Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Nathan Pinnacle FeatherLite 1.5 L Hydration Vest Review: Minimal done right!

Article by Sam Winebaum

Nathan Sports Pinnacle FeatherLite 1.5 L Hydration Vest ($110)

Hydration vests have become a staple for both road and trail runners and are getting increasingly sophisticated and specialized. The FeatherLite is focused minimal and light yet has plenty of capacity for carrying up to a liter of water, phone, some nutrition and a light jacket. 

It ingeniously combines a super thin stretch power mesh across the shoulders and back, with  a very light clothing like light fabric (similar to Salomon's but stretchier) as the shoulder straps and as the lower back forming there the large zip pocket.It has non stretch sternum and side webbing straps to hold it snug and secure while also adapting to layers if need be. The FeatherLite comes supplied with a single 414ml Hydrapak flask.

Official Features and Stats

  • Unisex, compression-fitted vest designed with a longer back for the ultimate fit and function

  • Shoulders and upper back are made of power mesh for maximum breathability and ultra-light adaptable comfort

  • Back pocket with 1.5L capacity and right entry zipper closure designed to store jacket, essentials and valuables.

  • 4 Front pockets fit bottles and flasks up to 20oz

  • Front sternum and side adjustment straps are designed for a bounce-free run fit

  • Unisex size range that fits to adapt by two sizes: XXS-XS, S-M, L-XL and XXL

  • Storage capacity: 91.5 cu in / 1.5L

  • Weight w/o flask: 4.4oz / 125.4g

  • Weight with flask: 5.5oz / 156.6g


The FeatherLite comes with a 414ml HydraPak flask and can hold other flasks up to 20 oz / 591ml as the two top stretch fabric pockets also have stretch mesh inserts. 

The front of the vest has 2 top flask pockets with below that velcro secured deep stretch pockets. My iPhone 15 Pro in Otter Box case fits all the way into the bottom pocket with velcro tab closed and is easy to retrieve even with a full flask as shown below. Yet if you want to have the phone protrude a bit and still be safe that works too. The stretch mesh adapts very well to loads. The shoulders have 2 reflective loops. 

So how does a full or half full flask stand up all the way to empty? The thin blue cord has less stretch than the usual and fits snuggly under the rim of the flask. Totally secure if a bit harder to wrap the top of the flask given the cord;s less stretchy nature but that's Ok as the flask is secure to the chest full or empty and easy to reach. No annoying sagging as it empties.

Notice how the left blue tabbed flask holder strap keeps the flask upright even protruding out of the pocket

The 2 sternum straps are made of a  non-stretch webbing and slide up and down on fairly rigid “rails”, both together, I think are a good approach to keeping the vest snug given the stretchiness of the rest of the materials. I have not yet tested in warm weather with minimal layers to see if there is any chafing but given the vest ,even loaded, does not move or shift at all due to the sternum and side rear straps at all I think chafing will likely not be an issue.

The rear of the vest has the aforementioned non-stretch webbing straps. They are easy to reach and adjust on the go.  The upper back is a very thin airy stretch mesh. 

The entire lower rear on either side of the Nathan logo is a storage compartment. It is accessed via a zipper on the right side. A light shell, gloves and hats will fit in the pocket but the zipper is relatively short and it is not easy to operate on the go on reach into with the vest on. That is fine. Keep it for valuables and for those extra layers. 


I am 5’9” / 175 cm and the S/M sample fits perfectly adapting to winter weight softshell and base layer via the 4 straps or a simple summer layer.

Performance and Conclusions

In a word: “Outstanding”. Very minimal yet with essential capacity, zero bounce and at one with the body in motion, with decent capacity for most road and trail runs, and easy access to key front pockets the FeatherLite is a top choice if you are seeking a hydration vest for any season fast and light adventures. It can also be a good choice under a heavier winter jacket for some ski or snowshoe hydration as it is so low profile. The fit (stretch and straps) is very adaptable to different layer weights and loads. At $110 with a top quality Hydrapak flask it is a solid value. It is a strong competitor to the Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 3 costing $50 more. 

The Pinnacle Featherlite is available at Nathan Sports HERE

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sam! Anyway to pin/adapt a pole quiver. Looks like a great option for warm weather ultras but I always use poles. Guess a belt could be a good supplement option in that case but prefer a quiver.