Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Running rucksack

Quite often during my marathon training I went out on long runs of up to 18 miles with no water whatsoever. Yes, I know, very silly. But I don't like carrying a water bottle and I wasn't prepared enough to place bottles in strategic places en route so I either went without or dived into a pub to scare the barmaid. I have a camelback bladder that I use in my full size rucksack when I go hiking but the cover it originally came in is only designed to attach to a rucksack rather then to be worn as one so when I found this little running pack at the Trailblazer event a while ago I was very happy..
It is the Camelbak Aurora, last season (but still available at Amazon or on eBay) usually £55 but on sale at the event for £27.50 - a bargain! There were several different packs on offer but I was drawn to this one for its combination of non-pink colour, slimline design but impressive capacity; 2 litres of water and 3 litres storage.

The women's specific straps are slightly padded, adjustable and have a nifty velcro strap with which to tidy away the excess so it's not wafting around all over the place. It has a sternum strap and a loop into which you can tuck the bite valve for easy access. The flap that hides the bladder opening also has a good sized zipped pocket with key clip and mesh dividers. Just below that is a mesh pocket that can be tightened to close with straps and another zipped pocket with more internal mesh compartments and loops along the bottom into which I imagine you can tuck various bits of clothing you're not in the process of wearing.

I've used this twice on runs of 11 and 12 miles and found it to be really comfortable once I got the straps right. It does rub on one part of my collar bone but that's a fault with my body rather than the pack and I'm trying to work out a solution. I used it to carry my iPod, phone, keys, tissues, map and a couple of gels and there was plenty of space. You could easily stash a light base layer in there. It's a little too small to use on a work commute unless I had left a change of clothes at the office the night before (I reckon I could get my travel towel and toiletries in there somehow) but excellent for longer runs when you want a few more things with you.

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