What do you get when you combine a running vest with a lightweight pack? It turns out you get something so functional for both daily life and adventures on the trail, that I’m now constantly carrying it for both. I didn’t expect to like the adidas Terrex AEROREADY Speed Hiking Backpack as much as I have. But it’s been steadily growing on me.
That’s mainly because this flexible little pack comes with more surprise pockets than Mary Poppins‘ magic bag. Compared to the multifunctionality necessary for long-term backpacking adventures, running packs and vests have a more straightforward purpose: to keep you moving. The design of the Terrex AEROREADY Speed Hiking Backpack stays laser-focused on that goal. Every pocket is easily accessible without requiring you to stop to rummage around.
I’ve taken it hiking through the beautiful mountains here in Medellín, Colombia, and I use it three times a day while walking the world’s greatest dog: Campana the Ecuadorian street shepherd (my co-tester for this pack). In fact, she asked me the other day why I hadn’t ordered one for her as well. Not having a good answer, I reached into one of the pack’s many pockets for the dog treats — which seemed a satisfactory response.
In short: For myself, the adidas Terrex AEROREADY Speed Hiking Backpack feels so comfortable I don’t want to take it off. The pack makes you want to test your limits and run farther. Its small size forces you to limit what you stuff inside, yet still offers back support when weighed down. And the shoulder straps have enough pockets to carry everything you might need at your fingertips. If you love trail running but want all your knick-knacks immediately available without stopping for a breather, this pack is a solid choice.
(Editor’s note: This pack is only available in the U.K.)
- Dimensions 14 cm x 21 cm x 41 cm
- Fabric 100% recycled nylon ripstop
- Yarn 50% Parley Ocean Plastic
- Recycled materials 70% in total
- Opening Roll-top with compression straps
- Lots of storage pockets
- Stays firmly against your back while running
- Hydration bladder compatible
- Functional for ultra runners and day hikers alike
- Still sweat a lot, despite "Aeroready" design
- Only available in the U.K.
adidas Terrex AEROREADY Speed Hiking Backpack Review
For the record, I didn’t know anything about this backpack when I received it.
I’d wanted to try the adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 trail shoes, but they somehow got lost in the U.S.’s increasingly unreliable mail system. Regardless, the folks over at adidas Terrex seemed to think I might enjoy a running pack. So, the brand sent the adidas Terrex Aeroready Speed Hiking Backpack.
I started out mostly flippant about the pack/running vest crossover. Then I became cautiously interested, and now I am unabashedly in love with it.
Packed With Features, Pockets, Straps
The pack itself, a 15 L, feels wonderful. Clip-on chest tighteners keep it snug like a running vest. Adjustable straps make it flexible for different body types. It weighs next to nothing when empty. And I find it easy to make small adjustments.
Since the chest tighteners merely loop around small pegs on the opposite strap, you can remove them with one hand, swing the pack around, reach into the duffel, and then retighten everything — without ever breaking stride.
The pack’s “AEROREADY” design involves a series of stiff loops meant to keep air flowing between your back and the pack. But I still found myself sweating considerably when running, even while using the ventilated Agravic Trail Running Shirt that came with it.
For me, the magic of this pack is all in the shoulder straps, baby. Both sides of the pack sport two mesh pockets like a running vest. Both have drawcords, and the left has an additional zipper pocket. That is the only zipper on the pack and the obvious place to put my phone and AirPods.
The design is similar to a lot of running vests like some of GearJunkie’s favorites from 2023 — this one just also has a pack-sized compartment on its back.
In my daily life, I use those shoulder stap pockets for doggie bags, treats, and sunglasses, or to store a paper cup and napkin from a morning coffee and pastry I bought at a corner cafe. On the trail, they’re great for energy bars, lip balm and sunscreen, bandanas, compasses, headlamps, or anything else you might want to have at your fingertips.
The adidas Terrex AEROREADY Speed Hiking Backpack should also work well with a hydration pack. There is a compartment inside for one, and a hole to feed the hose out of at the top. But so far, I’ve relied on water bottles in the side mesh pockets — which are easily reachable while cruising down a steep hill.
Testing With Photography Gear at Cerro Tres Cruces
This nifty pack arrived at a time when I’ve been exploring new options for outdoor photography. Though it’s a snug fit, I can squeeze in my DJI Mini 2 drone, a Sony version of a GoPro, and a Petzl climbing helmet — all into the main 15L compartment. Using the pack to run across town and hike up Medellin’s Parque El Volador resulted in my first drone video.
One mesh side pocket takes care of my LifeStraw Go and an extra bottle of water. Another mesh pocket on the front holds my snacks, bandana, and phone charger. Shoulder strap pockets, meanwhile, keep my phone, sunglasses, and other moment-to-moment necessities within reach at all times.
The pack can feel heavy at times with that much camera equipment, but it’s still comfy and secure while running. For extra weight, I just tightened up the shoulder and chest straps, resulting in very little bounciness, even while cruising down steep, rocky hills. That being said, the pack still feels best when it’s got less than 10 to 15 pounds of weight inside.
Areas for Improvement
While its access to everything can’t be beat, the downside of having only one zipper pocket is a concern about losing small objects. Perhaps the backpack’s designers were expecting only pro runners with fancy watch phones to use this pack.
But for me, my phone is always in the pack’s only zipper pocket, located on the left strap. The problem is that’s a vertical pocket, not a horizontal one. So if you forget to close it, things inside tend to fall out. I confess, at one point, my phone fell into a toilet because I forgot to zip that pocket closed.
The only things I worry about losing when running are my keys, phone, and earbuds, all of which end up in the same pocket because it’s the only one with a zipper. I’d love an additional zipper pocket on the inside of the duffel, or on the right strap. It would still be easy to reach stuff while offering some extra security for those “can’t lose” objects.
And, obviously, the fact that this pack is only available in the U.K. is also something of a drawback. Adidas said it does not have plans to release this pack in the U.S. in the future. So if you really want one, you might have to travel to order it.
adidas Terrex AEROREADY Speed Hiking Backpack: A Pack for the Pros?
After using this pack in my daily life for a few months, and on several day hikes, I’ve concluded that this is one of the best backpacks I’ve ever owned. I look forward to taking it traveling, as it’s perfect for wadding up inside a larger backpack before a flight. Casual hikers and trail runners will find plenty to love here, too, with the pack’s flexible design, durable materials, and ample storage options.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see dedicated athletes embrace this as an indispensable part of their training. This $160 pack could go the distance with ultrarunners pushing their bodies to the limit for 100+ miles of rugged terrain. But I’m not cut from the same cloth as Kilian Jornet or Grayson Murphy.
And even if I could pull off those feats of athleticism, who has the time? I have a dog to walk. And given that the pack’s plethora of pockets has resulted in more consistent treat-giving — she’s not complaining.