Wednesday, November 10, 2021

2021 Run and Hike Hydration, Run Vests, and Packs Gift Guide & Mini Reviews: Salomon, Mountain Hardware, Camelbak filtered by LifeStraw, Deckers X Lab, and Ultraspire.

Article by Jeff Valliere, Sam Winebaum, and Mike Postaski

Our testers bring you their run and hike hydration and pack favorites in a variety of categories with products from Salomon, Mountain Hardware, Camelbak filtered by LifeStraw, Deckers X Lab, and Ultraspire. 

Please help support RTR this holiday season. RoadTrailRun may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. 

Salomon Sense Pro 10L - $180

Jeff Valliere: The Salomon Sense Pro 10L (RTR Review) has become one of my most relied upon pieces of gear this year with it’s light, breathable, hardly know you are wearing it fit/comfort, zippered front stash pockets, zippered rear outer pocket, 10 liters of storage and easy to access logical layout design.  

I use it more than any other carry system, from simply needing to carry my phone, car key and a few essentials on a local 90 minute run, to long bike rides, to even longer all day mountain runs, the Sense Pro 10L performs perfectly. RTR in depth Review

Shop for the Salomon Sense Pro 10L Set. Also in Women’s version.

Running Warehouse US HERE

Running Warehouse AU HERE

Amazon HERE

Camelbak filtered by LifeStraw: Eddy+ 32 oz ($50), Eddy+ 32 oz Insulated ($70), Crux 2L Reservoir ($69)

Give the gift of clean water anywhere anytime to not only a loved one but to a child who has no clear water to drink at all.

Camelbak has partnered with LifeStraw for a line of bottles and a reservoir with built in LifeStraw filtration. LifeStraw was founded to provide low cost safe drinking water to developing countries. Every Camelbak Filtered by LifeStraw purchase provides safe water to a child for a year through community filters. How cool is that!

The level of filtration is stout as illustrated below. The bottles have an ion filter while the in line filter has a carbon filter but the specs are the same.

I tested the insulated bottle filling it from a local stream draining marshes and a pond. The water before filtering is clearly brown! 

The sipping was easy through the bite valve and LifeStraw (yellow white closest to bottle with ion filter above closest to bite valve.)  The water was delicious, reminding me of nice filtered spring water and I am fine as clearly if you follow filling precautions the level of filtration  is very strong. 

The trail runner and hiker will likely prefer the Crux reservoir with its in line filter. The reservoir hose can be used with or without the filter. You can also purchase the Filter Kit  ($40) without the reservoir to use with your Camelbak reservoir with Quick Link. A Gravity Feed Valve ($15)  is also available for Crux reservoirs. 

I have used a Cruz reservoir all summer and it has performed very well with minimal plastic taste and now with the filter I expect even less.

For more casual day to day use, and we know how nasty heavily chlorinated “city” water can taste, one might choose the Eddy+ as might the trail runner or hiker who knows they will have frequent water along the way to refill. 

The main vessel is made with Tritan™ Renew, a highly durable and lightweight plastic made with 50% recycled material. Tritan Renew is made using a recycling process that’s more efficient than standard mechanical recycling. It's odor and stain resistant and free of BPA, BPS, and BPF.  

The insulated Eddy is heavy so its use might be best for winter hikes to keep your water from freezing or hot summer days where you want to keep that stream water cool! It is made of durable 18/8 stainless steel and is finished in a sweat-proof powder coat and can keep water cold for hours with double wall vacuum insulation. BPA, BPS, and BPF free. 

Shop for Camelbak filtered by LifeStraw

Camelbak HERE

Backcountry HERE

Ultraspire ISO Pocket 3.0 Handheld ($30)

Peter: Wide mouth for easy refills, stays in hand without gripping and has a nice vertical zipped pocket for stashing fuel, keys, whatever. 

Shop for the ISO Pocket 3.0

Amazon HERE

Mountain Hardware JMT 35 ($160)

While not a run pack, the JMT 35 is a high quality, comfortable, easy to use 35L pack ideal for long day hikes, mountaineering adventures or trips to the crag.  The design is very simple, with a gaping main pocket that will swallow down jackets, clothes, climbing ropes/gear, with loops and straps on the outside to carry an axe, poles or any other overflow gear.  There is even an outer fold up mesh flap you can extend to (loosely) stow quick access items such as a rain jacket.  The lid has a nice large zippered pocket for stowing/organizing smaller items, while there are generous mesh pockets on the waist belt (one zippered, one not), plus bottle pockets on either side that can easily accommodate 1L Nalgene bottles.  

