UltraAspire Spry

Image00001-500x500Specifically designed for those that like to handhold their hydration but have a vest to carry their nutrition and other essentials, the Spry is a super lightweight racing vest that is also great for training.

It’s about as minimalist a pack as you can get. Made from really breathable microfiber mesh and cut to fit snugly around your chest, the Spry is surprisingly comfortable and remains so, even on the longest runs. The quick stash right pocket has an elastic cord allowing for easy opening and closing on the go, and it’s ideal for a small water bottle or gels. There’s a specifically designed electrolyte pocket with a magnet closure that is meant for holding a salt tablet or similar. While I found it obsolete, as I’m not a fan of such things, others out there will love it. On the left is a zippered pocket with a second mesh pocket on the outside. I use the zippered one for a headlamp or my mobile phone as well as an energy bar or gels. The outer pocket is good for gels or stuff you want to get at easily.

Image00006-500x500The rear stash pocket is large enough to hold a lightweight jacket, or the addition of a 1L bladder means you can use the front pockets for gels, bars and your mobile and have the luxury of plenty of fluids without needing to handhold it. This is my preferred option for long training runs in the typically warm Australian conditions. There are well-placed holders that fix the bladder hose firmly to your chest, with the mouthpiece easy to access.

The build quality is good, but not ‘Awesome’ as there is some compromise between weight and durability. The zipper is easy to use even with numb or wet fingers, and after plenty of use it hasn’t skipped a beat. However there has been some fraying of the stitching. This is to be expected with the brutal way I treat my stuff!

The adjustable straps on the sternum and sides allow you to alter the vest to fit perfectly, and being easy to access on the run you can loosen or tighten as you go depending on how things feel as you reduce the volume of fluid and food you’re carrying on a run.

Weight approx. 160g (280g with empty 1L bladder)

RRP: $79

Available at: http://www.barefootinc.com.au/product.php?range=ultraspire&id=228

*The new model comes with a 1L bladder and has some other minor differences, including an elastic waist band instead of material, improved mesh that has greater wicking ability and a strap to hold the bladder in place.