I was rather excited when my Raidlight Trail Lady XP2 hydration pack arrived. I’ve wanted a hydration pack for ages (like years) but never had a reason, or a race entry, to warrant getting one. With two longish trail races entered for 2017 it was now a kit requirement. I needed no further encouragement and started looking online.
I borrowed my partner’s massive Raidlight hydration pack to see how I fared. Before this, I was unaware of the Raidlight brand despite being told it’s one of the best. After using my partner’s, I hopped on to their website and delightfully discovered they were having a sale. Myself and a friend both needed one, and knowing we only needed to carry one litre of fluid for the race, we both picked the small (but beautifully formed) Trail Lady XP2.
I was delighted when it arrived. It’s a fabulous bright colour and not too bulky. I was struck by how many straps and pulls there are. Now it may only be a hydration pack but I would’ve welcomed some guidance about how to adjust the straps to ensure a good fit, and where to place the bladder tube. It would’ve saved a lot of time if I had something to refer to (and in case you’re wondering, my friend thought the same).
A 2 litre bladder fits snugly into this bag. There isn’t a massive amount of space left once it’s in. I can put a foil blanket and a small first aid kit in too, but would be pushed if I wanted to put a top or jacket in. There are plenty of pockets: one on each side of the waist belt, one on the left arm strap, one at the base of the bag, and a small one on top. This has a hook for your keys to ensure they don’t go anywhere.
A particularly impressive feature is the wire that comes inside the bag to connect your phone or iPod to your earphones. You hook up your phone or iPod to one end (in the waist pocket), and your earphones to the other end (in the arm strap), and ta-da, you are able to run with the leads out of the way. A word on the sound quality though, music seems fine on mine but podcasts are a different story. The speaking is very faint, even when the volume’s racked up. Music in a podcast comes through loud and clear, to the point where it takes precedence over any talking. This means I haven’t used this as much as I would like. I contacted Raidlight on Twitter, but no one clarified this issue. Weirdly, when I tested the sound of a podcast with the backpack resting on my dining room table, it was perfect. Not sure what that means but I remain disappointed that it doesn’t work properly.
In My Opinion
I have used my Raidlight about 8 times now, wearing it for over 4 hours on some runs. I like wearing it, I feel invincible and a little hardcore when I put it on. It’s comfortable, and padded in all the right areas. There’s limited movement too which is great. As it only has a 2 litre capacity, it’s not too heavy even when I’m carrying a full reservoir of water. The pockets are accessible. I keep my food in the arm strap, which isn’t massive but enough for the distances I do. As for the side pockets, I think they can hold quite a bit. So far, a buff and my phone are all I’ve used them for. There is a pouch at the front too, on the body of the bag. I usually put any top or jacket here.
Overall, I am happy with this purchase and continue to feel like a Superhero when I use it (sad, but true). I love the bright colour, how compact it is, and how comfortable it is to wear. The only downside is the earphone connection. It’s not the end of the world, but I am still having to pop my earphone wire under my top. For the money, especially as it was in the sale, I believe I’ve got a bargain.