hydration packs for around £90

I am about to run my first mountain marathon and although not a ultra does have a compulsary kit list and a need to carry water . I have been using a cheap decathlon pack and although good after loosing some weight I have found it moves around alot when running at its tightest setting . I have seen the radlight olmo 12 and the inov-8 race ultra 10 both look good packs anyone have either or have any recommendations any help would be good


  • Maybe you need to get to the shops and try them for fit ?
  • Yeah can do that but seem to get better deals online
  • Well you take the risk of it not fitting very well then. Up to you. Shops do have more overheads but give you better service.
  • Always nice to try things in a shop and I still get a lot of gear that way, but if like my area there isn't a huge off-road running focus there just isn't much in the way of running packs suitable for ultra to try on. All I can get locally is the old-style packs that are more like a 'lighter' version of a walking pack rather than the more running suitable wrap-around vest type.

    If you look at the websites of some of the running pack manufacturers they will explain if any size options and what the size represents (e.g. a salomon s-lab pack of size M/L is aimed at the M or L top size wearer, S/XS likewise according to website). 

    I started out with an off-the-peg backpack which was fine, but I had to pull straps to very tightest setting and it still had some bounce in it. Went through a few lighter OMM packs which were pretty good at the price. Then I upgraded a few years ago and now run longer stuff in a Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 Set, 2013 model. Size XS/S which fits me well as I'm borderline XS/S t-shirt size. And its adjustable in various ways as I sometimes end up tightening loosening a bit depending on how much gear I'm wearing, if I've been overindulging a bit, and sometimes even tighten a bit mid-event.

    I can only tell you what I know, but I can really recommend this model s-lab pack, very functional and sits nicely without much movement. Plenty of easy access front storage. Decent sized back storage and pretty expansive side access pockets. I can also recommend the original 5 litre version from 2012 which I bought first. The new packs look to have been tweaked and slimmed down a bit , no doubt based on feedback as they appear to be near half the weight of originals (and they weren't heavy) due to design and probably in no small part due to replacing internal bladder with soft flasks. They still claim the same capacities of 12 and 5L for the changes.

    I'm sure others will be able to tout the good qualities of others, but I'd be impressed if any of the other brands offering similar products (naphan, inov8, ultimate direction, etc....) can do much better than this. I reckon if you shop around you can get the 12L pack for around about £100 or less (not going to do the research for you but try usual suspects: pete blands, wiggle, sportshoes.com, decathlon, millets, ultramarathonrunningstore or see if anything on these links still available at very competitive prices - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salomon-Advanced-Skin-Hydration-Pack/dp/B00B4NG6SW
    - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salomon-S-Lab-ADV-Skin-Hydro/dp/B00DPSMHXC/ref=sr_1_8?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1429622198&sr=1-8&keywords=salomon+pack

    p.s. if these soft-flasks aren't your thing you can still get the 12L version with the good 1.5L bladder and front pockets large enough for bottles from 2013 now rebranded as 'Advanced Skin 12 set', but still available in 3 sizes. RRP isn't much cheaper, but here are doing a good price - http://www.ultramarathonrunningstore.com/Salomon-Advanced-Skin-12-Set-Backpack-p/saladvancedskin12set.htm (can recommend this retailer as they advised me on buying this pack from them in 2013). Only downside over newer packs is supposedly 530g vs 285g for newest incarnation with soft flasks. Can't say I ever found this pack heavy and what difference will a few hundred gram make to most once the pack is fully loaded with kit and water I figure.

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