Between my blog and youtube channel one of the most common questions I get is in regards to running vests and packs. Mainly, which ones our team uses when in the mountains or running ultras. And while I wish there was a pack perfect for all situations, I haven’t found it just yet. That said, after testing dozens of options our team has dialed it in with two options. One for running long distances running and one for long days in the mountains. And today we’ll be reviewing the latter of the two. With the Ultimate Direction Scram pack.
The Scram pack was designed for those long days on the mountain. Where space is at a premium and not having the right supplies can be dangerous. With enough room for multiple layers of clothing, food, and emergency supplies. The Ultimate Direction Scram pack is a beast on paper. But how does it perform in the real world? Let’s find out!
- The Ultimate Direction Scram Pack, designed for long days in the mountains, excels in storage capacity, water resistance, and front water bottle accessibility.
- Its 23.5-liter capacity is crucial for carrying essential layers and emergency supplies.
- Water resistance allows safe storage of electronic gear in changing weather conditions.
- The front pocket accommodates a 500ml collapsible water bottle with a built-in filter, perfect for high elevations.
- Minor drawbacks include rope slipping, unconventional buckles, and a potentially short upper chest strap.
- Overall, it’s a highly recommended mountain pack with a rating of 4.5 out of 5, designed for a specific purpose and excelling in that role.
Ultimate Direction Scram Pack
- 23.5 Liter Capacity (1434 cubic inches).
- Weighs 15.7 ounces / 445 grams.
- Water resistant
- Not Reservoir compatible.
- Fits one 500ml water bottle (not included).
- Back features 1 main storage compartment and 1 Flap stage compartment with key loop.
- Front features 1 500ml water bottle holder on the the left shou8lder strap and 1 zip compartment on the right strap.
- Sizing is unisex and comes in sizes S/M and M/L
- Has ice axe holder
- All weather kit included for skis or split board.
Sizing (Chest size):
- S/M – Torso 17 inches & chest 26-39 inches
- M/L – Torso 18.5 inches & chest 36-48 inches
Ultimate Direction Scram Pack Review
Designed by legendary ultra runner Anton Krupicka. You would think this pack would find it’s place running big miles on the trail. But the Ultimate Direction Scram pack was designed for a different use. Spending long hours in the cold mountains. And packed with features that make this the perfect year around all weather packs. And including features you will only find on much more expensive packs. Like the ski/split board bungie and ice ax holder. But even if you’re not cross country skiing or traversing slopes that require an ice axe. This pack shines in a number of ways. A few of the main reasons I found myself using the Scram pack was the overall storage capacity, water resistant design, and front water bottle holder.
What I love About the Pack
First, the storage capacity. At 23.5 liters this is almost double the capacity of my typical running pack. Above all, this extra storage becomes absolutely vital when you need to make sure you have the right layers and emergency supplies. After being stuck on the 4 Loop Passes infamous Frigid Air Pass is a freak blizzard in the middle of summer and almost going hypothermic. Being able to carry the right supplies can be the difference in life or death (literally). And knowing I can put on my packable puffer jacket and / or my rain jacket means I can take care of myself in any weather.
Next on my list was the fact that the pack is water resistant. Meaning I can pack my camera gear, batteries, and drone into the pack (along with a layer of clothing). All without having to stress too much about how the outside weather is going to affect the electronics inside. Now if the weather really starts coming down. I would highly recommend carrying a pocket poncho to throw over yourself and pack. Just to be safe.
Lastly, one of my favorite features is the ability to carry one of my 500ml collapsible water bottles (soft flask) in the front left strap pocket. Over the years I have become a firm believer in using water bottles over a back reservoir, you can read all about my views on bottles vs hydration bladders here. And this pack is designed to do just that. Carry a soft flask. Which can be fit with a built in water filter making it quick and easy to use. Especially at high elevation where the ability to squeeze the bottle to spray the water vs having to suck the water through a long tube. Which is incredibly hard to do when huffing and puffing at 14,000ft.
What Could be Better
Honestly, for what this pack is built for, it really does the job well. A couple of small issues I have found after putting some 300+ miles on the pack include not being the best option for carrying climbing ropes. It works, but the rope has a tendency to slip down on the pack and not stay where I put it. Admittedly, this may also be user error.
Next would be the buckles. They aren’t the traditional buckle design you find on most backpacks. And I have had a few instances where small debris or bud has gotten in the buckle connection, causing it to come loose at inopportune times.
Lastly, and this something I haven’t experienced but have ready a few reviews about. The chest (upper) strap is a bit short for the average person. Maybe this was the perfect length for the bag’s designer, Anton Krupicka. But Anton has a very slim build. Especially for his height. But this may not be the case for the average wearer and is something to take note of.
I love this pack. And overall I would give it a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. With only a few minor tweaks needed to make this pack a real 5 star winner. So if you’re looking for something to hit the mountains with. I’d highly recommend checking out the Ultimate Direction Scram pack. Just remember this isn’t a running vest. It’s designed with a purpose, and serves that purpose incredibly well.
Let us know your thoughts on the Scram pack in the comments below!