After my recent post about running to work I was so inspired I started researching a proper runningbackpack. Most forums (and the personal advice from friends) suggested a Salomon backpack and then varying packs depending on the price range. Whilst the Salomon Advanced Skin S-lab looked amazing I don’t think running to work justifies the $200+ price tag. So I settled for “the next best thing” according to many reviews, which was the Salomon XA 20. The XA 20 also has the added advantage of making a women’s specific pack!
It arrived about a week before I left on holidays and it was love at first sight! I think in that week I ran to work nearly every day 🙂 So what do I love about it:
- plenty of pockets on the waistband etc for storing odds and ends like phone, work pass, keys etc
- tonnes of space in the backpack!! It is the tardis! Day one I removed the entire contents onto my desk and was amazed at the size of the pile. I can comfortably fit my work clothes and lunch in the pack
- which leads to the next pro – it sits so comfortably on my back it feels like I am carrying nothing! When I take the bag off and hold it my the strap I’d estimate it weights about 7kg but on my back it all disappears
- one of the reasons it sits so comfortably is the multitude of adjustments possible to fit the pack to my back
- another great feature are the compression straps that hold the contents tight even if the pack is empty – no wobbling around!
- side pockets for bottles if you don’t want to use a bladder
- separate bladder pocket right on your back to keep the weight central
- Two awesome colours to choose from!
Cons: very few
- there is a strange pocket on the front with a drawstring – I’m not sure what you would put here – it is water bottle sized but I feel like a bottle would be right in my face while running. So far I have used it for nick nacks like lip balm and a hankie but that also hasn’t been 100% sucessful because it doesn’t fully close so I lost my lip balm.
- The straps are very long. When fitted to me I have a lot of excess strap. I think I will need to cut and restitch them to make it easier to reasdjust on the go (at the moment because the ends are so long I have them tucked or tied off in making it a little bit more difficult to quickly readjust)
So a lot of pros and only a few cons, which can probably be managed with a few small adjustments! In fact the pack was so good that a friend (who has another Salomon pack) upon seeing my pack immediately went out and bought one herself for The North Face 100 that is being held this weekend!