5 Packs for Your Run-Commute
Options for the run-commuting worker bee range from streamlined packs to minimalist waist belts
Want to learn more about commuting to work on foot? Read this first.
Mountain Hardwear Fluid Series Packs
The Dirt: The Mountain Hardwear Fluid series of packs provide the full range of commuting packs from their race vests to the Fluid 6 hybrid vest-pack to the larger sized Fluid 18 backpack. I was able to test the Fluid 6 and Fluid 18.
The Fluid 6 is a sleek hybrid vest-pack that wears incredibly comfortably – it was easy to forget I had it on. The pack is easy to adjust, and cinches comfortably when carrying heavy loads and running technical terrain. It provides small pockets on the front straps, a large compartment on the back with a sleeve for a bladder, and drawstring cords on the outside.
The Fluid 18 is the larger of the series that were tested. It looks like a traditional backpack, but sets itself apart by being lightweight and having many pockets for quick access to items. Included are two belt pockets, a large outside mesh pouch, water bottle holders, a bladder pocket and a large compartment with a small zippered pocket on the inside. Don’t think, just throw everything and the kitchen sink into this pack and comfortably run to your destination.
Best For: The Fluid 6 is a great commuter pack for the days when you want to go simple, light and fast, but carry a bit more. This pack is great for carrying a meal, hydration and light clothing, but depending on size and amount of stuff, this pack could also carry a pair of clothes for the day. Unless sweat soaked clothes are your thing, put clothes in a plastic bag to keep them dry--the pack fabric is thin.
The Fluid 18 will fit everything you need to bring. It’s a great pack to haul multiple pairs of clothes and shoes to the office at the beginning and end of the week, allowing you to run light the rest of the week. Heck, if you want to throw a laptop in the bag, give it a whirl; it’ll easily fit. Best of all, this pack may be big, but it has all-around ventilated fabric and padding, staying cool when the temperature rises.
Not Great For: The pockets and pouches on the front of the Fluid 6 pack are small, and while they fit keys they may not fit your phone or wallet. Overall, the pack could use more pockets for smaller items.
The Fluid 18 has room for everything, but may be too bulky for some run commuters. Compared to the more technical packs made specifically for trail and adventure running, this pack lacks pockets for smaller items in strategically accessible locations, such as on the shoulder straps. Though the pack has tons of adjustments to customize the fit on your body, it can be difficult to tuck the many straps away so they don’t flap in the wind.