Orange Mud Endurance Pack Review – A Female Perspective
When I received the Orange Mud Endurance Pack ($135) to review, I was excited to try an American-made pack with some fairly unique features in the current hydration pack market. This company is using different materials and design than most other companies, and whether it worked for me or not, I knew it would be interesting. I took this pack on a couple of outings to put it through its paces.
“Fit for the Ladies”
I often run my long runs with hydration vests and I am very particular about the fit. The first thing I look for is how it attaches in the front. I‘ve worn packs with ill-placed straps that make me feel like I am being strapped into a rollercoaster ride and can barely breathe. So when I checked out the product’s info online and noticed that it is specifically built for a woman’s frame I got excited because, well, I have the curves it markets itself to be engineered to keep in mind (and in place)!
My first run in this pack was a bit of a struggle. It took me a while to find the correct position for the front straps in combination with the side straps. The material for the front straps is elastic which is great for having the pack feel secure and fit while full, yet there is enough give to let the ladies breathe! After getting the fit right, here are my takeaways from the second, longer run:
What I Liked about the Orange Mud Endurance Pack
The material of all the cargo pockets is great. It’s a durable, highly elastic material that can be packed to fit any shape item. To give you an idea of the capacity, you can fit two 26 oz Ultimate Direction bottles, a bandana and some gels in the outside pocket alone with the 70 oz bladder filled. After filing the pack full I did not need to make any adjustments because the chest straps’ elasticity allowed for the additional storage.
Another huge plus to this vest is pocket placement. I prefer the front pockets to be side-set as it is more comfortable, as opposed to front-set pockets which have a tendency to feel like everything is strapped into a bullet proof vest that constricts my breathing. The shoulder pockets are also well placed. While I had an initial fear that the opening pocket facing down would have the contents come spilling out, I found this wasn’t the case. It was actually easier to see what I was pulling out of the pocket. The velcro on the straps is strong enough that I don’t worry about them spontaneously coming open.
The entire pack is extremely durable. I inadvertently tested this out when gravity went sideways on me during the trail run. I fell and slid like superman across the trail. When I got up the pack was in perfect condition.
Things About the Orange Mud Endurance Pack For Which to be Aware
One of the first things I noticed was the lack of a hydration tube fastener. I tried to fix this problem by sliding the tube under the chest strap, using a magnetic clip, and slipping the valve through the tube strap on the corresponding side. Nothing was comfortable and the magnetic clip didn’t stay in place. While I understand the want for durability in the canvas tube straps, I found myself struggling to take the nozzle out. This was really bothersome to me for the entire run, but there’s a wide range in how people position their tubes, this may not be an issue for runners.
For runners who like to carry bottles in front, the pockets do not fit bottle, but I don’t think it was designed for that. The pockets do, however, fit the 300-350 ml soft flasks.
Overall, I like this pack. The different material makes the pack very flexible and opens up the possibilities of items a runner can carry. I can honestly say that I agree with the website’s claim that this would fit women of every size and shape. It would be great as a racing vest if you are a runner who prefers to carry handhelds. There are multiple outside pockets in the back made of that great material to fill to your heart’s content.
All in all, I really think Orange Mud hit the mark with fit and cargo capacity/placement., so despite a couple minor annoyances I found it to be a useful.
About the Author:
Laura Matz is a 30 year old trail runner from Sacramento who’s currently training for the Javelina Jundred . She’s married, and her proudest running accomplishments include completing the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 in 2014 and staying upright (for the most part) while trail running. Her physical measurements (for comparison purposes) are 5’8″, 130 lb, natural waistline is 25″, and bust is 32″.
I’ve asked her husband Kynan to also give the pack a good test. Will it fit him as well as her? Stay tuned.