Salomon Trailblazer 20 Backpack

Introduction

This bag replaces the very popular Salomon Trail 20 running backpack. At the same volume this pack offers a number of improvements over its predecessor and makes for a very versatile and lightweight backpack for use when trail walking or commuting. The rucksack is lightweight and can easily fold to be packed away in a suitcase when travelling making it ideal for holidays day trips. The volume of the rucksack is 20 litres and so will comfortably fit a small laptop and small electronics Offering usefulness for a morning commute.

Images

Capacity
75%
Weight
95%
Back Ventlilation
60%
Build Quality
85%
OVERALL
79%

Material and Ventilation

The Salomon trailblazer 20 is made from 100% polyester although it is not rated as waterproof something to bear in mind if you are planning a wet walking wet day. The build quality is excellent and what you would expect from a brand such as Solomon. The back hugs your bag tightly so don’t expect masses of air flow to help cool your back.

Straps

The straps have some mesh material allow air flow around the shoulders. The backpack feels light to wear and has a chest strap to offer good stability.

Hydration and Storage

The backpack includes a hanging loop that does support a hydration bladder up to 1 litre and is available separately. There is also a computer hanging sleeve inside to support and protect any laptop or tablet. The shoulder strap has a zip enclosure for small items and side pockets that stretch on each side offer further carrying capacity. There are several other bungee cords around the backpack for attaching small items.

Specification

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  • Dimensions

    48 x 24 x 18 cm

  • Weight

    455g

  • Volume

    20 Litres

  • Colours

    Citronelle/Biking Red/Black/Poseidon/Copen Blue/Green Gables

Conclusion

Like its predecessor did this backpack is winning rave reviews as being alight versatile and multi-functional bag pack that is as comfortable on the trails as it is on the morning commute. While the name Solomon attracts a slightly higher price, this is justified by an exceptional build quality and comforting fit.

Pros

  • Good quality build
  • Versatile all-rounder bag
  • Great commuting or day bag.
  • Super light

Cons

  • Fabric can catch on the zip
  • Some users have reported feeling back discomfort while wearing
  • No straps to compress the main compartment.

Vaude Splash 20 Running Backpack

Vaude Splash 20+5
Vaude Splash Key Features
  • Aeroflex ventilated back system
  • Nine pockets.
  • F.L.A.S.H shoulder strap system.
  • Internal compartment for iPad or Macbook Air
  • Hydration system compatible (not included)
  • Rain cover included
  • Padded hip belt with pockets.
  • 20 litre capacity (extendable to 25 litres)
  • Size: 47cm x 29cm x 30cm.

Material and Ventilation

bluesign certificationThe main body of the Vaude Splash 20 backpack is made from hardwearing polyamide cloth, which is polyurethane-coated to help keep rain and spray out. What is also interesting about the material is that it comes with bluesign certification. This certification supports sustainable textile production including the elimination of harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process and for consumer and workforce protection.

Straps

The Vaude Splash 20 has adjustable F.L.A.S.H shoulder strap adjustment and Vaudes Aeroflex suspension system. F.L.A.S.H stands for Floating Length-Adjusable Shoulder Harness and allows you to vary the position of the back on your back and length of the shoulder straps.

Size

The Vaude Splash 20’s outer dimensions are 47cm long, 29cm tall and 30 cm deep.

Weight and Capacity

At 830g the Vaude Splash 20 is not the lightest nor the smallest back pack in this category, but then you don’t always buy a back pack for because of this, you actually need to have functionality. The volume  of the pack is 20 litres (as the name suggests) however there is an option to expand the pack by an additional 5 litres using zips down the side. This is very handy is you occasionally need to carry more things, but don’t want a bag which is unstable and overbearing when you don’t. It comes with compression straps fitted to the side to help prevent the contents from bouncing around while you’re running. The splash comes with a concealed rain cover for when the elements take a turn for the worst.

Hydration Options

As with most packs at this size, the Vaude Spash 20 has the option of fitting an hydration pack to it. This must be purchased separately.

Conclusion

The Vaude Splash 20 is a bag which has been around for years, but has changed very little. You could take from this that customers are happy with the design and functionality of this back pack so why change it. We. have to agree, the Splash offer a high degree of versatility and can be used for a wide range of activities, from running to cycling. If you’re the sort of person that isn’t tied to just one particular sport, this might be worth a further look. We also love the range of colours available: black, green, red, brown or blue.
Pros
  • Expandable capacity (Up to 25 litres)
  • Great stability.
  • Multitude of pockets
  • Made using sustainable certification.
Cons
  • Higher weight
  • Hydration bladder not included
  • Less reinforcement than competitors

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Alpine Backpack

Introduction

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Images

Capacity
76%
Weight
48%
Back Ventlilation
50%
Build Quality
50%
OVERALL
50%

Comparison

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Material and Ventilation

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Straps

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Hydration Options

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Specification

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  • Delrin U-Frame supports the packs weight.

