It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
With the birds all a belting
And all the snow melting for springtime is here
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
All the trails are now open and no one is mopin’
The trees bouncing back from the fall
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With the present combination of the Earth’s axial tilt and its position relative to the sun, the Northern Hemisphere is currently experiencing a general warming trend. Certain circles have labeled this phenomenon as “spring,” but those of us in the running community couldn’t care less what it’s called because what it really means is, you guessed it, open trails baby! WOOOOOOH!
With the coming of trail times, here is a list of new packs, handhelds and belts that can keep you happily on trail for as long as you need.
Depending on personal preference with regards to storage, either the Sense Ultra 5 or 8 Set Pack can add that extra bit of fun to your “short” run. The ultra-light design with plentiful pockets for a variety of storage options make this pack ideal for racing or hard running while dual, front-holster soft flasks deliver 1L of on-the-go hydration. Even more importantly, these packs can be worn shirtless.
Shop the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 Vest
With 1.1 L of fluid storage in the form of two squeezable bottles as well as the option for up to a 2 L reservoir and 5.75 L of storage space, the Alpha 3.0 is a versatile pack for voyages of many lengths. Assorted pockets provide easily accessible storage as well as more secure areas for valuables, and the rear cinch cord allows for an aerated hold on drying apparel and other equipment. You can’t call this pack Beta.
Shop the Nathan VaporKrar 12L Race Vest
Built for daylong races, the VaporKrar 12 L has a carefully tailored mix of storage capacity and lightweight construction that make it ideal for challenging days on the trail. It includes a slosh reducing 1.8 L Vapor bladder for hydration as well as holster pockets on the chest straps that can carry soft flasks, so keeping up on fluids is no biggie. The only uncertainties with this pack are how far you’ll be able to make it before sundown.
Shop the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 25
24 L of anatomically designed storage with up to 29.2 L of storage capacity in the unrolled position mean that the Fastpack 25 has more than enough room for your gear. The pack incorporates storage spaces for up to a 3 L reservoir as well as multiple 22 oz water bottles ensure that hydration is covered. Not for the faint of heart, this pack is best suited for those that would prefer wearing mud instead of pants.
This lightweight handheld packs a lot of capacity in an efficient package for a highly utilitarian piece that can aid in any number of running endeavors. A single 17 oz flask slides easily in and out of the storage sleeve while two stash pockets can hold keys, cards, and nutrition. The unique strap design attaches with a secure yet easily removable hold to ensure that, like Samwise, this little buddy is ready to venture to Mordor and back with you.
Shop the Nathan SpeedMax Plus Handheld 22 oz
This ergonomic, 22 oz bottle has an easy-to-squeeze design for rapid rehydration and an adjustable cinch strap for a comfortable grip. It also includes both a zipper pocket and a stash pocket on the strap exterior for small equipment. Regardless of the miles you intend to travel, the SpeedMax Plus is ready to hold your hand until the bitter end, but not too tightly of course.
Shop the Nathan VaporKrar Waistpack
Designed as the waistpack for the runner who does not enjoy wearing waistpacks, the VaporKrar is to trail runners as the utility belt is to Batman. A snug fit at the waist and four wide pockets for ample storage make this pack as easy to use as your favorite pair of split shorts. It also includes one 18 oz soft flask that sits in the rear pocket for on-the-move accessibility.
Shop the Ultimate Direction Jurek Endure
For the runner who prefers a classic waistpack and bottles, the Jurek Endure has the high-end technical qualities for premium performance. Dual 12 oz, easy-to-squeeze bottles slide readily into and out of holster pockets while a rear zipper and stash pocket offer both secure and easily accessed storage. The fanny pack will never be the same.
Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.