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Thursday, May 12, 2011

TNF Enduro Boa Hydration Pack

Last I talked about the things to bring along during a trail run. So how does one carry so many things around and not feel like a rag-a-bone man? The answer, my friends, is a good quality hydration bag. There are hydration bags and there are hydration bags. Some are made for trekking, some for hiking, some for mountaineering, some for cycling and some for running. The difference is the waterproofing and weight. For running, you will want one that is water proof, light weight and yet has enough storage space to keep all the barang barangs.

And so introducing the North Face Enduro Boa hydration pack

The North Face Enduro Boa hydration bag comes with a 1.5l water bladder. 1.5l is sufficient in most cases but even if it is not sufficient, it does not make sense to carry a bigger capacity bag as the weight will be an issue. Just make sure to top up at water point. At the back is a small compartment suitable for putting the first aid kit, a small towel maybe and foods. In addition, the unique patented E-VAP shoulder harness is supposed to spread out the load evenly and reduces abrasion from the shoulders.  
This is one cool bag that comes with a gladiator style front top Velcro strap instead of the usual plastic clasps. There is a small little pouch at the gladiator strap useful for putting some coins. 

The other interesting feature of the bag is that it comes with the Boa system. A simple turn of the dial and the water inside is evenly distributed again to reduce the irritating sound of water sloshing inside.

The bag comes with all the bells and whistle. Literally. There is a whistle attached to the front harness.   In addition, the magnet that is on the vertical strap is so strong that throughout all the runs, the hydration sucking tube never comes off at all. So no irritating dangling tube.

There are 2 removable front pouches affixed to the horizontal straps. Very useful for the phone and gels.. I put a phone in one and a digital camera in the other and there were no bounce at all. I suppose it is because the pouches are placed horizontally and not vertically thus with a lower centre of gravity, there is less bounce.

What I like best was the way the straps are designed. The top and bottom strap are secured via Velcro and not the usual clasps so adjustment of the tightness was an easy tear and place together. No need to worry about adjusting the belt. The Boa system was also very effective in redistributing the water on the bag.  Because of these, on my runs, I do not feel the bouncing effect compared to other bags. 

My only grouse is that due to the Boa System, putting in a fully filled bladder bag can be very difficult. I got around the problem by putting in the empty bladder first and then filling in the water.

I would highly recommend this for those who need a pure running hydration bag. It may however be a tad too small for those who are hiking and need to carry more stuff.

NB: TNF Singapore did not sponsor this product and I paid for this hydration bag.

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