Ultra Marathon hydration backpack

Advice please!

21 to 40 of 58 messages
27/11/2012 at 18:12

ow do you mean 'you never take enough fluid in when using them' ?

27/11/2012 at 19:00

I don't drink enough when using a bladder. When i use bottles i can make sure i keep the right amount of fluids going in.

27/11/2012 at 19:25

Yes, you can get an iPhone in the left hand front pocket of an UltrAspire so other similar phones should fit too!

28/11/2012 at 09:50
*Dill* wrote (see)

I don't drink enough when using a bladder. When i use bottles i can make sure i keep the right amount of fluids going in.

Couldn't agree more! I can't tell how much I'm taking on board and don't drink enough. Hate them.


SSLHP - this morning fit1pod and 2 blackberries and a card holder in the front pocket and 3 gets in the little mesh bit on front of the main pocket.

And nope, even with the bladder full it didnt budge! Tried it for you this AM.

Edited: 28/11/2012 at 09:51
28/11/2012 at 09:58

Thanks BF. I do take your point about not drinking enough with a bladder, but I hate to run holding a bottle

28/11/2012 at 12:31
I have this problem with a bladder too I worry about running out so ration myself! Don't think it would be a problem in a race with adequate aid stations though!
28/11/2012 at 17:01
Shoes smell like horse piss wrote (see)

Thanks BF. I do take your point about not drinking enough with a bladder, but I hate to run holding a bottle

Until I discovered ultraspire, I used to have one or two of the raidlight bottle holders (http://www.likeys.com/acatalog/info_93.html) attached to my front straps of my OMM or Inov8 rucksack. I used a slightly smaller (600ml) bottle than the 750's, as they don't bounce around as much. This stopped me having to carry a bladder and meant the bottles were easily accessible without having to use handhelds. Advantage over bladders, aside from the key one for me that I just can't tell how much I'm drinking with a bladder, is that they are much easier to refuel at checkpoints. Number of times I fly by people messing around with bladders....



28/11/2012 at 17:27

Yep, although that Ultraspire Omega has good access to the bladder I see

28/11/2012 at 19:56

I think I gave up on bladders after starting a race earlier this year with a bladder full of SiS Go powder which started leaking and by the first CP 8 miles in I was absolutely soaked in the sticky stuff, not pleasant!

One other advantage to bottles is that you can have your carb stuff in one and electrolytes in the other, or plain water even and mix/match easily.  Although I have seen a dual bladder setup somewhere, can't remember where....

14/03/2013 at 14:06

Until recently I exclusively used bottles, for much the same mix-and-match reason as you mike_a. However got a Salomon s-lab 5 and fit was great "out the bag" (XS/S) as had options for bottles and lots more front-storage too as well as some back storage. I've used it exclusively this year, often using the bladder as its pretty well thought out, only using with water though. On longer outings I've stashed a bottle of energy drink in one of the large front pockets. I'd recommend this as a great pack for days when you don't need too much kit, worth the money, especially if you can get a bit cheaper than RRP (http://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mountain/salomon-advanced-skin-s-lab-5-set-aluminium---red/51606/p).....

....which brings me to why I've dug-out and warmed up this thread (rather than start a new one). I need a larger pack for longer trail ultra's (30-60m) with kit requirements that unfortunately won't fit in this bag. S-lab 12 would be my choice, but I can't afford even the discounted ones for various reasons right now. The Ultrasprire and Ultimate Direction packs look good, I especially like the look of the Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest - anybody got experiance of this vest? seems to tick my front and rear storage boxes (just a bit more than the s-lab 5) and nice to have size options.
Could anybody recoomend the equivelent kind of Ultraspire vest (8-12L capacity), two bottle storage, front pockets, etc....?
If anybody has tried UD SJ vest and equive UA and has useful info that would be great?

14/03/2013 at 14:16

Reading back here (most useful) UA Omega may be for me, will compare against the UD SJ vest (which at first glance has slightly more carriage capacity. Off to research...

14/03/2013 at 14:37

I have the Ultraspire Omega and love it. using it on all my training runs now. I fill the bladder and add a bottle with other types of fluid in the front as well. PLENTY of room for stuff, especially in the back for extra tops and jackets etc.

Any questions, fire away?

14/03/2013 at 16:03

I ran an Ultra last year with a Backpack and bladder from Tesco (£9) since then I got a present, a much fancier Karrimor lightweight one and there's hardly any difference, they both fit tight across the back and shoulders and don't rub, that's what matters

14/03/2013 at 16:19
I got one from Decathlon the other day for 25 quid and seems to be ok for me at the moment.
Although my longest race this yr will prob only be about 6 hrs.
14/03/2013 at 20:03

In general, the UltrAspire range does lack storage...  That and the fact the bottles are on the back are the main differences between those and the Ultimate Direction vests.

