A new pack out on the trails and I’ve been using a prototype for the past couple of months. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed the Pace 12 in recent posts. On the whole, I have kept it out of photos, laying low until the launch date. Those a little closer to me, saw the below post and privately messaged me “new USWE pack?”, back then it was “wait and see” but now it’s a resounding “YES”.
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Back on home trails – temperature & humidity are back up, routes are flowy & there’s not a staircase to be found . Epic weekend with @lpratt1989 – finally managing to balance training, time together & relaxing on a mini break…. only taken 5+ years 😜 . #teampyllon #trailrunning #uswe #beatyesterday #lifesystems #premax #woodland #sand #balance #stancerun
So what’s new? Built in pockets, lighter construction, lower bottle profile, harness update, whistle. Lots!
My first runs were on local trails, but the real test came a couple of weeks ago when I ran 100 miles and climbed/descended 9000 meters in and around the Chamonix valley wearing it. I’ve carried essentials in the rear, but where things differ from the Vertical 4 and 10, is the ability to carry more up front. Before there were two optional Hydration Chest Pockets, which attach securely to the straps, however, they had limited space if you used bothsoft flasks.
The Pace 12 has two stretch mesh pockets for flasks, with a larger stretch mesh pocket sat underneath on both sides. This allows you to now carry gels, bars, gloves, hat, GoPro…. anything you will need on the move and require quick access to. On the left lower pocket, there is also a full length zip, opening to an additional pocket, allowing secure storage of valuable items, i.e your phone.
Where the soft flasks reside, there is an elastic loop to secure the top, preventing them from flopping around, especially when they’re running low. Found beside the right pocket loop is a bright green whistle, aside from being a mandatory kit requirement for a growing number of races, it’s there when ever you need it, be that training or in a race scenario.
Finally up front, you have a pole retention system, leaving your hands free to scramble on technical sections or when your poles are no longer needed. Less fiddly then reaching over your back.On the back, it is similar to the Vertical 10, a large deep pocket, with central zip. Either side is a stretch mesh pocket and elastic strap, that can be cinched down, to reduce the volume of the pack or secure a load. I’ve used this for all manner of things, but most notably, stakes when course marking the Lakes Sky Ultra in June.Fit wise, the Pace 12 moulds more to your body and the two front pocket areas mirror your rib cage. I’ve found the pack also runs cooler and the flasks are more stable, given their lower positioning and increased support.
Overall, I have been impressed by USWE’s Pace 12 and have put in 200+ miles into it so far. I’ll provide an update in the coming months, but until then, here’s a first look tour at Le Brevent.
For more information on the USWE Pace 12 click HERE
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James is a Weekend Warrior for USWE