Article by Jeff Valliere
Salomon Sense Pro 10 Set Hydration Vest
Sizes XS - XL 160 grams / 5.6 oz. (without flasks)
$180 - Available now including at our retail partners at end of the review
Salomon running vests have been among my favorites, if not my very favorites for the majority of my runs where I need to carry anything from just my phone and car key, or additional food, water, clothing or just to wear to attach my Kogalla RA lighting system when running at night. Be it an hour run, or all day outing in the mountains, either the S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 or the Advanced Skin 5 fit the bill perfectly. The S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 is super light and fits like clothing and the Advanced Skin 5 is still semi clothing like in fit, though hasa bit more structure that more easily carries weight. So where does the all new Sense Pro 10 Set fit in?
Sense Pro 10 Set slots right in the middle between the two as far as weight and structure, but is at the top of the heap in regards to all around performance, versatility and functionality.
While still maintaining the minimal, clothing-like fit/feel of the S/Lab Sense Ultra 8, the Sense Pro 10 Set also dials in the structure/load carry capabilities of the Advanced Skin 5.
Starting off, It is important to compare the weight of the 3 vests discussed, without bottles (or the removable insulated back pad/bladder sleeve found in the Adv. Skin 5)
S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 (size med.) - 136 g / 4.75 oz
Sense Pro 10 Set (size large) - 160 g / 5.6 oz
Adv Skin 5 (size med) 204 g / 7.25 oz
I also need to address the sizing discrepancy here, as my Sense Pro 10 Set is a size large. I first received a size medium, as my 38.5” chest falls in the middle of the size medium range in the size chart, but in reality, the medium here was too small. I had difficulty just threading my arms through the shoulder “straps” and once on, it seemed pretty maxxed out, even without the soft flasks, or anything else loaded in the pockets.
I overlaid the Sense Pro 10 Set with the other vests and also tried them all on side by side and it was clearly smaller. Fortunately, I was able to swap out the vest locally for a large, which fit just right with the fit consistent with the other two vests discussed, which are size medium. So, fair warning, size up!
So, the Sense Pro 10 Set is not even an ounce heavier than the Ultra 8 set, yet still has that very minimal, clothing like, a hardly even know you are wearing it kind of fit I appreciate so much, with 2 more liters of carrying capacity. While I rarely ever max out the capacity of either vest, I find going with the 10 liter version (there is also a 5 L version) is a no brainer, as even when empty, there is no real weight penalty, nor does it feel at all awkward running it empty, as the vest is slim and streamlined with no extra flappy material.
As much as I like the Sense Ultra 8 vest, I found that it has its limitations if you max out it’s capacity, especially with heavy items such as water, phone, extra water, food, traction devices, satellite tracker, etc… This is mainly due to the more elasticized hems and less secure chest straps.
The Sense Pro 10 has snugged and tightened most of these flex and stretch points, without causing an overly tight or restrictive feel, allowing for a more secure feel for heavier loads. That said, I still try to keep it somewhat light and save the heavier loads for the Advanced Skin 5 vest, or other substantial vests/packs that are more structured and able to carry truly heavier loads.
The overall design is very familiar if you already wear Salomon vests, but there are a few key refinements that really improve this vest over the others.
Starting at the back, there is the standard deep, wide main drop in the top compartment, but added on the outside, covering that main compartment, is an equally sized zippered outer pocket, which provides a lot of extra carry capacity and the ability to organize gear. An with the zipper, you know it is more secure.
A bit lower, closer to the waist/lumber is a nicely sized pass through pocket, where I typically store a 3rd flask, and or a wind/rain shell that can be easily reached on the go.
Moving to the front, we have 4 pockets on either side. An identical flask pocket on either side, then below each flask pocket, is a deep pass through pocket that extends down and back, perfect for stuffing food, gloves, beanies, etc…
On the outside of these deep pass through pockets, are two zippered outer pockets, with the same capacity as the pass through pockets.
These are the pockets where I store my iPhone 11 on one side (easily accommodated with no difficulties, which to me is essential, as I appreciate that convenience for quick photos, or referencing navigation apps on the fly).
The other zippered pocket I’ll use for whatever I feel like, more gels, maybe my wallet.
On the right side higher near the shoulder, is an ample sized zippered pocket, where most of the time I store my car key, but it can also easily fit 3 or 4 gels or my Garmin inReach Mini.
On the left side is another similar sized drop pocket with overlap to prevent contents from easily falling out. You can put anything in here, a few gels, salt tablets, chapstick, or even your car key (though I would biner it to the whistle lanyard that is also housed within this pocket).
The chest straps are elastic with a criss cross design, identical to the Adv. Skin Set, which are easy to attach and especially easy to adjust.
Being so easy to adjust, I do think often, loosening for uphills and snugging for downhills or flatter faster running. While stretchy, they secure very adequately to prevent bouncing, yet have enough give for comfort and breathing.
Like the Advanced Skin 5 Set, the Sense Pro 10 Set includes 5 additional bungees that can be attached to fixed exterior anchor loops if one wants to attach folding poles or other overflow items.
Though very minor, my only critique for this vest are the included water flasks. They are nearly identical to the flasks included with the Adv. Skin 5 set, with the hard rounded base to ease the entry of a full flask, but there is something about their positioning in the Sense Pro 10 Set, where I feel that hard edge on my ribs, particularly when the bottles and front pockets are loaded up. It is not a huge deal, but I am always aware of it.
Fortunately, I have an older set of flasks that do not have the structured base and this completely alleviates the issue and they are still easy to insert.
the Sense Pro 10 Set is a favorite and in my opinion, the best run vest Salomon has made to date. It combines the nearly unnoticeable, clothing-like comfort and fit of the S/Lab Ultra Set and with very little weight penalty while adding structure and security nearing the level of the Advanced Skin Set. The 10L version is in particular especially appealing given the added volume from the large zippered outer pocket with no noticeable bulk or weight, further adding to its wide range of use and versatility.
Whether I am just heading out for an hour run and want easy access and comfortable phone carry solution, or for a few hours where I need to add water, a wind shell, some food, Garmin inReach, the Sense Pro 10 Set is a perfect trail run and hike companion. For full day outings, where I need all the aforementioned, just more of it, as well as hats, gloves, traction or other essentials, this vest is amazing as well. Quality is top notch and having used my previous Salomon vests a lot, with no noticeable wear or quality issues, I expect more of the same here. Yes, $180 is a lot for a vest, but in my opinion it is worth every penny for the performance that you get and the many years of satisfaction you will get from it. There are also women specific fit versions of the Sense Pro Vest.
S/Lab Sense Ultra Set (RTR Review) Lighter in weight and clothing like in feel, it has long been a favorite, but the chest straps have been futzy and has a good bit of bounce with a heavier load. The Sense Pro 10 Set improves upon that greatly, reducing the stretch that can result in bounce and flop, improved the chest straps, added capacity and provides better pocket options, while retaining light weight and clothing like fit.
Advanced Skin Set 5 (RTR Review) This pack is heavier and more structured and also has a nice removable back pad insert/insulated bladder sleeve. I think with the added structure, the Advanced Skin Set carries weight a little better and also has an amazing fit, comfort and barely there feel, with very well laid out pockets. I do maintain that the Sense Pro 10 Set is a slightly better choice as it has greater versatility and pocket options and for sure is a better race day vest.
Jeff Valliere runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's.
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