Salomon Adv Skin 12 Running Pack | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Salomon Adv Skin 12 Running Pack | Review

The Adv Skin 12 from French brand Salomon is just about as good as trail running packs get

This pack is like a Russian doll. The more you delve into it, the more you find. Trying it out for the first time I was just amazed at all the little details that it has, all of which are there specifically to aid your adventure or race. Tucked away in it, you’ll find a tiny whistle, a reflective tag, a key clip, a little pouch for storing trash and there’s even an insulating pouch to keep your water bladder cool; all excellent details that will come in handy on a long run in the mountains.

Pros: Loads of useful pockets and details, excellent overall design
Cons: nothing

The Adv Skin comes in a number of different sizes. I tested the 12-litre size and have become a big, big fan. In fact, it’s hard to fault it. Salomon have achieved a really difficult task with this thing, packing in loads of clever design details but without making the pack fussy.

OM editor Will using the Salomon Adv Skin 12 in the Cairngorms. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

For me, it’s the ideal size for a long trail race or ultra marathon, providing plenty of space for mandatory race kit and more. It’s marked as a 12-litre pack but the stretchy pockets will allow you to carry way more than 12 litres of kit. It’s suitable for shorter distances too. I’ve found myself going out for runs with this thing just to have somewhere to keep my phone and some snacks – it’s not heavy or saggy and flappy when it’s empty and it’s comfortable to wear, so why not use it? I hate running with my phone bouncing around in the pocket of my shorts, so it solves that problem for me. 


I’m 5 foot 10 and weigh about 11 and a half stone. I’ve tested this in a medium and it fits me really nicely. To find the right size for you, Salomon recommend measuring around the widest point on your chest with a tape measure and then using the sizing chart on their website.

Pockets and Storage Options

There are loads of pockets here – on the front and on the back. Some are zipped and some are stretch mesh dump pockets. If you wanted to, you could keep snacks for a whole day of running stashed on the front. There’s also space for a folded up map.

The main pouch is easily big enough for an insulated jacket, waterproof jacket and more while the stretch mesh across the base of the back creates a huge space for things that you want to be able to grab or stash quickly and easily without taking the pack off.

“Up there as one of the best I’ve used.”

If you tend to run or hike with poles, there are a total of four different ways you can stow them when you’re not using them, including two ways across the front. Across the back, you can either stash them in the mesh at the base (a risky way in my opinion as the pole tip can damage the mesh) or you can purchase one of Salomon’s clever quivers to be able to access them over your shoulder in the same way an archer grabs an arrow.

The Harness and Carry Comfort

At first I thought that having bungees with hooks across the chest instead of clipable straps would make things a bit fiddly but that was just because I’m more familiar with the latter form of harness adjustment. In practice, the bungees are very simple to do up, undo and adjust, even when you’re on the fly. They also work with the rest of the pack to fit comfortably with your own body contours and to hold comfortably to your body as it shrinks or expands throughout the course of a day.

Other Details

The Salomon Adv Skin also comes with two 500ml squeezy bottles (made by HydraPak) which can both be stored on the front of the harness high enough that you can drink from them without having to lift them out. If you added straws to them, they’d be easier to use but I’ve found they’re just fine without them.

The Polyamide and Polyester fabrics throughout this seem to wick moisture well, especially in the sections where there’s a 3D mesh. Ventilation/breathability is good too.

All in all, this is a very good trail running pack. Up there as one of the best I’ve used. I’m running the Ultra Trail Snowdonia in May and I’m definitely taking this with me.

Some Other Key Things Answered

Is it machine washable? Yes
What’s it like on the sustainability front? It uses a PFC-free DWR but it’s a shame none of the materials are derived from recycled content
What sizes does it come in? XS-XL

Salomon Adv Skin 12

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Winter 23/24
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