Choosing the right pack for adventure racing is
almost as important as choosing footwear. For one to two day races like
the Rat Race Urban Adventure, Polaris Challenge, Open 24 etc, where a
reasonable load needs to be carried, then a 20-25 litre pack is what
most racers are going to need. Key factors in choosing a pack are the
volume, ease of access, comfort, stability, lightweight, hydration
bladder compatibility, volume adjustment or compression, and on the
Some things to look for are hip belt
pockets, adjustable chest strap, external bungees or mesh to hold
helmet or shoes, easy access side bottle pockets and a comfortable
harness that doesn’t dig into your neck. It’s unlikely that you’re load
will be heavy enough to require much padding on shoulder straps and you
may wish to look for optional removable back padding to reduce weight.
Often packs have ‘breathable’ mesh panels to keep your back cool but
rarely do they work well enough to make them a significant buying
A more important consideration is fit and comfort. A bag that bounces around when running is going to cause chafing and discomfort so look for back hugging packs that hold tight but allow you to move your arms and torso without restriction. I recently reviewed a range of packs for the UK Adventure Sports Mag July edition which I’ll publish here in due course.