Ultra gear . Whats missing?

Ultra gear seems to be designed by the top runners to help them go faster.

This is all very well but the requirements for the top runners on a race are not the same for us mortals bringing up the rear who are running for  twice as long and usually with no support team. I have a couple of suggestions.

1 --Race pack with serious carrying capacity within easy reach on the front.(Salomon are almost there but have low volume and an emphasis on min weight) . For a stiff old bugger like me I need to grab water bottles and food without taking my pack off (front clip on bags make taking off your pack a real pain)

 2--Combined gortex hood and short cape to cover your head and the pack to prevent rain getting between you and your pack yet allowing maximum ventilation.

 3--Method of preventing rain seeping between gortex gloves and top over prolonged periods.

 4--Cushioned long ultra shoes (good cushioning) with built in gaiters and a waterproof seal on the calf that lets you go through deep water with no leaks. La Sportiva are almost there but are not cushioned enough for 100mile+ races.

Anyone else got any wishes. You never know someone in design world might be reading this thread.




  • Cushioned shoes that aren't stiff and actually enable your foot to flex and air to flow!

    A back pack with a shorter back length for short people with adequate storage and an easy opening clip! Again salomon almost there but the pack is slightly too long for me and I have callouses on my fingers from the stiff clip, also if the zips on the side Pockets opened the other way I think it might be easier to open and close!!!
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    GPS watch that can cater with 100 milers and In excess of 24hr use!
  • Suunto Ambit? Garmin fenix?

  • I had a Nathan vest on my Amazon Wish List and it's magically disappeared image

    Probably not to everyones taste but white compression gear for women for when it's really hot!!! Not sure if I'd like it or not but it seems to be something they make for men but not women? s-lab cerainly don't cater for women!!!


    eta: ok so I found these but they just look like you have a nappy on image http://www.play.com/Sports-Outdoors/Sports/4-/38364545/2XU-Women-s-Compression-Tri-Shorts/Product.html?_%24ja=tsid:11518%7Ccat:38364659%7Cprd:38364659

  • Raidlight have (used to have?) a backpack system with a decent add on front pack
  •  Self modification of kit is one way forward for packs. I am about to sew my Raidlight bottle holder to the shoulder strap of my Raidlight run 30.( Fitted normally it bounces to much.)

     On the shorter back length for women I can see it can be a problem. Running packs do seem to be getting shorter and with the move to the vest like front storage model,  it should be possible to make a really short balanced pack.

  • Less gear. One size fits all in most things except shoes.

    That way there will be less agonising and fewer "what shoes should I wear?" posts on forum threads. Manufacturers could then pass on the economies of scale and stop charging us around £100 and rising for a pair of fell shoes that are fairly cheap to manufacture.

    In Liptrot's Republic the only car would be a Nissan Micra and everyone gets one free.

  • Cc I'm with you on all the points abt women's kit. I think I'm abt your size, and I always have the backpack strap issues. As mentioned above though I've taken to modifying kit myself. I hate bottles bouncing abt do waist belts are a no no for me. Nathan vest is perfect fort size and I can fit a slim bottle in the right hand front pocket without it annoying me. Agree tht Solomon really don't do a lot of female compression gear to choose from, shame as I like their designs. I've taken to hacking trainers too now. A pair of nikes were rubbing my ankle bone where the eyelets were pressing , out came the penknife and bye bye metal eyelets - perfect! Definately backpacks could go wth better design for for front storage .
  • I reckon everyone should run naked so no problems then1

  •  Re front strap bottle storage. If the bottle holders are built into the straps and the cross chest strap is in the correct position then they don,t bounce . The Raidlight Olmo 20 works really well  as the 2 bottles go a long way to balance the weight of the pack contents  resulting in the pack riding higher up your back .Volume of 20l requires serious ramming in of kit for mountain marathons. I think there is a smaller "Olmo" which could be useful  for women in events that require less kit.The front straps also have storage for energy bars and gels .

  • Race vests have come on a long way in the last while.  For those wanting bottles on the front which are sewn on and more stable, there the Raidlight Olmos (5l up to 20) or the new Ultimate Direction Signature Series.

    For those who prefer bottles on the back/hips, there's the UltrAspire range.  Given all these new contenders I expect Salomon and Nathan may release some updated products to compete as these other ones are moving the game on quite a bit.

  • A lot of the pics that I see of ultra runners have packs with bottles on the front straps. Is there an issue with using bladders like camel backs??? I've only ran with these and they seem fairly stable....does the majority of you guys prefer front bottles... Out of interest image
  • It's personal preference BF, some chop and change depending on the race, distance between aid stations, whether they're Racing it or just using it as a training run etc etc.

    Personally iffy heading out for a training run of more that three or four hours I'll use my salomon pack with bladder, less than that I'll use a hand held
  • Almost forgot, if I'm doing a mountain race I'll use bottles attached to the front of my pack so I can refill them easily from streams and suchlike.

    It's worth mentioning raid light sell the bottle holders separately if you want to try them out, I have them on an OMM pack
  • I see. Thanks Lirish, I had a feeling it mite be due to speed of refills .

    In my case I don't think the speed of the refil we have any bearing on my final time !!! ????
  • Lirish is spot on I think. Ease of access to refill and the fact that I can carry less on my back if I use handhelds. Nothing for under 2 hours, one handheld for almost everything else. If I am going to be a long time without access to refill then 2 handhelds.

    I am not a fan of bottles on the front of a pack although the Salomon vests seem to be ok with them.

    I also think you can save a huge amount of time at aid stations by being efficient. Certainly over 50 and 100 mile races.

  • I have a raidlight strap on bottle holder and never could stop it bouncing. The better non bouncing holders are cross linked to the chest strap and thats what stops the bounce. 

     Re bladders I never liked the feel of sucking on the tube plus the fact that water from a bladder always seems warmer. Re filling bottles from streams andc in checkpoints is also much easier.

  • Cragchick, which model Nathan vest do you have, I've just looked on thier site and theres about 6 to choose from!

  • i have same as Cragc sunluvva -its the intensity vest for women-its fab- about £65

  • Thanks Loulabell, I'll have a look at it.


  • Hi Ian

    That's a good point, the bladder water gets warm too fast!!
  • unless in winter when it freezesimage

  • Put a bit of vodka in it ?????? ????
  • our raidlights have the place for bottles and bladder..........i have gone a full circle.started off with bottles.went to camelbacks and then bladders.now prefer bottles again

  • The salomon vest comes with an insulated tube and bladder holderimage is a bit fiddly getting the tube in the tube holder though maybe I should knit a slightly larger one image
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