Designed for Adventure Running
I can’t imagine limiting my running to, well, running. The more I do with trail running, the more ideas I have for projects. Running fitness opens up all kinds of opportunities, from combining running with climbing, travel, or simply exploring deeper and higher into the mountains. I hate to use the A-word, but here goes. Let’s call it like it is: “Adventure Running.”
For Adventure Running, I need a bigger pack that still lets me move in the mountains efficiently. The new Patagonia Sloperunner Exploration Pack’s 18 liters of volume is pushing the limits of “running pack,” but provides a solution to do so many of the things I dream up.
The Sloperunner Exploration 18 liter is for big and varied days where you might need to carry climbing gear, glacier travel kit (I’m in the Alps), extra clothing for changing weather, a multi-day hut to hut tour, or unsupported missions where loads of calories need to be carried. As a photographer/runner often carrying more weight, this is a dream pack that I can run and work from.
Thanks to its unrivaled ability to control this weight, I discovered yet another advantage of the Sloperunner Exploration. For our Sierra trail running guidebook project, we’ve spent plenty of 12 hour days running and working in the high country. The Exploration has allowed me to carry a much larger burrito than I would have ever done with any other pack. And a tub of salsa. You may laugh and wonder why a mountain runner needs to take a large burrito into the mountains, but when you have a pack that easily handles said burrito and salsa, it’ll all make sense. Anyway, that burrito won’t be around for long.
When you first put the Sloperunner Exploration on, you’ll quickly notice the pack rides high and snug on the back. Load stabilizing straps cinch the pack firmly to your back by sucking all the material tight, both securing the pack and creating its own waterproof shell.
The wide shoulder harness further stabilizes the pack,evenly distributing the load to your chest. That same harness is fitted with roomy, well thought out pockets to keep food, drink and whatever else needs to be easily accessed.
One of the interesting design decisions includes two additional soft flask sleeves on the upper-sides of the pack, making four total soft flask sleeves. (Or, two soft flask sleeves and two burrito holsters.) Why so many soft flask sleeves? They are much easier and faster to refill. With multiple bottles you can have a dedicated energy drink or two, plus fresh, plain water. And for carrying, the weight can be distributed to avoid it all sloshing in one spot. Alternatively, the pack can also hold a hydration bladder and hose system.
Not everyone needs a pack like this, but for those that do it’ll be much appreciated and perhaps even inspire ideas for running adventures. Sometimes a well made piece of gear actually opens up opportunities. This would be one of those pieces.
The Patagonia Sloperunner 18 Liter Trail Running Pack
- Waterproof material made from 210D 100% Recycled Nylon
- Simple, single tube with two small, zippered interior pockets
- Ice axe attachment system
- Pole carrying system
- Four soft flask sleeves
- Abundant carrying capacity in the shoulder harness
- Attachment points for adding your own lash on straps
- Removable plastic back panel for either keeping it soft or providing more support and back protection
Features I’d like:
- A lighter interior color. The all black interior makes it a black hole, I found myself emptying everything out when in search of something.
- A compression pocket within reach on the side or back of the pack body from which a wind shell can be grabbed while on the fly. The soft flask sleeves on the top of the pack can also do this, but you’ll need to have some shoulder flexibility.
The Sloperunner Exploration will be available in the spring of 2022.
By Dan Patitucci