Bright yellow Osprey Pack: Check
3 Liters of H2O: Check
Nutrition for 12hrs: Check
And off I go on the rough West Virginia mountains trails of the Highland Sky 40 miler. What better place to brutally test gear than an Ultra? Although my hydration pack took less of a beating than my running shoes, it was still important for me to try it out and see how I felt about running with a bladder on my back.
This year I’m trying new ways to carry my nutrition and water as last year my Inov 8 waist pack proved to be too much of a hassle to reach back and grab my bottle to drink from. Also read as, I ran out of water between aid stations way too quick and found myself dry. I’ve been doing lots of research on what the most efficient hydration system is and with the dual bottle wielding taking more energy to carry I decided on a bladder pack. First up to the bat is Osprey’s new Viper line which comes with a much thinner waist belt than there older Raptor models. I like this because I immediately took it off as to create one less friction point on my body. Tighten it down snug, and the pack doesn’t budge from your back, with the only sound being the water sloshing around in the bladder.
The Viper line was created to fit most of the medium to larger men while their other new Verve line is meant for smaller torsos of women, after all we are not all the same shape and size. Kudos for this Osprey! Yet my favorite part still remains to be the innovative magnet clip on their bladders. How many times have you had to either slide the mouth piece under the straps or even have it dangling around? It stays in place conveniently in reach and doesn’t bounce around.
It really is the little things on the Viper 10 that makes it that much better like the front mesh pocket(which I fit 2-3 Clif Bloks or 4 gels), hard internal backing to always place pressure on the bladder insuring constant water flow, light weight: 5 oz(w/o water), and even a blinker light attachment on the back(which I have yet to use). To top it off, and customers who have come into my work know me for this, Osprey has the “Almighty Guarantee” which is bar none the best part about buying any products from them. Any reason, Any product, Any era…bear chewed your pack up? no problem they’ll fix it for free. Al Qaida shot a few holes in your bladder? no problem! Seriously….can anyone beat that?
Overall, super comfy pack with tons of cool add-ons and multi sport capable. I will start using this as a commuting bicycle bag too for night rides and can’t wait to test it out more on the trails. So far it has served and met all requirements I wanted in an Ultra racing pack. Keep ’em coming Osprey, you guys make quality products.