If you are still running with a traditional drink belt strapped to your waist — listen here: It’s time to give up the drink belt for running excursions. The fight is over and the running vest is miles ahead of you, already sipping a refreshing recovery drink at the parking lot––heck they might have even swapped their cold, sweaty top layer for a warm, dry one by now. Instead of spending time catering to your bruised hips and a sore back from the bumpy ride of the drink belt; swap it out and enjoy more storage, convenient water access and a “barely there” feel.
From the dawn of the CamelBak, which might date some readers, to the svelt body-hugging running vest of today, it’s a buyers market when it comes to options including fit, color, and the ad-nauseam accessories. One brand that was an early entrant into the more tech featured running vest niche was Salomon. Many of their running vests share the most basic of templates: a wrap-around vest made with breathable and stretchy fabric and plenty of pockets.
For the past several months, I’ve been testing the Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set, which includes two soft flasks. The “5” in the name represents the volume of the vests carrying capacity for extra gear. There’s a back pocket/sleeve Salomon wisely calls a “kangaroo” pocket. That rear pocket is perfect for stashing a windbreaker, or a light extra layer you might want to haul on your run.
The vest comes with 2 zippered side pockets(you can stuff a light windbreaker there too), and several pockets for nutrition, gloves, and a hat. It’s a fast feeling and looking pack. For those with an average ape-index, you can reach all your gear mid-stride, including items in the kangaroo pocket.
Perfect Distance: <4 hours
Temperature: Reasonably Sustained (not a ton of layer swapping)
Liquid Capacity: 1L
- Plenty of secure storage space
- Customizable front adjustments for fit
- All pockets reachable while on the move
- No chaffing in even the hottest of conditions
- Perhaps too many storage pockets for the length of time the vest supports
- Takes some finessing to get the water jugs to sit still on fast terrain
- No space for extra water (However, if you are looking for water bladder storage upgrade to the Salomon ADV Skin 12)
Bottom Line: This vest performs with ease as you jump from rock to rock, downhill to pavement, and everything in between. A great running race vest for any distance (especially when refueling stations are an option).
Like many Solomon products, you pay a premium for the refined design and premium fabrics. The vest retails for $155.00. (If you do your homework, it’s possible to find the vest on sale.) And for those with fashion sense, it comes in several color options: black, blue, and red — with sizes ranging from XS, S, M, L, and XL. Here’s a link to Salomon’s running vest size chart.