Moonlight Mountain Gear Bright As Day 800 Headtorch Review

The Bright As Day 800 headtorch from Moonlight Mountain Gear is a powerful, versatile torch. Here I take a look at its features and discuss who might use it.

For some types of running you can get away with a head torch that offers moderate levels of brightness and short battery life. However there are times when you need something significantly more powerful and with a battery that can see you through an extended outing. The Bright As Day 800 falls into the second category.

photo of Moonlight Mountain Gear Bright As Day 800 head torch

Moonlight Mountain Gear Bright As Day 800

First impressions

As soon as you see the B.A.D. 800 you can tell it is a quality product. From the sleek, black, aluminium design of the torch unit to the simple yet sturdy battery pack with its thick connecting cable, the torch gives the impression that it is built to last. There is no cheap, flimsy plastic that is likely to crack or break after a few uses. It simply looks great!

Obviously the use of aluminium rather than plastic, and a battery with enough juice to last all night is going to come with a weight penalty. When you pick the torch up you can tell that it is heavier than some others, but this feels reassuring rather than a burden. The soft, zippered carrying pouch with its Moonlight Mountain Gear logo rounds off the quality vibes.

Moonlight Mountain Gear Bright As Day 800 head torch

BAD night out


The Bright As Day 800 is very easy to operate. It has 4 brightness settings activated by a single large button on top of the head unit. One press switches the torch on in its lowest setting of 40 lumens. A second press gives 200 lumens, another press gives 400 lumens and a fourth press switches to the brightest setting of 800 lumens – hence the name of the torch. A double press whilst the torch is on takes you to flashing strobe mode. A long press switches the torch off. The torch unit has dual beams, both of which illuminate together giving a mix of floodlight and spotlight combined.


Moonlight Mountain Gear Bright As Day 800 head torch on charge

USB-C battery on charge

The battery is a powerful 4700 mAh Li-ion unit with an external USB – C charging port (a charging cable is supplied). This makes recharging really simple so there’s no excuse for setting off with a half charged battery! A red light shows that the battery is charging and this turns to blue when fully charged. The battery affixes easily to the rear of the headband and is secured with a wide velcro type strap. The B.A.D. 800 is versatile in that it comes supplied with a one metre extension cable that allows the battery to be removed from the headband and carried in a pocket or bumbag / backpack. This is worth considering in very cold conditions where protecting the battery from the cold will help preserve battery life. The off-the-head battery option also gives flexibility if wearing a helmet, (what do you mean you don’t wear a helmet for running!) useful for cyclists for example. It is also good to have that option as some people find batteries worn on the rear of their head to be uncomfortable. The torch and battery combined weigh 248g of which 100g is the battery, the actual torch unit only weighs 55g with the head strap and cable accounting for the rest.

A further feature that adds to the multi sport use of the torch is the GoPro compatible mount. A large knurled knob allows the torch unit to be completely removed from the head band and it can be re-mounted onto a GoPro mount on a chest strap, helmet or handlebars.

photo of Moonlight Mountain Gear GoPro mount

GoPro type head unit

On test

I’ve been using the B.A.D. 800 on night runs in the Peak District for the last 6 weeks. One of the first things I consider when using a head torch is ease of operation. Some torches have lots of settings but use two buttons and multiple sequences of presses to scroll through the settings. I find it really frustrating if it’s a complicated process to get to the required setting! The Bright As Day doesn’t suffer from this problem, scrolling through the brightness settings is very intuitive. Another thing to consider is how easy the torch is to operate whilst wearing gloves. If you are running in the dark in winter there’s a high chance that you will be wearing gloves, maybe thick ones or even mittens. I found that the single large button on top of the torch could easily be pressed even when I was wearing mittens.

Battery life is obviously important. Have you ever been out on a run and had your torch die on you? No? Just me then! I’m always quite sceptical about manufacturers’ claims regarding battery life so I tested the torch against Moonlight Mountain Gear’s claims. They claim 4hrs on full power of 800 lumens. I fully charged the torch then left it switched on on maximum setting. It lasted 3 hours 50 minutes before it flashed and went to low power mode. At least it doesn’t go out completely and leave you in the dark! I got another 20 minutes before it switched off completely. I did this test at home in a warm room so you may get slightly less in cold conditions.

picture of Moonlight Mountain Gear BAD 800 battery life

I got slightly less than claimed battery life

I found that I was able to do lots of running and fast paced walking on setting #2 which would probably give over 7 hours of battery life. I upped the power to 400 lumens for some faster paced running and if I wanted to see further ahead. I did use the torch on full power just for the sake of it and it is very impressive! However I found that the highest setting was overkill for running and I’d really just use it occasionally, to pick out a distant trig point or dry stone wall for example.

The torch comes with a head strap that allows you to remove the over-the-head section and just wear a single band around the head. I tried both ways and didn’t find that I needed the over-the-top strap. The head band has a silicone coating on the inside to help with grip. I used it mainly whilst also wearing a hat or buff and found that it always stayed in place. I did find it a bit tricky to adjust the fit of the head band. I’d got it a bit too tight on the first outing and it took a while to slacken it off – I had to take my gloves off to do so. As such it isn’t ideal to swap between users with different sized heads or if you need to adjust it on the go if putting a hat off or on for example.


The Moonlight Mountain Gear Bright As Day 800 isn’t in the category of lightweight head torches and it isn’t cheap. However it is powerful with great battery life and is simple to operate. The GoPro mount and battery extension lead make it a versatile torch for multi sport use. If you want a torch for short runs on easy terrain you don’t need this one. However if you want a robust torch that will give you a long battery life and plenty of power this would be a great choice. I’d happily use the B.A.D. 800 for a Bob Graham Round or similar mountain outing. It has gained a great reputation in Europe and the U.S. where it was worn by winners of the Hardrock 100, Western States 100 mile and UTMB races in 2022.

picture of Moonlight Mountain Gear BAD 800 head torch

it’s a winner!


800 lumens, 4700mAh Li-ion USB-C.

Weight – 248g (head unit 55g)

RRP – £145

Moonlight Mountain Gear also make even brighter torches designed for faster paced activities such as mountain biking and skiing. Check their website for more details:

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Nitecore NU25 / NU25UL Headtorch Review – How does it perform?

Nitecore head torches are becoming increasingly popular with hikers and runners who want a lightweight torch that still offers good performance in terms of brightness and battery life. Here I look at Nitecore’s latest lightweight offerings, the NU25 and the NU25UL.

