Kit Testing

I was really excited to be testing the Women’s Ultra Pro Vest from Camelbak, not just because it’s blue and usually women’s specific products are a shade of pink and also because it’s exactly that -woman-specific.

When you’re wanting a piece of kit, that’s going to fit well and not bounce around there’s no way a unisex vest is going to do the trick if you’re 5ft 1” and a size 8.

The pack is compact and lightweight but I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fit in all the compulsory kit I would need for a long distance event – but I should not have worried.

I opted for the small size, rather than xs, and I’m pleased I did because once full it does feel a bit snugger – but for me the small is perfect.

Some suggestions from the Camelbak expert helped me to plan how to pack the bag. You’re hopefully not going to need your emergency kit, warm top, foil bag and first aid kit so they can sit down in the bottom of the main compartment. Hat and gloves can stow easily in one of the front pockets or in the main compartment. Waterproof jacket and trousers, can go through the pack at the back to be pulled out while on the run – genius – without having to take the pack off.

Infact I tried this very thing, setting off in normal kit, with my jacket stowed through the back of the pack – the heavens opened. I really didn’t want to have to stop running, take my pack off, get my jacket out, put it on and put the pack back on – but this way I could just pull the jacket out of the pack (while running), and put it on over the top of my pack and carry on. Extra protection for the kit in the pack too!

The pack comes with two soft flasks – I normally use a bladder for those long off-road (20+ mile) runs, but I tried the flasks, and they were perfect. They didn’t have that awful taste that some flasks do, but the best bit was that they sit quite high up and you can actually drink from them without taking them out of the pockets!

A small zipped pocket is perfect for the car key – so no need to worry about pulling it out by accident and losing it in the bog on the moor – and sufficient space too at the front of the pack to put your food – although for me it just felt a bit too full and tricky to get to while still running – so next time I will try a small waist pouch for my food – just a little bit easier to get to. The vest is so light and compact that wearing a small waist pouch too won’t impact on it.

A brilliant piece of kit that I would really recommend for anyone who needs to carry emergency kit when they’re out running.

So this is the kit I had my practice pack with:

Waterproof jacket; waterproof trousers; warm top; hat and gloves; first aid essentials and foil blanket; map; compass; plastic mug; soft flask.

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