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An Ultra Runners Review of Terra Nova Laser Packs

Posted on March 11th, 2014

Derbyshire ultra runners Jamie and Clare Glazebrook have been putting the Laser packs through their paces, read about how they got on.

Laser 6

I have used the Laser 6 waist pack on several long runs and love it! It’s comfortable, easily adjustable, enables you to carry a few essentials (waterproof jacket, wallet/purse) and has a special mesh pocket to hold a 1litre bladder of water. The pipe for the bladder is easily accessible but can be neatly tucked away on the top of the pack using the compression straps. The side pockets on the waist belt are a good size and you can fit in a lot of those items you need “close to hand”, like a small camera.

It’s a really good little bag, ideal for “going light” in training or races. The waist belt and the straps all held and did not need any adjustment. Thanks to its small contact area, I didn’t get sweaty like I would if I was wearing a backpack – this is one of the key reasons I prefer a ‘bumbag’ when I can get away with the lesser capacity.

Clare Glazebrook

More information about the Laser 6 pack

Laser 10

Clare’s thoughts:

It’s small and compact but does seem to hold a lot! The main pack has a pocket for a 1L bladder and also has room for quite a few other essential items such as a waterproof, baselayer, snacks, wallet/purse. There are additional pockets which create extra space – on the waist belt (zipped, nice and spacious), on the side of the bag (mesh, good size – can hold an additional bottle of water) and on the front straps (could be used for gels and bars). Again it was very comfortable in use and kept its adjustment well.

When you think of the size difference between Jamie and me, and that we both got on so well with this pack – you can see that it should work for a whole range of people. I can see adventure racers and mountain bikers particularly getting the most from this pack.

Jamie’s comments:

The design struck me first of all – very neat looking, wide shoulder and waist webbing…almost like a halfway / hybrid between an adventure racing vest and a backpack. The zip down one side added to the neatness and the length of the compartment helps to fit the load snug against the body. The upside of all this is rock solid stability, even when going daft on a flat out fell run descent.

I used a 1 litre bladder inside to keep hydrated and the waist pockets for my obligatory flap jack and fig rolls, I carried small bottles of isotonic drink in the side storage pockets. Sufficient space remained in the pack for a waterproof cag and cap / bandanna and luxury food – the stuff I’d eat at the turnaround point. Using the zip meant a little bit of organisation required to make sure that things were packed correctly, especially as the bladder took the central spine – it was a case of fitting things around it. Once packed correctly though and the adjustments made to the straps, the stability was brilliant. It just needed adjusting as I gradually drunk the water and ‘shrunk the bladder’ so to speak. I love this pack – there’s nothing I could say that would improve it. Light weight, very functional, versatile and attractive….don’t think I can say any more than that.

More information about the Laser 10 pack

Laser 20

I loved this pack, I could definitely see myself using it in a self supported mountain marathon type event. I used the Laser 20 on 2 days when I was fell running in the Lakes. Bad weather loomed and I set off running all adjusted up. The pack bounced around a bit at first, but that was just the contents rather than the pack itself and once the compression straps were adjusted, it was just like the Ultra 20 pack– impossible to tell I was wearing it. I was carrying extra, but still on the kinder side of 5kg.

I hadn’t been sure about the centrally placed zip to start with but it worked well and the fabric / zip as a whole, did very well to keep the weather out. We weren’t in torrential downpours, more like 10-20 minute squally spells. But when the rain came down we were in exposed places and had to grin and bear it. I didn’t really notice it on high as I had wet hands etc, but when we got back to base, the inside of the pack was totally dry.

I loved this pack, I could definitely see myself using it in a self supported mountain marathon type event.

Jamie Glazebrook

More information about the Laser 20 pack

Laser 25

‘It was quite a gruelling run but the pack performed brilliantly’. Ultra Runner Jamie GIazebrook uses the Laser 25 lightweight pack on one of his weekly jaunts……

I ran with the Laser 25l pack on an 18 miles trail run. I had bulked it up with a down gilet and total weight including pack was just over 4kg. It was quite a gruelling run but the pack performed brilliantly. As the big brother to the Laser 20 I was expecting a similarly high standard. Initially it felt a bit slippy, but then I realised that was due to the fact I was trying out a compression top for the first time. The top was very silky smooth so there was minimal friction between the top and the pack. I suppose any other traditional top would not have given this feeling. It wasn’t a problem though – just felt a bit peculiar.

I tightened the pack just that little bit more to try and hold it. It still felt very comfy and crucially held the adjustments all the way through the run. Being a slightly larger size its dimensions fitted me a little better than the Laser 20. Conversely, due to the slightly more capacious side pockets, the small bottles I’d used on the Laser 20 juggled around a little more in the side pockets of the Laser 25. The solution would be to use larger bottles. There’s little more I can add to this over the Laser 20 pack.

More information about the Laser 25 pack

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