The Nitecore NU25 and NU25UL are essentially the same torch with a different headband. The UL shaves around 10g off by just using elastic cord rather than a cord and strap combination on the NU25. Take the headbands off and you’ve got identical torches. The torch body is plastic which combined with the headband design gives a very lightweight torch. I tested the torches on numerous outings whilst trail running and camping in the Peak District.

Nitecore NU25 & NU25UL side by side

Nitecore NU25 & NU25UL


The torch unit comprises of dual lenses, giving floodlight and spotlight, which can be used either on their own or in combination. In dual mode there are three brightness settings; low, medium and high. There is also an ultra low setting, strobe mode and red light mode using  two small red LEDs.

photo of Nitecore NU25 head torch

Nitecore NU25

On the top of the torch are two buttons, a rectangular on / off button and a circular mode button. A long press of the on / off button turns the torch on in dual mode (both spot and floodlights illuminated) on its lowest setting of 60 lumens. Another press increases the brightness to 200 lumens and a third press goes to the brightest setting of 400 lumens. Pressing the mode button allows you to choose either floodlight or spotlight if you don’t want to use them combined and you can choose either 60 or 200 lumens on each. The mode button also takes you to red light mode (you can choose either constant or flashing). An ultra low, 6 lumen white light setting is reached by double pressing the on / off button. Strobe / SOS mode is reached by double pressing the mode button and gives a choice of regular flash or dot dot dash flash pattern. Finally, a single press of the mode button whilst the torch is off gives you the battery power indicator; 4 tiny blue LEDs show how much battery is left according to how many light up.

Nitecore NU25 USB C recharge

USB C recharge and battery indicator

The elasticated cord on the headband is reflective and also glows in the dark. Tension can be easily adjusted, even whilst on the move by pulling the cord through a toggle. The lamp unit can be adjusted to tilt downwards and a rubber cover protects the charging port. The IP66 waterproof rating means you don’t need to worry about the torch failing in the wet – so no excuse not to go out if it’s dark and raining!

Nitecore NU25 and NU25UL side by side

same torch different strap


The NU25 is powered by an internal 650mAh li-ion battery which is charged via an external USB – C port.


NU25 58g, NU25UL 47g (on my scales)


NU25 £49, NU25UL £45

My thoughts:

Does all that selection of setting sound a little complicated?! It took me several uses to figure out how to switch between the different modes and sometimes I actually needed to take the torch off my head and look at it to see which lamps were illuminated! Often it was a case of pressing the buttons at random until I settled on a setting that seemed best. It doesn’t help that I have several different torches, each with different operating functions and admittedly if this was your only torch you’d probably soon get used to its operation.

The buttons are very small and lie quite flush with the body of the torch. This makes using the switches whilst wearing gloves quite difficult and with mittens it is almost impossible. Not a problem if you are using the torch without gloves but something to consider if using it in winter. The on / off button does have little pimples which help to locate it if you are gloveless. I tried both torches to get a feel for the different head bands and found the slightly heavier non UL version to be more comfortable. I would probably forgo a little bit of weight saving and choose the slightly heavier head band if I was choosing between the two torches. The reflective cord is useful if you want to be seen from behind or the side, for example whilst running on unlit roads.

Battery life is claimed to be 2 hrs 40 mins on maximum power. I tested the NU25 by fully charging it then leaving it on Dual Beam full power mode (indoors in a warm room) and it lasted for 2 hrs 27 minutes (I’d expect that it maybe a shorter duration if outdoors on a cold night) It then suddenly switched to a very dim reserve mode, this would be quite a shock if you were running, but at least you aren’t cast from high power to complete darkness all at once! Reserve mode lasted another 50 minutes before the torch switched off altogether. The external USB – C port allows you to easily charge the torch, for example whilst driving or even via a power bank whilst you are carrying it. The fact that there is no compartment to open to access the battery means there is no clip or hinges to break. Recharge from completely drained to fully charged (4 blue lights) took just over 2 hours using the supplied USB-C cable.

chart showing Nitecore battery life figures

claimed battery life is less than in reality!

I found that the medium setting of 200 lumens was sufficient for easy trail running and night walking with the odd burst of 400L in more tricky terrain. The ultra low mode was useful for camping when I wanted the inside of my tent to be gently illuminated. The cord allowed me to easily hang the torch inside my tent and the glow-in-the-dark cord means you can find your torch again for several minutes after you have turned it off.

NU25 floodlight mode

NU25 in floodlight mode


Whilst this is not the the torch that I’d use for serious mountain outings or Bob Graham support etc the Nitecore NU25 is a great torch for shorter runs on less technical terrain where battery life and brightness are less important. It is still powerful enough to cope with a very long run on medium power. The settings can take a little getting used to and it can be tricky to change modes whilst wearing gloves. It is my torch of choice for fast-packing and lightweight camping as at around 50g the weight is barely noticeable yet it packs enough of a punch to get you off the hill in the middle of the night if needs be. It would also make a great back up torch if heading into the mountains.

More detailed video review here:

Available here:
Nitecore Website:

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Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 Bone Conduction Headphones Review

The Runner Pro2 are the latest version of bone conduction headphones from Nank (Naenka). I’ve tried two of their previous models so was interested to see what was different about the latest version.

Note that Naenka have changed their name and are now known as Nank (Naenka). My reviews of the original Runner Pro can be read here and the Runner Neo review here

photo of Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2

Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 waterproof headphones

So, what has changed? Visually the Runner Pro2 look very similar to previous versions, they share the same basic shape with the flexible cradle looping round the back of the head and over the ears and the bone conduction units resting on your temples. They are operated by three small buttons on the outer right hand side; on /off, volume up, volume down. The volume buttons also allow you to skip forward and back if listening to downloaded audio files. As with the original Runner Pro, charging is done via a magnetic port and USB.

photo of Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 charging port

magnetic charging port

The shape and position of the buttons is slightly different to the original version but their function is the same. A tiny LED light glows red whilst charging and changes to blue when the headphones are fully charged. Battery life is around 8 hours (at 60% volume) so whilst they might not last you through your next ultra race there is plenty of capacity for long runs and rides. Turning up the volume reduces battery life but wearing the foam earplugs (supplied) dramatically enhances the volume without cutting out surrounding sound.

Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2

fully charged

The main difference is that the Runner Pro2 is upgraded in terms of performance with Bluetooth 5.3 rather than 5.0 (not that I noticed any difference here!) and is slightly lighter at only 32g compared to 37g. The weight difference is negligible and I didn’t notice any difference in comfort whilst wearing them compared to the other Naenka models. The real upgrade is the internal storage capacity; up from 8G to 32G meaning that you can load much more audio to keep you entertained on your long runs or rides. Uploading files is very straightforward, you simply attach the magnetic charger and plug the cable into your computer USB port. Your computer will recognise the device allowing you to drag and drop MP3 files. The Runner Pro2 comes pre-loaded with two music files which you can easily delete if they aren’t to your taste!

Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 connected to PC

connected to PC to upload audio files

Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 audio files

spot which file I loaded!

The original Runner Pro had a built in microphone that allowed you to take phone calls and talk whilst wearing the headphones. This isn’t available on the Runner Pro2. I your phone rings whilst wearing them you will be able to accept the incoming call by pressing the function button and you will hear the caller but you will have to get your phone out actually talk back to them! Although named “Runner” Pro2 the waterproof rating of IP68 (IXP8) means that they are fully waterproof and can be used for swimming. It is best to listen to audio via the inbuilt storage for this as Bluetooth has a limited range under water.

The control buttons on the headset are very small and thus difficult to operate whilst wearing gloves. I didn’t find this a big problem because I set the audio going on the required volume before I set off rather than trying to make adjustments once running. If you want to skip forward and backwards through audio files then it would be tricky with gloves on but not if you simply want to listen to a podcast or audio files in sequence. Pairing the headphones via Bluetooth is very straightforward and it is possible to pair to more than one device (I have them paired to my phone and TV). When turning the headphones on a voice tells you “Bluetooth connected”, thankfully the volume is turned down slightly compared to on the Runner Neo which was too loud!

photo of Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 controls

tiny buttons

The Runner Pro2 comes simply packaged (no chocolate box this time!) I found that I didn’t need to use the rubber tensioner and most tech savvy users probably won’t need to read the user manual as operation is fairly straightforward.

photo showing Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 box contents

box contents

Overall impressions

The Nank (Naenka) Runner Pro2 bone conduction headphones are a good choice for runners, cyclists and swimmers who want to listen to audio whilst exercising, but still want to hear their surroundings. Being able to hear what is happening around you is much safer than only being able to hear your music. Some races don’t allow full headphones for this reason, but will allow bone conduction headphones. Personally I don’t listen to anything whilst running outdoors, I prefer the sounds of nature (and it is my thinking time!) However I do wear headphones on a bike turbo trainer or treadmill, especially if I am in the shed staring at the wall as opposed to at the gym looking at the TV!
And you don’t have to use them only whilst doing sport, I use them to listen to podcasts whilst around the house and like the fact that I can do so without having to be attached to cables connected to my phone.

I haven’t used any other brand of bone conduction headphones so I can’t make comparisons. Price wise the Nank (Naenka) range are good value compared to rival brands.

RRP £99 (15% Discount Code: David15)

Available here

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Naenka Runner Neo Bone Conduction Headphones Review

Runner Neo are the latest bone conduction headphones from Naenka, featuring wireless charging and with more battery life than their previous models. The Runner Neo are designed for runners who want to listen to audio without compromising their awareness of the surroundings.

I recently reviewed Naenka’s Runner Pro bone conduction headphones, (link here) the Runner Neo are the latest offering with lots of similarities but a few key differences. I’ve been testing them for a few weeks, here are my impressions.

photo of Naenka Runner Neo bone conduction headphones

Runner Neo bone conduction headphones

Visually the Neo look very similar to the Pro, I opted for a green pair though they are also available in grey or red. They are an open ear design whereby the audio transmitter sits just in front of your ear on your temple or cheekbone rather than in your ear. The sound waves are conducted through your cheekbones allowing you to hear both the transmission and the sounds of your surroundings. They consist of a silicone coated titanium frame that wraps around your ears and round the back of your head / neck. This is very flexible yet doesn’t feel fragile. In order to suit all sizes the headset is simply tensioned by a piece of elastic that can be adjusted according to the size of your head. You may find that you don’t actually need to fit the tensioner. Along with the headphones themselves you are also supplied with a “wireless” charging cable and three pairs of in ear inserts which are designed to enhance the sound without blocking out external noise completely. The inserts are in three different sizes and there is also a pair of conventional ear plugs. A basic user manual is also included.

photo of Naenka Runner Neo bone conduction headphones box

Runner Neo plus accessories

In use

Although the name implies that the headphones are for runners, they would be equally suitable for other activities such as cycling or walking. Using the Runner Neo is fairly straightforward. First you need to pair them with another Bluetooth device i.e your phone. You can choose more than one device which is good if you want to share use of the headphones. Once paired you simply listen to the audio on your paired device through the headphones. The main control buttons are on the bottom of side part of the headphones which sits behind your right ear. The buttons are very small and you will struggle to operate them if you are wearing gloves, something to bear in mind for winter use. Be careful if you turn the headphones on whilst wearing them because a loud female voice announces “Welcome to Naenka Bone Conduction Headphones…!” Similarly when turning the headphones off the voice announces “Power off”. If you are wearing the in-ear enhancers these announcements are startlingly loud and there is no way to adjust the volume! Playback volume can be adjusted by the small buttons on the headset which also allow you to skip backwards and forwards between songs or podcast episodes. Other features include optional voice mode enabling you to speak to your smart phone to select audio. You can also answer phone calls at the press of a button on the earpiece (as long as you can remember where it is!) rather than having to dig your phone out of your bag should it ring whilst using the headphones.

Sound quality

Audio quality with the Runner Neo is good, I didn’t notice any improved sound quality compared to the Runner Pro version and I haven’t used any other make of bone conduction headphones so I can’t make any comparisons. The in-ear enhancers are anatomically shaped ear plugs that fit snugly in your ear and are designed to enhance the sound quality. They don’t need to be worn but they do significantly increase the volume without completely blocking out surrounding sounds.

photo of Naenka Runner Neo control buttons

very small control buttons

The Runner Neo use a wireless charging cradle. This sounds a little deceptive as they still use a USB type wired charging cable but the headphones simply sit in the cradle rather than physically plugging into anything. As such there are no contacts or electrodes to get damaged or dirty. This is a key difference between the Neo and the Pro models as the Pro use a plug in charger. Naenka claim that you will get 10 hours of playback time between charges with the Neo, a couple of hours more than the Pro. To be honest I didn’t let the battery drain all the way down before I recharged the headphones and I estimate that I used them for 5 hours between charges. Small flashing LEDs on both the charger and headset confirm that charging is taking place and the light turns to constant when they are fully charged. The light on the headset flashes rapidly why the battery needs recharging.

photo of Naenka Runner Neo bone conduction headphones on charge

wireless charging

Another important difference from the Runner Pro version is that the Neo don’t work as an MP3 player so you can’t load audio straight to the headphones themselves, you’ll need to take your phone with you on your run.

