Hands up if you agree that the worst part of an OCR is the cleanup. No, not the shower that feels like the best wash of your life. I’m talking about cleanup of race gear. Eurgh! Is there an app for that?
Until there is an app, being smart about how you pack your mud-soaked gear is the next best thing. And trash bags are not the answer. I’ve seen people leave behind a piece of kit because there were just so many bags to worry about… and I’ve almost thrown away the wrong trash bag in the past. So what is the answer?
Kit bags that keep OCR kit neat and tidy.
Better yet, kit bags that wipe clean – outside, and inside.
They do exist, and we’ve had the pleasure of using them for our last two OCRs.
The unmatched kit bag: KitBrix
Remember those cargo pants from the early naughties with a gazillion pockets to fit all your belongings? Now imagine those pockets have waterproof lining and zips. That’s the KitBrix bag for you.
Mesh pockets on the outer sides, waterpoof zipped pockets all along the insides and a big space in the middle. At 20-litre capacity it fits A LOT of stuff, but if one bag isn’t enough or you want to keep your muddies and your clean stuff separate, you can just zip two of the Brix together. Or three. Or who knows how many… You could probably build a whole wall of these… Brix 🙂
It’s a mud-proof tank
Like any true OCR enthusiast, this bag is also completely mud-proof. It has a firm bottom, that’ll stand up to any mushy, muddy grounds, and the same waterproof lining, that makes the insides of the bag easy to clean, also makes it a total tank on the outside. It resists any weather conditions and we can proudly report that even condiments like mustard and ketchup wipe off easily (RIP post-race hog roast…)
My favourite bit really is that waterproof inner lining, so we don’t have to worry about how muddy or wet our gear is. Aloha to bringing trash bags to races! When we get home, we can chuck our gear in the wash, then just wash off the bag too. No fuss and no more losing items to billowy trash bags that look empty but still have your favourite sports bra inside…
As I mentioned, even the inner pockets of the bag have waterproof lining. This is a delightful detail and one V was very grateful for when it turned out that one of our pre-race supplements (MCT oil) had spilled in his bag while travelling. It’s a sad day when your bag is more waterproof than a thermos bottle…
Don’t be a square…
The KitBrix can be a bit awkward to carry because of its square shape, but you can carry it on your back to keep it out of the way. Also let’s be real – any awkwardly shaped bags will better prepare us for all the awkward carries in races. (Damn you bucket with no handles…)
On another less stellar note, I also found that the outer zips can be fussy but making sure the teeth are at least somewhat aligned before you start to zip resolves any issues.
The devil’s in the details
Other than waterproof lining, there’s one other detail that makes this bag a winner for me. It’s the ability to customise it. You can choose your favourite print, but more importantly, there’s a slot for an identity card on the side of the bag. And not just any identity card, but a muddy OCR-themed print.
I didn’t think much of this feature when we first got the bags, but it was SO useful over the whole weekend to differentiate his & hers bag. If you’re zipping up multiple Brixes, then this is also a handy way to note what’s packed away in which Brix.
Do you really need it?
You don’t need to be a serious OCR goer to benefit from this big guy. At the price of a backpack, you’ll get a robust bag specialised for OCR kit. Even if you use it once, it’s worth the hassle it’ll save you. And you’ll help the environment too (no need for trash bags). Though let’s be real, who does just one OCR and calls it quits?
Now if only KitBrix would make a reusable pack for energy gels, usually strewn carelessly in the beautiful countryside…
You can check out KitBrix here. Based on our latest OCR, it looks like these bags are becoming as ubiquitous as finisher shirts. If you want a fuss-free pre-race prep and post-race cleanup, then hop on the bandwagon, young padawan.
And for more on fuss-free post-OCR cleanup, check out our guide to cleaning your race gear efficiently! V’s got this down to an art. (Although I have to report that sadly he no longer washes my gear too.)
My kit of essentials for back to back #spartanrace weekend in peterborough UK. Are you racing this weekend? – V #spartantraining #ocr #kitbrix #keepittogether #wtm #racedaykit #kit #endurance #fellrunner #trailrunning #obstaclerace #crossfitendurance #sgx #grit #bodyglide #dobipak #garmin #salomon #allterrain
* Although these products were given to us for free by their manufacturer, our review is 100% honest and not sponsored. In the context of obstacle course racing, we tested this product out thoroughly with different gear and in both training as well as racing conditions. As ever, we’re dedicated to bringing you only the best news and advice to help you become a champion in your next OCR–so stay tuned and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any feedback or questions.