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UltrAspire Surge Review

June 12, 2012

A close, and much wiser, running friend of mine, Brian Kamm, recently became tired of my insistent complaints, and boughts of under hydrating. On countless runs, he could be found sharing his ‘extra’ water or waiting while I scoured for additional water sources in the sparse Utah landscape. Perhaps, out of his own frustration with this insidious habit of carrying an isolated water bottle for 20 to 30 mile runs in scorching heat, or my miscalculations on 2 or 3 hour runs extending much longer. He therefore decided to lend an UltrAspire Surge to me, while he traveled with his family. Over the coarse of couple weeks, I tested the pack and enjoyed its more extensive capacities.

Of particular note regarding the Surge was the superior construction. This is a sturdy pack with excellent and intentional construction and design. Having seen the Meltzers using and abusing these packs for a while know, I am very confident that UltrAspire really cares about endurance athletes and the specific needs and requirements these athletes have during elite and normal use.

My favorite feature, other then the Magnon Electrolyte Pocket™, of the pack is the ease with which you can cinch the pack using the Dual side compression. Their Compressi-flex™ gives runners the quick ability to adjust the pack when the bladder has been emptied or filled, or as the terrain requires more jarring or immediate descending. In addition to the 2L capacity, now a standard for many in the Ultra scene, the pack has easy and significant carrying capacity for what might please you. The stash pockets easily carry plenty of nutrition for long runs.

The pack has been intentionally designed to contour to the shape of most bodies. Honestly, my first reaction to this when I put it on and wore it, was that it felt weird and appeared to be more appropriate for females with its lower placement of the storage pouches. Upon further examination and wear, the pack began to feel very snug to my body and I noticed less movement in the pack in comparison to my other packs. The pack is exceptionally stable on rapid descents.

Lastly, the other unique feature is the sternum strap. This is a nice discrete feature that adjusts quickly and looks lovely. I had some difficulty attaching it at first. I would recommend to attach the strap prior to running, for two reasons. Essentially the starp needs two hands to connect, unless you have super fingers. Secondly the small loop you insert the strap buckle onto is exceptionally small, and I can only imagine trying to close this while running. Here I am envisioning liability lawsuits.

Over all this is a well built pack, with good carrying capacity and intentionally designed features. You certainly won’t go wrong adding this pack to your quiver.

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