Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hydration...from a vest




What's your experience with hydration vests?

I have long been fearful of them. Seriously. They kind of have that #badass ultra-crazy-endurance-athlete look about them. And most of them come with a tentacle-looking hose attached to a refillable water compartment. All I got to say about that is, "Ewwwww."

That said, I have been doing a lot more endurance running in recent years (hello? Three marathons and two ultras, anyone?). Even though most of my long training runs are mapped out to loop back to my house (for water, potty stops, fuel, etc.), there are times when it's so hot, though, that I do like to have water with me. I am not a fan of fuel belts (though I own several), and I detest hand-held options (but I have used those, too).


When the opportunity presented it self to be a product tester for the SLS3 Hydration Vest (check it out HERE), I was intrigued. I have tried (and, subsequently, purchased some of SLS3's other products), so I had complete faith in this being a quality product as well. And I was not disappointed.

Thus, here are my five favorite things about this awesome product:

Favorite thing #1 - it's great for running!
I have worn it for some short runs (2-4 miles), and I have used it for medium-distance runs (5-8 miles). It totally stayed in place...in other words, no dreaded bouncing! I was worried the bottles (two 9.5 oz. bottles came with it, and fit in each of the front shoulder straps) would feel heavy, but I barely even noticed they were there.


Favorite thing #2 - it's not just for running!
The vest arrived on my doorstep the Monday after my ultra (in mid July), and since I knew I would not be doing any long runs for the next few weeks (while in recovery mode), I first tested the vest out on a bike ride. I wasn't sure how it would work while in that stooped-over cycling position, but it stayed in place. There was absolutely no swaying from side-to-side, and the water bottles did not bounce as I was pedaling along.


Favorite thing #3 - it is so light-weight!
Even with both water bottles filled, I was surprised how light weight it was. I especially like the double harness straps that secure it in place across the front. It never felt tight, but definitely felt like it wasn't going anywhere.


Favorite thing #4 - lots of storage!
Holy cow, the storage on this is incredible. The left shoulder strap has a big expandable (zippered) pocket right above the bottle holder. The right shoulder strap has an elastic strap that a water hose will fit through (if you're using a bladder). Right below the elastic strap (and directly above the bottle holder) is a small expandable pocket (with a hook & eye closure).





On the left is the HUGE pocket across the back, top right is the expandable pocket on the left front strap, right middle is the pocket on the front of the left bottle holder, and the bottom right is the elastic strap and small pocket on the upper front right strap
Favorite thing #5 - it is "bladder-optional!" 
As mentioned above, I'm a little creeped out by the bladder/water hose thing you see on most hydration vests. Fortunately, this hydration vest has a big pocket on the back side that will accommodate a "drop-in" bladder for those who want that option. The hose would then come around on the user's right side and slide through the elastic strap on the right shoulder strap.






What do you use for hydration "on the road?" Have you ever used a hydration vest?

***Disclaimer*** I was given a discounted price on my purchase of the SLS3 Hydration Vest in exchange for a test and review of the product. I receive no compensation for referring anyone to their website and I receive no commission on any or all subsequent sales. I do LOVE this vest, though...all of these opinions are my own.  

I'm linking with the DC gals ( Courtney and Mar and Cynthia ) for the Friday Five link-up. I invite you to check out their blogs, as well as all the other linked blogs. ...today's theme is food and drink.





38 comments:

  1. I don't have a hydration vest but my sister does and she wore it during our marathon this year so she could carry water for the both of us. I am so glad she did cus I wore a hydration belt last yer during the marathon and that did not go over well!

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    1. Hydration is crucial, but a major inconvenience for me. I have a belt and it always leaks on me...and feels like I have a needy toddler strapped to my waist LOL

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  2. my husband just got me a salomon hydration vest for my birthday :) I love it. But I have a lot of experience with it since I basically "steal" his as often as possible. Smart man to get me my own! I ran my 2nd Half Marathon with a camelbak (I have had that one for a while but don't really like it for running) and my first 3 marathons with his salomon. 2 marathons I did not use any vest or hydration belt, I just made use of the stations. Not sure what I'll do for the next one. They are REALLY convenient. It's good you found one you liked and got to purchase it at discount (bonus!!).

