- Will the bottles stay still while running down technical hills?
- Will it chaff my underarms since it sits up high on the back?
- How will I like the top mini pockets on the front of the vest that open via Velcro from the bottom?
- Will it heat up my neck and back during runs?
- Can I wear a singlet and wear the vest without chaffing?
- Does the vest restrict my arm swing?
- Is it worth the price?
The Quiver holds 2 bottles (up to 26ozs) on the back (another can be stored in between them), in addition to room up front for another two bottles, and 2 small Velcro pockets for gels, bars, etc.
I first saw the vest at Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow in Salt Lake City this past month and since I’ve been looking for some way to carry at least 66ozs of water while not using my hands or a bladder, it caught my eye. My experience with bladder packs is they are hot in the summer and very hard to refill quickly in races. I also prefer to carry water in my hands during long runs so I can stay in balance with the liquid being close to my core. I also regularly fall from tripping, as I like to push the pace on the course and want my hands free to break my falls.
I have been running a 20-mile loop in the Uwharrie forest in Badin, NC to prepare for the Uwharrie 100 in October–a course that’s very technical with rock outcroppings and roots near the streams. While the course does not have huge mountains, the ascents and descents that exist are steep.
In the past, I have carried 22oz on my waist and another handheld bottle. I usually run out of water by mile 14 and end up drinking out of the creeks the rest of the way, so when I saw the Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2, I was anxious to see how it performed.
I first tried out the vest with a simple 10-mile run to make sure it would work before I took it to Uwharrie. Other reviews mentioned that it might take some time to get the vest positioned where it would not bounce while running, though I did not have any problem getting the right fit. Riding a bike with the vest is easy as the bottles are close to your head and easy to reach.The two bottles were full with 42ozs of liquid when I started the run and I envisioned it would be heavy and alter my stride. The two bottles felt no heavier than a single bottle waist pack. There was no bounce whatsoever and the bottles were easy to reach. I let my running friend Noelle drink out of the second bottle and she was amazed by how well the bottles set in the vest.
I stopped mid way to purposely try to get the bottles to fall out by leaning forward but they stapes put. The only way the bottles would have come out was to fall over on my head. The front pockets are roomy enough for more liquids, though getting bottles in and out can be tough. I spoke with the company, and they’re looking at enlarging the pouch for next year. I carried my phone & sunglasses in the pockets and did not even need the 2 Velcro pockets (great for gels and bars) at the top. I ran in 90% humidity and was pleasantly surprised not to have any chaffing or hot spots from the vest. The vest is open on the sides by your armpits, which allows air to move between your body and the vest. Now that I was comfortable with it, I decided to take it to Uwharrie for the last test.
Grabbing the bottles on the back is as easy as reaching back and pulling it out of the sleeve. No contortion or arm-twisting required.
The following Sunday morning, I went to the Uwharrie loop for more course practice and to see if the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2 was up to the task. I carried 2 x 22oz bottles in the back, 1- 22oz bottle in the front and a 12oz Gel Mixture in the other pocket. I wore a singlet to find out if there would be any rubbing under the arms and there was no irritation. I carried 2 gels in one of the small Velcro pocket and a bar in the other. Again, there was no bouncing and it did not move even with carrying 78ozs. I finished the loop 4 hours later and had over 12ozs of water to spare. The only thing that took some time to get use to is the sound of the water in the bottles moving around since the bottles are close to your neck. No big deal, I could still carry on conversations with my fellow runners or listen to my music.
While I hate reviews where it sounds like everything with the product is perfect, I have to admit every question I started with was answered.
“The vest really works for someone like me who dislikes bladders and hand bottles. I also like the idea of carrying most of the liquid weight on my back instead of my front torso, which will make me lean forward as I get tired.”
Price-wise if you shop around, it is in the same range as other high quality vests like Ultimate Direction, Salomon, & Nathan. And hey, it’s made in the US and offers a full guarantee.
Suggested Retail $149.94 on the OrangeMud site.
Martin Thorne lives in Salisbury NC and loves running Ultras. This year he has run 7 races of marathon or longer distance, Won a 50 miler (Dust To Dawn), ran 3 hours at Boston and came in 2nd place in a 24 hour event in the Mtns of NC with 103 miles. His blog is chasingmilesandsmiles.blogspot.com
Martin was provided this pack by URP and Orange Mud for a product review. No expectation of a positive review was expected.