- Backpacks & Waist Packs
Originally reviewed for Fitness Rocks:
Ultra distance runner Jonathan J Mackintosh shares his opinions on the North Face Enduro 13 backpack.
I purchased the North Face Enduro 13 rucksack in the week before the 53 mile 2011 Highland Fling ultramarathon. Despite owning bags by both the OMM and inov8, I wanted something that was super lightweight and that let my body breathe more than the packs I currently owned.
‘Testing’ a new pack on a 53 mile run is preposterous but it is testament to the Enduro 13 pack that it passed with flying colours and was rarely off my back in both training runs and races throughout the rest of 2011. Despite the arrival of new packs on the market, the Enduro 13 remains as my pack of choice for the forthcoming 2012 ultramarathon season.
The Enduro 13 is highly streamlined and it is therefore, not for those who like to pack for every eventuality. Having said that, the Enduro 13 appeared to be the pack of choice for many UTMB athletes and, as such, is capable of carrying all of the required kit for this, the toughest ultra in Europe. If you own minimalist waterproof equipment it will no doubt make packing for all weathers that bit easier. Even with space considerations I have regularly carried a waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, various Buffs, basic medical supplies, a map, energy gels and bars without problem. If anything, the space limitations prove beneficial in that the contents of the pack tend not to bounce about, something that I have experienced with other packs.
My initial attraction to the pack was as a result of the 2 side mounted bottles. These are perfectly positioned for easy use on the run and can be easily filled at aid stations/check points. There is the option to add a bladder to the inside of the pack and the bladder hosing can be easily accommodated on the packs straps. Personally, I have found it easier to keep an eye on hydration when using bottles as you can quickly see how much or how little liquid you have left from a quick inspection, something that is not so easily done with a bladder.
Retailing at approximately £65.00, the pack sits in the mid price point area relative to other packs.
Overall the Enduro 13 is well constructed and, having been used considerably for almost a year, shows no sign of wear or tear. A wipe down with a damp cloth soon removes any dirt and/or salt desposited through sweating.
Check out my review of the Salomon XT Wings 5 backpack if you are looking for a pack of this type.