While, technically, all you need to run is a pair of shoes – and some might even argue with that, other run gear can help you go longer and make the most of your time outdoors. The North Face has a high quality range of running storage solutions, so we had a test run in something big and something small. The North Face Flight Training Pack 12 | RRP R3 699|
Running with a hiking backpack is a sweat fest, it's just not ..err cool to have a soggy perspiration pillow on your back that also punches the rear of your head on every upstride and catches branches sending you sprawling off the trail at no notice. Hence the recent explosion of running backpacks - designed to breathe and sit snuggly on your torso as you weave in and out of trees and scrub. You just never know when the weather will turn, leaving you stranded with too little kit, no food or ways to call for help. There's space for a water bladder, space blanket, energy bars, phone, rain jacket and safety devices - yes even hiking poles for those who like it alpine style. You can store a full spectrum of race-day gear without the extra weight we loathe.
The North Face Flight 12 is really comfortable and light yet its highly breathable, water-repellent, sweat-wicking ripstop fabric makes it durable to cope with Saffa bushveld scrub and thorn trees. The stretch-fit design provides a contoured fit, ideal for fast-paced runs under four hours. The front fastening system is pretty much fuss-free and easy to adjust on the go. The two soft water bottles, included, can be attached to the bottle pockets via a leash for quick re-loading, no more fumbling at pace with your eyes off the trail as the floppy wet bottles refuse to retreat back into their slim, quick access pouches. The hydration attachment system is solid and straight forward, working with both Hydrapak and Camelbak bladders really well. For running and even MTB'ing adventures with more in the pack the more solid chest buckles on here vs the elastic versions.
Just 280g, carrying 12 litres in volume, this pack is as classy as we have tried. The only downside is the zipped phone pouch fits a smaller phone only.
The North Face Flight Race Ready Belt | RRP R599 |
This practical, snug, hip-fitted belt offers the short- to mid-range runner storage for everything but clothing, accommodating running essentials like keys, gels, phone and soft hydration flasks up to 500ml. Choose a size to fit you because its non adjustable and say goodbye to a bouncing belt that shifts around your hips or rises up to your belly button. The step-in belt weighs 52g and features four small pockets, one zipped for your phone.
Like the run pack, the belt is made of durable, breathable, quick-drying micro-perforated fabric and has soft-touch binding that makes it comfortable over longer distances. If like us you sweat profusely it's worth using a zip lock bag inside the phone pouch to avoid water damage.
If you’ve been looking for a little extra storage on your longer runs and value comfort and durability go check out https://www.capeunionmart.co.za/c/brands-thenorthface/