Sunday, August 7, 2016

orange mud endurance pack review

Disclaimer: I received the Orange Mud Endurance Pack to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

It's no secret that I LOVE all Orange Mud products. I have the Orange Mud Hydra Quiver Double Barrel and the Orange Mud Hydra Quiver Vest Pack 1. I barely go for a run without one of them. When the chance to test out the new Endurance Pack came up, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm usually not into bladder packs, but I knew Orange Mud would knock the product out of the park. 

I was super excited to come home from my Mad Half Marathon function to the Orange Mud package. I ripped it open and found the green Endurance Pack. Yay! It was so pretty. Along with it came a note from the Orange Mud CEO giving some tips that were very helpful.

Filled up and ready to go.

The Orange Mud Endurance Pack uses a HydraPak 2L bladder. I had only used the kind of bladders with the screw on caps, so I won't lie, I had to do research to figure out how to use this new one (such as - how do I open it? haha). I'm sure it was obvious to some, but oh well. Anyway, it was really easy - just slide off the black plastic piece and unfold the top to fill. 

Once the bladder is in the pocket, you then pull the velcro
through the loop in the plastic top of the bladder and secure it closed.

A few notes on the bladder pack:
  • Shape-Shift™ 2L Reservoir - lock baffle for slim profile, unlock for volume
  • Slide-Seal™ Top - opens wide and seals tight
  • Blaster™ Valve - silicone, high flow bite-valve with twist shut off
  • Plug-N-Play™ Connector - quick disconnect for convenient tube removal
  • Quantum Clip™ - magnetic tube fastener set
  • Can be frozen or filled with warm water (max temp 140°F / 60°C)
  • Inline filtration compatible
  • Reversible and anti-microbial to prevent bacteria & mold
  • 100% BPA and PVC Free
  • Durable, built for a lifetime of tough use, No-Leak™ Lifetime Guarantee
  • Rinse before use. Reverse to clean and dry after each use. Dishwasher safe (top rack recommended).

Different days you guys - I just like to wear the same 3 tank tops in summer haha.

I found the bladder easy to fill and use. You can remove the straw and the mouthpiece to easily rinse out the straw and keep it clean/easier to dry. I washed the bladder portion in the dishwasher and never had any problems. The bladder never leaked and I had no problems with it during the many uses. I really liked that the bladder could be turned inside out to clean and dry. That helps to ensure a good clean and dry so that it keeps mold and bacteria away (my usual concern with previous bladders - I found they got gross quickly and they were tough to clean). Also, if you blow in the straw after washing, it'll help empty the tube of excess water so it can dry better. Oh, and also, I found it easy to drink from while on the run.

Lucky for me, my husband does home brew (as well as brewing at a brewery), so he has this sanitizer that is perfect for cleaning things like the tube/straw of this pack (toss it all in a bucket and let it soak for a bit). Helps me know that the straw is clean and bacteria free! I'll maybe do the sanitizing once a month with the straw and bladder, to give it a really good clean. My germaphobe self will be so happy.

If you feel the straw is too long, you can cut it shorter. If you are going to use it for biking and running, base your straw length off of the bike (it needs to be a bit longer for that than running).

Now onto the pack itself. It ROCKS. There is SO much storage space — two open chest pockets (which you can cinch tight if you need) which easily holds my iPhone 6 in its huge case. I also used the other pocket for kleenex, keys, and my BUFF. Then there are two shoulder pockets with a velcro closure. In there you can store your chews, gel, or whatever fuel you like to use along with plenty of other things. Need a snack during your long run, bike, or hike? Toss it in there. I used the shoulder pockets for my inhaler, chopstick and anti-bacteria gel in one and then any chews or snacks (like a Clif Bar) in the other.

Then there's the whole back! There's a smaller pocket on the front that zips - keep your keys (though if they are sharp, put them in the back so you don't accidentally rip your bladder). I liked keeping my ID and money in there. Then there's another pocket up on top that is open and you can slide things in - such as Wet Wipes, snacks, hydration packets. So like I said, tons of extra storage space.

Also, I just saw on their site a 15oz Ultraflask that you can toss in the chest pocket! It has a removable straw, so you can either use it with or without. I want to get that for my electrolyte drink. I've been using just water in the bladder, I haven't felt the need to use electrolytes in it as of yet, and not sure I'd need 70oz of it, but a nice smaller one would be nice. I did like having the water to squirt out and use to wash my hands or cool off my face, so this gives you the option to have both. Love that. 

