Selecting the Right Running Backpack

Selecting the Right Running Backpack

Running backpacks, also known as hydration packs, have become indispensable for trail running, while their presence in road running or marathons is minimal. Why the difference? Following our insights on choosing trail running shoes, we now delve into selecting the ideal running pack.

Urban and Track Running On a track, your backpack remains off the track. There's no need to carry it with you! For brief city runs (under an hour), a backpack isn't necessary. However, for longer or hotter runs, a belt can be handy for carrying water or snacks. Urban trail runners with more experience may opt for a vest pack between 2 to 5 liters, ensuring adequate hydration.

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Solo Trail Running Trail runners must be more self-reliant than road runners, focusing not only on hydration but also on safety. It's important to carry supplies suitable for your environment. Some races even mandate specific gear and supplies for safety.

Choosing Between Hydration Vest Pack and Multi-Activity Backpack Trail running packs come in two primary styles: vest packs and backpacks.

  • Hydration VEST PACKS, designed for running, are worn high and fit snugly to minimize movement. It's essential to select a vest pack that conforms well to your body shape.
  • MULTI-ACTIVITY backpacks are more versatile but can be less stable and cause discomfort or chafing during trail running. They're a solid choice for beginners in trail running.

Your choice of running backpack should align with your running distance and equipment needs.

Capacity Considerations for Trail Runners Your pack's capacity should match the duration of your runs and the frequency of aid stations in competitive events. For runs under 1 hour: A belt or a 2-liter vest pack might suffice. For 1 to 2 hours: Choose between 2 to 5 liters. For runs over 3 hours: A 6 to 10-liter pack is advisable. For ultra trails or remote runs: Consider a 12-liter pack.

Additional Features for Convenience A well-designed trail running pack allows easy access to all essentials without removing the pack. Efficient trail running benefits from quick access to food, water, clothing, poles, etc. The pack should have various stash pockets for convenience.

Hydration Options Soft flasks in the front strap pockets of the pack provide easy hydration. Many vests now feature two flask pockets for this purpose.

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If using a bladder, secure it to minimize movement. Many vest packs offer a bladder pocket with hanger and cinch straps for this purpose.

Organization and Accessibility Organize your pack to keep everything within reach, avoiding the need to stop for accessing essentials like a jacket, water, or food.

Pole Holders For runners using trekking poles, choose a pack with a dedicated space for securing them. A trekking pole quiver, attachable to some bags, can also be a practical addition.

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