Marco Olmo designed the Ultralight OLMO 20 for the multi stage Marathon des Sables and the Ultralight OLMO 5 for events like the UTMB. Thanks to Racekit and it`s owner Andy Heading for getting me this wonderfull pack to test and abuse in London Ultra and Paris Eco Trail.
Marco Olmo is my legend. He is one of the most inspirational people that i have watched, read and researched when i started UTMB and dreaming Marathon des Sables. He started running after 27 and became vegetarian after 37. He has an incredible summary of achievements Ultra Running and Mountain marathons such as either winning and completing in top 10 in Marathon des Sables, Libyan Challenge, Gran the Cro-Magnon Raid, Desert Cup Jordan, Via Marenca, Winter Eco Trail, Oman Raid, Trans Grancanaria, Transvulcania, Racing the Planet Namibia and Runiceland.
In 58 years has become world champion by winning the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, the most important endurance race and lasts in the world: 167 km through France, Italy and Switzerland over 21 hours of travel uninterrupted around the highest massif of Europe. Then he won the race when he was 59 as well :-)
First i would like to show you the brief video review that i tried to show the pack and it`s features. You can continue the review afterwards with numerous detailed pictures.
OLMO 5 comes with two 750ml bottles that are located on the shoulders. This enables you to drink fluid when you are on the go like the bladders. However bottles have more advantage in terms of filling them quickly in the check points without taking everything to fill your bladder.
The negative bits when using the bottles is the sound of water bouncing could sometimes make your concentration leak :-) Else another issue could be the hoses of the bottles might touch your cheeks when you are running. To avoid this i used the elastic cords near the bottle holders to bend the hoses on right and left side of the bottles.
The bottle holders have mesh pockets in both plus 6 thin sleeves for French Energy gels. 4 of these can take Overstims or Myocramp type gels, the other 2 can take long Cliff Blocks if you squueze them well.
Raidlight olso provides a small pouch that sits in between the clip and straps that thightens the bottles and eliminates shaking and bouncing. This small pouch also shown in the below picture can accomodate 4 gels easily.
There is also a whistle embedded in the clip that is in between the straps of the front bottles. Whistle is one of the obligatory materials in races like UTMB, Eco Trail etc.
The bottle holders also have draw cords at top and bottom. This enables you to use them as gel and equipment pouches when you use small flasks or bladder in some short races where there are not more check points.
On the back side of the pack there are three compartments. Main compartment has almost 5 liter capacity.
The upper part has velcro closing and you can put your gloves or rain jacket to reach quickly. Also there is a very small zipped compartment which can be used for phone, keys and storing some money.
There are also narrow mesh pockets along each side. You can put additional gels or the folding Trail Poles like the ones i got, Sinano. Also there are two elastic cords with loops on left upper and right lower part of the pack where you can secure them at an angle across the pack.
Let`s look at this video where i tried to show the mandatory equipment that i will use in Paris Eco Trail and UTMB sitting inside this small but convenient pack.
What i liked
- I liked the way pack sits on your upper body. It helps your back more comfortable rather than normal packs. You do not have so much sweat on your back.
- The shoulder straps are comfortable.
- The pack has numerous gel pockets. This is so good if you are running in an ultra and in need of 4-5 gels in 2-3 hours you do not need to take your pack off to take them.
- Pole holders are really bright idea.
- Value for Money ? Definately! With two bottles and 290grams of weight this pack is really good for value. You can order it from RaceKit.co.uk.
What can be improved
- It is really hard to get use to the bottles and their hoses when running. The most important move is to tie the hoses on the elastic cords. If you get used to it, it is so easy to sip water during your runs.
- This pack is definately not for large people. I am not a lean/thin person or large as well. But i believe this pack would people perfectly if they do not have a large chest.
- The Velco closing is so small in the back top compartment. If you fill the pack too much, it opens while you are running, this can be improved with alonger velcro.
- I did not test the pack under a heavy rain. So i am wondering to test it as well. During the UTMB or Eco Trail, it is essential that your goods should be kept dry.
- I modified and added a elastic net on the back part of the pack (under the large velcro pocket) This will help me to carry my Rain proof jacket outside to gain some storage.
- Also i will be changing the waist band (sew an additional larger one on top of it) with a larger one to carry some additional pouches for gels and food for UTMB. (Shown in below picture; taken from: http://taillefertrailteam.fr )
I would like to again thank to Racekit.co.uk for sponsoring me with this pack.
RaceKit is owned and run by Amanda & Andy Heading and based on the edge of the Peak District in Matlock, Derbyshire. Although they are essentially an online shop, visitors are welcome just if you let them know beforehand and they`ll get some cakes in! You can contact them on 01629-760070 or just leave a message if they don’t answer, and they’ll call you back.
RaceKit is to be one of the main sponsors of the UK Ultra-Running Championships, a series of 12 ultra-races around the country ranging from 33 to 60 miles. Co-organised by arguably the UK’s best endurance runner, Mark Hartell, the Champs welcomes runners of all abilities who want to “go long’. Races are split into three categories – short (up to 35 miles!), medium (up to 45 miles), and long (over 45m) – and competitors’ best four results count towards the Champs, with at least one race in each category needed to qualify. More information can be found here.
Specifications of Raidligh Olmo 5
- This 5-litre Olmo Ultralight pack has three mesh pockets, one zipped pocket and two front-strap bottle carriers with mesh gel holders (see photo below). Two 750ml bottles with push/pull drinks valves are included.
- Marco Olmo designed the Ultralight OLMO 20 for the multi stage Marathon des Sables and the Ultralight OLMO 5 for events like the UTMB.
- Very light and still robust (1 year guarantee on seams and zippers
- Better balance through two bottle holders in the front (2x 750 ml Raid Bottles included
- Both bottle holders have small outer pockets for gels, bars and other small items
- Drinking bladder compartement inside – for bladders up to 2.5 liters (tube exits left and right)
- Mesh pocket with velcro closure in the back
- 2 small mesh pockets on the sides
- Small zippered pocket in lid
- Ergonomic shoulder straps for perfect comfort
- Whistle integrated in sternum strap
- Loops for attachement of trekking poles (diagonally from upper left to lower right)
- Reflective detail in back
- Weight 290g/10.2oz.
- Also available as a 20-litre pack. and in Ladies Colors (Shown below)