Disclaimer: I received an OrangeMud Hydraquiver Vestpack 1 to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
When I made the commitment to running my first marathon in 2016, I knew I was going to need a new hydration solution for long training runs. I have been using a Fitletic hydration belt for a while, but it wasn’t ideal. I could only carry 16 oz of water at a time, and the pouch was barely big enough to fit my fuel, let alone my fuel, phone, keys, chapstick etc. I decided I would save up and treat myself to an OrangeMud pack for Christmas.
Lo and behold, Christmas came early when BibRave teamed up with OrangeMud yet again to let select Pros test and review the Hydraquiver Vestpack 1. It’s called the VP 1 because it holds one 25 oz bottle; there is also the VP 2 which has two bottles.
I had the opportunity to take the VP 1 on two test runs, both of which were about 5 miles long. My first impression was: “Hooray, space!” The two stretchy cinch pockets on the front of the pack are more than large enough to accommodate my iPhone 6s in its bulky Otterbox-style case, and one of them has a key clip as well.
There are two more pockets on the straps that are oriented so that the opening faces downward, making access very easy. These pockets are great for additional fuel, chapstick, or other small bits and pieces. And then there are TWO MORE velcro-closure slide pockets on the back, on either side of the bottle. These aren’t quite as roomy, but would still be great for things you don’t need to access on the run, like cash or your ID.
The pack is very lightweight, and made of breathable mesh, to help keep you cool. The waterbottle holster height is adjustable, so you can raise or lower the bottle to make it easier for you to grab, or to use a bottle other than the OM bottle which might be a different size.
My two biggest concerns about this pack were:
- Will this thing chafe the crap out of me if I wear a tank top?
- Will getting the water bottle in and out of the holster be awkward?
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to test worry number 1 yet. I didn’t have an opportunity to run with it in warmer weather when I could safely and comfortably wear a tank top. I am still very nervous about this, as chafing is a huge concern for me anyway, and the pack fits very close around my chest and under my arms. I will update later once I have a chance to test this.
Regarding accessing the bottle, there was definitely an adjustment period, but after the first few tries, it was just as easy to reach up behind my head to grab or re-holster the bottle as it is to reach down for a bottle at my waist, and way less tiring than carrying a handheld bottle.
I also had some difficulty adjusting the straps properly the first few times because as we have discussed ad nauseum, I am a Busty Runner. The chest strap tends to slide up and over my chest, especially when I’m wearing any kind of slippery tech material, so I end up with a bit more bounce than someone else might. I need to work on getting the side straps right so that the chest strap is less important. That being said, I would ALWAYS rather wear the VP than my stupid hydration belt. It’s more comfortable (while wearing long sleeves, anyway), and offers much more in the way of storage.
It sits high enough on my shoulders that it hardly feels like I’m wearing anything at all, and even with 25 oz of water, phone, keys, gloves, fuel, and chapstick, I didn’t feel any more fatigue than I would after a 5 mile run without all that gear.
Overall, I’m REALLY pleased with the Vestpack 1, and think it will be critical for my long training runs this spring. In Vermont winters, it’s incredibly important to have enough gear for the brutal cold and bi-polar weather patterns, and with the Vestpack, I feel like I can carry all the gear I need and still keep proper running form.
If you are interested in trying an OrangeMud Vestpack of your own, you can use the code “BIBRAVE” for 15% off your order. If you’re interested in reading more about the Vestpack 1, check out these reviews by my fellow Pros: