Slideshow: Gear Box: Hydration systems
The importance of optimal hydration for running performance is no secret, but it's hard to stay vigilant when it comes to fluid consumption on longer distances on the roads and trails. This is where the latest hydration systems come in. Not only are they portable, they are also performance driven. Made with the athlete in mind, check out these top hydration solutions to take on the run. <i>-- By Mackenzie Lobby, special to espnW</i>
Best Hydration Solutions for Running
The importance of optimal hydration for running performance is no secret, but it's hard to stay vigilant when it comes to fluid consumption on longer distances on the roads and trails. This is where the latest hydration systems come in. Not only are they portable, they are also performance driven. Made with the athlete in mind, check out these top hydration solutions to take on the run. -- By Mackenzie Lobby, special to espnW
Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta ($124)
From the brand's Jenny Collection, the Ultra Vesta is designed for women heading out on the trails. Twin 10-ounce bottles on the front of the vest help with comfort and ease of access. The back main compartment is large enough to hold an extra jacket, a snack or a hydration reservoir if you're in need of backup fluids. Small front pockets are perfect to hold gels, keeping them easily accessible. The vest counters bounce with effective weight dispersal and multiple adjustment points.
Salomon Park Hydro Handset ($40)
For runners who want to be unencumbered, Salomon offers a handheld solution in the Hydro Handset. Made with a stretch carrying system that holds a 500ml collapsible flask, it compresses as it is emptied. Including a small external pocket, you can also fit a set of keys, phone or a couple of gels. Weighing just 2.8 ounces, this is one of the lightest weight systems around.
GoMotion Synergy Hydration Lightvest ($94.95 with bladder)
An ingenious combination, GoMotion's Synergy vest is a hydration solution and lighting option all in one package. Regardless of the terrain you'll be navigating, if you're going long at night, this will be your go-to choice. Featuring a chest-mounted LED light, you can ditch your uncomfortable headlamps. Three levels of brightness help you stay glowing for eight to 54 hours, depending on the setting. There's also room for a 1.0-liter Hydrapack bladder (sold separately).
Osprey Rev 1.5 ($70)
A standout if you're looking for something light and fast, the Rev 1.5 debuts a Biostretch body wrap harness that keeps the pack snug and stable, allowing it to move with you rather than swing in the opposite direction. Including Osprey's new 1.5-liter Hydraulics LT Reservoir, which is built to reduce sloshing, this is one of the most streamlined packs on the market. If you're in need of more space or a larger reservoir, there are four other similar packs to choose from in the Rev series.
FuelBelt Revenge R20 ($43.95)
A waistbelt design, the Revenge R20 includes two 7-ounce BPA-free bottles. Marked by a plastic molded-holster system, the bottles slide in and out easily while you're in motion. A new silicone push-pull P2 bottle cap makes it easy to take a quick swig and then close it without additional spillage. If you prefer to have access to water and a sports drink, this is a great, customizable option.
Camelbak Ultra LR ($110)
A lumbar hydration vest designed for going long, the Ultra LR is built to put the weight of the pack on your hips instead of your shoulders and back. Not only does this make it more comfortable, it also allows you to maintain your natural running form. With a 2-liter hydration reservoir, a quick-stash mesh back pocket, and two front cargo pockets, there's room for everything you'll need for that extra mileage.
Nathan Peak Belt ($40)
Sporting an 18-ounce SpeedDraw Flask with a push-pull cap, the Peak system showcases a sleek waistbelt solution. The angled bottle holder makes it easy to grab your drink and go, in addition to insulating the bottle, keeping liquids colder longer. Providing a bounce-free ride, extended side panels insure the belt stays close to the body while you're running. For extra storage, the Peak touts a zippered stretch pocket and shock cord system to carry all your essentials.
Granite Gear Athabasca 24 ($129.95)
Perfect for day hiking, fast packing, or biking, the Athabasca can hold up to 30 pounds, offering a bit more substantial pack. With a built-in hydration compatible sleeve, this pack allows you to utilize a reservoir of your choice. Also including twin power-mesh side pockets for additional water bottles and 24-liter capacity, you'll be able to fit everything you need for a day out on the trails.