Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Camelbak Ultra LR Vest Review

Camelbak Ultra LR Video Review

This is a review of the Camelbak Ultra LR rucksack.  The main features are shown in the video above so I urge you to watch.

Essentially for Ultra Marathons or perhaps any running race exceeding 2 hours or training run where fluids and food are not provided you would be wise to carry these items with you.

Actually for a typical Ultra Marathon, say lasting 10 hours this is what I have crammed into this rucksack

6, 50gram Carbohydrate powder sachets
6, 55 gram Energy Bars
1, Petzyl Nao headtorch
Emergency pack: Duck tape, muscle relaxant, Ibuprofen
Withings Pulse Step Counter
Apple ipad Nano player and headphones
Apple ipad shuffle backup player
Credit card and currency note
1.5Kg of fluid in the 2L bladder
Moderate size jacket with hood 
50 grams of Glucose tablets

What did I find great about this product?

Last week this Camelbak was a good companion on an Ultra Marathon.  I appreciated:

 - Dry weight of 420 grams inclusive of Bladder.  This is just a n unbelievably low weight

 - Front pockets on left and right for food/ phone etc
- 2 tiny velcro covered pockets for small items like nano player

 - Very minimalist straps that are length adjustable and comfortable

 - Horizontal Bladder of 2L
- 1 tiny zippable pocket on back

- 2 chest and 1 waist straps

What to look for in any product
Horizontal bladder to place the weight lower, or Salmon soft puches / Raidlight style water bottles on the front upper carrying straps

Zippable pocket for valuables

Actually a <2L bladder.  To me 1.5L is the largest you should need on a race, 2L assumes you will be trekking without any support  (test out your water consumption first!)

Comfortable straps that don't cut into your neck

Weight where you want it: Some modern product are very short placing any weight higher up your body.  Do you want that?

31K run with Camelbak

Note:Testing Fluid Levels
I can get away with 500ml per 25Km in 25 degrees C, you might need more.  Actually on a longer race my fluid consumption steadily rises to over 1litre per 25Km.  Bear all of this into consideration to choose a sufficiently large bladdered product.

In summary: This was a very good buy and I will use it on future mountain training runs or on ultra races where I don't need to carry vast quantities of equipment.