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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Product Review: UltrAspire Surge Hydration pack

In order not to commit the same grave sin twice, ie: trying a product for the first time during a race, my UltrAspire Surge hydration pack made its debut during my midweek long run.

I'm generally a 4 bottle pink FuelBelt kind of girl. However, storage is an issue. Even with the larger zippered pocket, there is no room for my phone, GU chomps, and my newly acquired "save me from vicious dogs" pepper spray. I was leafing through Runner's World one day when I saw the Surge pack toted as one of the best accessories of 2012. I put it on my Amazon wish list hoping that someone who loves me would buy it for me (there's that crazy love language thing again). My Dad came through - although he thought he was buying it for my husband. So when I saw him opening it up, I immediately stole it. (It's ok, he has forgiven me.)

The first thing I noticed was the lack of directions or instructions. I need guidance. I'm not touching anything until I read something about it first. Thank goodness for the world wide web. I watched videos, read reviews and then felt informed enough to explore.      

What I discovered while sitting on my living room floor...

Lots of pockets and storage space. Including an awesome pocket that has a magnet closure that snaps back into place.

Aluminum chest closures that are simple to hook and unhook.

The pack itself is light and fits nicely on my frame. It's constructed out of a breathable mesh and has two sets of straps to tighten the fit.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to fill the water bladder but once I did it was easy.

What I discovered while running...

Minimal to no bouncing. The water in the water bladder sloshed around for the first few steps and either it became ambient noise and I blocked it out or it stopped.

It felt a little big in the shoulders, but I only really noticed that on the walk home. My husband and I agree it is unrealistic to think something would fit me perfectly.

It was super duper easy to access the water and once I got over the "oh my I should have cleaned out the water bladder first because I think I'm experiencing death by plastic/rubber" feeling it went smoothly.

Seriously, people, rinse out your water bladder before using it, including the tube. Do not be like me and have to stop at a public restroom desperately trying to rinse out your water bladder because you've lost your sense of taste due to plastic/rubber poisoning. Do not be that person.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with my new hydration pack. It will be making it's first race appearance this Saturday for the Thrills in the Hills Trail 21k in Winder, GA. Wish it luck!

UPDATE 8/13/2014
I have been exclusively using this pack since March and I'm still a fan. It's been through short and long runs and has done its job nicely.

One of the greatest things I've noticed about it is that it doesn't stink after a long run. A big plus in my book.

If I had a complaint it would be that I wish there was an optional chest strap (above the girls) but I'm slowly getting over it. It still fits well though so it's not a deal breaker.


  1. If you want to eliminate sloshing alltogether, invert your bladder (haha) and suck the air out through the hose, creating a vacuum. Props to the chemist husband for that tip.