Now, I typically don't upgrade my hydration pack very often, and I'm certainly not a guy focused on gear. But as an ultrarunner who is focused on 100 milers this year, I thought it smart. I use Tailwind for most of my nutrition, so being able to self support my runs (minus water) for awhile is key. My initial impression upon opening my Camden hydration pack was "Wow... this is light! Is it too light?? Will it wear out?". More on that later, but after several uses, I no longer have that concern!
My first run was a hilly 11 miler in 40 degree weather, on mostly roads/sidewalks. 50 Oz of water lasts me about 2 hours, so plenty of time for my 85 minute run. I filled it completely, and added my 4 scoops of Tailwind. With the bladder full, I put it on - the fist real test. Expecting the full bladder to exert pressure on my back, I was pleasantly surprised at how the bladder displaced and there was no pressure, even when full. It definitely passed that test - better than my current Coleman hydration pack.
Second - as I mentioned before, I like to carry all I can. A little Tailwind (4 scoops for every 2 hours), some motrin, and some emergance TP will get me down the road, and judging by the size of the pouch, I can go 50 miles (easy) with water resupplies adequately staged. I like that. It also has two mesh sidepockets on the bottom of the hydration pack that I did not need, but it actually fits my smaller sized smart phone.
Well packed, I set off on my run. I noticed quickly that although I had on layers, I didn't sweat where the straps sat on my shoulders. The material was extremely breathable.
- This pack comes with a chest strap and waist strap. I prefer to only clasp the chest strap - tying the waist straps to the hydration pack itself. This pack by Camden Gear rode well on my chest with no chaffing that I could notice. I reduced to a single layer long sleeved shirt and still didn't notice any chaffing. Good stuff!!
The tube and mouth piece are very sturdy. I can't imagine anything that would puncture them. The tube is actually a little longer than I'm used to... but certainly worth getting used to.
The bladder was made of a lighter material than I was used to, and initially I had concerns that it wouldn't hold up to a season full of running. But I've actually come to enjoy it after a few runs. It slides in and out of the holder easy as I need to quickly fill it, and I no longer have any issues at all. If anything, I can't help but wonder why I've gone so long without upgrading to a pack like this!
For the current price point under $36, this is a steal. Mid pack ultra runners will love it - and I plan on using it for the Old Dominion 100 miler and Cloudsplitter 100 this year.
Camden Gear - thanks for the nudge to upgrade... you've built yourself a lightweight, breathable pack with storage for long distance runners at a very economical price. Thanks!!