Sunday, March 17, 2013

UD Scott Jurek "ultra vest"

I'm not going to turn this into a gear blog.  I'm not going to turn this into a gear blog.  I'm not going to...

So one of the pieces of this 100-mile mystery I will need to solve is what I want to carry, and how I'm going to carry it.  Hydration obviously, some food, and a very minimal amount of clothing and gear to help me deal with whatever sideswipes me out there on the trail. 

I don't currently own anything that I would consider a good solution for this need.  I have some small packs, but they're pretty unpleasant to wear while running.  I have a waistpack, but don't care for the bounce I get from something that is basically attached to my pelvis.  I really don't care for drinking out of a hose.

For some time now I've been interested in carrying stuff in front ... anything I would like access to without stopping to mess with my load, like a bottle, a snack, maybe small map & compass, etc.  I was about ready to start tinkering with a solution of my own -- partly because tinkering is just what I do.  Well, guess what.  Ultimate Direction handily ticked the basic boxes I was looking for with their signature series vests/packs:  (1) a little cargo space in the back, and (2) BOTTLES (3) IN FRONT. 

Nice!  So I ran out real quick and got one.

Alas, it turned out not to be the solution for me.  I couldn't seem to get the fit/size right, it was either too loose to stop the bottles from bouncing, or it was tight enough to affect breathing.  Worse, for me, the bottles were in exactly the wrong place ... directly over my nipples.  I completed my first & last run with the pack with my bottles in my hands, and returned it to the store the next day.  Yay Boulder Running Company for their good customer service.

I'm still convinced it's the right approach; I do want to run with bottles, and I want the front-carry option, but this specific design wasn't right for me.  I don't see a lot else out there that fits that description.  The UltraSpire Riblon looks like a promising back-carry version of the same idea, maybe I'll give one of those a try.

And I will definitely continue with some tinkering of my own!

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