Marmot Kompressor Speed

Overview: 
I originally bought this Marmot Kompressor Speed as a dedicated trail running pack but with each use I've found more and more uses for these smaller endurance packs. The Kompressor Speed pack is my go to pack for fast day hikes, running, cycling, and of course trail running. No you can't carry the whole kitchen, but you can move wickedly fast and cover an immense amount of terrain with little effort.

How it Fits: I'm 5'10" 165lbs and I was able to fit the Marmot Kompressor Speed comfortably for trail-running, mountain biking, and speed hiking. My wife on the other hand, is 5'4" 115lbs and was also able to fit her Marmot Kompressor Speed comfortably to do all the same activities. The pack can be adjusted by the shoulder straps to rise or lower the pack height on the body. Additionally, there are two sternum straps to keep the pack sitting correctly along the shoulders and body.
Dual Sternum Straps
The foam panels that Marmot is using in the Kompressor speed breathes well while being exceptionally comfortable. 
Foam Panels
Performance/ Features: 
This was the backpack I used for my link up of the lower Snoqualmie Pass lakes ( Mason lake, Rainbow lake, Island Lake, Olallie Lake, Talpaus Lake). For those interested more about the hike and bike link up, check out my Prana Stretch Zion line review. This little pack was fantastic in the way that it weighed next to nothing, carried my basic essentials (steripen, gels, water, headlamps), and was comfortable to move very fast on the trail.

As one would expect, the Marmot Kompressor Speed works fantastic for trail runs but it's capable of even greater things. I was able to jerry rig the pack to carry my trail running shoes (with one additional tiny bungee cord) while I cycled with my cycling shoes to and back from my trail running location. Being able to use the pack in this way really opened my eyes to the capabilities of Kompressor speed.

The Kompressor Speed comes with a 2L hydrapack water bladder with a fold top for easy cleaning. The Hydrapack bladder hose is not detachable which is fine if you clean out the hose and bladder frequently.

Stock Bladder
The pack also comes with one 0.5L soft flask which is great for mixing electrolytes into your water (I've had no issue with Clif Shot Electrolyte powder staining the soft flask but I've had a single Zipfizz permanently stained one). If you buy an additional soft flask, you can use two flasks instead of the bladder giving quite a bit of extra space in the pack for other items like a jacket or even a foot long sandwich :)
Soft Flask
The Soft flasks are a little different to use if you're used to a Nalgene, which shape doesn't ever change. I do like how small the soft flasks pack once they are completely empty. The only issue I've had with the soft flasks is with the twist valve, to open and close the opening for the nipple, which can be hard to operate with very sweaty hands on hot mid summer trail runs.  Most of the time the soft flask's valve is easy to use.
Twist to open or close valve
(Plastic still on Nipple because I grabbed my spare flask for photos)
Key features that I like on the pack are the double elastic lined mesh pockets one on each shoulder strap which supports soft flasks, energy gels, and even quick access to your music player. The magnetic hose clip can be finicky to get right: has to be clipped to the hose at the correct length so it naturally wants to clip back to the magnet. Once properly aligned with the hose, the magnetic clip works great for keeping the hose out of your way but still instantly accessible. 
Whistle, Magnetic hose clip, double elastic lined mesh pockets.
 The small hydration port on the backpack is annoying with other bladder brands like Camelbak's Antidote reservoir and MSR's DromLite bags because the port is small (they still do work, but just annoying). The nipple or valve on these other bladders barely fits through the hose opening, making the opening even a 1/8 inch wider would have eased this. 

With a full bladder, the rear zipper pocket isn't capable of holding much more than keys, gels, and other small objects.  Because of this, I also would have liked to seen an external bungee cord on the rear. It wouldn't have prevented access to the rear pocket but would have allowed quick access to bulky objects like a rain or wind shell, something along the lines of this Ultimate Direction pack. 

Please add an external Bungee Cord

The Marmot Kompressor Speed's MSRP is 99$ which means it is competing against companies like Ultimate Direction and Nathan Sports. If I had a pack from either of those companies I would have loved to compare it to the Kompressor Speed.

Summary:
Marmot's first attempt into a trail-running/fast and light day/ Endurance pack is a big success; while not a perfect pack, the positive features vastly out number the short comings. The Speed Kompressor is almost everything one looks for in pack of this design: comfortable, durable, breathable, lightweight.

Pros:
  • Comfortable for long periods of use
  • Aesthetically pleasing color choices
  • Fits almost anyone
  • Comes with two different hydration options
  • Foam back-panel  breathes well
  • Dual chest pockets holds water flasks and gels
Cons:
  • No bungee cord for stashing a shell
  • Only is offered in one size 5L - 305ci
  • Small hydration hose port on the pack makes it annoying with other bladders

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