day run needs.

Ultraspire Omega, 8L capacity, 337g

if you absolutely need something bigger,
Ultraspire Fastpack, 16L capacity, 640g

these two packs are specifically designed for running.

Edited by asandh on 05/04/2012 08:22:16 MDT.

Aaron Lehoux

Locale: Southern Maine
Thanks for the replies :) on 05/04/2012 09:02:10 MDT Print View

Basically, here's my deal. I'm starting to want to push myself to longer day hikes/runs in the 30+ mile range. Almost all of these outings are solo and in minimally traveled areas. I'm not quite 100% confident in my endurance yet at these distances and worry about the possibility of injury, etc. Because of this, I want to be able to have a shell layer, bivy, insulation layer, etc. just in case something happens and I get stuck out. During the summer time I wouldn't worry about bringing extra stuff with me, but this time of the year with all of the variances in temps and precip I want to carry a minimal amount of gear. After looking through the link Ken posted (thank you for that, missed that thread while searching) I'm kind of liking the looks of the Salomon XA 25 WP as having something waterproof would be a bonus and I also like that it has the possibility for two bladders as I often take water and gatorade on my runs. Another good looking candidate was the Inov-8 Race Pro 22. Any thoughts on these or similar packs?

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack? on 05/04/2012 09:15:17 MDT Print View

Aaron - I understand wanting to be prepared and self contained, that is good.
but even with the list of gear you mention, a 20 L pack is way over kill.
rule of thumb - you will fill up your pack no matter how big it is, so keep your pack small.
a 30 mile day run is really not that far, do you want to run it or end up hiking it because your pack is so heavy ?
I just finished a 47 mile Grand Canyon RRR. took everything you mentioned except a bivy. starting pack weight before water was 5.5 lb, pack size 13 L with plenty to spare.
If you want to actually do some running, think small and light.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Smaller is good on 05/04/2012 09:32:32 MDT Print View

Agree with Art. Remember too, more pack volume less stability, more bounce. I did the Grand Canyon run with this 10L pack and had room for everything you mentioned plus tons of real food, microspikes, 12oz down jacket, rain shell.

Of course, if you got a 20L pack then you could go do this:

Aaron Lehoux

Locale: Southern Maine
Thanks again for the help. on 05/04/2012 11:03:56 MDT Print View

I guess part of my issue is that I haven't really ever used anything smaller than a 35L for any sort of outdoor activity. Even though there have been times where I've barely had it half full I guess I'm just having trouble envisioning a 10L or 15L pack in actual use. Not sure if that makes any sense or not. I had looked at some smaller vest style bags. The Salomon Skins definitely caught my eye, but they only carry a 1.5L bladder and I definitely need to carry a 100floz. The Golite though carries a 100floz and at that price I think I may have to take it for a spin!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Thanks again for the help. on 05/04/2012 11:24:46 MDT Print View

how much do you drink ?
and where do you plan to run ?
100 oz is a lot of water to carry.
unless you are running in the desert, its not very common to go more than 15-20 miles without a water source.
20 oz water every 4-6 miles depending on temperature, is my norm.
I rarely carry more than 64 oz.
more common is around 40 oz.
bring a water filter.

Aaron Lehoux

Locale: Southern Maine
Water consumption on 05/04/2012 11:34:30 MDT Print View

I primarily am up in the White Mountains of NH. When running I sweat A LOT. this time of year I drink 1L about every hour and a half. During summer months, even while road running, I can blow through a 100oz bladder in 2 hours easily. There are plenty of streams around to refill, but then that means I need some sort of water treatment. There are springs to refill at here and there, but I have encountered times where a spring I have planned to refill at was barely a trickle.

Rob Jones

Locale: Washington, D.C.
Re: Water consumption on 05/04/2012 12:00:08 MDT Print View

Aaron - I have the Salomon XA 20 pack which specs out at about 14L. I use this for adventure racing (single day events) and other normal outdoor stuff. It has plenty of room for extra gear and a decent size bladder. Very comfortable and adjustable for running. Pretty controllable bounce when the bladder drains down etc. I was also looking at the Octane 18x. Never got to run with it, just tried it on around the store. Very comfortable, felt weightless. Had a very slick expansion feature for when you needed to carry more gear, disappear when you didn't.

I agree with the above posters about going too heavy on the gear. I always like to have something for the inevitable, but realized that I could make do with what I had and go lighter. For water treatment, just take some Aquamira drops. Very light and fairly fast-acting.

The one thing that stood out though is your water consumption. 100oz over 2 hours is excessively high, even in the height of an extremely hot day. You risk over-hydrating and washing out your electrolyte stores (hyponatremia). The philosophy is to "replenish" not "replace" what you sweat out. You should really be around 20-25oz (max 28oz) per hour. Use an electrolyte supplement along the way. Can be mixed with water or in a tablet form. The same applies to your nutrition; don't try to replace all the calories that you expended over the hour. Hope some of this helps.

