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April 13, 2023, 6:06 a.m. -  jeffp

As ultra distance running vests have evolved to encompass significant storage, I've stopped sewing pouches for my phone and wallet and keys onto my bike specific packs and jumped ship to alpine running gear. The light weight and stability under motion that runners require of their vests, as well as the easy access and balanced weight of strap pockets are ideal. I've found the Black Diamond Distance 15 to be super tough, comfortable and adaptable. 15 liters in back minus the 3 liter bladder (hello Colorado), 2 zipper strap pockets in front for wallet and keys (on a super nerdy retractable key chain), plus 4 elastic strap pockets for sunscreen, electrolyte tabs, and easy access phone for pictures. Toilet shovel and headlamp in the pole pockets on the side. First aid fills the internal zip pocket. []( The elastic vest harness is super stable and comfortable without needing a waist band up to about 12 lbs. I bike pack with this pack, ride around town, mountain bike. It's pretty much always with me. Above this volume (full suspension trips generally) I do find a small internal frame pack with waist belt is more comfortable. Interestingly, after moving from the humid, cloudy mid-West to the dry, sunny mountain West, I found that under the glaring sun of the Rockies, a pack can actually keep me cooler by reducing the sun on my back, and most sweat from pack contact evaporates quickly. I've always been a big fan of mesh straps in any climate for this reason. In packs of this size and weight, I don't find any advantage to strap padding,

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