This morning I took it for a test run out in the rain. I filled the bladders up and after spending about 5 hours trying to get the air out, in the process squeezing most of the water out, I gave up and decided to use my Camelbak bladder. I don’t know why the air just wouldn’t get out of the Nathan bladder. This was really annoying, although I have heard many reports that the Nathan bladders suck and a lot of people use a Camelbak bladder in a Nathan pack. So unfortunately this time I did not get to try the double bladder, which would be really handy in long ultras so I don’t need to pack my special drink at aid stops.
I loaded the pack up with just over 4kg as I think that is what it weighs when I carry the usual mandatory gear, food and water.
Once loaded, I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was! There is NO bounce! At all!! Even the sternum strap was comfortable, and usually I don’t use it on any of my packs. It wasn’t needed this time either but it was in a comfy position so it didn’t bother me.
As usual, I found I had to do the shoulder straps up as tight as possible, but unlike my other packs, I could take the pack on and off without dislocating my shoulders. The pockets on the shoulder straps were just perfect. I can fit my phone (which doubles as a camera) and there is also room to carry snacks. There are some other side pockets on the main body of the pack which are easily reached without taking the pack off. These will be perfect for carrying my ultra food.
The pack didn’t feel heavy at all. I don’t know how it works, but it doesn’t weigh down on your shoulders and I didn’t feel my form suffer from it. Usually even 2kg is too heavy for me but over 4kg felt like nothing.
I am so happy to finally get a large pack that is comfortable and doesn’t chafe. I hope I can get the hang of getting the air out of the Nathan bladders so I give the whole ‘Synergy’ thing a try with two drinks. Although I am a bit scared of the bladders bursting like many others have reported.
I am really looking forward to using this pack for my next ultra, but the weather has been terrible and the road to Wilsons Prom was washed out this week, with people needing to be rescued by boat. I imagine the tracks will be a wreck but hopefully the run wont get cancelled.