Looking for a lightweight race vest/pack

18 messages
05/07/2013 at 15:15

I've been struggling to find a decent pack that doesn't get on my nerves during long runs and I'm looking at lightweight race vest type ones and ideally I'd like something that allows me to carry two bottles on the front straps (not bothered about a bladder) and only really need space in a pack for a jacket and some food so a small pack would be fine.

Trouble I seem to have is that the couple of Salomon packs I've tried so far (XA10+3 and Agile 17) seem to ride quite high up my back when I do up the straps as I'm 6'1" and in the case of the Agile 17, it's basically impossible to reach the side pockets so I want something front mounted and really minimal as I now run with a handheld bottle as well.

I don't know if other taller runners have this problem with packs riding high or if it's just me but it's really annoying having to take off a pack just to access side pockets. The only way it's low enough is to loosen the straps but then it's too loose so I figure a pack that's more like a waistcoat/vest might be a better bet.

Any suggestions/recs would be appreciated.

Pudge    pirate
05/07/2013 at 15:32

Have a look at the Ultimate Direction vests.  I've been looking for something similar, and am contemplating getting the AK vest.  It's big enough for my needs, has enough little pockets etc for gels and salt tabs, and also has bottles up front (which was no 1 on my wish list).

05/07/2013 at 15:43

Yeah, been looking at the AK one, looks like a decent bet but I think this time I'm going to try find a store to try them on first. 

05/07/2013 at 20:24

The Ultimate Direction signature series look like they ride quite high too, although they are pretty good.

Having said that UD don't do anything big enough for a chap with a 42" chest so I had to go for a Salomon S-lab 12 Set; which is bloody brilliant if a little heavier than the UD. The 5 set sounds like h kinda caper you're after and, incidentally, Castleberg Outdoors have the SS13 nicely discounted.

05/07/2013 at 21:44

welcomebrand, i know you are wanting a vest type running pack, but i have been converted to a Nathan speed belt 2. I've done  acouple of 20+mile off road races, my camelbak was ok but it was a hot day and it made me really uncomfortable. i then tried an OMM bum bag with bladder,it was ok but after afew miles my lower back started hurting. I so far have been having no issues with the Nathan belt, it has 2 bottles, a money pocket,a bigger pouch fits a phone ,5 gels,keys and bungy cords hold my jacket.i also carry a small zero tablet tube to add to water on route. Obviously it doesnt hold lots but enough on a race. Hope you get something that suits you.

08/07/2013 at 12:21

Have you looked at the Solomon S-Lab 12?

09/07/2013 at 17:30

Nathan vests are pretty good. I don't notice mine, although I personally don't like running with water bottles on the front of the vest - I find the bottles slightly affect my arm swing. I prefer to use it with a bladder. Used it on one trail marathon instead of relying on the water stations and it was a top decision.

Enough storage for a light jacket and a bit of food - perfect for my long runs

http://www.nathansports.com/hydration/race-vests/endurance

06/11/2013 at 14:54

Sorry to resurrect a thread!

Could anyone with the AK vest tell me the most amount of kit they've fitted in?

i.e. Would I be able to get waterproof top, trousers, spare baselayer and a head torch plus a bit of food in the main compartment if I wasn't using the bladder?

Cheers

A

Pudge    pirate
06/11/2013 at 15:08

Adam, I have the AK vest and it doesn't actually come equiped with a bladder (though you could still use one as an afterfit I think).

I used it this weekend in a trail marathon and had to carry compulsory kit consisting of spare baselayer, pants, jacket, torch, medical kit, food, mobile phone etc.

It all easily fit it, with room to spare, and because it is held quite tightly it didn't jig about at all on my back.  In fact, most of the time I forgot I was wearing it.

Very happy I bought it in the end.

06/11/2013 at 15:14
Pudge wrote (see)

Adam, I have the AK vest and it doesn't actually come equiped with a bladder (though you could still use one as an afterfit I think).

I used it this weekend in a trail marathon and had to carry compulsory kit consisting of spare baselayer, pants, jacket, torch, medical kit, food, mobile phone etc.

It all easily fit it, with room to spare, and because it is held quite tightly it didn't jig about at all on my back.  In fact, most of the time I forgot I was wearing it.

Very happy I bought it in the end.

Super - thanks Pudge. That's just what I was hoping to hear!

07/11/2013 at 09:34

I'm looking for a race vest right now, well for winter training long runs anyway......and I might possibly use it in the Paris marathon.

If it works in training...

I used one particular brand of sports drink during training and it was great then during a recent marathon used the water stations stuff in a small half cup and didn't take to it very well. Would rather use my own supplies/

So, at 6ft4 looking for the perfect fit and functional hydration system, bladder not bottle. Whittled it down to either the Camelbak marathoner or the Nathan HPL 020.

Anyone got any advice, pros/cons of these two products?

07/11/2013 at 10:49

Just to add the new Salomon s-lab 12 packs are much lighter than the old ones, worth paying extra for if lightness is what you are after!

07/11/2013 at 10:52

Is it that much lighter.  I have the new one, but I was told nearly all the difference is in the fact they no longer sell it with a bladder, so the old weight included the bladder and the new one doesn't?

I love the 500ml soft bottles.  Think I am going to save my pennies and get another couple of them and not bother with a bladder.

08/11/2013 at 10:56

I had the first version and the new version and the new one is much more minimalist to the point where I miss some of the earlier models features! I didn't weigh the first one so can only go by the weights quoted on websites 595g first version, 530g second version 340g new version much lighter even if you include an empty bladder!

08/11/2013 at 20:52

I also have the Salomon Slab 12 with a bladder but also with some soft flasks which are very handy. On the shorter runs or during training I also use a Nathan Race vest. Somewhat higher on the back and easy to use with the bladder. The Salomon is slightly better fit with no bouncing what so ever.

08/11/2013 at 22:45

After a lot of deliberation, procrastination and faff, I think it's going to be the Nathan Minimist that sees me through winter training and Paris marathon

Don't need the storage for an ultra - that's a whole new world of pain I'm not ready for......just yet

09/11/2013 at 11:03

Good choice! That is the one I also use a lot during training sessions. Also excellent on a marathon day. The Slabs etc are more suitable for longer runs and carrying more stuff. I bet you won't regret your choice!

03/02/2014 at 12:24

Got to say it - Nathan Minimist is working a treat as a training/race hydration vest.

Heading into 2hr30-2hr45 long run distances now and as the volume of liquid I'm taking with me increases (1litre out of 1.5litre max capacity) in the bladder, after a mile or so I'm hardly noticing it's there. Will defo use in the marathon itself, not sure what they have in the Paris waterstations apart from d'eau? Thanks for the advice Runningmax and all.

Would recommend!


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