Friday, August 14, 2015

Outdoor Retailer Summer 15: Best of Packs and Hydration-Salomon S-Lab Peak 20, Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 3.0, Ultraspire Velocity, Hyrdapak Soft Flasks

Salomon S-Lab Peak 20 Set
i have been a big fan of Salomon S-Lab race vests and my current go-to vest is the Sense Set, reviewed here. With Salomon's elite athletes increasingly going on multi day fast packs and summit attempt,s the S-Lab line needed a greater capacity high performance pack that mirrored the fit and utility of its race vests. Thus, the 20 liter Peak 20 Set at $225.
This pack immediately caught our eye at the Salomon booth. As we stood admiring it we noticed Max King, a multi time Olympic Marathon trials qualifier, World Championships steeplechase and cross country team member and Salomon athlete nearby. He gave us a delightful tour of the pack and showed us pictures of a recent 3 day fast packing trip he took with the Peak 20. What a nice guy and great champion. Here he is modeling the pack.
Max King models the S-Lab Peak 20

S-Lab Peak 20 Set

The Peak is a derivative of the S-Lab race vests in that it has the same vest fit, multi pocketed front and super light weight. The rear "pack" area is expandable with a series of bungie cords to synch it to and up on the back as needed. It has 2 pockets for Salomon Soft Flasks up front as well as 2 zipped front pockets and 2 shoulder expandable pockets.
Peak 20 now available from Running Warehouse click here

Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 3.0
What more can I say. Scott Jurek wore his signature vest for every step of his Appalachian trail record. Ultimate Direction told us that based on trail feedback Scott received new prototypes as he hiked, FedEx somehow finding him. The result the 7 liter SJ Ultra Vest 3.0 will have  more accessible storage and about half the weight (6.2oz without 2x500ml Body Bottles, 8.5 oz with) of the 2.0 version.
SJ Ultra Vest 3.0 

SJ Ultra Vest 3.0 

Ultraspire introduced the Velocity, a 7.75 liter race pack with roomy front pockets, 2 elastic back stash pockets, a secure zipped back 2.4 L back compartment, room for a 2L bladder(not included), and 2x550ml UltraFlask "softer" bottles. The UltraFlask is somewhere between a soft flask and a traditional water bottle, very body conforming and very easy to squeeze. The Velocity has Ultraspire's MAX02 Sternum strap. Breathe easy, adjust once, lock it down with vest removable without undoing.
Ultraspire Velocity

Ultraspire Velocity MAX02 Sternum

Ultraspire Velocity
Ultrapire 550ml UltraFlask
Hydrapak is the manufacturer of soft hydration flasks and bladders for many pack manufacturers including Salomon. The sell their own branded products as well.  We found 3 nifty items we have samples of we are already trying on the run.
UltraFlask XL (left) Park City UT

Hydrapak left to right SpeedFlask, Stash 1L, Ultra Flask XL
A squarish 300 ml soft bottle, the Speedflask that's easy to carry in hand and stash in pockets.
The UltraFlask and UltraFlask XL (450 and 600ml) soft flasks with an adjustable straw, ideal for totally hands free drinking from race vest front pockets, the way I like to drink.
The Stash 1L and 750 collapsible bottle. When combined with their Watergate drinking insert a great way to carry your daily water bottle and stash in your pack when not needed. The Stash is also compatible with water filtration systems so is also a solution to filtering and filling other bottles
Hydrapak Stash 1L

Interested in other shoe brands, packs, illumination introductions at Outdoor Retailer? All our coverage at RoadTrailRun's summary page here

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