Orange Mud’s Hydraquiver backpack easily transports a water bottle, offers plenty of storage space and has a comfortable fit.
By Henry Howard
When it comes to longer-distance racing, runners often spend time trying to determine their best individual fueling strategy. Water? Electrolyte drink? Generation Ucan? Tailwind? Some combination of all of those?
It’s an individual, choice of course.
And, just like the liquid refreshment options, there are many options for how runners can transport their drink of choice over long distances.
A solution for carrying water while running
When I first started training for marathons, I carried a water bottle and would stash it at various points in my run. Returning for it was never an issue. (Well, except for one time when a water bottle disappeared from where I hid it on a trail run.)
For my first 10 or so marathons, I relied on aid stations. But as I began my journey into ultra distances, I knew that I would want a water bottle with me to keep myself hydrated and add some calories when needed between aid stations.
I didn’t want to race while holding a simple water bottle so I tried a smaller handheld-bottle that slipped nicely into my hand. It felt fine and I was even planning to run a marathon with it earlier this year. But a few months after I bought it, the strap that secured the bottle became loose and compromised the product. Additionally, a blinking light stopped working. Thankfully, my local running store took it back and reimbursed me for the defective product.
At this point, I was a couple of weeks away from a spring marathon in Raleigh, N.C. While the forecasted thunderstorms graciously stayed away, the day turned out to be much warmer than I had trained in. I decided to return to the expo shortly before it closed and buy a hand-held water bottle to carry during the race.
The only handheld left at the expo was a 20-ounce size, which dwarfed the one I had used previously. But I decided to give it a shot anyway. It kept me hydrated during the race but was just too big for my hand. Indeed, there were times when I definitely thought about leaving it behind at an aid station. Instead, I finished the race with it and returned it to the running store the next day.
Turning to backpacks
With the spring marathon completed, the next big challenge for me was an ultra in July — which I knew would be hot. I looked elsewhere for my hydration needs and started looking into backpacks.
I am so glad that I found the Orange Mud Hydraquiver. (For full disclosure, Orange Mud gave me a discount on my purchase since I would be writing a blog post about the product.)
The backpack is light, easily portable and has crafty storage for various items. During my long-distance trail sessions, I easily fit a cut-up banana in the front pockets, while additional nutrition (peanut M&Ms), my phone, my keys and a small first-aid kit fit in the back behind the water bottle.
I can’t say enough good things about the slick pockets along the back. As noted, the Hydraquiver provides plenty of room for storing necessary items
I never felt discomfort during my runs with the Hydraquiver and only once did I drop the water bottle when trying to place it back in its pouch while on the run. Credit goes to the wide funnel opening, rather than my accuracy, for allowing the water bottle to slide in nice and tight.
(On a side note, the original water bottle that came with the cap had a faulty lid, which Orange Mud replaced immediately. Kudos for the prompt, courteous service.)
How to use the Hydraquiver
The Hydraquiver backpack is easy to use but the folks at Orange Mud provided a video to help newbies.
One thing I would recommend is to fold the front flaps under the supports, instead of pulling too tight. That’s given me a better fit and has not been an issue along the run.
I have worn the Hydraquiver for well over 200 miles, including two 50K races and one marathon. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a solution to their hydration needs. If you have questions, hit me up in the comments section or on Twitter and I’ll answer you.