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    1. I do appreciate the convenience! Whenever I use a belt (hydration or "just" for fuel, etc.), I always have to hike it up as high (and tight) as it will go on my waist, and UGH. All belts creep up on my waist and bounce if I don't have them strapped on super tight (I have surmised it's my waist at fault, not the belts, because it happens with every belt).

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    2. i get the same bounce. can't. stand. it!!!!

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  3. I am also kind of weirded out by the bladder thing too. I do like the idea of a drop in one too. Thanks for the review

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    1. I doubt I'll ever use the back pocket for a bladder thingy...but I also never thought I'd run a marathon LOL

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  4. Soooo there's a place for a bladder but it does not come with? Do you know how big of a bladder it fits? I do like that it has room for bottles. And everything else. Ha! I'm such an "expert" now.

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    1. I think I saw on the website (in the Q/A section) that a 1-liter bladder would fit...not sure if they have an available bladder that's an add-on accessory or if any bladder will work.

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  5. Glad to see you liked it! I have been wary of getting one because I was worried about weight and bounce or chafing. But t seems like you didn't have issues with that!

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    1. This was light as air...even with the water bottles filled at capacity ;-)

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  6. I have a Nathan helo vest which was a lifesaver during marathon training! It also comes in handy for hiking and just general use backpack when the bladder is out. This one looks nice!

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    1. This one worked great for non-running stuff as well (biking). I love the big pocket on the back...it's deep but slim, so it's not bulky.

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  7. I haven never tried a hydration vest, for some reason it doesn't appeal to me. I have a handheld water bottle that I use all the time, and up until now it works very well.

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    1. I have just never loved the hand-held bottles. I have used them, yes, but the constant sloshing of the water drives me crazy and makes me feel like the bottle is "too heavy" as a result LOL

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  8. I haven't tried a hydration vest yet, I usually use a handheld. Have been considering getting a vest as my runs are getting progressively longer

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    1. I have used handhelds before, but am not in love with them. I'm just too high-maintenance I guess. I don't like having to carry/hold things in my hands.

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  9. I have a hydration vest, belts and bottles. The one I choose depends on the length of the run and whether or not there are water fountains on my route. Lately, I carry a water bottle with me on long runs and refill at the fountains or just depend on the park fountains.

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    1. I agree...I don't typically need water with me at all times for all runs, but it does depend on various factors...weather & distance being the two main ones.

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  10. I've never use a hyd ration vest for running though I need to sort something else put for my long runs in the heat. I have been thinking about a hydration vest. I have a Nathan belt with two bottle holders, not enough on HOT days!

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    1. The heat can get crazy! I usually try to loop back to my house if I can...not just for water,but also a quick break from the weather.

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  11. I never even knew this was a thing until I saw you wearing it! Not a bad product

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    1. I have seen other vests/packs,but they always looks cumbersome to me. This one is small, but has a lot of storage...perfect for my needs!

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    1. I do too! Lime green is one of my favorite colors ;-)

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  13. I like my Nathan Hydration Vest (it is easy to clean!) and Hydraquiver, but this looks like another good option.

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    1. This is a great option for me, given my OCD issues with cleaning (I have an extremely strong sense of smell, so water always has a strange "taste" to me. I don't think I could ever get the hose thing clean enough LOL)

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  14. I like the idea of a vest to carry all my stuff, but like you the bladder and hose thing...not so much! Great review, tho!

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    1. Yeah, the hose/bladder will not be happening for me...

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  15. Nice review! I have never tried a vest. I like how it carries all your stuff too!

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    1. This can carry a lot of stuff! I have different belts I have used, and all of them fit me weird (I suspect it's me, and not the belts).

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  16. I really want a non-bladder vest so maybe I'll check this out. I just can't stand any bouncing!

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  17. I like the look of this vest and that it doesn't have a bladder. I just bought a bladder one off groupon and it's okay, nothing great. I will have to check this one out.

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    1. I know I should never say, "never," but I doubt I'll go the bladder route. I like how this vest works as is ;-)

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  18. I've never tried a vest before. I have a hydration belt that holds about 10 oz of liquid, but I'm sure that if I ever decide to conquer a marathon that I'll never something that holds more during my long runs.

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  19. I seriously will probably not use this on race day, but there will probably be some long runs where it will come in handy. I'm glad I have it, though, and know it's an option ;-)

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  20. Okay, I'm sold. I need to try this!! I think it will be so helpful during marathon training. I would always steer away because I didn't want anything heavy weighing me down...

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