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Best Trail Running Backpack?

Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 1
Texas, United States
Posted: Sun 03 Jun 2007 06:43 pm GMT   topTop
I run to and from work each day and am still trying to find a backpack that's big enough for my suit, shoes, toiletries and a few papers. I need something that will keep the contents flat, while clinging tightly to my back. I'm trying to find a pack won't slide around and mess with my back. Any suggestions out there? Thanks.

Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 7
California, United States
Posted: Sun 03 Jun 2007 08:35 pm GMT   topTop
I'm also very interested in this question. I've been running-commuting a lot. I carry a laptop (an old Dell Latitude), with a pack large and strong enough to carry the laptop plus extras (book/s, toiletries, at least minimal change of clothes) is a nuisance --- feels heavy, big, restrictive, uncomfortable, but I guess this cannot be avoided carrying such a load.)

I've experience with a Jansport Syncline 38, and a Gregory ultralight adventure racing pack.

I've had my eye on the Arcteryx Blade for quite a while -- comes in two sizes, 13 and 21 (liters). The 21 Liter pack may hold suit, shoes, toiletries -- I'm not sure.


<b>The Jansport Syncline 38</b>
I think 20 Liters is about the size of my current pack --- a Jansport Syncline 38. My laptop is unpadded; the main pocket is huge --- can hold several textbooks, thermos, laptop, jacket; or a change of clothes & laptop. Additional pockets are good. The GREAT feature of this pack are the cinch-straps on the side --- I can tighten the load down to keep it from shuffling. Still the capacity is so large, I keep the cinch straps completely tightened (which works fine, the load is held tight.)

There's a hydration-bladder pocket, which I like very much; internal pockets; the way all the pockets are arranged helps structure the load so it doesn't all lump together at the bottom. I keep camera and gloves in side-water-bottle pockets, knife attached to one of the shoulder straps (which can also route a water bottle tube), etc.

The straps are very wide and strong --- maybe a good feature for a running pack, as it spreads the pressure over a greater area. And the pack is certainly strong.

Still, I'm hoping for a more comfortable load, so I'm going to get a smaller laptop, and switch to the Arctyeryx Blade. I'll be getting both the Blade 13 and 21, for different loads (plus my wife will use the 13 when she needs it).

<B>Gregory ultralight adventure racing pack</b>
I don't recommend the Gregory ultralight pack. It was far too thin and lightweight for me. Maybe it's superb for hiking and carrying clothes and equipment, but it was far too light and open for a laptop and/or books, and loads could not be structured or cinched down for shiftless carry.

I've always been curious about those "ranpacks" advertised in the back of running magazines --- specifically designed for running, and it looks like they really tighten a load down to compact, efficient space. But I haven't seen any reviews. Yet --- they must sell, because they've been running thos ads for SO MANY years... ?!?!?!
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 192
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 26 Jun 2007 12:53 am GMT   topTop
Great info kirez. I can't comment on the this type of pack, as thus far I've divided my outings into either multi-day backpacking trips with all my gear, or trail running with just a small pack -- meaning, water and a jacket. I purchased a CamelBak Cloudwalker years ago that holds 70 oz of water, plus a bunch of day-trip items, but it's not big enough for suit, shoes, textbooks, etc. It's served me well, but I'm sure I'll be getting a better pack soon.

I haven't seen those "ranpacks" - I guess I haven't paid enough attention - but you're right, kirez, if they've been advertised for so long, then they must be selling. Performance after the sale is another matter though.

Really aren't we getting into the realm of so-called "fast-packing" or ultralight backpacking? There's a bunch of dedicated sites out there that would probably have reviews on space-efficient packs that would also work for running.
Joined: 26 Jul 2008
Posts: 15
South Dakota, United States
Posted: Mon 28 Jul 2008 09:34 pm GMT   topTop
For longer trail running, not commuting or fast packing, I have been using a Camelbak M.U.L.E. Especially when I hit the trails at night. It carries some light first aid supplies, basic food, and has a huge resevoir for water. It hugs my body pretty well and doesn't slosh around, which I like. The straps are wide enough to provide support without irritating.

For short runs (1 hour or so) I have a Camelbak Gobe. They don't make my model anymore, but they still make one that goes around the waist. The straw is a nice way to get a need drink without having to stop.

I have an Ultimate waist belt. The bottle holder is slanted so you can reach it and it isn't suppose to fall out. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to stop to pick up my water bottle. I don't think you can go wrong with a better Camelbak.

[edited: Mon 28 Jul 2008 09:35 pm]
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 6
Colorado, United States
Posted: Tue 29 Jul 2008 10:16 pm GMT   topTop
The MULE rocks for straight up running, but for commuting, I'm sure Gregory or GoLite carry models that would be suitable. Gregory packs are fantastic.
Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 1
California, United States
Posted: Sat 05 Feb 2011 04:14 am GMT   topTop
I am looking for a backpack for a multiday (5-7 day) trail run. I am not sure exactly what size to get and what people find to be the most comfortable. I am looking for the lightest most comfortable for running, but needs to be big enough for my multiday trip.

Must Fit 5-7 days food, bear canister, sleeping bag, bivy sack, minimal clothes, extra pair of shoes.