The UltrAspire Omega was designed as a lightweight pack with sufficient storage capacity to meet mandatory kit and equipment requirements for a UTMB type race.
The pack is a race vest (webbing) type design and intended for us with a hydration bladder, a 2L version is included with the pack. The Omega is the big brother of the Surge pack/race vest, the key difference being the addition of the storage compartment on the rear of the pack.
The harness design ensures the pack fits comfortably to the body and is made from a breathable mesh type material.
The top right hand side (as worn) of the harness features a small “Magnon Electrolyte Pocket” which snaps open and shut quickly through the use of a magnet and is designed to hold small items (hence the name).
The lower right hand side of the harness features a small mesh pouch with a thick drawstring cord for the pouch, which can be used to carry small bottles. A second drawstring cord just above the pocket can be used to tie around the neck of a bottle.
The top left hand side of the harness contains a small mesh pouch and elasticated band of material to carry a small item requiring easy access (such as a pair of shades). This area also contains a small plastic clip for holding the drinking pipe of the hydration bladder.
Below this sits a zipped pouch, which is large enough for a mobile phone or head torch. The zip is contains 3cm of cord and a plastic clip to make it easy to open the pouch when wearing gloves for example. On top of this sits an outer mesh pocket for small items or litter. The harness is connected to the rear of the pack by two adjustable straps on either side.
The harness is secured by two small “speed hook” aluminium clips which stabilises the vest more to the side and avoids a scenario where the belt buckle can sag or press against your stomach although this differs slightly from a typical chest and waist strap where is a higher and low attachment.
The pack contains an inner sleeve separate to the rear storage compartment to fit your hydration bladder. The design allows the hydration bladder to be easily accessed at an aid station and does not interfere with the kit storage. There is a small hook at the top of the inner sleeve to hold the bladder in its upright position.
The rear of the pack contains a small zipped pouch with a small-corded zip, which is useful for storing small items that you would like quick access to.
The outer part of the pack contains a quick stash mesh pocket useful for things like a rain jacket or spare top. This pocket area is connected to the top pocket by a small clip and the tightness of this can be adjusted as required.
The main rear compartment itself contains a zip at the top to enable greater access to the pack. The compartment itself offers an advertised 8.2L (500 CI) of space. I loaded the pack with a list of typical items including First Aid Kit, some food, spare mid-layer, warm hat, map, survival blanket, gloves and it fitted all of these items without feeling overloaded.
The right and left hand side of the pack also contains a small mesh pocket, which is designed for holding poles or gels. It is not designed for larger bottles but could hold a 500ml coke bottle, as the mesh is stretchable. The pack also contains a loop on top of either side of the pack for holding the poles. These can be removed if required to reduce the number of straps on the surface area of the pack.
The rear of the pack also contains a compression band, which can be pulled to tighten to bulk of the pack.
The Omega is a versatile lightweight pack. The race vest design is both comfortable and stable thanks to the range of adjustable straps. The two sternum straps secures the pack but didn’t feel as stable across the chest.
Consideration has been given to a lot of the features as described above to make the pack easy to use in practice such as making zips and pockets very accessible for example and separating the bladder into its own inner sleeve.
The pack offers sufficient storage capacity for most races where there are mandatory kit requirements, which is a key feature of the product making it suitable for a range of Ultra events all the way up to a 100 mile/UTMB type events.
· Feather weight, large capacity pack
· Unimpeded rapid access bladder compartment for quick fill during races
· Magnon Electrolyte Pocket
· Pole Holder with easy shock cord closures – on each side of pack
· Light weight zippers pulls easily grabbed even with gloves, cold or numb fingers
· Front zippered pocket and elastic edged mesh outer pocket, and mesh corded
· Draw pocket with capacity to hold a small bottle or gel flask
· Dual speed hooks to evenly distribution of weight and load management
· Compressi-flex tension control
· Weight: 337 grams
· Volume: 500 ci (8.2 liters)
Argon Purple, Ether Blue, Red
Product link: http://www.ultramarathonrunningstore.com/UltrAspire-OMEGA-Backpack-Race-Vest-p/ua505.htm