The perfect place to use my Ultimate Direction pack.
Last Fall I got to talk with the guys at Ultimate Direction about their new race series of running packs. In the middle of January 2013 I received the Scott Juric version. But it wasn't until today that I finally got a chance to use it.
…DESIGNED BY ATHLETES FOR ATHLETES.
…DESIGNED BY ATHLETES FOR ATHLETES.
"The Signature Series was designed by three of the most successful, most well-known ultra runners in the world. Using power mesh for zero bounce and state-of-the art cuben fiber for its unsurpassed strength to weight ratio, our Signature Series vests integrate load carrying, performance, and comfort into one unified system. With water bottle pockets in the front of the vest for quick and easy access, the Signature Series represents the next generation of ultra running hydration packs for runners.
Learn about the inspiration behind the Signature Series from UD Brand Manager, Buzz Burrell. "
Make no mistake. I'm no ultra marathoner runner. A marathon distance race with full support tears me up. Every few years in the last decade I've done something similar. May never do another...ever. Anything over 20 miles I really have ZERO interest in. But I do...sometimes...like long days in the mtns with almost nothing on my back.
SCOTT JUREK designed his signature series of running packs for Ultimate Direction in Small, Medium and a Large sizes. So even the big boys like me..that aren't really designed to be runners can fit one. And I fit a large...damn near perfectly by comparison to other off the shelf gear.
It is the only Ultimate Direction pack I ordered because of the available sizing. Most of the guys using these packs are likely lucky to hit 150# soaking wet!
I really wanted to see if I could adapt one of the Ultimate Direction super light/minimalistic packs to alpine climbing or some sort. Summer ridge traverses that involve little or no technical gear seemed like a good place to start. I was and am now very excited to get out and use this one.
We did a 10 mile ridge top trip today followed by another 16 miles on a mtn bike that ended in a gruelling (for me anyway) 1700' vertical, 6 mile climb on the bike. Not very steep but my steel mtn bike isn't my carbon roadie either. Not a long day but a fun one anyway. I walked away pummeled but still walking....even if just barely.
Gotta say I really like this pack. Th first hour in on the ridge traverse I was hooked. Super stable and super comfortable pack/vest, even with a little downhill trail running to get started. Not much in it. But plenty of room for more. Water, cell phone, camera, Gu, Shot Bloks, lunch with 1500 ml of water in bottles. Some slings, rap gear with my super light weight Alp 95 CAMP climbing harness. All in, still well under 10#. Closer to 6# than 10#. Depending if I add a water bladder or not with the bottles.
The pack/vest is made for running. But nothing wrong with taking this sort of super light weight gear and adapting it to your own needs. If it would only carry skis easily I would use it year around. But for the rest of summer and a couple of projects I have in mind this thing is almost perfect. For a few long ridge traverses and a couple of lwt alpine climbs I am going to give the Juric version a serious beat down. I'll update the blog with the results.
I'm pretty stoked to find a "pack" that will do what I want and not be in the way.
Anyone that knows me is going to be surprise to see me out of my custom CCWs for serious climbing or my REI Flash for quick hits like this last ridge "run".
Just a heads up on the pack details as the video covers it all much better than I do in writing. CAMP also deserves some credit here for my own lwt kit. I am relying on CAMP gear more and more through all four seasons now. Worth looking around to see if they have anything you might use as well. Some pretty innovative gear there with huge potential for skiing and lwt climbing.
But no one else doing anything similar to the Ultimate Direction designs that I know of short of military tactical vests. And none designed for or light enough for trail running.
More on the Camp gear I am using withteh Ultimate Direction's vest here:
Besides the OEM water bottles which I replaced with the Camp versions with the straw for easier use the packs holds everything I need. A Camp wind shell and lwt axe are standard kit this time of year.
Cell phone and camera a easily stashed as is just about anything else I can think of including aluminum crampons via the bungee cord in the back. Just trying to think out side the box a little here. If you have similar goals of going long and light, this pack and the others in the signature series are worth a look. I like gear that allows me to look at projects with a new set of eyes and expand my own imagination. It is one reason that new gear still excites me.