Aaron Lehoux

Locale: Southern Maine
Thanks Rob on 05/04/2012 12:21:01 MDT Print View

I know, it is very extreme for water consumption. I have spoken with doctors about it and I have been tested for diabetes and other things, but all tests come back fine and it just seems to be what it is. I am a very warm person. My normal body temp is 99.5, not 98.6. So, during the summer I sweat a lot when exerting myself. I very rarely drink just plain water. It is usually diluted gatorade or electrolyte tablets. I also carry snacks which are high in salt and potassium. While this does suck during the summer time, I get to laugh at everyone all bundled up in the winter where I can hike in just a lightweight base layer while friends have gotten frostbite.

Lee Fitler
(tdilf) - F
pack on 05/04/2012 18:24:44 MDT Print View

You could look at the Gossamer Gear Minimalist. It is the second pack reviewd here

Edited by tdilf on 05/04/2012 18:26:16 MDT.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Raidlight Evolution 2 on 05/04/2012 19:43:25 MDT Print View

Raidlight is a company that manufactures adventure racing packs. Their designs seem to balance weight (back/front) a little more efficiently.

As of late, I've been eyeing the Raidlight Evolution 2:

"Capacity 20 liters (backpack) + 4 liters (frontpack).
Weight: 640g - 690g / 22.6 Oz - 24.3 Oz (with backfoam)"

Does anyone have any experiences with this backpack or any other in Raidlight's line?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
trail running pack on 05/04/2012 20:20:45 MDT Print View

I've got three packs that I use depending on length of trip and weather, for shorter runs in nice weather I use a Talon 8 lumbar pack- it utilizes two 22 oz bottles (that are easy to grab/put away on the fly), has enough storage for some emergency gear and a little extra clothing/food

for longer runs in nicer weather I have a Talon 5.5 backpack, more volume vs the lumbar pack (regardless of Osprey's numbers :)) and is also bladder compatible

for longer runs in cooler weather I use a Talon 11 backpack, plenty of room for insulating layers, lots of food and other essential gear- that what I ended using for our Grand Canyon run when we saw the weather was going to change for the worse

all carry nicely, w/ little to no bouncing, no soreness or chaffing w/ any of them

I'd also look at Nathan's packs/vests and Ultimate Direction's Wasp and Highline

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack? on 05/05/2012 03:43:09 MDT Print View


Check out GoLite's Rush pack. it comes in 8L, 10L and 20L sizes adn includes a hydration bladder.

And remember, if you open an online account with them and post a review of one of their products, they'll e-mail you a 20% off e-coupon.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Thanks Rob on 05/05/2012 07:44:05 MDT Print View

"I am a very warm person. My normal body temp is 99.5, not 98.6. So, during the summer I sweat a lot when exerting myself."

Perhaps you should take some of that extra water and pour it on yourself. Nothing cools you off faster than being wet. Seriously, while I wouldn't use my drinking water to do that I would surely consider throwing on some creek water to keep me cooler.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Suggestions for a trail running/adventure racing pack? on 05/05/2012 07:51:38 MDT Print View

I second the Rush line. I have the 20 myself and it has some unique straps that allow you to pull it in tight to your back. Those additional straps control bounce reasonably well, even with 3L of water and some other mixed gear. My previous day pack was the Salomon Raid Revo 20 and it bounced all over the place. I can also recommend the Nathan HPL 008 but it's likely too small for your needs. The Rush 20 is really hard to beat, especially for the price and considering it comes with a 3L bladder.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Pack on 05/05/2012 07:56:54 MDT Print View

I settled on the Golite Rush 10 L. It has everything you want except for your adjusting compression on the fly. I quite enjoy it. I find itvery difficult to run with more than 10 lbs on my back and 5 is significantly easier than 10. I use the two water bottle holders in the golite rush 1 for a malto dextrin drink and one for water.

For emergency gear i carry a blizzard bag and depending on the overnight lows toss in an insulating layer. I also carry a wind shirt and base layer bottoms plus a 2 oz emergency poncho. My baseweight is 3.32 lbs and about 8 lbs with 4000 calories and 1.5l of water/malto I could have probably fit everything in the Golite 8 but i wanted the hip belt pockets for a camera and gummy bears.

After all the discounts the rush came to $36 plus shipping. At that price it is worth trying before buying a 100 plus dollar pack. There is also a thread in the SUL forum discussing what emergency gear to bring that is probably worth reading.

Edited by GregF on 05/05/2012 07:59:36 MDT.

Rob Jones

Locale: Washington, D.C.
Golite? on 05/07/2012 14:03:24 MDT Print View

Now you guys have me looking at replacing some gear and trying the Golite pack. For the price (with discount) it can't be beat. Question though - it looks like only the 20L has the compression/reducing straps? Also can the bottles be reached while the pack is on? Thanks.

Bradley Jay
(standupdouble) - F
Mammut Lithium Z 20L on 05/07/2012 14:13:44 MDT Print View

I used the Mammut Lithium Z 20L for all of my big done it a day trips last year [Devils Path Catskills-NY, Presidential Traverse NH, and Great Range Travers ADK-NY]. While there are lighter options out there I found that those options really weren't up to the abuse some of these trips would inflict. This pack also has a plastic sheet internal frame which served me well because I had to carry up to 5L of water at times. The pack has room for a 3L bladder as well as side pockets which can handle 1L [theres are compression straps to stabilize bottles]. There are some features like the daisy chain which are pointless and can be cut off but overall this pack has served my needs.