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Trail Running in Iceland: Testing Duro & Transporter

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Maggy and Anja from ‘You Are An Adventure Story’ recently travelled to Iceland for the trail running event RunIceland. They tested the Duro running pack and the Transporter Duffel luggage.

You Are An Adventure Story are an adventure and sport duo who want to inspire people to experience the outdoors and chase their dreams. Maggy and Anja recently travelled to Iceland for the extreme trail running event RunIceland. There they tested the Duro running pack and the durable Transporter duffel luggage.

Travelling to Iceland has been on our list for many years! Since seeing the first pictures of this rugged, empty, but vast and beautiful country, we knew we had to go one day – we also knew we would have to take gear and equipment with us that would be strong, sturdy and durable enough to face Iceland’s terrain and weather.

Once our plans for Iceland had become clearer, we knew that it would be a combination of classic travelling & road-tripping and a trail running adventure.

We would participate in RunIceland, a 5-day stage race along the Southern part of Iceland covering 120k in total. This would be followed by some well-earned days of leisure and sightseeing along the South Coast. In RunIceland there are some really flat stages, some are hilly and one is called the “mountain stage”. The daily distances to be covered lie between 13 and 42 km and the venues are located between Reykjavik and the South Coast. This included running on a black sand beach near Vik I Myrdal, the famous Skaftafell National park with some of the biggest glaciers of Iceland and the hilly Kaldidalur highland road.

Iceland is known to be rainy, windy and cold, so bringing equipment that could handle this is always a must. Bringing an easy-to-use backpack with plenty of space for spare jackets, snacks and water was an essential part of this. RunIceland is a fully self-sustained race so we had to carry all our water as well as mandatory safety equipment with us!

Duro

It turned out that bringing the Duro 15 as trail running race pack was the perfect choice. The Duro series is comfortable, lightweight (the 15L pack weighs around 500g only!) and stylish all in one. The 15L pack has enough space for 3.5L of fluid (a 2.5L reservoir and two 0.5L flasks), a mid-layer, a rain jacket, some snacks and a rescue blanket. The zip pockets along the adjustable front straps of the vest are perfect to store your phone and/or maps as well as some snacks as they are easily accessed.

In Iceland, the weather changes really quickly meaning that access to layers is really important. The Duro allowed us to grab the rainjacket while running, never missing a step. So this pack really is THE recommendation for trail running longer distances where more water/gear is needed. The Duro is also available in 6 and 1.5 litres and we wear all the sizes on a regular basis and really love them!

With all the great views, different landscapes and panoramas during RunIceland we had to stop many times for pictures. This is where the phone storage came in really handy. Also, there are hip pockets on both sides for even faster access to whatever you need. We usually had nuts and chocolate pieces in here! The external stretch net in the back makes it easy to get a jacket from the backpack without taking it off and with the magnetic fastening for the water bladder hose you can drink quickly without having to move anything around.

Transporter & Rolling Transporter

Luggage is an inevitable part of any international trip but when you’re heading for an adventure it’s important to have something that can handle whatever you throw at it. For this trip, we used the Rolling Transporter 90 as our main luggage and the Transporter 65 as a carry-on. The Transporter is a sturdy kind of duffel bag which is light but crazy durable. It really didn’t mind the rough handling and all the gravel, dirt and sand on the volcanic island. It either comes with wheels (the “Rolling” one) or backpack-like with three straps to carry it on your back like a regular backpack or on one shoulder like a gym bag. Our bags often got dropped outside in open spaces and were waiting for us with dry and warm clothes (protecting everything from the mud, dust and rain).  Also, the bags didn’t really get dirty themselves as nothing would really stick to the surface and dust was easily wiped or washed away.

The mix of a small regular and a Rolling Transporter was perfect. We used the regular 65L as a carry-on for flying and later as daily storage for our change of clothes, camera etc. This could then be left in the bus while we’re running or dropped at the finish line of the stages. The big 90L Rolling Transporter held all our luggage and was only wheeled out during the overnight stays at the hotels. 90 litres was just right for ten days of travelling and there is even a 120L size for longer trips or a 40L version which can also be used for carry-on. Replacing the regular suitcase with the Transporter was the best idea in terms of storage. The Transporter can be folded to a flat/small piece and takes less than 1/3 of the space of a regular suitcase to store during non-usage times.

Ten days in Iceland with 120km of strenuous running in the wind, dust and rain neither brought us nor our equipment down – so our question is “What’s next?”!

Looking forward to many more adventures with packs from the Osprey family! 😊

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