REI Flash 18 Pack
There are few things I feel I can live without. This REI pack is quickly becoming one of them. On my long 1/2 training group runs, I just feel the need for more “stuff.” Cutting down on “stuff” should be my New Years Resolution. During these frigid runs, I try to bring at least a 2nd jacket and a new shirt to change out of my sweaty running clothes, and I am learning that as a runner, I seem to need more hydration than most. The water fountains are turned off on the Lakefront Path, so I need to bring my own. For the first longer run, I left things in someone’s car. That hasn’t worked the last few weeks, so I ran 2 weeks with a swing bag from a race.
This is NOT FUN. Swing bags (drawstring backpacks) are usually given away for races. They are filled with your race number, a few advertisements, a power bar, etc. They are made cheap. And they are not fun to run in. They are too big, and swing all over. Hence, the REI Flash 18 Pack:
Why I Love It: I love the size of this bag. It holds about the same amount of “stuff” as the drawstring bags, but has a few mesh pockets for other things as well. It has a hydration pocket if later (maybe this summer) I decide to buy a pouch to go in. It stays tightly closed, holds a jacket, a few bottles of water and anything else I might need. I also love that it has a chest strap and a waist strap, so it makes it much easier for me to find and keep my rhythm in a run. I’m not holding on to the shoulder straps and trying to avoid the bag swinging all over my back. Size and weight are just right.
What I would change: I am wondering if this comes in different sizes. Right now I have the straps pulled kind of tight across my chest (these straps are up pretty high to avoid smooshing my “girls”, it buckles near my sternum), and across my waist, but the excess of the straps from pulling it tight is really long. I have to tuck the tails in to the straps so they don’t flap around or get too annoying.
Where I got it: Lincoln Park REI Store (1466 N Halsted)
What it cost: I got this for $29.50 which was right in my budget. According to REI’s website, this guy is on sale right now, so for those of you running longer runs, or looking for a good daypack, I recommend this one. I just used it as a carry-on on the plane and it works great for that too.