Review: Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Set

I love the way the Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Pack (our review) fits/feels/carries for faster on-trail adventures – but for longer (unsupported) journeys, especially where the weather demands extra layers or (frequently here in Tucson) extra water, I just need more room. The Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Set is an interesting option that has a similar suspension/harness but with more storage space.

A snowy day in the Tucson Mountains – on the Sweetwater Trail on the way to Wasson Peak with the Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Set

Fit: This pack comes in a single size with adjustable shoulder straps – there is a good range of adjustment but it will not fit everyone. Like the Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Pack the shoulder straps wrap around your rib cage and the pack bag/weight is higher and closer to your center of gravity than it would be in a traditional pack. This combination helps the pack stay comfortable and stable when running. The stretch built into the pack harness is a great detail allowing the pack to hug your body without constraining your  breathing/movement.

Side view of the Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Set showing the shoulder straps wrapping over the ribs. Also note the red and black zipper (closed in this picture) that can be used to adjust the volume of the main storage pocket.

Storage: A U shaped zipper gives good access into the main pocket and another zipper around the main pocket allows you to adjust the volume. This pocket provides quite a bit of space – in the ‘less volume’ configuration (pictured above) I can easily fit everything I can fit into the Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 plus an extra 1.5 liter reservoir and additional (thin) layering piece – see the pictures below for some details about what you can fit into the pack in the ‘more volume’ configuration.

The Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Set – note that the red and black zipper is open adding more volume to the main pocket – quite a bit of space in this configuration!

Gear for my snowy Wasson Peak run/hike laid out on the summit – I didn’t know what conditions would be like so I took advantage of the space in the Skin Pro 10+3 Set to take gear for pretty much anything I could imagine!

Other pockets include: Rear Zippered Pocket (this pocket has some stretch and is a great spot for small items you want quickly when you stop (not accessible without taking the pack off)), two open side pockets (slightly awkward to reach into on the run but great for holding items that you need occasionally and want access to without removing the pack – easily large enough for a wind jacket), two chest pockets (great spot for food or Salomon Soft Flasks for extra water) and a small inner pocket (nice spot for a 1-person Heatsheets Emergency Blanket).

Reaching into the side pockets is (for me anyway) slightly awkward but certainly possible – I like these pockets for items like gloves and headlamp that I want access to but that I am not going to be constantly getting in and out of the pocket.

Rear view of the pack – the longest white vertical zipper in the picture belongs to the smaller rear pocket, a great spot for items that you want to keep easy to find when you take your pack off.

Hydration: The pack comes with a 1.5 liter Salomon/Hydrapak reservoir in a lightly insulted sleeve. I like the Hydrapak reservoirs – large top opening for easy filling/cleaning, nice material and easy to seal securely . The hose runs from the bottom of the reservoir under your arm/along the shoulder strap. This configuration helps put the bite valve in a great ‘ready-to-use’ position. While it is not difficult to get the reservoir in and out of the pack it is not as quick/easy/convenient as it is with the Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Pack.

The Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Set Set does not carry/fit/feel quite as well as the Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Pack does, but for some adventures having more space is critical and the Skin Pro 10+3 Set provides a nice way to have more storage space while still having a run friendly ‘vest’ style pack. For me the genius of this compromise was shown by a snowy run/hike to Wasson Peak in the Tucson Mountains – I don’t spend many days in the snow, was unsure about what the conditions would be and was not sure how long it would take… So it was great to be able to load extra layers/gear into my Skin Pro 10+3 Set and head out knowing I had everything I could possibly need – and still get a decent carry when running!

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