Wild Running Book Review by Matt Heason
WILD RUNNING GUIDEBOOK BY JEN & SIM BENSON 15th May 2014 Introduction / The Authors Ironically yesterday…
This month gear guru Sim reviews one of our favourite pieces of kit – the OMM Last Drop. We take them nearly everywhere with us!
Item: OMM Last Drop
Weight and size: 310g 10L
Type of test: long term about 4 years
Manufacturers blurb: 10L pack. Two zip access compartments and two bottle pockets. The extremely lightweight back system uses air mesh for comfort and is designed with a short yoke for a shoulder mounted carry. Removable waist belt adds additional carry options. The Last Drop is ideal for carrying essential equipment when racing or day training. High carry and minimal profile maintains maximum freedom of movement. Hydration compatible for both bladder and bottles.
This is a really simple, light weight and comfortable pack which is also quite durable and very well thought out. I find that it is big enough for most single day adventure races or ultras where you are required to carry kit but a bit too small for a mountain marathon.
I’ve had this bag for about 4 years and I’ve used it quite a lot for longer races and as a training and commuting (running or cycling) bag. It’s lasted really well seeing as this is a light weight running pack and therefore is designed with weight and practicality over durability. The only issue I’ve had is that after about three years use the zip has started to pull away from the fabric under the lid. This was a result of over packing and loads of use. I stitched it back up and it’s still fine another year on.
The bag has two mesh side pockets that are great for small water bottles or food that you need to get at quickly and one small zipped lid pocket which is big enough for keys, phone and some cash. The main bag has a zipped opening with a lid flap that closes with a small three pronged buckle, this does allow you to stuff a jacket under the lid but it never feels very safe there. Internally there is a pouch for your hydration bladder which has an exit port through the lid flap. The bag has a reflective loop below the buckle; this is great for attaching a bike light if you use it on the bike or for night running. The back straps are very light weight but really comfortable and easily cope with the amount of weight that you would normally carry in this size bag. There are elastic loops on the shoulder straps which are great to channel the tube of a hydration bladder or to stuff energy gels in. Plastic loops on the shoulder straps allow you to clip on a chest pack that is available from OMM and would give you a bit more reachable pocket space. The sternum strap is adjustable and has a built in whistle which is great as it means you don’t have to carry a separate one and they are a requirement in some races. The waist strap is very basic but because the bag sits quite high you would never be able to take much weight of the shoulders anyway. It does a good job of stabilising the bag while running or cycling.
The bag has a tough HTTF (High Tensile Textured Fabric) back panel which is a bit like Cordura (the base fabric used in many duffle bags) and still doesn’t really show any signs of wear. The rest of the bag is made of 210T which is a light weight (80gsm) waterproof ripstop fabric. The bag doesn’t have taped seams so I’d always use a dry bag but I’ve never noticed that anything was particularly wet inside, the lid flap helps this as it means there is three layers of fabric over the most exposed part of the bag. It does appear to be tough and mine doesn’t show any sign of wearing out yet.
Disadvantages of the bag:
The only disadvantage I’d say is that it is quite tricky to get at anything without taking the bag off. This is easily solved by using a chest/waist pouch or adding a shoulder mounted pocket. It’s quite a reasonably priced bag and the price is probably kept down by keeping these as optional extras so people can tailor the carrying options to what they need. I’ve always just got my running partner to grab something for me or just taken it off for a second to get it myself.
Would I race in it or with it?
I have raced in it and it is my normal running bag. I own several other bags and waist packs but I really like this and find the 10 litre size really handy for day length runs or races.