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Lightweight Laser Packs On Test On The 100 Mile Himalayan Stage Race

Posted on March 6th, 2014
Laser 10 lightweight pack

Derbyshire ultra runners Jamie and Clare Glazebrook have been putting  Terra Nova’s Laser packs through their paces over the last few months.  The ultimate test came towards the end of 2013 when they embarked on the  100 mile Himalayan Stage Race.

Lightweight running packs

At the start of the race wearing Laser 10 and Laser 6 lightweight running packs

 

In its 23rd year, the event takes runners 100 miles along the mountainous ridges of the border between India and Nepal in what has long been accepted as one of the world’s most spectacular and picturesque races. Undoubtedly challenging, the 2013 event was made somewhat tougher by the impact of Cyclone Phailin which swept through NW India in mid October.

How Jamie got on with the Laser 10 pack

Throughout the race I used the Laser 10 pack. It had fared well on the training I had done beforehand and with the race being supported by aid stations every 4 miles or so, I felt I didn’t need anything bigger. Going light is right, or so I thought, and this was the only pack I took. Clare took a second option, but this was the even smaller 6 litre waist pack. If only we knew about the approaching cyclone……

Day 1 the extra kit we had crammed in to adjust for the deteriorating weather conditions meant that my pack looked like a badly packed sausage….and there in the inner pouch was my only source of hydration, the 1 litre bladder. In terms of fit and comfort the pack performed flawlessly even on the flat-out downhill stretches it stuck tenaciously to my back and no ‘jiggling’ was experienced.

Day 2 and 3, I borrow a couple of hand held bottles, one carried in the side pocket and the other in the hand. I’m still able to drink on the go. The pack continues to perform brilliantly whether I’m wearing a cagoule or merino tops. On some of the more crazy technical descents I leap with abandon and have full confidence in its limpet like abilities.

Day 4 and being as it’s relatively short and a lot warmer at these lower villages both of us opted not to take a pack and just ran with a hand bottle. This was my worst day though and for the final day I loaded the pack with gels, salts and energy drink in order to plod to the finish.

My verdict was that the Laser 10 was a good looking pack with a long slim ‘footprint’ on the back which made for an ‘airy’ fit and minimal sweating. It was supremely stable and held everything in place whether it was in the main compartment or the external pockets. I used one of the shoulder strap pockets to hold the camera and it fitted brilliantly but could also be retrieved quickly in the event of a sudden photo opportunity.

More information about the Laser 10 pack

 

Laser 10 pack

Laser 10 pack

 

 

Clare too loved the Laser 10 and given our size difference I think it shows the versatility of the product.

 

 

 

Here’s what Clare thought about the Laser 6 waist pack

Clare chose to use the Laser 6, 6 litre waist pack on day 1 as she was counting on not needing  to carry much (due to the regularity of checkpoints). It was comfortable, easily adjustable and enabled her to carry a few essentials (waterproof jacket, hat, gloves and a 1L bladder of water). The pipe for the bladder was easily accessible – she developed a technique of neatly tucking it away on the top of the pack using the compression straps.  The side pockets on the waist belt are a good size and Clare could fit in those items needed “close to hand”, like a small camera, inhaler, energy gels/bars.  The waist belt and the straps all held and did not need any adjustment. It was a really good bag which worked well for her in the race.

More information about the Laser 6 pack

 

 

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