We've sold out of the UD vests very quickly and feedback has been incredibly positive.  QUite a few people have been buying them as possible replacements for Salomons and from these customers they've all said they'll be sticking with the UD from now on.

The UltrAspire Kinetic is very good - two bottles, loads of pockets on front, waist pockets and a small stash pocket on the back which would take lightweight waterproofs.

The only UA with a lot of storage and bottles is the Fastpack.  The Omega & Surge are bladder-based so have more storage but no bottles.

If you're near Edinburgh or Glasgow, give us a shout and you can try the different vests on.

15/03/2013 at 13:26

i bought the Salomon Skin Pro 14+3 and whilst not been longer than 10 miles on a trot with it (though i've got an ultra coming up), I've been impressed so far with it, great fit and ample storage with many pockets.  Only grip is that drink hose doesn't have a clip to hold the last 8 inches or so in place, so does rather annoyingly waggle in my face, but i can secure it under the pole stow strap to avoid wet tube face slap.


16/03/2013 at 09:52

the Nathan packs are great - strangely enough I have a nathan synergy for sale - dual chamber bladder - only used twice...

17/03/2013 at 13:08

Thanks for the feedback from all and the offer of a try mike_a, unfortunately a bit too far away. With the kind of runs I do I do quite fancy the UD SJ at the moment. Running with my OMM last Drop 10 - which is 75% full with the kit I'd need for Hardmoors 55 next week (a bit too much for S-lab 5) - yesterday I'm reminded its a nice light rucksack, but there is plenty of room for improvement. The thin webbed straps keep the shoulder fit ok, but the chest and waist straps don't quite compare to vest-like packs for bounce reduction and a close but not restrictive fit.

I'd previously bought an OMM Ultra 12 for longer ultra's (the extra 2L and waist pocket seemed to make this ideal where 10L pack was just too small). But the thin webbed shoulder straps rubbed really badly against my collarbone on long runs,which hadn't been a problem with the 10L pack.

Colin - Similar v.slight gripe about S-Lab 5, last so many inches wiggles about, but there is a material loop, which covers the adjustment system near shoulder on that pack. So I tuck it in that, a bit awkward getting in-and-out on go but a small gripe in scheme of things - compared to rubbing, bouncing, access issues, etc..

17/03/2013 at 18:32

Thanks for reviving this thread as I was going to ask a similar question, so now I've read it I have a few more 

I ran my first Ultra last year, 38 miles off road, and used a Tesco (£12) pack that I use for mountain biking, which I found ok, except as it doesn't have any front\waist pockets getting to food was a bit of a pain. Talking to a fella at the start he had a Salomon pack of some sort (poss s-lab..), but what caught my eye was the lack of waist strap and chest strap. So I've been looking those but thought I ought to do a bit of research as they're not exactly cheap. It hadn't occurred to me to consider bottles as the thought of them put me off, but I like the idea of being able to take different drinks if needed, and the ease of refilling, although the Tesco bladder was fairly easy to be fair.

My main question is how stable are the bottles\pack when on the front?

Also, because I'm used to bladders at the moment I'd like a pack that can do both, is there one? This is more of a comfort zone thing as I've not tried a bottle only pack....

Any advice welcomed..

Edited: 17/03/2013 at 18:37
17/03/2013 at 20:05

Hi AY, can only answer for the S-Lab 5 and OMM packs I have. On S-Lab 5 the bottle holders are very stable (though the widest bottles fit may be a bit snug) and hydration pack (1.5L) is great for days you just want some water. And this is a waist and chest strapless vest so it sits on nicely and is held in place by bungee cord clip things (technical term I believe). Great pack, but I think the 12L variation (or similar non S-LAB Salomon packs) are what would be needed for longer events with reasonably-sized kitlists).

I think some of the Ultimate Direction UltraAspire packs offer both too - I'll let those that know for sure answer. And many other packs come with bottles or bladder, but are adapatable to for the other easily (e.g. OMM Last Drop 10, Ultra 12, Adventurelight 20, all of which I've used with bottles.

I will say with the 5 packs I've used for ultra's over the years that you usually get what you pay for with these things, OMM packs are light and practical, but pretty basic and lack front storage options, S-lab 5 (no doubt 12 too) is lots better. OMM packs have side pockets that are semi accessable on the move for two bottles (ok for me, if your shoulders/arms aren't that flexible may struggle), made easier if your purchase the specialist slim bottles to go with packs. The attachments to put bottles on front of packs I found to be pretty useless for running, far too much bounce!

My compromise pack for Hardmoors 55 this year (and I've made do with much worse) is (2nd best ultra pack I have) Last Drop 10 with an Inov-8 zip pocket attachment on one strap and removable zip pocket from a Nathan two-bottle waistpack on other strap (or maybe waistbelt) if I can find it. Reckon that'll about hold enough food upfront so I don't have to take pack off between CP (unless I need waterproofs etc...). The UD, UA, Nathan or bigger Salomon pack will have to wait now.

Cheers for all advice so far.

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