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For endurance runners, water bottles and waist packs are no longer the preferred option.
Hydration vests have been a complete game changer, given the fact that they’re generally lightweight, convenient, and don’t cause chafing or complicated hanging off of the body, like other products do.
With that being said, there are a ton of products out there. Which is the best hydration vest for running available today?
Keep on scrolling, because we’ve spent weeks testing out and coming up with the following 5 vests!
Best Women’s Running Hydration Vests
|Nathan Vaporhowe Hydration Pack||CamelBak Charm Hydration Pack||LANZON Hydration Running Vest|
|Bladder:||1.8 Liters||1.5 Liters||2 or 3 Liters|
|Weight:||12 oz.||5 oz.||12 oz.|
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Running Backpacks For Women
- Nathan Vaporhowe Hydration Pack
- CamelBak Women’s Charm Hydration Pack
- LANZON Hydration Running Vest
- Osprey Pack Dyna Women’s Running Hydration Vest
- TETON SPORTS Trailrunner Hydration Backpack
Hydration Running Pack Reviews
- Storage Capacity: 12 Liters
- Weight: 12 oz.
- Hydration Bladder: 1.8 Liters
- Storage Pockets: 4
The Nathan Vaporhowe is a favorite among many female runners, thanks to the lightweight feel, the gorgeous design, and overall convenience.
The 12L race vest is actually made specifically to fit women’s bodies. Not only are they formfitting, they also feature side adjustment straps to ensure the vest is kept close to the body for a more comfortable fit and an easier run.
Named after Stephanie Howe, champion ultrarunner, you can be sure it’s one of the best for athletes all around the world.
The 1.8L Vapor hydration bladder comes in a unique hourglass shape, which isn’t there to look interesting, but rather prevent any sloshing around, which can make your run more complicated and inefficient.
With multiple storage pockets on the back, you can easily keep all of your essentials handy, including your wallet, keys, and anything else you may need.
In addition, they also have a dedicated smartphone pocket on the front to keep your phone safe and easy to reach. The front also has a pocket that fits a bottle, just in case you need extra hydration. We would rate the Vapor as the best hydration pack for running!
- Storage Capacity: N/A
- Weight: 5 oz.
- Hydration Bladder: 50 fl oz./1.5 Liters
- Storage Pockets: 2
CamelBak is perhaps the most widely-known name in the hydration pack world, and the Charm model is perhaps the most popular model of them all, which is really saying something.
Where do we begin?
It’s a pleasure to run with, due to the ultra-lightweight design, and it’s incredibly well-crafted. Not to mention, it’s actually quite affordable given how well-constructed and durable it is.
With a 1.5L Crux Reservoir, you get 20% more water with each sip, complete with leak-proof on/off valves. Simply seal the supply shut by flicking your thumb.
Close off the valve, and you can toss your bag anywhere without worrying about any leaking. It also pairs with the Big Bite valve, turning off the flow for an additional level of security.
The anti-microbial HydroGuard coating prevents the growth of bacteria within the tubing, and is also completely free of BPA, BPS, and BPF. As far as comfort goes, it’s so lightweight you’ll hardly feel it’s there.
The S-curved harness works with the shape of your chest rather than against it to prevent uncomfortable chafing, and a shorter back panel keeps the weight in the center of gravity.
The breathable air mesh back panel keeps good air flow, and reflective accents ensure visibility in dim lighting. What else could you want in the best running hydration vest?
- Storage Capacity: N/A
- Weight: 12 oz.
- Hydration Bladder: 2 or 3 Liter (bladder not included)
- Storage Pockets: 7
So, you already have a water bladder from your old hydration pack. If it’s still in good shape, then why buy a complete new one?
If this is your situation and all you need is the vest to fit in, then check out the LANSON Hydration Marathon Backpack. It’s got everything you need to accommodate up to a 2L water bladder, and anything else you may need on a long run.
Coming in Blue, Red, Black/Red, and Black, they’re all quite stylish and are sure to turn heads on the trails.
We should note that you do have the option to also purchase a separate water bladder (either blue or green) from the company too, if you wish. Weighing in at 12 oz. it’s not the most lightweight for a hydration vest, however, it’s adequate.
Breathable shoulder straps and the mesh padded back add an extra level of comfort, while the fully adjustable chest straps and waist straps keep the reservoir secure and centered.
With 7 pockets in total, you get the main compartment, a rear stretch-mesh pocket complete with bungee cords, an interior zip pocket perfect for valuables,
Two sweat-proof zip pockets on the shoulder harnesses perfect for smartphones and other small electronics and 2 stretch-mesh pouches on the front to keep extra water bottles handy to complete the best running backpack!
- Storage Capacity: N/A
- Weight: 9 oz.
- Hydration Bladder: 50 fl oz./1.5 Liters
- Storage Pockets: 2
We’ll be honest: the Osprey Pack Dyna 1.5 wasn’t our favorite running hydration vest. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have many positive qualities that attracted us to it.
It’s an excellent option for the occasional runner looking to upgrade their current hydration system for endurance runs, or someone looking for a good budget product.
There’s no doubt that Osprey features excellent construction with attractive designs.
The materials are soft and relatively stretchy, which is great for both long and short distances. In addition, the back panels are nice and breathable, giving adequate airflow.
However, it’s not that simple to adjust the straps, and the clip system only has 6 adjustable options. While it’s quite easy to operate and secure, it’s just not as versatile as some other options, like the VaporHowe.
The 1.5L storage is quite substantial, with the model made to be almost completely hydration. The rear bladder system has its own pockets, attaching to the vest with a tiny buckle to keep it from bouncing around.
The hose is easy to manipulate, and can be twisted and locked quickly. The pockets are practically decorative, as they’re so small, so unless you’re only going to take valuables along for the ride, you may need something more substantial in that area.
- Storage Capacity: 2 Liters
- Weight: 14 oz.
- Hydration Bladder: 2 Liters
- Storage Pockets: 1
Are you looking for the ultimate in budget running hydration packs?
You haven’t seen anything until you’ve checked out the TETON Sports Trainlrunner 2. Hands-down, it’s the most affordable product we’ve seen, with surprisingly good construction and design.
Coming in either Red, Orange, Bright Green, Blue, or Black, there’s something for everyone. It comes with a BPA-free, 2L hydration bladder, which is more substantial than our other favorites.
The sip tube is not only lightweight, but durable, kink-free, and comes with a push-lock cushioned bite valve. You can also easily put ice in the bladder for a refreshing cool drink whenever you desire.
The comfort-tapered straps feature mesh which allow for adequate airflow with minimal pressure, and the adjustable waist belt not only keeps the vest stable, but makes sure you’re comfortable.
The deep front pocket lets you take along any extras, and the bungee cord makes it easy to take along a helmet or what have you. Finally, it comes complete with reflective trim for night safety, strap clips, and an integrated orange whistle just in case.
Running Hydration Backpack Comparison Table
|Hydration Running Pack||Storage||Bladder||Pockets||Weight||Rating|
|Nathan Vaporhowe Hydration Pack||12 Liters||1.8 Liters||4||12 oz.||4.4 / 5.0|
|CamelBak Charm Hydration Pack||N/A||1.5 Liters||2||5 oz.||4.1 / 5.0|
|Osprey Dyna Running Hydration Vest||N/A||1.5 Liters||2||9 oz.||4.3 / 5.0|
|TETON SPORTS Hydration Backpack||2 Liters||2 Liters||1||14 oz.||3.8 / 5.0|
|LANZON Hydration Running Vest||N/A||2 or 3 Liters||7||12 oz.||4.4 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Hydration Vest for Running – Buying Guide
So, you’ve read all about the best hydration vests, but are still unsure of which one to select.
That’s exactly why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to write this in-depth buying guide to ensure you’re getting the perfect one for you. Keep in mind that most of these are designed specifically with endurance runners in mind, so you may not need all of the functionalities most of them offer if this isn’t you.
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that if you’re an endurance runner, you’re probably not going to just be running through your neighborhood.
