A call for comments...mainly from the girlies out there

So I need help finding a racing vest for the shorter ultras--ha! If that's not a contradiction of terms! For the past 2 years I've used a full hydration pack for all my long runs and ultras. I decided to try using a hand-held bottle at my last 55k. I realized over the course that I was able to drink so much more water and stay better fueled and hydrated simply becuase I wasn't getting little bitty sips fighting gravity and suction from the tubing on my hydration pack. The newer higher flow hand-held bottles let me drink to satisfy thirst much more efficiently with less energy and frustration. The problem is I don't like carrying things in my hand, and I have rotator cuff trouble--I know I can overcome this, but I don't want to. Good Lord, I use too many words! Anyway...I purchased the Ultimate Direction AK racing vest which has no bladder or tubing, but a pocket on each side of the front of the vest for water bottles. I'll spare you the actual picture of me in it, but let's just say it reminded me of the Austin Powers dub of the James Bond movies where the women have guns in their bras. Those water bottles sit quite conspicuously right there! The bottles that come with the vest even have red spouts! I just can't put the damn thing on and actually run in public with it. All I can imagine is shooting people with gatorade from the red spouts on my chest. The racing vest is named "AK" for Anton Krupicka. I'm sure he does not look nearly as silly in the vest as I do! So...it will be shipped back. I found the Nathan HPL #028 that looks maybe less obnoxious and only has one pouch for a bottle...will see how that one goes. Any suggestions on racing vests?

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Comment by Melinda on May 22, 2013 at 2:46pm

Curious to see where you land on this. I can't bear hand helds/handhelds. I'm 5'1" so men's packs are totally out of the question for me. Been borrowing a Nathan Intensity women's back pack from Coleen to see if I like it. Jury is still out.

I used to use a Nathan waist pack and beat it to death. I'm seriously thinking about getting another one if the back pack trial doesn't work out.

Comment by Lori Enlow on May 20, 2013 at 8:24pm

Ok, tried the camel bak ultra vest.... I thought I was gonna love it, esp the hydration sitting in the low back. unfortunately, It swallowed me whole. So the ultimate Direction AK race vest made me look like a lethal weapon, the camel bak ultra I loved, but was just too big.  So now going to try the nathan vapor wrap...will let you know!  It's supposidely made for women... "for the resolve and toughness of a woman" ...so they say.  Thank goodness return shipping is free is all I gotta say. Can anyone say...."handhelds"?  I will say...when you bite it on the trail, landing on a handheld beats scuffing up your palms. Just be sure you have a strap that hangs on to your hand, otherwise you may just end up having deadly aim as you hurl it at the runner in front of you when you fall and the 20 oz sport drink goes flying! ...ahem.. Sorry Becca. 

Comment by Lori Enlow on May 8, 2013 at 11:36am
"handhelds!".....I knew that was coming ;)
Comment by Eric Orton on May 8, 2013 at 8:30am

Camel Bak Ultra vest is the best hydro pack out there IMO.  Works great with or without using the hydration bladder and is very adjustable for female upper body length.

Comment by Eric Orton on May 8, 2013 at 8:26am
Hand helds!

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