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2014-03-11 5:57 PM

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Subject: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?
I am in the market for a new hydration system for running, mostly trails and mainly for long runs. What are folks thoughts on the type of hydration system? Meaning, a vest with bottles on each chest strap or a system with a bladder for fluids? I have been using an older style Camelbak, but its years old and needs replacement (its ripped, rusty zipper,ect) I have been looking into the Nathan Vapor Wrap model since it has the space for storage of accessories for race day. Or, a Camelbak of some model? My current (OLD) pack has a 2L fluid bladder that stands upright---has anyone used a model in which the fluid bladder is more horizontal, placed around the lower back/lumber region? I have never actually used or ran with a pack that has the fluid bottles in a pocket over each chest strap---do you feel the weight in which there is a constant banging with them over your chest?

FYI....will be doing a late fall 50k in the New England area in which I would like a pack that has a little storage, since an early morning start will probably mean, cooler temps in which I will need a pack that will hold some shedded outer ware possibly?

Any other advice or recommendations are appreciated! Thanks


2014-03-12 8:05 AM
in reply to: tigers75

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?

I bought this a couple months ago.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009KRU4TG/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have tried it on and I like the fit.  It's been to rough of a winter for me to actually get out and "use" it yet.  I will be using it for long training and possibly a couple 50 milers I plan on doing later this year.

2014-03-12 10:57 AM
in reply to: Bevie

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?
I looked at that model also. Question for you: it looks like the fluid bladder has its own compartment? How is the other pocket for size? I see the smaller compartment on the outside, is there additional space in the pocket that holds the fluid bladder? (I am also going to use it for longer runs and a couple of 50k runs. I will probably be looking to stash away a windbreaker, small first add baggy, extra socks.)

Above each storage pocket on each chest strap, it that a deeper compartment and does it velcro shut, or is the top open?

Thanks in advance for any info! Greatly appreciated!

Jeff
2014-03-12 3:28 PM
in reply to: tigers75

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?
I'm in the market for a new pack too. My current 10yr old camelbak got me through my first summer of trail running last year (culminating in a trail half marathon), but the time has come to replace it for a variety of reasons.

I've never used a pack with bottles up front, so I can't comment on that. I did borrow a friend's lumbar pack once & didn't like it nearly as much as a normal backpack.

In the size you are looking at, here are a couple packs that have caught my eye during my search:

-Nathan Vapor Wrap: nice pack, but it seemed a little bigger/bulkier than I really need
-Osprey Rev6: I really liked this one...but if you are looking to carry bottles up front, it only has capacity for 1
-Ultimate Direction SJ: I haven't seen in person yet, but design-wise looks quite good

If you are willing to stash your jacket/extra layer in the bungee system that is on the back of some packs, that will allow you to get a smaller pack. I've used this method all winter with my 3L capacity camelbak & have been able to carry a jacket, car key, phone, id, emergency first aid, nutrition, sunblock, hat & gloves, microspikes (attached to bungee when not on my feet), map & compass (when necessary), unused dog waste bags, and pouch containing used dog waste bag (which I also attach to the bungee cords).

Of course, all of this comes from someone who has yet to attempt an ultra...hopefully a 50k this fall.
2014-03-12 4:58 PM
in reply to: Boilermaker


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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?
I can't imagine carrying bottles on the front.

I love my camelbak running backpack for long runs/hikes with the dogs. Not an ultra runner (yet!), so take this with a grain of salt One of these days, I'll make it on the trails without the dogs and be able to properly train distance.
2014-03-12 8:19 PM
in reply to: tigers75

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?

the Vapor Wrap looks like a very (maybe two 'verys') nice running pack.  I've got the Nathan HPL- which is very comfortable, but the VaporWrap looks like a step up from that.

I like the water on the back and lotsa' pockets in the front for food, cell phone, etc.  it's just easier to grab the tube and stick it in your mouth, than slide a bottle out of the front pocket. While the HPL has some pockets in the front, I put a small 10oz bottle of sports drink in one, and some goodies in the other.  But, then after I eat that stuff- you've gotta take the pack off to get at the zippered pocket in the back.  It's amazing, but you'd think it would be no big deal to stop for 1 min and get stuff out of the back of your pack... but your running group will then be 1 min ahead and it will take you 2 miles to catch back up to them!

 

note, that these packs are great for long runs.  on ultra race day- you don't need to carry all that much stuff, and can generally do well supported ultras with a belt and two bottles.



2014-03-13 6:51 AM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?
Originally posted by morey000

the Vapor Wrap looks like a very (maybe two 'verys') nice running pack.  I've got the Nathan HPL- which is very comfortable, but the VaporWrap looks like a step up from that.

I like the water on the back and lotsa' pockets in the front for food, cell phone, etc.  it's just easier to grab the tube and stick it in your mouth, than slide a bottle out of the front pocket. While the HPL has some pockets in the front, I put a small 10oz bottle of sports drink in one, and some goodies in the other.  But, then after I eat that stuff- you've gotta take the pack off to get at the zippered pocket in the back.  It's amazing, but you'd think it would be no big deal to stop for 1 min and get stuff out of the back of your pack... but your running group will then be 1 min ahead and it will take you 2 miles to catch back up to them!

 

note, that these packs are great for long runs.  on ultra race day- you don't need to carry all that much stuff, and can generally do well supported ultras with a belt and two bottles.




You are so correct on two points...
1) If you are racing, or in a long ultra (more than 50) or with a group, it is a big deal to stop for one minute. Those one minute stops add up, they are a hassle, and it's a lot easier to keep going than it is to get going. Anything that can be done to simplfy the process is going to be big plus. Now, if it is just solo training or recreation, then it's not that big of a deal.
2) Every ultra and its venue is different. I have all these items; belts, handhelds, vest, and camelbacks, and each has its place. So I plan on which one to use on which race and even which section of a race. At a fully supported race like the Rocky Raccoon 100, you are never more than 6 miles away from aid, sometimes even 4 miles, and I recently finished a 135 mile race that was only partially supported and you were on your own.

This is one case where one size does not fit all; so it just depends....
2014-03-15 3:26 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?
Personal preference is a big part here. I have been using a pack with a bladder in my races (Salomon Skinpro). Some observations about it:

The pack is stable on my back. I see other people running and their pack is bouncing all around. This would drive me crazy (or run me crazy!).

It has pockets up front for water bottles. I tried this once but my arms would hit the bottles, so I just use the pockets for storage.

I usually run with the bladder and a handheld water bottle. Filling the water bladder takes some time. So first use the handheld water bottle and can quickly fill this at the aid stations. Then when the bladder is close to getting empty I refill. In some races the first few aid station have lots of people and by using a handheld prevents tons of people passing while filling the water bladder.

With a little practice, the pack is easy to switch my front for access while still moving.


2014-03-16 5:40 PM
in reply to: billgeist

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Subject: RE: Hydration vest/pak...front or back?

I just got the new Osprey Rev 6.  This is my first hydration pack, I also have a fuel belt which is ok, but I'm not a huge fan of.  I took it out on a 21.6mi run yesterday and I was very pleased with it.  I found it very comfortable to wear, much more so then then fuel belt.  There was some sloshing around of the water, but nothing to terrible.  There is a large and small pocket in the back, and several others for food,gels.  There is also a nice spot for you cellphone on one of the armbands.  The magnetic attachment on the drinking valve was nice, kept it from swinging all over the place.

 

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