You may be miles away from civilization on the trails, where safety isn’t as common. The last thing you want to happen is losing one of your valuables, right? You’ll absolutely need a pack that can safely guard things like your keys, your ID, credit card, and smartphone, just in case.
In addition, you may want to bring a couple extra water bottles and a few gels to keep you going. Another great feature is bungee cords, which allow you to more easily carry food, extra clothing, and so many more options.
In addition, don’t pick a pack with a ton of loose straps or buckles that can easily get hooked on a branch. Definitely go with a vest that is close and snug to your body, and are as simple and slick as you can get to avoid things like this. It’s also never a bad idea to have a pack that has a built-in whistle, just in case.
Remember, your vest should work with you, not against you. You need a vest that allows you to run as you would without one. Pick one that’s so lightweight, you barely feel it’s there, and that it’s snug enough you don’t feel your center of gravity off because of it, or any chafing.
Storage & Bladder Size
It goes without saying that the farther you run and the warmer the weather the more water you may want to carry. If you are unsure its better to go with a larger size so you always have enough. If you don’t need the extra water, you don’t have to fill it all the way.
Storage is another important consideration. Since you may not have any pockets for carrying essentials like your phone or keys. Having lots of pockets and storage will definitely come in handy. More is usually better!
Going along with the last point, if you’re going to jogging at your tip-top shape, you’re going to need to ensure your pack isn’t uncomfortable or changing the way you run in any way.
You don’t want a lot of lose parts, chafing, or overly-tight spots. You want it tight enough that it’s not bouncing around everywhere, but not so much that you can’t breathe adequately.
Look for straps that are stretchy, breathable, and fully-adjustable, with a back panel that’s also breathable while allowing for even weight distribution.
The main advantage of a hydration vest over a running belt with water bottles is a vest will not bounce around like a belt will.
Durability is one of the most important factors when choosing a good hydration pack for you. As you’ll probably be using it in a variety of climates, as well as situations that will require abrasion-and-tear-resistant materials, you need something that will hold up to constant bouncing and pressure while remaining lightweight and breathable.
So, which size should you get? You may have noticed that most of the models shown here come in either two or three general sizes, depending on the manufacturer.
It can be hard to know which is the best size if you haven’t yet purchased from that manufacturer. It can sometimes be hard to find a large running vest, as most are made to suite the body of a more svelte, experienced runner.
Finally, you’ll want to take a serious look at how much you’re comfortably willing to spend on your new hydration vest, and how much is too much for you.
When purchasing, we encourage you to look without checking the price first, as you may like the least expensive one, or may like the priciest one, and are considering splurging a bit to get it. While it doesn’t have to be the be-all, end-all, it is definitely an important part of choosing the best hydration backpack for you.
FAQs For Running Hydration Vests
Just to cover all of our bases, we also felt it a good idea to answer all of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received in regards to running hydration vests.
Q: Do I actually need a running hydration vest?
Just the fact that you’re even asking that question in the first place should probably tell you “no”. Hydration vests are specifically made for runners who spend extensive amounts of time away and need an easier way to carry their water and other gear.
Q: Which design is better: a water bottle carrier or a bladder?
There’s no definitive “better” way, however, they each have their potential ups and downs. Bladders require you to clean them, and may involve replacing broken bite valves. However, water bottles let you easily pour water into your mouth rather than using energy to suck water out of a tube while running.
Now that you’ve read pretty much everything you need to know regarding the best running hydration vests, have you selected the perfect one for you? We hope that our article and guide has helped lead you toward the perfect hydration vest. We’ll see you out there on the trails!
How We Researched
To come up with the top hydration packs, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Sears along with our own personal experience.
The authors consulted sources such as online magazines for research and reviews unbiased information.
By using Fakespot.com we tried to eliminate fake reviews and use only genuine ones.
With so many options available, the authors narrowed down the selections by using products they felt were the best value for the money.
The staff authors have a wide and varied background as fitness trainers, yoga instructors and runners. The authors have decades of experience and are eager to share their knowledge with readers.
In order to narrow down the options, we used personal experiences plus recommendations from other trainers and instructors.