I wouldn’t describe the headphones as comfortable, I found that it took a while to get used to the feeling of running whilst wearing them. However neither are they particularly uncomfortable, I wore them constantly for a 90 minute run without issue. They remained in place without bouncing around even when I was running on uneven, fell terrain. I found that after wearing them for some time, when I took the headphones I could tell I had been wearing them and the sensation of having something in contact with my head lasted several minutes. This wasn’t uncomfortable, just something to get used to. I wore them both with and without sunglasses and also with and without a hat. The headphones are waterproof with a rating of IP66 meaning they can be used in the rain (good job as I got soaked on one particular run!) and you needn’t worry about getting them sweaty.

photo of runner wearing Naenka Runner Neo bone conduction headphones

testing their waterproof credentials!

The advantage of bone conduction headphones compared with in ear “pods” is that you can still hear sounds from your environment, so if cycling you can hear traffic or if running you can hear someone running up behind you. However this requires the sound transmitting part of the headset to be held in place on your cheekbone which in turn requires a wired frame that connects the two “earpieces” and wraps around the back of your head / neck. This design means that you can’t lean your head back on something or lie on your side whilst wearing them which means that they are much more suited to active sport rather than recreation. I tried to use them for watching TV but found that my natural relaxed position wasn’t possible because of the frame.

Technical specs:

Lightweight (30g including tensioner on my scales), waterproof (IP66), 10 hr battery life, wireless charging via USB type cable, Bluetooth connectivity.

RRP – £99 (15% Discount Code: David15)

Full details on Naenka website

Overall impression

Lightweight, easy set up, reasonably comfortable, good audio quality, cheaper than some other brands.

Loud voice when turning on and off! Their design doesn’t allow for recreational use eg wearing them whilst lying down.

The Naenka Runner Neo bone conduction headphones look very similar in design to the Naenka Runner Pro that I recently tested. The key differences being that the Neo use wireless charging and aren’t an MP3 player, however they last for longer before recharging and are fractionally lighter.  I didn’t notice an improvement in sound quality with the Neo, to my ears the quality is good on both models. They feel stable in use and reasonably comfortable. At less than £100 they offer good value for money. Although the name implies they are made for runners they would equally suit cyclists or walkers or indeed anyone who wants to listen to audio without it interfering with their awareness of the sounds around them.

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Camelbak Octane 22 Trailrunning Backpack Review

The Camelbak Octane 22 is a lightweight backpack with lots of storage options. Here I look at its features in more detail and discuss what activities it might be used for.

Firstly, the name is quite deceptive with 22 referring to the pack’s capacity of twenty two litres. This is quite small for a backpack and not really sufficient to carry enough kit for a lightweight camping trip. However the 22 refers to the internal capacity, once you add the storage of the external stretch pockets and numerous pockets on the harness the Octane offers much more volume and carrying capacity.

photo of Camelbak Octane 22 backpack

lots of storage options

As soon as you see the pack you notice how much external storage it has. On the back (I don’t know why some manufacturers call this the front!) there is a large stretch mesh pocket. This is large enough to fit my lightweight 1 person tent. Then on each side there is a slightly smaller stretch mesh pocket that will easily carry a 1 litre bladder or lightweight waterproofs with room to spare. These side pockets have an elasticated cord at the top to help keep items secure. These also act to secure trekking poles should you wish to carry them. There is a small loop at the base of each side of the pack through which to insert the other end of a pole, so you carry one at each side. The location of the loops means that you’d have to take the pack off to attach and remove the poles, you wouldn’t be able to stow them on the move.

photo of Camelbak Octane 22 pack fully loaded

loads of room in the stretch back and side pockets

On the front of the pack the chest and waist straps form what Camelbak call the “Command Centre”. This implies that all the important things that you might need quick access to are readily to hand and easily accessible. There’s no computer or bank of switches in the command centre but there are pockets – lots of them! On each of the chest straps there is a mesh pocket that is deep enough to fit a 500ml soft flask (not supplied) and below these and overlapping them there is a fabric (Cordura) pocket that can fit food, gels, compass, map extract etc. Then below this on the right hand side of the harness there is a small stretch mesh pocket with only a small opening to it. I wasn’t sure how useful this was at first but when I came to wear the pack I realised that it was ideal for stashing empty wrappers. The small opening keeps them from falling out and blowing away. On the left hand side there is a zipped pocket that easily fits a reasonably sized mobile phone. Then on the hip belt there is a zipped pocket on each side. I can just about squeeze my phone into these but they are probably better for hat, gloves, food and other small items. There is also an emergency whistle easily accessible on the upper left chest strap.

So there are lots of places to carry your kit before you even get to the main storage compartment. This is accessed by a double zip that opens up the whole back section of the pack meaning that you pack it like a holdall rather than filling it from the top. This has pros and cons; it makes packing and then accessing your kit really easy but you have to be careful not to over stress the zip. On a pack that you fill from the top you can really squash things down inside, but you can’t do that with this design.

photo of Camelbak Octane pack unzipped

main compartment zips open

With the pack fully unzipped there a more internal storage features. Five small pockets on the back and two larger ones, one on each side allow you organise items within the pack. I haven’t really found that I use these and think they are a bit unnecessary, I just fill the main compartment. You’d probably find them useful if you like to keep things organised! There is also a medium sized zipped pocket on the inside of the flap. This has a key clip so I assume it is designed as a place to keep your valuables safe. However, the very last thing that people probably pack is their car key and in order to reach the secure pocket you need to unzip the main compartment. If you’ve packed everything nice and tight then items will fall out!

photo showing inside view of Camelbak Octane 22 pack

internal organiser!

