Which backpack for Cape Wrath Ultra?

by Jan 16, 2018Cape Wrath Ultra 2018, Gear tests, Long runs, Multi-day, Races, Training6 comments

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 10.20.50.jpg
Usually on a marathon distance multi-dayer with a drop bag facility, I use my trusty old Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5-set.

However, on the Cape Wrath Ultra through remote Scottish mountainside this May, I have a feeling I might need a slightly bigger bag to cope with a few extra layers, mandatory kit, my camera gear, and food.

So I’ve been asking on the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 participants closed Facebook group which backpack people are using, and which people used in 2016. Folk have been super helpful and I’m really looking forward to meeting them on the race.

Last week I emailed each brand’s PR to request one to test, so fingers crossed I am able to show you them all over the coming weeks/months. I’ll keep you updated in my Weekly Wednesday vlog update.

A number of great suggestions came up, including the following:

    • Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta


Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta / Obsidian (XS/S)

Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta / Obsidian (Medium/Large)

  • Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 (Note to self: find out why it lists this pack as Men’s on all the website info)

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 Set Running Vest – SS18 – Medium

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 Set Running Vest – SS18 – Medium

  • Inov8 Race Elite 10


Inov8 Race Elite 10

  • Montane Via Jaws 10

Montane Via Jaws 10L Backpack – AW17 – Small/Medium

Montane Via Jaws 10L Backpack – AW17 – Medium/Large

By the way, if you do decide to buy any of these running packs, the pictures and words above are all links to Amazon so if you use them it will give me some pennies, with no cost to you, which is always a nice way to show your appreciation for a helpful article on packs 😉 Every little helps! Thank you, Claire

Interestingly my coach, 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra winner Marcus Scotney, went super light and used the Montane Jaws 5…(he is sponsored by Montane) so I’m not sure how big or small I should go with my pack now.

It’s tempting to try obviously for the smallest possible to go lighter, but the 2016 race had statistically unrepeatable good sunny weather AND Marcus was going a helluva lot faster than I will be.

I can always put less in a larger pack… ha ha ha, a ha ha ha ha ah hah ha (that’s me laughing. You always fill a bag don’t you?)

The Inov8 Race Ultra 10 was the first to arrive yesterday, so I’ll do another blog post on it now. Keep reading!

p.s. Here’s a link to the Inov8 shop for the Race Ultra 10 pack if you aren’t keen on Amazon, not everyone is. Trail running kit from the Inov8 shop

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  1. jazsandalli

    For what it’s worth, I use the UD Fastpack 25 for commuting (usually around 10 miles with change of clothes and a jacket, laptop, makeup, purse, notebooks and general juzsh) and find that after the Salomon vests it’s the next best fit! It’s got a different opening from the Vesta but looks like the clasps are the same sort of style. Good luck for Cape Wrath!

    • Wild Ginger Films

      Thanks Jaz, great recommendation there too ?

  2. Geoff Cox

    After watching the Inov8 review I think that you should try an Osprey Duro 15. Sounds too big I know (although the small/medium version is around 13l) but you don’t need to fill it. The key feature for me is a huge array of pockets on the front meaning that everything I need for a run is there without needing to take the pack off. Combine that with their stow-on-the-go pole system and a lot of choice about hydration, for me it’s better than anything out there for big days. Enjoy the testing 🙂

    • Wild Ginger Films

      Oh cool thanks for the suggestion Geoff, I will certainly look into that one. It does sound a bit bigger than what I need as you say though, I wonder if they do one half that size. I’ll have a look ?

      • Geoff Cox

        They do a 6 litre but it’s not a patch on the bigger one – try the 15 (13) you’ll be surprised by how well it carries, particularly when you’re getting towards the end of a long day, that’s when the structure of the pack starts paying dividends.

        • Wild Ginger Films

          Oh ok thanks Geoff, that’s good to know. I am surprised as Osprey packs tend to be quite full or pockets/features/stuff & can be quite heavy. Will look into this ?


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