With the “fairly warm” temperatures this summer and the long training runs scheduled, I decided to try out a new way to stay hydrated. During my last training period I used a hydration belt with four water bottles attached. I never really enjoyed wearing the belt. It constantly needed to be adjusted, caused my hips to be sore and tight, and even left bruises on my hip bones.
This go around I am using a hydration vest. The concept behind it is very similar to a “cambleback” style hydration pack except that they are designed to better disperse the weight in order to keep the water from sloshing around. After looking and researching all of the vests out there (there are bazillions) I finally decided to go with the Nathan Sports Minimalist Vest.
I admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but this vest is great! The front of the vest has a small zippered pocket great for storing keys or gels. It has two open pockets great for gels or other food and also features a waterproof velcro pouch perfect for storing salt tablets.
The straps are a very thin (but strong) mesh material that makes them light and breathable.
The back of the vest is a simple pouch that contains the hydration bladder. It is big enough that if you needed to store a really like jacket or shirt, it would fit.
I have finished some longer runs with this vest and it has been great. My hips appreciate not getting abused by the belt and the 1.5 liter bladder capacity is a plus. Also, the bladder is easy to fill on the go and even easier to clean out.
The only tip I would give if someone bought this is to find a clamp to hold the hydration hose in place. At first I was really annoyed because the hose would bounce up and down as I was running. A simple hose clamp sold at most outdoor stores solves this problem.
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