The Octane has another zipped compartment, handily identifiable by a blue zip pull, this is designed to house the 2 litre reservoir that comes supplied with the pack. The reservoir has a rigid plate to help feed it into the compartment when filled with water. I prefer to use soft flasks and a filter rather than a bladder / reservoir so in that scenario this compartment becomes additional storage. I find it is ideal to carry my tent footprint / groundsheet protector which easily slides in and keeps dirt and water away from my other items once it’s been used. There is also a small zipped pocket on the bottom of the pack that contains a waterproof cover (or a better place to keep your car keys!)

photo of Camelbak Octane 22 pack

reservoir compartment or extra storage

The Octane 22 is a unisex, single sized pack but it is highly adjustable. The two sternum straps fasten with a clip buckle and simply slide up and down to adjust for comfort. The waist has a larger buckle and there are also adjusters at either side of the harness where it connects the main pack to the front straps. I’m small – 28 inch waist and 35 inch chest so I have the adjustment straps done up close to maximum but there is loads of “slack” to let out for bigger bodies. Information supplied with the pack state that it will suit chest sizes from 33 to 47 inches. The pack is made from water repellent Cordura, lightweight stretch mesh and has a flexible foam back that provides a bit of padding and prevents items in the main compartment from digging in your back. The adjusting straps aren’t elasticated but the fabric of the chest straps is slightly stretchy. This gives the pack a bit of “give” rather than it feeling too restrictive.

The pack is ideal as a reasonably sized day-sack for hill walking and trekking. I’ve used the Octane 22 for ultralight camping trips where I want to move fast and light with minimal kit rather than carry a bigger pack. It would definitely be big enough for a mountain marathon if you were aiming for speed rather than comfort and you were sharing some of the load with a partner.

One size, unisex.
Weight – 890g (not including reservoir)
RRP – £170

Overall impression

The Camelbak Octane 22 is a lightweight backpack with much more storage capacity than its name implies. It is highly adjustable to fit a wide range of body sizes. It would be a good choice for walkers and trekkers or for campers who want to take the minimalist, fastpacking approach. It would also make a good mountain marathon pack for runners wanting to go fast and light.
Likes – Lightweight, lots of storage, more capacity than the name suggests, long zip giving ease of access to all of the main compartment, lots of size adjustability, looks and feels good quality / well made.
Dislikes – Expensive, needs a key clip on an external pocket, overkill on internal organiser pockets, “Command Centre” – it’s not a spaceship! 🙂

More detailed video review here:

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My Fastpacking Kit

Getting out for a run or fast hike, with a small pack and some lightweight kit for an overnight camp, is fantastic! Here’s a description of some of the kit that I use.

Shelter – tent or tarp?

I have two options: a 1 person lightweight tent and a small tarp. The tent is the Nordisk Telemark 1 LW; the tarp is the DD Hammocks SuperLight S. Although the tarp is lighter and packs down smaller than the tent, it requires use of a bivvy bag to protect my sleeping bag from condensation (even on a breezy night the tarp can develop condensation on the underside which can drip or otherwise wet anything that it comes into contact with). I’ve got the Alpkit Hunka bivvy (as seen in the photo below.) Using a tarp also requires some form of groundsheet to protect the bivvy bag and help keep it clean. You also need a pole, unless you are going somewhere that you know you can set it up with trees. I’ve made my own pole from 3 sections of spare tent pole. I’ve also got an Alpkit Vertex Carbon pole, but I find my DIY one works fine and is easier to set up. My preferred tarp configuration is this asymmetrical set up giving more headroom at one end.

photo of DD Hammocks Superlight S tarp

tarp life! 

So the size and weight of the tent is pretty much the same as the tarp, pole and bivvy bag. The tent is incredibly light, less than 900g, and even lighter if you don’t use the inner. You can prop the door open to give it a tarp like feel if you don’t want to be zipped in. I will often sleep with the tent set up like this. So, tent or tarp? I like both – if the forecast is good and there are no midges it’s great to lie under a tarp and watch the night sky, then awake with the morning sun on your face . If the forecast isn’t as good or if it is midge season I’ll go with the tent.

photo of Nordisk Telemark 1LW tent under Great Gable

great tent, Great Gable

Sleeping bag

For summer I use a very small and lightweight bag: the OMM Mountain Raid 160. Although made with PrimaLoft, not down, it packs down very small. However, I have felt cold in it so I reserve it for mid summer or boost it with a down jacket. If you are taking a down jacket anyway for sitting around in then you could sleep in it too, that way you might get away with a smaller / lighter sleeping bag.
My 3 season bag is a Rab Mythic 400. This is my luxury item! It’s a quality down bag, expensive but worth it, as it offers exceptional warmth to weight / size. Again it can be boosted with a down jacket if needed, for colder winter nights.

For deep winter camping I have an old Rab Ladakh 800 down bag. It weighs about 1.6kg so certainly isn’t a fast packing item, but it is warm!

photo of OMM and Rab sleeping bags

Mountain Raid 160 and Rab Mythic 400

Sleeping mat

Last time I did the OMM Mountain Marathon I used a small piece of foam and bubble wrap to sleep on. Actually I didn’t sleep, I lay there for most of the night, very cold and uncomfortable! I now use a 3/4 length mat, the Pariah Recharge S. This is insulated with an R value of 4.2 so it can cope with cold ground, yet packs away very small, barely bigger than a 500ml soft-flask. One of the advantages of being short is that I can get away with a three quarter length pad!

I have experimented with an inflatable pillow, the Alpkit Drift, but I actually find it more comfortable to put a jacket or spare clothes inside a fleece pillowcase and use that.

photo of Pariah Recharge S sleeping mat

small guys only need small mats!


As previously mentioned, if using just a tarp I use a groundsheet to give some barrier from the damp and possibly dirty ground. I have two DIY groundsheet options; one is a piece of Tyvek (see tarp photo) cut to size as a footprint for my tent; the other is a lightweight emergency bivvy bag that I can peg down and lie on. I also use one of these (usually the Tyvek) with the tent just to protect the floor from sticks, stones, sharp bits of heather etc.

Cook Kit

Unless I’m in a rush to cook or brew up (which is rarely) then I prefer using alcohol. Bioethanol and meths are both reasonably cheap and easily available in DIY stores. I have two Speedster Stoves burners, these are incredibly small, lightweight and simple. They are simply a small tin containing ceramic felt and are thus very inexpensive. There is very little to go wrong, you just pour on the alcohol and light it. They are spill proof too so unlike some meths burners such as the Trangia they won’t send a stream of burning fuel flying if accidentally kicked over. The smaller Speedster burner holds 20ml of fuel whilst the larger one holds 30ml.

My mate laughs at me as he fires up his MSR Pocket Rocket and I set up my alcohol burner and windshield. He can have almost have finished his brew before my water has boiled – but he can’t carry his stove and fuel in his pocket, and as for lugging all that extra fuel up the hill! Plus, my burner costs less than a fiver!

photo showing Speedster Stoves alcohol burners

small and smaller Speedster burners!

