Do you go for long-distance running? Are you going to take part in a marathon race? If the distance to cover is more than 30 miles, you would need some water on the way. The capacious and just the best hydration vest for ultra running is necessary.
What are the key considerations? You would definitely select a lightweight vest for running. It should be breathable, especially if you use it in summer. Ventilation, durability, and comfort are the basic factors to consider. Are there any other important considerations? Availability of pockets, storage capacity, and fit are also important. So, let me highlight the 5 top running vests I like most of all.
Best Hydration Vest for Ultra Running in 2019
1. CamelBak Circuit: The Best Running Hydration Vest
Do you practice long-distance running? Are you going to explore remote mountain trails? This lightweight hydration vest would be the best option for you. It’s extremely comfortable. The vest is breathable and properly ventilated. It’s stable and handy. So, you’ll like it for sure.
The item comes with an advanced bladder. Do you recognize it? It’s the famous Crux reservoir. The bladder is equipped with an ergonomic handle. It’s easy to sip. The wide mouth makes refilling fast and effortless. Additionally, it’s leak-proof. 1.5L capacity is sufficient for a 10-15 miles run.
If your ultramarathon is even longer, 2 bottles of water (flasks) can be attached. The vest’s design is perfect. It’s the most lightweight. Meanwhile, it’s cushioned. Due to the special 3D micro mesh, it’s ventilated. The hydration vest’s breathability is unrivaled. It’s suitable even for a hot summer day.
What is the fabric? Quite naturally, it’s nylon and polyester. However, it ensures great comfort. The bounce is minimal. Can you eliminate it completely? For the vests is unavoidable. Meanwhile, the item’s stability and adjustability are superior. The sternum straps guarantee a snug fit. However, they don’t constrict your breathing when you are running.
Other beneficial features
- A large zippered pocket for a smartphone.
- 2 quick stow pockets for flasks.
- Harness storage.
- Reflective bands around.
Thus, you can keep your keys, essentials and the other stuff well-organized. They stay safe in any conditions. For example, your smartphone is dry due to the sweat-proof pocket fabric.
- lightweight and low-profile;
- attractive design;
- small pockets;
- the straps can be loose for slim people.
2. Nathan VaporAir: An Ultra-light Men’s Running Vest with Pockets
Are you a long-distance runner? This amazing pack is designed for many miles of comfortable races. Yes. It’s promoted as a hydration pack vest. Do you know why? Maybe, it’s because of its huge capacity. The VaporAir includes a 2L bladder. Its storage capacity is 7L.
How comes? It looks really compact. Is it more lightweight than the vest by CamelBak? I think so. The Nathan pack’s weight without bladder is only 8.3 oz. It’s not padded. So it looks extremely low-profile. The pack is very comfortable.
It’s functional and adjustable. Which features guarantee it? Let’s start with the bladder. It looks really thin and transparent. However, it’s the fastest to refill. Why so? It’s equipped with a slide-on clamp. Additionally, it folds over on the top.
The Hydrapak bladders are made of shape-shifting materials. They are highly-adaptable. The reservoirs are easy to dry and use. Additionally, the bite valves work perfectly well. They are not too tight.
The bladders are designed in the USA. As to the manufacturer, Nathan Sports is a famous American company. It was founded in 1978 in Fountain Valley, CA. It deals with essentials for athletes, runners, road warriors. Are the products adjusted to the states with the hot climate, like California? I guess it’s true. At least, the VaporAir pack is.
Let’s proceed with the fabric. It’s thin and breathable. What is this body-mapped material? I think it’s a secret. It’s soft, chafe-free, easy-to-clean. It’s mainly the stretch mesh. That’s all we know.
Meanwhile, the pack is equipped with multiple pockets. They include:
- 2 chest pockets;
- 2 gel compartments;
- 1 phone pocket (with zipper);
- A Velcro pill compartment;
- 2 side pockets for food.
