Overview of the Raidlight Responsiv 10L Race Vest
The Raidlight Responsiv 10L Race Vest is an impressive running vest. It has all the key features you should look for in a running vest: lightweight, a compressed and secure fit, and just enough stretchy pockets to keep all your food and gear options close at hand. Overall, the Raidlight Responsiv 10L rivals my all-time favorite running vest – the Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Set Pack – as my current go-to running vest.
- Weight: 230g (8.1oz) without soft flasks or a bladder
- Included water storage options: Two 600ml wide-mouth soft flasks with insulated drinking straws.
- Bladder compatible? Yes
- Pole storage options? Multiple
Front view of the Raidlight Responsiv 10L Race Vest
Rear view of the Raidlight Responsiv 10L Race Vest
Two 600ml soft flasks with insulated drinking straws are included
Now for more details. In this review, we’ll break things down in to six areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the vest.
- What could be improved: tweaks or improvements that could be made to make the vest better.
- When to use it: the situations or scenarios where the vest excels.
- How it compares: my current go-to running vests and how this vest compares.
- Should you purchase? My overall recommendation on whether to purchase this vest or not.
- Purchasing Information: where to go to purchase this vest.
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
- Fit. With one minor exception I’ll mention below, this vest fits very well. It rides quite high on your body which I think is a big reason for the great fit. And just as importantly all the material choices stretch really well but also compress to keep bouncing to a bare minimum. And the nifty feature here is the use of side micrometric buckles (i.e., micro adjustment dials) which allow for precise adjustments depending on how much you are carrying.
Simply turn the dial clockwise to tighten and find your precise fit
Both chest straps are completely elasticized to allow for deep, unencumbered breathing.
- Expansion. Because of the four-way stretch material used each pocket expands sufficiently yet returns to a streamlined design when not stuffed full.
The front ‘dump pockets’ on each side are quite deep and plenty stretchy. You can even store your soft flasks, or other bottles that fit, in these pockets too – how cool is that?!
The back of the vest has one large, interior storage pocket with three compartments depending on whether you want a water-resistant layer in between. Included is a Velcro strap for holding a bladder from falling down.
Smartly designed baffles allow for the back pocket to expand further while remaining streamlined when not stretched.
- Nearly perfect amount of storage. Again, with one minor exception I think the pocket setup and storage capacity is pretty much spot-on for all but the most dynamic mountain outings. What’s unique here is that you can store soft flasks or bottles two ways on the front of the vest depending on what feels comfortable. Higher up on the more traditional flask / bottle pockets or slightly lower on the front dump pockets that wrap around. I love the versatility here.
The rear ‘kangaroo pocket’ is accessible from the front (well, assuming you are somewhat flexible of course) for grabbing items quickly if needed
- Multiple pole storage options. I’ve not seen a vest have such a variety of pole storage options before. It’s pretty sweet. Z-poles can be worn horizontally against the front using the elastic straps on each shoulder, vertically on each side of the back of the packet, and other ways if you can get creative.
What could be improved?
- Size options. The vest comes in three sizes: x-small, small/medium, and large/x-large. The issue here is that I’m not sure how slightly above average to larger folks can wear this vest. I’m 6’0” with a 38” regular chest and I’m almost perfectly sized for the large/x-large in this vest. That’s pretty crazy – how does someone who has a 42” or larger chest or weigh 200lbs or more wear this vest? I’m not sure they can and that’s a bummer.
- The fit around the back of the neck. While it’s great the vest rides high there is one minor issue with the fit – the fit around the back of the neck / middle of the upper back. It takes a little getting used to, and I don’t think it will bother everyone, but it fits differently there compared to any other vest I’ve worn.
- Adding one extra pocket to each shoulder strap. There is some key, wasted space on the front of each shoulder strap that I think could be utilized for small pockets. The 4-5″ at the top of each shoulder strap would be a great spot for gel or salt pill sized pockets.
With the current design this is wasted space and I’d love to see it used for a small pocket to increase the front storage capacity.
- Drop the price by $10. I’m nitpicking here but I think the Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Set Pack is just as good and that vest is $155. The Raidlight Responsiv 10L is $170.
When to use it?
- Anytime you want to wear a running vest. The vest is light enough that you hardly notice it yet offers 10L of storage for big days in the mountains. It’s a do-everything kind of vest.
Similar running vests to compare with:
- Salomon Advanced Skin 5 Set Pack (review here): A bit of a toss-up for me. If I needed a bit more storage I’m reaching for the Raidlight of course. And if I’m carrying poles I like the variety of pole storage options better on the Raidlight. However, the fit of the Salomon vest is as good and maybe even a little better for me since I don’t notice the annoying fit around the top of the neck. You can’t go wrong either way at the end of the day.
- Nathan VaporKrar 4L Race Vest (review here): The Raidlight Responsiv 10L is better in every way. I’m reaching for the Raidlight every time.
Should you purchase?
So, the $170 question – should you purchase the Raidlight Responsiv 10L Race Vest?
In a word, yes. It’s one of the two best running vests available today in my opinion.
Questions, comments, or feedback on this running vest? Please share! And thanks for reading!
If you’re interested in purchasing this vest, please first check availability at your local, independently owned running specialty store. They need your business and are a great resource for the community.
If that’s not an option, please consider using this affiliate link for the men’s vest or this affiliate link for the women’s vest. It will drop a few nickels in the URP bucket if you decide to keep it. Thank You!
Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf
I am an avid running gear junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running or racing around the local trails in Marin County, California or talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras the last few years.
Disclaimer: This running vest was provided to URP/Ben for testing purposes. All words and thoughts are ours and no compensation was offered or received.