The JMT 35 is also hydration reservoir compatible, but if you opt not to use the bladder, you can conveniently use the inner sleeve as additional storage/organization. 

 I find the JMT 35 to carry the weight very well, feeling quite comfortable under load and has a very high quality, durable build.

Shop for Mountain Hardware JMT 35 

Backcountry  HERE

Deckers X Lab NVRSTP 19-25 Race Vest /  Pack ($275)

The NVRSTP  has a total of 19 pockets (9 on the front, 10 on the back) with expandable capacity from 25L to up to 40L through a top roll top pocket. Those familiar with typical “run race vests” will know they generally have between 5L and 10L of capacity so this thing has far more capacity.  Made of ultra light materials, the NVRSTP is over the top in storage capabilities and versatility.

I tested it on our hike up rugged Mount Carrigan in New Hampshire and it passed with flying colors but some idiosyncrasies. I loaded it with way more than I needed to see how it performed; namely, a full 1.5L bladder, two full 500 ML flasks, a puffy, an insulated vest, a mountain type shell, phone, wallet, keys, battery, first aid kit and snacks.  I had no sense i was carrying anything at all. I appreciated all 19 pockets, loading almost all of them.

I also tested on a road run with 2 full Salomon flasks and my phone so a light load.  It was a warm day and my back was a bit overheated but otherwise there is no question the NVSTP is suitable for those days when you need to carry just a few things on the go.  

The fit can be thought of as high and essentially wrapping each side of the body with the load. The top roll top, unlike in most such pack designs, is separated from the lower pack completely while integral so a good place for layers, wet clothes, etc… 

While unusual in appearance due to all the pockets and high fit it works!  One can go for an easy run with a couple flasks of water, a day about town with a few layers and snacks all the way to over 3L of water plus multiple layers as I did on a hike.  

As a do anything take along for travel (run, hike, sight see, picnic) as it is so light and easy to pack  it is about as ideal a solution as I have seen to date. RTR Review

Shop for NVRSTP 19-25 at Deckers X Lab  HERE

Camelbak Ultra Belt 500ml ($55)

Ideal for short runs. Lots of secure carry capacity and organization for such a small belt

This svelte belt packs a lot into a little. It comes with a 500 ml / 17 oz Quick Stow™ Flask with a secure valve lock. 

It has a secure phone pocket, multiple mesh compartments with just enough room for a light jacket, pole holders, and has reflective highlights. It rides bounce free and secure. 

Shop for Camelbak Ultra Belt

Running Warehouse HERE

Amazon HERE

UltrAspire Basham Vest ($90)

Mike P: We had quite a hot summer out here in Boise - there was a stretch of several weeks where the high was 100F+.  I was looking for a lightweight vest which I could use to carry a bit of water and small items which wouldn’t be too hot - so on a whim I picked up the Basham vest.  

I was curious about the vest’s much smaller footprint than most vests, as well as its thin non-absorptive mesh. I’ve also started to carry water bottles in the lower back kangaroo pocket on most of my vests. I find this placement much more comfortable and less bouncy than having flasks in the chest pockets. I’m also a big fan of the Salomon Sense Pro 10L vest - it’s my go-to for when I need to carry more gear. Even with that vest, I typically store a large 16 oz soft flask in the lower rear pocket. If I need additional fluids, I add smaller 8 oz soft flasks in the front pockets. The Basham vest features a dedicated water bottle pouch on the lower back which holds a 550ml hybrid bottle - basically a softer, more flexible “hard” bottle. 

[Without a lot of gear, having the water weight at the lower back feels well-balanced]

Throughout the summer I used the Basham vest for most of my hot weather runs. It definitely feels cooler as opposed to having layers of vest fabric wrapped around my torso.  The mesh does not absorb sweat, and evaporates very quickly, so there’s no soggy fabric hanging on you. I used it for the Bogus 50M and it was perfect. I had a drop bag with around 5 miles left - where I planned to drop everything I didn’t need and just carry a hand bottle to the finish. I decided to just keep the vest on since it seemed easier at the time than carrying a heavy hand bottle. It’s a great option for races where the gaps between water access are not too big, and you don’t need to carry much gear or trekking poles.

Shop for UltrAspire Basham Vest

Running Warehouse US HERE 


CampSaver HERE

Amazon HERE

Some tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. Others were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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1 comment:

Bobcat said...

I like my Salomon vest, but the soft flasks up front interfere with my arm swing. So maybe that's a good idea to put them in the back.