The front pockets are large enough. They let you place the additional bottles of water. The pill pocket is small, water-resistant. The phone one is zippered. Commonly, all of them are easy to access and clean. The safety features are also terrific. The reflective tape is available. The comfort is great, as the bouncing is minimized. The straps are easy to adjust.
- increased capacity;
- easy-to-access pockets and hydration system;
- a bit small for large guys;
- multiple valve leak issues.
3. Solomon Adv. Skin (12 Set): The Best Ultra Running Backpack
Do you aim to go as fast as possible? The backpack is designed for aggressive runs. The design and comfort allow it. Nothing disturbs you during the race or the training. Quite naturally, it’s built like a vest.
Why 12 Set? It’s attributed to 12L carrying capacity. It means, 100 miles of comfortable running is supported. The bladder is not included. A 1.5L or a 2L can be added. The rear compartment is large enough. The insulated sleeve is compatible only with a 1.5L Solomon bladder.
However, 2 soft flasks (water bottles) are available. The capacity of each of them is 500 ml. They are equipped with leak-proof valves. They enable non-stop sipping. The backpack design is minimalistic.
However, the fabric is used in abundance. The running hydration vest with bottles looks beneficial, causing no tension. No chafing or hindrance is experienced. The material is elastic, stretch and breathable. Polyester, polyamide, and polyethylene are basic within the composition. What is impressive is the number of pockets and compartments. They account for 12.
The backpack stands out by unique Kangaroo pocket. It’s stretch, versatile and handy. The access is enabled from either hand. The pocket is giant. As to the other ones, they are commonly large and useful. The pockets are made of 3D air mesh. It’s patented by Solomon company. The zippers are heavy-duty, reliable.
The company was based in 1947, in French Alps. It focuses on outdoor sports items. As to the adv. skin pack, it comes also with great safety options. They include a whistle, a reflective logo, and a blanket pocket.
- a lot of pockets;
- easy to assess compartments.
- no bladder included.
4. Ultimate Direction: The Best Ultra Running Hydration Vest
The vests name is AK Mountain. The version is 3.0. That is, it was initially designed for mountain trails. It’s made for ultra running. So, the model takes the rightful place among the ultra running hydration vests. Why? It was created with the help of a mountain athlete and ultra-runner, Anthon Krupicka.
The famous champion won the famous Leadville Trail and the Western States 100-miles races. National Championship 50-miles competition is also among the champion’s achievements.
Can you cover a 100-miles distance? I guess with the AK Mountain vest, it’s possible. Version 3.0 was developed in 2016. It’s more lightweight than version 2.0. The vest’s capacity is 11.5 L. There is enough place for a 2L water reservoir. However, the bladder itself is not included. 2 bottles are available in the package.
So, what are the vest’s unique features? Most pockets are just standard. The total number is 14. 10 of them are easy to access. Uncommon are the attachments for trekking poles. 2 zippers for the main compartments are exceptional. You can access the stuff either from the top or from the bottom. Ice-ax loops and bungee hooks are available.
Do you look at the vest? What do you see? Its dimensions are quite sizeable. The straps are pretty wide. Sternum fasteners are built-in. They guarantee improved comfort. Bouncing is reduced. The feel is perfect. The fabric is perfectly soft and breathable. But some pockets and compartments are waterproof.
- sufficient capacity;
- no bouncing;
- great options for the special stuff;
- no water bladder;
- a wider bottle’s mouth would be useful.
5. Osprey Duro 1.5: Small Capacity Running Vest with Pockets
Quite naturally, the vest is intended to long races. Its capacity is just a bit smaller than of the other top-quality products. The bladder contains 1.5 L of water. 2 flasks can be placed to the front pockets. Is the capacity of each one only 250 ml? It seems to be not sufficient for ultra running. 500 ML bottles would fit good too.