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  • Feature Item 1

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Conclusion

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Pros

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Cons

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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1458854655169{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1459102588026{margin-bottom: 50px !important;}”][easyazon_image align=”left” height=”500″ identifier=”B0047O39AI” locale=”UK” src=”http://www.thatrunningthing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/41Ai7154UvL.jpg” tag=”runningthing-21″ width=”333″]  

BUY NOW:

[easyazon_cta align=”left” identifier=”B0047O39AI” key=”wide-orange” locale=”UK” tag=”runningthing-21″][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Deuter Speed Lite 20 Key Features
  • Delrin U-Frame supports the packs weight.
  • Height adjusting sternum chest strap
  • Reinforced base for long lasting strength.
  • Large front pocket for valuables.
  • Additional smaller zip pocket for valuables.
  • Side mesh pockets (for water bottles).
  • Raincover included.
  • 20 litre capacity).
  • Hydration bladder compatible, up to 3 litres.
  • Size: 48cm x 26cm x 18cm.
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Deuter Speed Lite 20 Review

 

Material and Ventilation

 

Straps

   

Size

  Weight and Capacity  

Hydration Options

Conclusion

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Pros
Cons

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Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 Running Backpack

Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 Review

If you are in the market for a budget running backpack, you could do a lot worse than look at the Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12. The Velocity 12 is actually marketed as a bike pack, but will work just as well as a back pack you can use for short runs, such as commuting to work.

Key Features

  • Sternum Chest Strap
  • Front Pocket for valuables
  • Four side mesh pockets (for water bottles)
  • Raincover included
  • 12L capacity
  • Hydration bladder compatible.
  • Size: 44cm x 24cm x 13cm
  • Weight: 660g

Material and Ventilation

As with most products in this category the Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 has a system for reducing the build up of sweat on your back whilst you run. The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 backpack includes a channel down the spine to allow the movement of air and hopefully ventilation.  The backpack itself sits more flat onto your back and, More so than other backpacks in the category, so there is a slight risk of sweat build up.

The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 backpack is actually made from Nylon, or to be specific a mixture of Nailhead 420D, Cross Rip 300D and Armatech Plus 600D. Now we’ve got that out of the way…lets explain what each of these does. Nailhead 420D is a very tough and hard wearing nylon fabric which has tiny projections on the surface. The theory being that these tiny little projections actually prevent any abrasions on the surface of the material, clever eh? Cross Rip 300D is a matrix of reinforcement threads inside the normal nylon fabric which increases the strength and tear resistance. Finally Armatech Plus 600D is an abrasion resistant fabric from Jack Wolfskin made from crinkled polyester yarns which help provide a durable waterproof coating while also being colourfast and UV resistant so your bag is less likely to fade after heavy exposure to the sun.

The build quality of this back pack is what you would expect from a Germany manufacturer, of the highest level. It comes across in the feel of the material and every day use of the pack. When there are problems with any product the reports of customer service response from Jack Wolkskin are excellent.  Being based in Germany we have heard and read stories of broken parts being replaced free of charge!

The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 comes with reflective strips built into some of the seams. Along with the anchor loop (to attach a light) it means this backback is suitable for use in all seasons of the year. This is definitely an advantage (to be seen!) for anyone out there looking for a bag to use running to work and back.

One of the best features of the Velocity 12 range is the variety of colours available. While other manufacturers limit you to maybe one or two colours, Jack Wolfskin practically spoil us with a choice of six variations. Choose from yellow, black, blue, orange, dark steel and red.

Straps

Jack Wolkskin describe the straps as including a ‘full-contact suspension system”. It is true that the straps are easy to adjust to fit many different sizes of person, although unlike some other products they are made from a solid material as opposed to mesh. The advantage of them being made from mesh is ventilation is massively improved. This does stand again the Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 as the straps may cause the build up of moisture underneath them. At this price point however, it is hard to grumble too much given the other positive features of this product.

The waist belt provided is annoyingly thin and perhaps the worst feature of this backpack. It doesn’t offer much in the way of support or padding so can dig into the hips if tighten to much. As with the solid straps, it is possible to overlook this issue given the great price point of this bag.

As mentioned above, there is an anchor loop at the bottom of the back which is useful for any number of things. You could attach a lightweight running jacket or a light (for night time running).

Size

The bag has a rated capacity of 12 litres, which compares well to other products in this category. There is certainly a balance to be had between space, weight and the amount of stuff you can carry inside. The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 doesn’t have any capacity to increase this capacity further, like the Deuter Race EXP Air pack.  As a result the bag is only big enough to fit an iPad into and not a full sized laptop which might deter some people. It depends what you intend to use the bag for ultimately. You will be able to fit a work shirt into it on top of the iPad, but not must else.

