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Select "Business for Excellence in Youth" and, with each purchase you make, you'll be supporting the Backpack Food Program, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your consideration! Senator Jeff Merkley (D, OR) visited Lincoln City on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 to present Pat Robertson and the Backpack Food Program with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Pat is co-founder of the Backpack Program and, with her husband, Roger, continues to support the program as a volunteer today. Your support of this critical program is appreciated. Click the "Donate" button below, or peruse this website to learn more about our program. Thank you for your interest! The backpack program discreetly provides nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food to chronically hungry children. The food is distributed in ordinary backpacks students take home over the weekends and out-of-school times. It also teaches good eating habits, provides good community role models, demonstrates community pride and serves as an effective outreach program. Care to donate, contribute or just learn more?


There’s space for a hydration bladder, too, and trekking poles will fit into its side pockets, should you be looking to take it on longer, more adventurous excursions. One caveat: on quicker runs, when the shoulder straps were pulled extra tight to aid stability, our tester experienced a little rubbing around the neck, but nothing major. Apart from that, this is a definitely leader of the pack. A clever little operator, this. It features a whopping 10 pockets, but such great generosity does mean that, while you get excellent storage, it can be tricky to remember where the deuce you’ve packed everything - a small complaint. It comes with a 1L bladder on the back and there are front pockets for two 500ml bottles, which are sold separately. While this is designed as a bells-and-whistles pack for trail running - with securing hooks for poles, space for a 3L bladder and plenty of pockets - it’s not really robust enough for that. Where it excels is on comfort: the shoulder straps are soft, strong and didn’t dig in at all, and the pack can be adjusted to sit high on the back, offering a rock-solid fit.


The small capacity forces you to keep your paraphernalia to a minimum, too. Women runners who are size XS will have to pull the straps painfully tight to secure the pack, so they’re better off looking elsewhere. This one is for runners who like to pack the kitchen sink to cover every eventuality. It’s a monster of a bag, with two entry points, which means that, with careful organisation, you can get to all your stuff with relative ease. The fabric is exceptionally durable, and after a couple of encounters with bushes and branches (we got lost and had to improvise, OK?), it remained free from scratches. The stability is surprisingly good for such a big pack, but small irritations were the lack of anti-odour weave - the scent of pongy kit sticks around in the bag - and breathability against the back was only average. The Proviz Reflect is good backpack that, with some work, could be an excellent one. This is more of a hydration pack with spare storage than a backpack.


It’s comfortable and fully adjustable, and performs its main function - providing you with fluid - very well. The bladder has a 2L capacity, with a large opening for easy filling, and the bite valve works a treat. It’s a shame, though, that we found heavy sweating caused the fabric dye from the pack to leak a little onto the bladder, discolouring it - although our clothes weren’t affected. In terms of storage, it’s smaller than the sum of its parts, but we crammed in a hat, gloves, keys, gels, an extra 500ml bottle and a small jacket. With a harness-style fastening for a close-body fit, lightweight shoulder straps and two large pockets for water bottles, this is a great buy for those marathon training. The 4L storage on the back is big enough for an extra layer, gels and walking poles. There's also two pockets on the shoulder straps for your keys, cards and even sunglasses. We found the bottles moved around a little when not secured with the elasticated loops, but aside from that, this gets top marks.


A very light pack that wraps around your torso like a second running top and, with its handy shoulder-strap pockets, allows easy access to gels, bars and water. There’s also space for a bladder and an extra top or jacket in the back zippered pocket. With a 6L capacity there’s not much to this, but if you’re travelling light and long it’s a very fine option. A sturdy pack with plenty of space for daily commute needs: the tablet sleeve was perfect for keeping work documents un-crumpled. However, you need to keep weight to a minimum for on-the-run comfort since the unpadded waist/hip and chest straps are narrow and dig in if you pull them tight to minimise bounce. This one focuses on fit and comfort rather than features. It’s a minimal 8L pack with few flashy attributes but the weight-to-durability ratio is impressive, and our tester found it an extremely comfortable ride with the (moderate) load locked tight against the body. The straps are adjustable, but we reckon this is best suited to those with a slender frame. The is stylish, sleek and good for going fast for short distances, but not much else.