As a windshield I either use a Speedster Stoves combined windshield and pot-stand which can be made specifically to suit your pot dimensions. Or I use my DIY titanium “Caldera Cone” type stand / shield. I made a 2 piece one that weighs only 28g and nests inside my 650ml mug. Both of these designs are very efficient as they funnel hot gases up the sides of the pot or mug. I’ve found that 300ml of water usually boils in around 7 minutes and I’ve managed this with only 12ml of fuel on a windless day. With my DIY cone I can boil 500ml of water with just 20ml of bioethanol. I use a Soto windproof lighter as it allows you to angle the flame onto the burner whilst it is inside the windshield – and it doesn’t blow out! Underneath the burner I use a Speedster Stoves reflector / insulated ground protector. This also helps provide a flat, stable surface for the burner.

photo of DIY Caldera Cone

DIY titanium “Caldera Cone” combined stand / windshield

My mug is either the Titanium Alpkit Mytimug 450 if I’m only having a hot drink, or the 650ml version if I’m boiling water for both a brew and a dehydrated meal. If I’m only making a brew, I use just 15ml of fuel (I’ve re-used a 15ml eye drops bottle). I’ll use the larger burner and 25ml of fuel if I’m having a brew and noodles. For an overnight camp with a brew and dehydrated meal at night and two coffees in the morning, I take a small repurposed plastic bottle with 60ml of fuel. I sometimes take a Sea to Summit collapsible mug for my brew and eat my noodles from the 650ml MytiMug, but I often rehydrate the noodles in a Ziplock bag and eat them straight out of that with a long handled titanium spoon. That way I don’t need the collapsible mug and the Ziplock bag then acts as a rubbish bag. My burner, fuel, lighter, tea / coffee bags all nest inside either of the titanium mugs. The tea bags prevent things from rattling.

photo of Speedster Stoves windshield in use

brew with a view using Speedster windshield / pot-stand

Please be very careful if using alcohol stoves in dry conditions. Always use a ground protector or cook on a stone and never leave the stove unattended.

Water filter

The heaviest thing that you are likely to carry is your water. Sourcing it on the move or when at your camp spot saves you having to carry it. Unless you are in high and remote places it’s probably best to filter your water, I use a Salomon Soft-flask with filter for drinking on the go. If I need to carry more I use a Cnoc Vecto 2L bladder with a Sawyer Mini filter that screws on.

photo showing Sawyer and Salomon water filters

filter water rather than carrying it


Pack choice is generally determined by which sleeping bag I use. With the OMM bag I can get all my overnight kit into an Inov-8 Race Elite 20L pack (no longer made). If I’m using the slightly larger sleeping bag then I’ll use an Inov-8 Race Pro 30L pack (again no longer available).

photo showing Inov-8 back pack

Inov-8 Race Elite 20 fully loaded

I’ve just got a feature-packed but very expensive CamelBack Octane 22 pack that has loads of storage. I can get just about get all my overnight kit and Mythic bag into it if I use the external mesh pockets to full capacity.

photo showing Camelbak Octane 22 pack

Camelbak Octane 22 has loads of storage


So I’ve got a range of kit, some expensive, some cheap, some homemade. I like to experiment. I’ve had some great nights out and some uncomfortable ones where I wish I’d taken more or better kit – you live and learn! It’s great to share ideas and see what other people use, then find what works for you. Happy Camping!

If you found this review useful you could buy me a coffee to show your appreciation!

Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 V2 Review

The Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 Version 2 is a wider fitting shoe offering aggressive grip for muddy conditions.

Inov-8 X-Talons have long been a favourite shoe for runners seeking good grip in muddy conditions but most of the versions are tight fitting and maybe don’t suit the runner with a wider foot. The Ultra 260 is a wider fitting shoe and as its name suggests is designed for longer runs where aggressive grip is required.

photo of Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 V2

X-Talon Ultra 260 V2


Whilst branded as an X-Talon the Ultra 260 V2 doesn’t share the same appearance as other X-Talons. Noticeably the tread pattern is different and it actually looks very similar to the discontinued X-Claw 275 (remember them?) The lug depth is still a super aggressive 8mm, but the studs are wider and more triangular shaped than on other X-Talons. The compound is StickyGrip™ rubber rather than Graphene.

photo of Inov-8 X-Claw 275

X-Claw 275 – spot the similarity?

The Ultra 260 have a width fitting of 4 on Inov-8’s scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the widest). This not only makes them wider but gives more volume in the toe box. The heel cup is well padded and there is more underfoot cushioning than on other X-Talons, making the shoe more comfortable on longer runs.

close up photo of X-Talon Ultra 260

cushioned heel cup and 8mm drop

The shoe has a much firmer toe bumper than other X-Talons, offering excellent protection for the toes. Whilst they do offer some flexibility there is noticeably less than on other versions of the X-Talon such as the G235 and 212.

close up of Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260

sturdy toe bumper

On Test

Prolonged wet conditions in the Peak District gave perfect conditions in which to test the Ultra 260 V2s. As expected the 8mm lugs gave excellent grip in the muddiest of conditions and the shoes were a great choice for proper wet, boggy, fell running terrain.

photo of running in mud

great grip in the mud

Coarse gritstone rock allows most shoes to grip, so running around the rocky Dark Peak terrain posed no problems. The wet flagstone paths offered a sterner test. I found that for the most part I could run with confidence although every so often a wet, smooth, slightly lichen covered slab was slippy. I don’t know of any shoe that would offer a grip on wet, smooth, greasy rock!

running on wet flagstones

testing on wet flagstones

I found that the width 4 fitting meant there was too much room in the toe box for my feet. I prefer a tighter fitting shoe offering more precision, certainly for races or fast training runs. However the extra room in the toe box allowed me to wear a thick, waterproof sock which would otherwise have been a bit of a squeeze in a narrower shoe; this makes the Ultra 260 a good winter shoe for me.

Technical Specs.

Weight 260g, Drop 8mm, Lug depth 8mm, Compound STICKYGRIP™, Midsole Powerflow Max with stack height 16mm /8mm, Fit scale 4

RRP £125

Overall impression

The Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 V2 is a shoe offering aggressive grip for soft conditions whilst catering for the runner who needs a wider fit. The extra width also allows the shoe to be worn in winter conditions combined with a neoprene or thicker waterproof sock. The new Ultra 260 would be an ideal shoe for longer runs or races on soft, muddy terrain such as the Spine or Marsden to Edale (Trigger). They would also be a good choice for a very long run on wet or soft terrain; the Bob Graham Round for example.