I used it on runs as short as 5 miles and as long as 16. I'd fill it with ice and water, and on the hot, sunny days, I usually drank most of it during an 8 miler haha. I'm a very thirsty person when running. I also found it helpful to just fill it all the way, even if I didn't think I'd need it, because then I knew I'd have plenty - can use to cool me off, or if it got too hot in the tube, I could water some grass and then get the cold stuff. I don't think I ever ran out, though. I did do a refill for my 16 miler, because it was broken down into 6 and 10 (race day then extra miles), so since I stopped home before finishing the miles, I figured might as well refresh the bladder. I found the ice didn't melt as quickly as I anticipated in those 100 degree days. If you have the energy, you could also blow the water out of the tube back into the bladder to keep it cool, but honestly, when I was getting tired and had a hard time breathing, I didn't have the energy to blow it out and back up again haha, plus, with drinking as much as I do, it usually didn't have too much time to heat up in there.

Angie and I both wore ours for RAM Racing BTN Big 10k.

I've had the pack for about a month, and used it 3–4 times a week, so it's gotten about 14 uses thus far. It is very comfortable and easy to put on. You can  easily tighten or loosen the straps. There's also two front straps that are adjustable length wise, and you can move them up and down to fit your body. I'll say at first it seemed a little awkward, as for a woman, the straps basically, um, hug the top and bottom of your chest. I got used to it quickly though, and didn't feel embarrassed or anything. Being able to adjust it though, makes it easy for all body types to use it. I've also used it for three races (all 10k, as I try to avoid half marathons in July in Chicago haha). I always used it with a bladder, but you could use it without if it's a short run or hike, or something in which you don't need water but more storage space for clothes or something.

In action. Thanks for the photo Ang!

I've washed it once. Hand washing is best, especially for long term use, with a scent free detergent. I'm gonna be honest with you here. I'm not much of a hand washer of clothes or products. I put it in a laundry bag and then on the delicate cycle in our front loader, which is very gentle. Then I hang it to dry. I really should try hand washing next time - I bought a small gentle brush to help with the scrubbing off of salt stains ;)

From the back.

Here's a breakdown of the Orange Mud Endurance 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: 17oz/450ml soft flask capable.
  • Front adjustments: 2 elastic straps have multiple adjustment locations.
  • Mountain Bike: Extremely stable on your body across the choppy stuff, and we extended the shoulder area a bit to allow freedom of movement. 4 front pockets allow for quick access of your essentials on the fly.
  • Running: Short runs or as long as you want to go. This hydration pack is loaded with features to take you any distance. 
  • Hiking: The conforming fit and quick access pockets paired with a very breathable frame means hiking bliss.  
  • 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.
  • Fit For Guys: This will fit up to about a 52" chest. When loaded things will change a bit, but we took the front shoulder depth and made it deeper than the Vest Packs (in case you're familiar with that fit). So a tad more girth and more vertical shoulder room. 

I would HIGHLY recommend this pack for everyone. It's comfortable, no bounce, and while the water does slosh (which is common with the bladder), I find it to be a soothing/relaxing sound. It didn't bother my back or anything. It comes in green, orange, and grey (which is sold out till 8/30). It costs $134.95 or $149.95 with trekking pole/shock cord upgrade. If you sign up for their newsletter, you can get 10% off your purchase.

It's hard to say which Orange Mud Pack I like best. They are all great in their own unique way, and I'll continue to use each one, depending on my mood, thirst level, weather, and the distance. They have fun colors for each product. I think the only one I don't have is the handheld (granted, I don't have each size, like the VP2, but a version of each one).

Join BibRave, the BibRave Pros, and the running community for #BibChat on Tuesday, August 9 at 8pm CT. I bet there will be a fun giveaway to a winner or two ;)

UPDATE: For this week only, Orange Mud is offering a 15% discount with code BibRAVE15. Use it now before it goes away! I think I'll be adding that flask to my collection. Boom.

Connect with Orange Mud:
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Read what the other Pros have to say:
Jessica | Mark | Angie | Amy | Erica | Emily | Jeremy

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