Meanwhile, the total or carrying capacity of the vest is only 1.5L. It’s sufficient to carry only the minimal stuff, food, and clothes. Osprey Company was founded in 1974, in California (Santa Cruz city). It focuses on products for climbing and hiking.
Meanwhile, model 1.5 is not the most advanced of the Duro items. I comparison with the Duro6 and Duro15 vests, it’s less:
Only 2 color options are available: black and red ones. I think alpine black is a bit similar to inov8 hydration vest by design. It’s a kind of minimalistic pack.
However, Duro 1.5 by Osprey is comfortable, durable and lightweight. It’s a high-performance.
But for the handy pockets, the vest features also a sternum magnet, a whistle, the reflective logo. The straps are good both for left-handed and right-handed people. The open-faced, broad mesh is great in terms of breathability. The main fabric is 140D/70D ripstop nylon. It’s durable and waterproof.
2 sizes are available. It makes it easier to adjust. Additionally, the hydration vest is stable. No bouncing is experienced. It is good not only for running. Hiking, cycling or traveling would be easier with this stuff. So I would recommend Duro 1.5 as the best hydration pack for running a half marathon.
- the water pockets are small;
- the mesh is not water-resistant.
Buyers’ Guide: How to Choose Best Hydration Vests for Ultra Running
What is the best source of electrolytes? You do know it already. Quite naturally, it’s water. Non-distilled solution. It is to be mineral-rich for the proper rehydration. It’s already clean if it’s the drinking water. So, just filter it not too thoroughly.
Drinking enough water is beneficial, as it:
- maintains the balance of fluids in the body;
- boosts physical performance;
- prevents headaches;
- increases your energy level;
- improves brain function.
Water is essential during marathon and ultra marathon races. It makes running more efficient and more comfortable. However, how to run with it? We would like to avoid splashes and stops.
The Best Way to Run with Water
Do you need to carry your drinking water and run with it? Use a hydration bladder. These reservoirs are made of soft plastic. They are squishy and flexible. The bladders are equipped with long tubes. They make it easy to access water.
There are also soft flasks, equipped with tubes. They are commonly placed to top, front pockets. They are simple to use and durable. The bottles are versatile. They can be used to carry various liquids. However, running vest bottles vs bladder are smaller. They are longer to refill (due to the smaller mouths). Additionally, the risk of leaks and mechanical failures is higher. Have you selected the bladder? You can use both options. However, where to place the water reservoir for the best use and stability?
Hydration Vest vs Backpack
Quite naturally, a pack is good for hiking, camping, and biking. Its capacity is huge. So, if you are not in a hurry, it’s easy to use. However, running a marathon with a hydration pack would be a bit heavy.
The vests are more lightweight. They guaranty perfect stability and fit. Multiple small pockets are sufficient for essentials and the necessary stuff.
If your race is not long-distance, you can use even a belt. These devices are small and lightweight. No chaffing or bouncing is possible. 2 small water bottles can be attached to the belt. So, the water capacity is about 0.5-0.6L. It can be sufficient up to 10 miles run. Even a zippered pocket is commonly available. You can place your keys or phone there.
However, hydration belt vs vest is too small for a marathon race. There is no space for your clothes or special stuff. The weight is spread across your hips. The shoulders and backs experience no pressure. Your movements are not hindered.
The Basic Hydration Options for Runners
Looking for a suitable hydration vest, estimate the distance to pass and the necessary storage and water capacity. Additionally, consider the items:
- useful features.
The vest is to be lightweight, soft and adjustable. Numerous, easy to access pockets would be helpful. The color and attractive design matter only at the race start and at the finish. Selecting the right size is more important. It makes you feel comfortable during a long run.
Selecting a suitable vest, don’t forget to check the bladder’s availability. It can be included or not. Therefore, if you buy it additionally, it affects the total cost.
The best hydration vest for ultra running is Circuit by CamelBak. It’s bright, functional and lightweight. The item by Nathan is compact and body-mapped. The vest by Solomon features a unique, Kangaroo pocket.