The video gives a quick look at the X-Talon Ultra 260 V2

Click link to purchase or see more details about the X-Talon Ultra 260 V2

If you found this review useful you can buy me a coffee to show your appreciation!

Cimalp Blizzard Thermal Jacket Review

The Cimalp Blizzard is a running jacket specifically designed for use in cold conditions.

Although not widely known in the UK, the French company Cimalp have been producing specialist outdoor clothing for over 50 years. With the weather taking a turn for the worse in recent days it seems like a good time to review their Blizzard jacket.

Our winters tend to be mild and wet and for most of my runs I’ll wear a long sleeved base layer plus a waterproof jacket if needed. However, occasionally we get very cold days where staying warm is more important than staying dry. What to wear on days like these? When the Arctic wind blows, a thin waterproof or windproof jacket might not offer enough insulation and a more substantial jacket is needed. The Blizzard fits that bill.

photo of runner wearing Cimalp Blizzard jacket

Cimalp Blizzard jacket, at home in the cold


The Blizzard is a mid-weight jacket; my size S men’s weighed 404g. Don’t confuse it with a thin, ultra lightweight windproof that packs down to the size of an apple, that isn’t its purpose. The CIMAFLEX material is slightly stretchy and has a warm, fleecy feel on the inside with a smoother finish on the outside. The shoulders and upper back have panels of more durable Cordura offering protection from abrasion when wearing a rucksack or race vest. It has a full length zip and there is a reasonably sized zipped, outer chest pocket that will take a folded A4 map, compass, car keys etc. Thumb loops allow the sleeves to be held snugly in place and a high collar helps keep your neck warm. The collar also houses a hood which can be zipped away if you prefer. Reflective details front and back allow you to be seen when illuminated by headlights or head torches. The jacket is wind resistant and breathable and performed well at wicking away perspiration when I was working hard (slogging uphill in deep snow!) My version is blue with black trim, it is also available in red / black.

photo of runner wearing Cimalp Blizzard jacket in the snow

a warm jacket on a cold day

On Test

I’ve worn the Blizzard for several winter runs in very cold conditions. I’ve found it to be comfortable; my size small is quite a snug fit with the stretchy material providing sufficient give so as not to feel restrictive. It really does offer some thermal protection from the biting wind and I like how the high neck keeps the cold out. The CIMAFLEX material repels water and I noticed that snowflakes simply brushed off rather than melting and soaking in although you would still need to wear a waterproof shell in heavy rain. As well as being a good jacket for cold, winter runs the Blizzard would also be a good choice year round when you need a bit more insulation, for example on overnight Bob Graham support where you might not be moving fast enough to stay warm. It would be fine to use for hill walking and its stretchy nature would make it a good choice for climbers too. It also looks good, i.e. not like a running jacket, and I’ve worn it just as a casual jacket.

photo of runner wearing Cimalp Blizzard jacket

high neck keeps out the cold

The thing I least like about the Blizzard jacket is the hood; it just doesn’t fit. I’ve only got a small head and yet the hood only covers three quarters of it! Whilst the rest of the jacket is a snug fit the hood is loose. If you face into the wind it blows down straight away!

photo of hood on the Cimalp Blizzard jacket

the hood doesn’t cover my head!

The Cimalp Blizzard jacket has some good features and it offers much more protection from the elements than a lightweight windproof jacket. It is great for cold and windy conditions where it is best used as a top that you know you are going to keep wearing for the duration of your run, rather than putting on and taking off as needed. I really like it – apart from the hood which is useless!

photo of running in snow wearing Cimalp Blizzard

totally warm – nearly!

Warm, slight stretch ensures comfortable movement, reasonably priced.

Poorly designed hood.

404g (men’s size Small on my scales)


Full details can be found on the Cimalp website.

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Nitecore UT27 Headtorch Review

The Nitecore UT27 is a lightweight Dual Beam head torch ideally suited to trail and fell running.

Following on from the UT32, Nitecore have produced another lightweight, dual beam head torch; the UT27, available from November 2021


The UT27 is simple in its design with the battery housed in the same unit as the lenses. Having the battery on the front of the head rather than in a separate rear housing can sometimes make head torches feel “top heavy” and unbalanced but not this one. The UT27 weighs in at a remarkably light 75g including battery. This is one of the lightest head torches that I have come across, at least that can realistically be used for fell running. The main body of the torch is plastic and although lightweight it doesn’t feel flimsy. The torch has two separate lenses mounted side by side; floodlight and spotlight and operation is by two buttons (W and T) on the top of the torch which control each of the beams respectively. I don’t know what W and T stand for, F and S would make more sense! The UT27 has an IP66 rating so should be water tight even in really bad weather! The battery compartment glows in the dark after it has been illuminated – theoretically that could make changing the batteries easier but it would still be a tough challenge without a second light source and not something I’d be wanting to try whilst out on the fells in bad weather! The torch comes supplied with battery, recharging cable and a small carry bag that acts as a diffuser which is useful when in a tent.

photo of Nitecore UT27 Dual Beam headtorch

Nitecore UT27 Dual Beam head torch


The UT27 is versatile in that it uses both a rechargeable Li-ion 1300mAh battery pack (supplied) as well as standard AAA batteries. The pack is recharged via the supplied USB-C cable and can either be removed from the torch or left in place with the battery compartment open during recharging. An LED on the battery pack turns from red to green when fully charged.

Claimed battery life ranges between 6 (Spotlight HIGH) and 13 hours (Floodlight LOW) although I haven’t fully tested this claim yet.

Nitecore UT27battery pack

USB-C rechargeable Li-ion battery or 3 x AAA


Each lens has two settings; simply high or low. Floodlight High gives 200 lumens, Low 55 lumens. Spotlight High gives 400 lumens, Low 100 lumens. There is also a Turbo mode where both lenses are illuminated giving 520 lumens. Two single LEDs also give either constant or flashing red light, useful for emergency signalling or when you only need a very low setting. These red LEDs also indicate how much battery power is remaining. Each button controls each beam i.e. one button (marked W) for the floodlight, one (marked T) for spotlight. A long hold switches that particular lens on after which another press toggles between high and low brightness. To switch to the other lens simply press the other button. A quick double press of either button turns on turbo mode which automatically turns off after 30 seconds to preserve battery life if you forget to turn it off manually. The red LEDs are turned on by double clicking either button from when the torch is off. The torch can also be locked off to prevent it being switched on by accident.

