After writing this post a few weeks ago, I was surprised at how many of you are/were in the same boat as me – struggling to find the right hydration source for these sweltering summer runs. We don’t want to hold a bottle, don’t want to have to stop every few miles to drink from a bottle either along course or by our home and hadn’t had luck with belts.
Well, I tried a new hydration system this weekend – the Orange Mud.Vest Pack 1 – and am already hooked.
First, let me say that I owe a HUGE thanks to Cheri for recommending it to me. I looked into every single recommendation that was mentioned in the comments – and actually got a couple that I will be testing out to see what works best for me.
But rather than wait until I try them all out to do one massive review, I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the Orange Mud pack – I feel that after a 16 mile run in 80+ degree weather, you know one way or the other if the vest is going to work!
The Orange Mud markets it’s products as “no bounce, ultralight hydration packs.” The idea behind the Orange Mud is that you use a bottle instead of a bladder and hose system. The bottle is kept behind you on your back – similar to a camelbak or other bladder backpack system. The bottle is easy to grab and replace thanks to a wide funnel opening and perfect retention.
From their website:
“Innovation from frustration” Our philosophy at Orange Mud is very simple, make the most efficient, well crafted, locally sourced gear. Our flag ship hydration pack series is theHydraQuiver™. The bottle based system is both ultra light, super stable, and very breathable. We have two footprints, the standard hydration pack, Single and Double Barrel models, and the hydration vest pack option, the Vest Pack 1 and Vest Pack 2.
I decided to go with the Vest Pack 1. Some of the highlights:
- Food/accessory pockets on the shoulders for quick access.
- Front chest pockets for access to nutrition on the fly.
- Bottle based hydration for easy fill, easy clean-up.
- Medical grade mesh for maximum breathability.
Here are my thoughts (as well as some answers to questions I received on FB and Instagram) on the Vest Pack 1:
- It did not bounce – at all. I was able to get the vest snug enough around my chest so it stayed put from start to finish.
- It was incredibly light and I barely even noticed I was wearing anything on my back.
- It did not affect my stride or my pace (see below for my splits from the run).
- The water bottle was MUCH easier to pull out and put back than I was expecting. I was worried about how I would be able to do this while running – especially as the miles ticked by – but it was easy and didn’t slow me down.
- No chaffing (and I didn’t use any bodyglide)
- One bottle was the perfect amount of hydration for ~2 hours in the summer heat and sun – I took a couple of sips every .5-1 mile from start to finish.
- It was a really warm day and I was totally soaked by the time I finished, but I don’t believe the vest made me any warmer and the mesh on the vest kept the sweat off it and me.
- I wore my hair in a bun because of warm weather but would have done so anyway since the water bottle sits high and it wouldn’t have wanted my hair getting in the way.
- The only time my head/bun hit the bottle was when I put my head back (to look up).
- The vest is really easy to clean – soak in warm water with some detergent – more info on their website:
To keep them clean we suggest using a mild soap and a damp cloth to clean the inside and out of the pack. Using detergents or solvents will ruin your pack. Please air dry the packs, all compartments open, after cleaning. Using your dryer will harm the fancy coatings on the material
- It can fit any standard-size water bottle – which makes it really easy to maintain. No tough cleaning of bladder and hose like hydration systems!
I got a later start to my run than I had planned (seems to be the story of my long runs lately…). It was already 82 and sunny, with a dewpoint of 65 (which = 147 on pace adjustment scale). But despite the warm temps and sticky air, I ran really consistent splits from start to finish AND didn’t have to stop for water mid-run – something I haven’t done for a long run in a couple of weeks (because of not enough water).
7:57 average pace
I would definitely recommend this line of products to anyone who is looking for a hands-free hydration system.
There are two options – the vest (which has a strap across the chest) and the pack. You can choose single or double barrel for each. Note: The website recommends the pack for females with larger chests (b/c the strap may get in the way).
Hope this review helps! Please let me know if you have any questions!!
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