Weight and Capacity

At a weight of 660g, this one of the lighter bags available, perhaps as a result of the lack of internal compartments. The back pack does have four web compartments on outside which can be used to store anything from gels to water bottles. There is also a zipped compartment on the back which is useful for stashing your mobile phone or wallet

Hydration Options

The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 backpack does include an option for inserting a hydration pack, although it is not supplied with one as standard. Again different options are available depending on your needs.

Conclusion

The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 offers exceptional value for money and will make an excellant first-time bag for the running commuter. The bag offers a decent amount of storage space and strong build quality.

Pros
  • Excellent customer service from manufacturer.
  • Rain cover included
  • Great value for those people with less demanding uses
Cons
  • Thin support strap around the waist.
  • Hydration bladder not included

Deuter Race EXP Air pack

Deuter Race EXP Air Pack

Deuter Race EXP Air pack Review

This Deuter Race EXP Air backpack comes from German backpack experts Deuter and will certainly suit the commuting runner over those of you who run endurance or ultra events. Strong, light and very durable, this expandable bag will serve you well for many years.

Deuter Race EXP Air Key Features

  • Sternum Chest Strap.
  • Wet Pocket inside.
  • Pocket for valuables.
  • Side pockets (for water bottles).
  • Raincover included.
  • 12L capacity with expandable volume (3L extra).
  • Hydration bladder compatible.
  • Size: 47 x 24 x 22 cm.

Material and Ventilation

Honestly one of the most important thing you should look for a running backpack is ventilation. The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has an internal frame called the Air Comfort Flexlite System which prevents the contents inside the bag from meeting your back. This of course means less sweating and sticky tops which something which we all want to avoid!

Deuter themselves say this about the system:

“Twin-frame construction gives the Aircomfort Flexlite System its special lightweight properties at the same time as guaranteeing excellent flexibility and ergonomic fit. The secret lies in the combination of complimentary round and flat spring steel frame profiles. It easily follows body movements and transfers the load perfectly to the hip fins. It also gives the back mesh a stable tensioned platform for the patented Deuter 3-sided ventilation system.”

Straps

The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has shoulder straps which are made from an airy mesh material. This encourages ventilation circulates and prevent moisture buildup. The shoulder straps come with a sternum strap which helps to provide extra stability when running along. The bag also comes with a hip strap which gives you extra stability on hips as you run. These are fitted with anatomically shaped, sturdy hip fins to help transfer the load from the bag to the hips. You will really see the benefits of this when running on rough or difficult terrain or if you’re practicing sprints for example.

The rucksack is constructed using Deuter’s own Ripstop 210 material along with Hexlite 100 which have fibres woven into the nylon material to increase tear strength and add more stability to the bag. These materials will repel light rain but in case of a sudden downpour there is a rain cover included to cover the bag this is stored at the base of the pack in a separate pocket.

Size

The bag is quoted as having a 12 L capacity, which is great on its own but the Deuter Race EXP Air (EXP stands for Expandable) can be enlarged by an additional 3L using the zips on the side.  The overall size of the bag is small, 47cm high by 24cm wide and 22cm deep.


Weight and Capacity

The weight of the Deuter Race EXP Air is quoted as 870 g, although we found the actual weight slightly over this.  This is a very respectable weight to have achieved, but that comes at the expense of less internal dividers for your kit.  As mentioned above if you carry lots of small items or laptop this might become annoying. There is room for an iPad or Macbook and some shoes if you’re using the bag for a commute to work. You might have to think creatively about the rest of your work clothes and be picky about what you do take or leave at work! The front zipped pocket has dividing areas for things like your wallet or phone, very handy for quick access.

Unfortunately that the aforementioned frame is curving in nature so this is going to make carrying a laptop in the back difficult. The trade-off of this means that the frame gives a consistent feeling on your back whatever you side put into the bag.  What you will have to be aware of these items are moving around in the bag, something you might be able to solve by the addition of a jackets or a jumper

Hydration Options

There are a couple of options for carrying water with this bag with side bottle pockets. There is also an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder. The Deuter Race EXP Air does not come with a bladder fitted but these are sold separately so you can pick the required capacity. As with most backpacks in this category there are attachments on the shoulder strap for the hydration bladder hose.

 

Conclusion

Clearly you buy a backpack for a specific purpose and with the Deuter Race EXP Air you are getting a strong and dependable bag which will certainly last a number of years. This bag is definitely going to suit the casual runner getting to work and back each day rather than the endurance or ultra runner looking for a full hydration pack. This is not to say the Deuter Race wouldn’t have some uses in endurance running. I have certainly used backpacks on runs up to around 15 miles to carry additional fluids and energy coursesm plus any wet weather gear (definitely needed in the UK!).

Pros
  • Comfortable rucksack for running
  • Excellent Aircomfort Ventilation System
  • Raincover included
Cons
  • Limited volume for work commuting
  • Needs more internal compartments
  • Hydration bladder not included