close up photo of Nitecore UT27 head torch

a button for each lens

In Use

I found the Nitecore UT27 easy to operate. The twin buttons on top of the torch are reasonably easy to use whilst wearing gloves and the sequence of presses is fairly intuitive. The two beams are noticeably different, the floodlight giving a white light whilst the spotlight is a much warmer yellow light. This yellow beam is unusual compared to most other head torches that I’ve used and does take a bit of getting used to although I  do find it better for map reading as there is less harsh, reflective glare than with the white beam. In spotlight mode on high power the beam gives an impressive throw of light; 128 metres according to Nitecore’s statistics.

photo of Nitecore UT27 on floodlight setting

floodlight setting, high

photo of Nitecore UT27 on spotlight setting

spotlight setting, high

The torch can be angled down through a number of positions as far as 90 degrees (useful if tying your laces or looking in your bumbag) and the ratchet is firm enough that the chosen position stays fixed, even when running on uneven ground. It is comfortable to wear and the light weight would mean that it would remain so for extended periods, you hardly notice the weight.

photo of Nitecore UT27 head torch

head unit angled to 90 degrees

Overall I’m very impressed with the light weight and ease of use of the Nitecore UT27. It’s a great little torch for fell running and takes up very little room in a pack. It would be a good option for camping as well as running.


Very lightweight, easy to operate, versatile battery options.


Not the cheapest, yellow light takes a while to get used to.


Claimed 74g including battery and headband (75g on my scales)



UK Distributor:

US Distributor:

Full technical details: Nitecore website.

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Osprey Duro 15 Review

The Duro 15 is the largest of Osprey’s three backpacks designed for trail running.

Having already tested and used the smallest pack, the Duro 1.5, I was keen to look to the other end of the size scale to see what the 15 litre version had to offer.

The first thing I noticed about the Duro 15 was the number of storage options; the pack has no less than 8 zipped pockets and 5 mesh pockets, all of various sizes! The main zipped compartment on the back can easily hold items such as spare clothes, emergency shelter, waterproofs etc. whilst a rear stretch mesh pocket with clips gives faster access to items; useful when it’s an on – off waterproof day. A smaller rear, zipped pocket has a retaining clip for keys and can fit a wallet or phone. Two decent sized side zip pockets are big enough for hat, gloves and food and are just about accessible without having to be double jointed! I found that these side pockets are also deep enough to hold rigid water bottles without them bouncing out whilst running.

photo of Osprey Duro 15

rear side pockets can be reached without being double-jointed!

The zipped pockets on each hip are easily accessed on the run and provide another option for smaller items such as snacks, gels, compass, car keys etc. Finally a zipped pocket on one side of the chest is just large enough to fit a phone although it’s a tight fit if you have a full soft-flask on the same side.

photo of Osprey Duro 15

zipped hip pockets are easily accessible


photo of Osprey Duro 15

2 mesh pockets and a zipped chest pocket holds a phone

On the front straps there are two deep, mesh pockets that house the soft-flasks or can be used as storage (another option for accessible phone storage). They also have elastic retainers for the soft flasks and an emergency whistle. Two smaller mesh pockets below these would hold a compass, gels, electrolyte or salt tablets etc. There are also two elasticated pole loops on the top shoulders for carrying lightweight hiking poles when not in use. To be honest I didn’t try to use these as I don’t have any poles, but I can’t see that they would be particularly easy to access whilst wearing the pack.

The Duro 15 offers versatile hydration options coming supplied with two 500ml soft-flasks with straws and a 2.5 litre bladder that fits into a dedicated zipped pocket with clip to keep the bladder in position. The bladder has a wide mouth which makes refilling and adding energy or electrolyte powder easy and the hose has a clever disconnector which allows the bladder to be removed whilst keeping the hose in place. This is really useful for mid run refills and stops you having to unthread and re-thread the hose and also makes for easier cleaning. The hose has a bite valve with a twist closure to prevent accidental leakage. Whilst running the hose can be kept in place by a strong magnet that attaches to the sternum strap. This does a surprisingly good job at keeping the hose in place but has the downside that you need to keep your compass well away from it! The magnet is easily removable if this is an issue and I’d recommend taking it off if you are using a compass.

photo of Osprey Duro 15 bladder

wide mouth 2.5L bladder and hose connector

If you don’t want to use the bladder, then two 500ml soft-flasks (supplied) can be stored in mesh pockets on the front of the pack on the lower chest. The long straws make drinking on the go fairly easy, however I found it quite difficult to get the full bottles into their pockets as the fit was too tight. Also it wasn’t possible to put the straws behind the straps designed to keep them in place without bending them in half (something I’m not sure is good for the straws). Osprey do make smaller 250ml flasks which are a better fit.

photo of Osprey Duro 15

500ml soft flasks: tight fit and the straw is difficult to position

The Duro 15 is a unisex pack that comes in two sizes, Small / Medium or Medium / Large, mine being the smaller version. There is lots of scope for adjusting the pack with tensioning straps on the front, hips and waist plus elasticated straps across the chest that can be unclipped and attached in a number of positions.

photo of girl wearing Osprey Duro 15

unisex fit in 2 sizes

photo of Osprey Duro 15 adjustment straps

straps allow the pack to be adjusted to fit

The elasticated straps allow your ribcage to expand and so don’t restrict your breathing. The chest straps can be unclipped single handedly although I found them a little tricky to fasten at first. The back is slightly padded with a mesh design to help breathability and I found the pack comfortable, although as with any pack without a “back plate” you need to pack carefully to ensure that nothing hard digs in and causes discomfort.

photo of Osprey Duro 15

adjustable, elasticated chest straps and magnet for hose

At a touch over 500 grams the Duro 15 isn’t a super-light pack, but this means it is more comfortable and has more features than a lighter pack. With an RRP of £140 it isn’t cheap, but it feels like it is built to last.

What would I use it for?

The Duro 15 isn’t designed as a lightweight race vest, it is more suited to longer days on the hill where you need to carry more equipment, for example mountain running in winter or in bad conditions. It would also be a good choice for multi day races and it has become my go to pack or for supporting long distance challenges, using it on the Bob Graham and Paddy Buckley Rounds where I needed to carry equipment for someone else as well as my own. I would also use it as a summer walking pack.

wearing the Duro 15 on Bob Graham support

wearing the Duro 15 on Bob Graham support


Loads of storage, good hydration options, comfortable, durable.


Not cheap. Difficult to get the 500ml bottles into their pockets!


A comfortable pack with lots of storage and hydration options. Ideal for long, remote runs, multi day events or runs where slightly more carrying capacity is needed.

RRP £140

Available from Osprey

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