Before I begin, for your comparison I am a 5’3″ female weighing 105 lbs. My chest below my bust is 27″ bust is 31″waist 25″
As I was packing for my trip to Telluride a month+ ago, I realized that my single bottle Hydraquiver wouldn’t be able to carry enough water in the heat and dry air of Colorado, fortunately for me Josh had just created a new pack; the Endurance Pack, that was finally in stock and ready to order. With my fingers crossed for it to arrive before my departure I ordered it. Here is a link to how Josh Sprague comes up with some of his ideas, and how long they take. (bad wordpress won’t link; http://makersrow.com/blog/2016/08/idea-to-product-orangemuds-hydration-pack/?utm_source&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=blog_content
It came with just a day to spare, I packed it into my luggage and headed off to Colorado. First, like all other Orange Mud products it has the breathable and durable mesh backing, and the stretchy pocket material that allowed me to fit all sorts of things into the front pockets for easy access. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well this video is worth more. It explains how to move the adjustable straps around, how to synch the sides down first, and where to put your poles.(WordPress is misbehaving and not letting me link so here is the link you can copy and paste to the video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55XcZkstgWo
I opted out of the pole upgrade (mostly because I don’t own poles) but on the Hardrock course I borrowed a friends and found that in a pinch I could break down the poles and they fit in the front pockets. I couldn’t run too far with them in there, but while I was scrambling or climbing up rope and needed my hands for a few minutes I could stash them in there. I bet with some creativity and some small bungee cords you could make a hook on the top front straps for the poles if you did want to use the front pockets as pole holders.
At one point I tried to fill the pack with as many items as I could before a hike just to see what I could fit in there. I got about 7lbs of stuff in there (including the full 2 L bladder.) That was a jacket, gloves, headlamp, extra batteries, 5 bars, 7 gels, an extra collapsible water bottle in the front, sunblock and extra lube. As seen in the video if you get the upgrade the bungee cord allows for more gear to be bungee-d onto the back. Also I used my own bungee cord and made the upgrade myself.
So onto fit. I’m on the far end of the scale, I had to tighten all the straps as far as they went. I believe Josh said his 7 year old can wear the pack, so I guess that means I am the size of a young boy. SO I am guessing this pack would fit some of the smallest torsos-I’m just above 100lbs. I haven’t tried it on my 6 foot husband yet, but it seems like it would fit him too, its quite adjustable. I didn’t notice any bounce anywhere, and haven’t lost any items out of the pack even running hard down technical east coast trail.
It comes with a 2l bladder that has a removable hose. This is nice because when you want to keep it from growing mold you can take the whole thing apart and let it air dry, even the mouth piece comes on and off easily for cleaning. My biggest complaint about this hose is that its Looooong! I had to thread it through the left shoulder loop then over to the right shoulder loop and tuck it down into the chest strap. If I didn’t loop it left to right first it basically dangled down to my groin which was annoying.
There is an outer zip pocket on the back that is also made from the stretchy material allowing it to hold more than you would expect. Then in between the bladder slot and the outer zippered pocket there is another vertical pocket. Last week I got caught in a late summer thunderstorm and stashed my phone in that middle pocket afraid it would drown in the deluge of rain. It stayed nice and dry while I got soaked! FYI none of the pack is waterproofed if you are looking to keep something dry long term. I am not a heavy sweater but sweat through this pack on some long runs in the 115 deg humidity here in NC this summer.
I have taken it many miles with me now. A full week of running and hiking in the San Juan Mountains, day hiking with my husband in Asheville (carrying enough food and water for the both of us, plus the dog,) On several super hot 7 hour runs, I did have to refill the bladder twice on one particular 7 hour run in the extreme heat. I have even used it at the gym as a sort of weight vest for uphill hiking on the treadmill. Its quite nice having a hydration pack double as a weight vest. I just filled the bladder up and then threw in some small plate weights into the other pockets while I hiked. A bonus was I could keep my phone in the front pocket for easy access to answer emails while I hiked at the gym. This is definitely going to replace my Hyraquiver for unsupported training runs and races that have long breaks between aid. Overall I would say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the pack, I haven’t owned a bladder pack since the old Nathan pack I purchased in 2012 which I always felt was so much pack but could carry so little. The Endurance Pack did not disappoint… if there is anything this girl loves its her pockets, and the EP had more than enough pockets and storage for all sorts of back up things one might need out on the trails!
If you are curious to try this pack, or any other item from Orange Mud, use the code wispfriends and get a discount at checkout!
Happy Trails all!