For a long time I’ve run my longer runs with a Camelbak that I received as a free gift when subscribing to Runner’s World Magazine. It was absolutely fine as a hydration pack, but it lacked any real storage. There was a tiny pocket that I could get a snack bar and some tissues in and that was about it.
As we are doing longer runs / runs that have mandatory kit requirements I needed something more. Requirements: Water, snack bars, extra layer, waterproofs, gloves, buff, emergency blanket, socks, money, hat.
What has put me off buying one is the cost – all that I seemed to look at were really expensive! But after a bit of googling I found this one from Decathlon and thought it looked good. What really made me buy was the product video on the site (nice one Decathlon) – how much stuff would go in this bag????!! One thing missing on the description was a size guide as this bag is available in two sizes. I opted for the smaller one working on the premise that as a unisex product the larger would be more likely be for the guys.
Ordered, collected a few days later from the local pick up point. £30.
First impressions were excellent. I love the little Velcro tabs to roll up any excess straps to stop them flapping about and I love that the straps are elasticated giving some movement. And it comes with a 1 litre bladder.
The following day I went out for a short run but decided to wear the pack to test it out. Didn’t bother with the bladder, literally just put the pack on and went. It was great, it didn’t move around when I was running and was comfortable. I really like that it hugs you around the bottom of the ribcage and the straps are further forward and away from the armpits. This also has the advantage of being slightly more flattering on those with bigger boobs!
First real test was a few days later on the Lakeland Trail 15k. It was a nice day and I didn’t need much with me so just had gloves, buff, emergency blanket, snack bar and the bladder. I was initially concerned with where the tube sat and was a bit worried it would annoy me and I should have cut it shorter, but actually it was fine. Where I’d clipped it I didn’t need to unclip to drink, which made it much easier.
Pockets – there are lots! I normally carry my phone in a flipbelt, but this time I popped it into one of the front strap pockets where it was very secure and didn’t bounce at all. Gloves tucked into two of the other front pockets and a snack bar in the other strap pocket, everything else in the back. There is also a mesh pocket on the back that you can reach whilst wearing which is perfect for quick access to a waterproof.
I’m very, very happy with my purchase and have already recommended it to friends. Value for money is excellent.