To celebrate my birthday on May 20th, Angie and I stole away to Hawn State Park (1 hours south of St. Louis) to run the 10 mile loop.
We meant to get an early start but by 7:30 I was still gathering my running gear. As I clumsily pawed through the cupboard for my handheld water bottle Angie said, “Here, you might want to open this birthday gift now.”
“Ok” I said, never objecting to birthday gifts when they present themselves. When I tore away the tissue paper what did my eyes behold? A Nathan HPL #020 Hydration Vest. Hot diggity!
The ultimate trail and ultra running hydration vest. Its 3-way Propulsion Harness minimizes bounce, while its superior construction reduces chafing and won’t damage technical apparel. (That’s what the packaging says so it must be true).
This vest holds a 2 liter slideseal bladder with bite tube; is lightweight, breathable, adjustable, and equipped with duel front power stretch mesh pockets. Iron Man can shoot rockets from his hands but can he hydrate with this much ease? I think not.
My First Run with the Nathan
I put it to the test on my 10 mile birthday run and here is what I think. There are dozens of good hydration vests out there (I’ve only tested one). So this is not meant to be an endorsement of Nathan over other brands and models.
A hydration vest feels a little awkward at first if you have never worn one. It rides high on your torso unlike a school backpack. Imagine wearing a tiny weighted vest. They are designed to be lightweight and balanced. You should feel very minimal bouncing. In fact, you shouldn’t even notice that it’s there.
The Nathan #020 lives up to these criteria. I like it. We will have a happy life together. If you are thinking of buying a hydration vest consider these four simple suggestions:
Should You Get a Vest?
- Get one if you plan on running long distances. Angie uses hers for runs of 10 miles or more especially on hot days. Carrying handheld bottles gets kinda old. Two liters of water can last you 2-3 hours.
- If you get one, get one made for running. They have all kinds of features designed with the runner in mind.
- Start with a lower priced model like the Nathan to see how you like running with a vest.
- I tried to think of another suggestion but was drawing a blank.
I am just scratching the surface on the topic of hydration vests. The model I have costs $58.55 on Amazonthat’s my affiliate link (wink wink). There are vests that cost up to $200 . And some that are designed by ultra marathon icons like the Ultimate Direction Signature Series Scott Jurek Ultra Vest. But let’s not get too carried away.
Run Farther Young Man
Thanks to my hydration vest I am a freer man –able to run untethered into the wild. I can run as long as my legs and my 2 liters can last. Getting a drink is as easy as inserting a rubber tube into my mouth. Like beer drinking hats in the 1980s, life has just got a lot simpler. Thank you. Thank you.