Ultra Marathon hydration backpack

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Comments

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

     

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

  • 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..

  • 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 image

    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 frontwaist 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 bottlespack 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..

  • 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.

  • mark thatcher wrote (see)

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


    Looks a great pack, great idea to have a dual-chamber hydration pack, but not quite what I'm after as mostly looking for dual bottle options. Hope you find somebody to take it off your hands.

  • Oooh, just had a look at that, and the dual chamber and dial really appeals... Obviously I've some questions image aimed at Mark...

     

    - one of the attractions of the Salomon is the fastening system on the front, how would the nathan compare?

    - it does look quite big (could be the pictures) how is it when worn

     

    - how much would you be looking for it?

     

    Tony

  • Realise there's been no activity on this thread for a bit but wondered if anyone could offer some advice?

    Looking for a light vest/pack with bottle storage for pref over bladder. Could also do with somewhere to attach poles.

    Any suggestions?

  • I recently did a 50k using an Ultraspire Kinetic and was very impressed with it. Previously i had used an Inov-8 12 litre pack with the horizontal bladder but found it frustrating not knowing how much fluid I had left and whether or not to stop at aid stations to fill up.

    On the 50k the Ultraspire kinetic carried the following for me in the front chest pockets and hip pocket: 12 gels, 3 energy bars, mobile phone, pack of tissues, buff, salt tablets, car keys. In the rear stash pocket I carried a Montane Featherlight jacket, small first aid kit, foil blanket, whistle and enough Torq Energy powder to mix up another 1.5l of fluids. 

    I plan to use the Kinetic for future long runs and ultras. The larger the pack, the more stuff you will end up carrying. 

  • Christ! Which 50k did you do that needed 12 gels and 3 energy bars? Must have been a hellish course.
  • Hahaha... @Millsy1977 that made me chuckle on the train this morning! image

  • It got me a bit worried as I'm doing a 50k in August and am planning on taking 6 gels (max) All depends on the course I suppose.
  • I've got a 111k next Saturday (22nd) so will probably take 10 or 11 for that... anything to get me through it! lol (currently wondering if a horse is allowed...)

  • Guys, you need to embrace the gel!

    It was the Causeway Crossing 50k here in Northern Ireland which is part of the Lost Worlds series. it was a coastal race with associated paths, climbs, beaches, stiles and the odd wet foot.

    I use Torq energy products and have been for 4 or so years. Torq have a fuelling system that works on the basis of 2-3 units per hour. 1 unit is a gel, or an energy bar, or 500ml of energy drink at 6% concentration. On that race I consummed something like 9 gels, 2 energy bars and 1.5 litres of fluid. So 14 units in total over 5 1/2 hours. 

    I ceetainly wasn't lacking energy but my legs were starting to feel the pace by the time I reached the end. I have no stomach problems with the gels and they are my main fuel source.

    Not sure what a typical 50k course involves but the worst I've done so far is the Endurancelife CTS South Devon race. Despite being a couple of miles shorter than the Causeway at 29 miles it took me nearly a full extra 30 minutes to complete. It has total ascent of 3,500 feet. I guess the Causeway is probably closer to 2,800 feet of ascent.Not sure if these are classed as tough or hellish but they are certainly fun!

     

  • I do love reading posts from other runners - when I say things like that are 'fun' to my work colleagues they tend to look at me with an expression that's a mix of sorrow/disbelief and outright worry at my sanity! lol. Always good to know I'm not alone!!

    I've ended up getting the Nathan Vaporwrap for it. Seemed to do the trick!

    Now just need to decide which gels to go with.... Have struggled in the past with them so need to pick some that will sit ok on the old stomach!

    PS. Those races do sound fun!! lol

  • Paris1933: If your stomach doesn't like gels, have you considered trying the old fashioned approach? There's nothing in Kendal Mint Cake but sugar, glucose and peppermint oil - so nothing for your stomach to object to - lots cheaper than gels as well. Then there's malt loaf, fig rolls etc.

  • Jaffa cakes are the furure! A pack from M&S -each little cake has 7g of carbs and go down easily.

  • I recently did a 50k using an Ultraspire Kinetic and was very impressed with it. Previously i had used an Inov-8 12 litre pack with the horizontal bladder but found it frustrating not knowing how much fluid I had left and whether or not to stop at aid stations to fill up.

    On the 50k the Ultraspire kinetic carried the following for me in the front chest pockets and hip pocket: 12 gels, 3 energy bars, mobile phone, pack of tissues, buff, salt tablets, car keys. In the rear stash pocket I carried a Montane Featherlight jacket, small first aid kit, foil blanket, whistle and enough Torq Energy powder to mix up another 1.5l of fluids. 

    I plan to use the Kinetic for future long runs and ultras. The larger the pack, the more stuff you will end up carrying. 

  • Didn't you post exactly the same thing a couple of days ago?
  • My computer crashed and I thought the post had disappeared but obviously it was sitting on a server somewhere waiting to be delivered!

  • Hi folks, just wanted to say thank you to you all for the advice on this thread. I'm a simple novice who's just started training for a marathon so looking for slightly different needs to you leet long distance people, however, I have been wanting to get a hydration pack for it as I hate carrying bottles. Thanks to the info on here I've found out about Ultraspire and ordered and recieved the Alpha pack which seems to suit me perfectly at the moment. I would have bought a Camelpak Marathoner otherwise and that's really heavy duty and I think I would have had issues with that compared to the lightweight Ultraspire products...so, thanks! image

  • I used my Ultraspire at the weekend and I am very impressed with it. Wish I had discovered the brand earlier and avoided by several other hydration systems. We live and learn.

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