Review: Orange Mud Endurance Pack UPDATE

I’m a bit nit picky when it comes to gear, especially when it comes to something I could be carrying for 8 or more hours so I did a TON of research before I decided on the Orange Mud Endurance Pack.

First all the tech details from their site.

Pack Details

  • Pack Weight: – 270grams, 9.5oz.
  • Dimensions: 10″W x 13″ tall / Volume 6 liters.
  • Bladder: HydraPak 2L (70oz) elite, with quick disconnect and blaster valve.
  • Compartment 1: Bladder compartment
  • Compartment 2: Main cargo
  • Compartment 3: Zippered elastic pocket with secure key clip.
  • MUDX Technology: Trekking Pole Attachment Option. 
  • Material details: Our stretch fabric is tough, abrasion resistant, & endurance designed.
  • Shoulder pocket storage: Phone, gel, nutrition, electrolyte and more, both sides.
  • Front chest pocket storage: 15oz/450ml soft flask capable.
  • Front adjustments: 2 elastic straps have multiple adjustment locations.

Now what drew me in was the zipper pocket because I like to stash stuff like a squirrel getting ready for winter. It has stretchy front storage to hold Tailwind and my massive phone and access to a pouch that I dubbed my waffle pouch for my Honeystinger waffles that can be easily reached into. It has extra pockets on top and just an all around amazing amount of storage. Plus, it actually came with a hydration bladder and I must say, I’m a fan of the Hydrapak bladder over the Camelbak system.

Orange Mud is an awesome company and I was a big fan of the double hydraquiver before I discovered I preferred a bladder system especially when running with my dog. I still have a single hydraquiver that I hold onto for nostalgia and because my kids love to wear it. They even include a card from the CEO with his email address if you need anything.

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The front buckles can be removed and adjusted to anywhere on the front and it is meant to be “curve” friendly. I took this on several runs with the longest being about 10 miles. While I loved the pockets and all the storage, it just wasn’t for me and my husband has taken it for a few runs since then.

 

For me it was all about fit. Per their site: “Fit For Ladies: This pack is designed to be friendly with your curves. With multiple anchor points on each side and stretch elastic for the cross connect, you can configure it to fit your shape. The adjustability in sizing is very broad to cover nearly every size and shape.”

However, when I fitted it in the back, the pockets were almost too much to the side for my taste. I’m a US size 4-6 and a 34B so not really “curvy”, but I prefer my packs to be more to the center of my chest so my arms don’t brush against them. For some reason my right inner arm is my chaff point and it was something that I was very aware of. On top of that the heavier 2L of water was giving me a pain in the spot between my shoulder blades and I was getting a pressure point in the back from this…

The type of O rings they use are more rectangular than my Camelbak and so they would twist and bunch up it was like wearing a REALLY uncomfortable underwire bra

I posted this problem on the pack to a Trail and Ultra Facebook board and Josh Sprague the pack designer did contact me and offer to put a stitch in it to keep it from moving, but it was going to be a tight turnaround for my upcoming 50K and after a run when I had the shoulder pain again, I knew it was not to be. I hate wasting 135 bucks so I passed it onto my husband who is not as picky on packs as I am and went I with a Salomon pack (review coming soon).

Update
I rarely change my mind on fit issues, especially when there is chafe involved. However, I got the great tip to try a carabiner to tight the straps in the front and so I borrowed it from my husband to give it another go. The carabiner worked pretty well, but the carabiner I had on hand was too small and it restricted my chest a bit from breathing. So while I tried to find the “right” carabiner I tried this with the straps. This was a month ago and I have yet to give my husband the pack back. Yup, by fixing how the straps worked on me, it solved all the problems I had with this pack. I’ll eventually return it to my husband and order myself another one in green with the trekking pole upgrade, but the Orange Mud Endurance pack is now one of my favorite packs. An added bonus? This is the first pack I’ve had that doesn’t destroy my tech shirts. I’m so glad I gave it another shot.IMG_20170625_082613

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