Being an avid user of a 12L vest on all my trail runs, my initial thoughts after picking up the ‘ASICS SS18 5L Running Pack ’ was how can I condense my usual 12L to a 5L pack on runs. It was also a ‘One Size’ fit so expectations with fitting was a concern during the run. Curious with what the pack had to offer, I made the effort to reduce the content by packing smart. The onboard food had been reduced, winter downs jacket omitted, replacing it with a sleeveless downs gilet and one bottle of water was used instead of the usual two.
Also in the pack, a pair of waterproof gloves stored in the main pocket, a spare dry bag with a post-run change of kit in the back mesh pocket that the water bladder would sit in. Credit card, keys and cash slipped it in the front mesh with food supplies going in the other mesh pocket. Water bottle popped into the rear ‘Kangaroo Pouch’ as my preferred placement is either the side or rear pockets.
Once all packed, it was off to the trails of Boxhill, UK. A short 40 minute train journey from Central London. The weather was around 5 degrees with forecast of rain for the whole day, well, this is Great Britain. Terrain will be muddy, make that ‘very’ muddy.
After 3 miles/5K of the planned 9 miles/14K into the run, the bag to my surprise felt ‘very comfortable’, there was zero bounce whilst on the move and running up the hills. Even the the water bottle was secure in the ‘Kangaroo Pouch’ with ease of access on the go. I’m liking this.
Stopped once to get my jacket and gloves out from the deceivingly spacious front zipped pocket which was still dry, the moisture wicking material was working overtime with the amount of rain that had been falling . The strap system on the front to take off the pack had minimal fiddling as it was a just a quick hook out of the loop. Did I already say how much I was loving this pack?
The material is thicker than a lot of the running packs on the market, which makes this a very sturdy and durable pack. In all honesty, it actually exceeded my expectations, we were all hesitant and had doubts when the item arrived but actually the fitting to achieve ‘zero bounce’ worked very well to retain efficiency, the ‘Kangaroo Pouch’ was also to my surprise very secure, the water bottle remained locked in the deep pocket.
Overall, the pack is very compact and reliable, it would be ideal for shorter days out, about of 3-5 hours. With access to larger items, there was no place to store bigger items that required frequent or quick access. Not a complete deal breaker as this can be solved by wearing an additional pouch or pocket.
‘Adjustable Strap’ hooks unsecure
Unsuitable for quick access to larger items
I was so impressed with this little pack, I’m actually contemplating ditching my current setup and using this for the Cape Wrath Ultra 400km in May. Watch this space.
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Retail Operations Technical Advisor from London