They Say - Make your next run one to remember with a backpack that’s built to last. You’ll be running with the most comfortable backpack on your shoulders, thanks to its lightweight design and innovative fit system. Fit the backpack to your body with an adjustable strap across your chest and shoulder straps made of breathable 3D AirMesh. You’ll get a comfortable, close-to-the-body fit thanks to the foam moulded back panel.
- Stay hydrated with an inner reservoir pouch that’s easy to get to
- Get easy access to your essentials stored in mesh side and hip pockets
- Cool down with aeration holes and breathable straps that boost ventilation
- See your maps and documents through the see-through window of the internal removable pocket
- Capacity: 10 litres
- Weight: 430g
We Say – I’ve given this Asics backpack a fair test I think – 3 runs of over 50kms each and a daily commute to work and back of 18kms in total that has lasted the past 3 weeks. So, about 500 kmsof wear in all.
There are pro’s and con’s, in my opinion. First, the con’s.
The inner removable pocket has a zipped pocket at it’s backside, and it’s not waterproof from the inside – the side that touches my back. During the first 50km run I put keys and bank notes in there thinking it the best place to keep them from bouncing around and perhaps falling out when I opened the pack, but then the notes got soggy with sweat that had entered the pack from my back. So that could be improved, perhaps.
You have to undo the main zip halfway down the front and back up the other side to really access the pack. This is great if you have a running partner and you want quick access to something in a half full pack, you can just stand there and ask them to delve in your pack whilst it’s still on your back. But I often run alone so this isn’t an option for me. I have to take the pack off and then undo the zip all the way, which means if it’s full – which it always is on a run commute to work (with spare clothes and food) – invariably something falls out on the ground. Not a big deal in the dry summer but it won’t be good on a wet day. I’d prefer to see the zip opening from the top downwards, so, this same semi-oval design but with the sealed section at the bottom rather than the top. There is an entry point to the bag if you slip your hand down in between the padding and the main body of the pack but you are rummaging blind, which is not ideal when you’ve a few miles under your feet and you’re starting to get mentally tired.
Ok, now to the things I like about the pack.
It’s extremely comfy. The first time I wore it was on a 50k run and there was no feeling of discomfort at all throughout the run, and no chaffing marks afterwards. That’s very impressive. I’ve owned a number of running packs by very well known brands and to date, this Asics one is the best for comfort. The chest straps hold everything is place well and the waist straps come just in the right place for me, so that they sit on or near the bottom rib but not around the stomach. Other packs do fasten around the stomach and this isn’t good when I’m trying to push the race pace after I’ve eaten but want a pack that doesn’t bounce around. I pull the straps tight on such occasions but my stomach is a little full and the discomfort really puts me off my stride for 10 minutes. Not so with this pack. It sits perfectly for me.
The pockets on the waistband are very easy to access. I keep my keys, work pass and money (now I learnt about the non waterproof inside pocket) in the right side zipped pocket, and my phone in the left pocket which is closed with a tight netting. This is perfect for when I need to access my phone, which I tend to do regularly during a run to either change the song/podcast, or take photos.
The side/back pockets take a couple of gels or energy bars each and whilst not so easy to access as the waistband pockets, can still be reached without taking the pack off. There’s no zip to these pockets, they’re just a tight mesh but I’ve not lost anything from them yet, they are very secure.
There’s a couple of internal pockets as well which hold small items. In my case, this means toiletries when I do my run commute and blister packs/sunscreen/spare food bars etc when I’m out for the longer runs. It’s good to keep this stuff seperate from clothes so I don’t have to waste time rummaging for them.
Finally, the pack is just roomy enough for my needs. There’s plenty of space for a 50k run, I can fit a 2 litre water bladder in there plus food, and for my run commute it holds my packable towel (for showering before work) plus a change of clothes, minus my trousers which I leave at work. For the run commute I could do with a couple more litres of space as sometimes, depending on what I have to take, I have to strap my towel onto the outside to make room inside for more important stuff…
…but that’s me being harsh and telling you this in case you want to use it as I do (multi use, for long and short runs, on the trail and in the city), this pack isn’t made as a run commute pack so for what it is, an all day trail running pack, it’s roomy enough.
So I’d say this is a great pack. It’s extremely comfy, sits very well and doesn’t bounce around, you can keep items seperate easily and there’s enough room in it for supplies to last you an all day run.
To discover more please see – https://en.asics.ch/running/products/extreme-running-backpack/