5 Best Headlamps for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in 2020 (So Far)

This concise list of the 5 best headlamps for trail running will help you decide which one to buy, based on your individual requirements.

Chirp Wheel Review: How Well Does It Relieve Back Pain?

In this Chirp Wheel review, we cover the key features, pros, cons and our thoughts on using this back pain relief wheel to relieve tension in our aching backs.

FitTrack Scale Review: The Best Home Smart Scale Available?

Full review of the Fit Track scale, a home smart scale proven to provide accurate tracking of body composition metrics such as weight, BMI and body fat.

5 Best Waterproof Trail Running Shoes in 2020 (so far…)

This concise list of the 5 best waterproof trail running shoes will help you decide which ones to buy, based on your individual requirements.

5 Best Waterproof Running Jackets for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in 2020

This concise list of the 5 best waterproof running jackets will help you decide which jacket to buy for your Winter trail running adventures.

Best GPS Watches for Ultrarunning & Trail Running in 2020

Ultrarunners have a very specific set of requirements when it comes to buying a GPS running watch. Our shortlist of top GPS running watches will help you decide which one is best for you.

5 Best Running Hydration Packs for Ultrarunning & Trail Running in 2020

I think it’s fair to say that trail running is no longer considered a niche sport. Its fast growth within the last few years has led to a huge increase in products hitting the market, making buying choices harder than ever. So which is the best running hydration pack for trail running, read on to find out as this buyer’s guide will help you decide which race vest is best for you. This gear guide is continually updated, so make sure you check back before buying your next running hydration pack, as we’ll have already found the best one for you.

Most trail runners nowadays will own at least one hydration pack (also known as a hydration vest, race vest, or running vest), as they are the best, and most efficient way to carry essentials including water, energy food, spare clothing (including your running hat when not being worn), mobile phone, keys, and even trekking poles… the list goes on and is only limited to your creativity :). The alternative to a hydration vest is bleak, and that involves stuffing your pockets full of necessities that will bounce up and down during your run, turning what should be a fun experience into a punishing one.

RELATED POST: Best Trail Running Hydration Packs for Women 

Without a running hydration pack, you may even have to resort to carrying items in your hands, not a good situation, especially as you may need to use them during gnarly sections of trails.

The reason I personally own more than one is that, for my short runs, I don’t need the capacity for lots of food and water, so I take a smaller, much lighter race vest. Of course, the most versatile running hydration vests are the ones with a higher capacity that can be worn for ultra marathons and also shorter runs.

I’ve had a fair amount of experience trail running for many hours at a time in the mountains, so hopefully, this experience of successes and failures will help you here.


A great race vest should be:

  • comfortable (form-fitting)
  • have a good storage capacity, and easy access to the compartments/pockets while on-the-move
  • durable if you intend to trail running a lot, and you LOVE collecting miles. A good pack will last many years and should become your companion out there
  • as lightweight as possible
  • stylish, after all, who doesn’t want to look stylish, given the choice!?

With these features in mind, I’m here to help you find the best running hydration pack for trail running and ultrarunning, that you’ll be happy with, that’s also going to be the best choice for you.

This trail running hydration pack gear guide is going to focus on what I’ll refer to as mid-capacity packs, which are the most popular choices for most trail runners, beginners and experienced alike. A race vest is not something to cheap out on, and it’s important to remember that comfort, storage capacity, and durability are the three top features to be most concerned about when choosing one of these 5 running hydration packs. All hydration packs on this list are excellent hence them being on this ‘Best Of’ list in the first place, so read carefully about each one below and choose one based on how you intend to use it.


1. Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set – [Best Running Hydration Pack – Editor’s Choice]

Salomon adv skin 5 set best trail running hydration vests for men trail and kale

The Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set Hydration Vest is our Editor’s top choice and the best running hydration pack. It features Sensifit construction offers a snug, precise, comfortable fit and balances the load between the front and the back, so you can move quickly and freely.

Salomon adv skin 5 set best trail running hydration vests for men trail and kale 2

An innovative elastic sternum-strap design allows you to adjust and connect your pack quickly while on the move; with non-constricting breathing during intense activity.

The pack can carry poles and accessories too and comes with 2x 500ml soft flasks that due to the design of soft flasks, will stay balanced as you run, with zero sloshing or bouncing.

Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)
Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)
Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)
Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)

It also has multiple solutions for storing collapsible running poles and comes with a little whistle, an item that’s often required in mountain races. If you want a more impactful whistle though, check out the Fox 40 Sonik Blast Whistle on Amazon. This race vest is the best running hydration pack and my top choice for trail running distances from 10km to 50 miles.

Weight: 228g (8oz) without bottles / Storage Capacity: 5 Liters


2. Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest 5.0 – [Best Running Hydration Pack For Storage]

Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest 5.0 Best Hydration Vest For Running

The Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest 5.0 will be your long-term ally out on the trails, and it’s our runner up, the second best running hydration pack. With a 10.8 liter capacity, more than the others on this list, the Ultra Vest 5.0 is a do-it-all pack that will be just as good for the half marathon distance as it is for 100km, and also our best running hydration pack for storage.

Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest 5.0 front Best Hydration Pack For Running

The vest is made from a mesh fabric with 4-way stretch nylon that helps to eliminate irritation/chafe from sensitive spots like shoulders, neck, and ribs. The two pockets in the front each house a 500ml soft flask, for a total of 1L of hydration capacity. Two UD branded bottles come with the race vest set. Among the front pockets, are 8 additional compartments for a mobile phone, camera, and even collapsible trekking poles. The vest is also compatible with a 2-liter (70 fl. oz.) reservoir, but this is sold separately.

There are also two lightweight T-hook adjustable sternum straps that let you comfortably snug down the fit that’s perfect for you.

Weight: 180g (6.3oz) without bottles / Storage Capacity: 10.8 Liters




3. Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set – [Best Running Hydration Pack For Minimal Runners]

Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 5 set best trail running hydration vests for men trail and kale

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set is built on Salomon’s SensiFit system that’s designed for a contoured, comfortable fit that’s snug and close to the body.

Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 5 set best trail running hydration vests for men trail and kale 2

There are lots of pockets for storage that are all easily accessible. These pockets include 2x front soft hydration pockets, 1 chest zip pocket, 2x side zip pockets, 1 back kangaroo pocket, 1 chest stretch pocket, 1 back main compartment, and 2x front stretch pockets.

Salomon uses elastic power-mesh materials for the Sense Ultra 5 Set that is lightweight and completely chafe-free while running. This breathable and moisture-wicking unisex race pack also includes a whistle (a requirement in many long mountain trail races), reflective decals for safety if running at night, and 2x 500ml soft flasks for hydration. The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 is the best running hydration pack for minimal runners who like to run fast and light.

Weight: 190g / Storage Capacity: 5 Liters


4. Osprey Duro 6 Hydration Pack – [Best Value Running Hydration Pack]

Osprey Duro 6 hydration pack best trail running hydration vests trail and kale

The Osprey Duro 6 Hydration Pack offers room for extra layers, a 1.5-liter reservoir for water and plenty of pockets for fueling long days out on the trails. Osprey is taking a slightly different tack with hydration with the Duro 6, because they encourage using the rear of the pack for your hydration storage, in the 1.5-liter reservoir that comes with the race vest.

Osprey Duro 6 hydration pack front best trail running hydration vests trail and kale

I love that Osprey has added a QuickConnect™ sternum magnet for the hydration pipe so that it’s easy to access on the move, no more flapping your arms about and looking down to your chest to find your hydration nozzle, so to speak!

There are front panel stretch-mesh compression pockets and vertical zipper stash pocket for a phone. If you prefer, there are also dual, extra-large stretch-mesh pockets to store your phone, food or water bottles; the lower stretch-mesh harness pockets are good for storing lighter weight food or supplements.

Osprey Duro 6 hydration pack trekking poles best trail running hydration vests trail and kale

The rear has lots more storage with the main compartment having a dual zippered panel so that it’s easy to access and grab essentials on the move. If you do stuff the back full, then there are two upper compression straps to pack it down for you. This pack also has storage for trekking poles. It comes with a safety whistle too, which some mountain trail races will require you to have. If you want a more impactful whistle though, check out the Fox 40 Sonik Blast Whistle on Amazon. This is the best-priced vest in this list but remember, don’t choose your pack solely on price, be sure to weigh up all the features and see if it’s right for you.

The Osprey Duro 6 is the best running hydration pack for the money, for all the features and low price point, you’re getting a great deal.

Weight: 312g / Storage Capacity: 5 liters for Size S/M or 6 liters for Size M/L


5. CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest

CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest back best trail running hydration vests trail and kale

The CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest is made from a lightweight 3D vent mesh that’s breathable and comfortable during long runs.

CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest best trail running hydration vests trail and kale

The dual adjustable sternum straps stabilize the pack, reducing any bounce as you run. There are plenty of easily-reachable pockets for stashing a layer, snacks, energy gels, and whatever else you may need.

Available in 3 different size options and you’ll also get 2x 500ml (17oz) high-quality CamelBak branded soft flasks included. It also comes with a little safety whistle.

The CamelBak Ultra Pro hydration pack was Xavier Thevenard’s race vest of choice when he won UTMB in 2018.

Weight: 160g / Storage Capacity: 6 Liters


I Hope you enjoyed this best running hydration pack buyer’s guide, if you have a question for me please leave it in the comments down below.


9 COMMENTS

  1. Are you aware if anyone sells a hydration vest for running that is sized for an actual man? These always look great but they’re always to small. I’m looking for a 46-48 inch chest hydration vest. I’ve been looking to no avail..

      • Hey lads, I bought the VaporKrar in a X Large and fits a dream. I was 124kg when I first used it. Down to 105 now and the straps are a bit tighter. I’m pretty broad in the shoulders too.

  2. Any pros/cons on Nathan hydration vests? Have never run with one before, but looking to extend to marathon+ distance trail running

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
Hey, I'm Alastair. I started Trail & Kale to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. This site now inspires hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle. It's also a place to learn how to chase your dreams, untether from convention and live more self-sustainably.

Don't Miss Out!

Subscribe to our Newsletter to get more trail running & outdoor adventure advice, gear reviews, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

5 Best Headlamps for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in 2020 (So Far)

This concise list of the 5 best headlamps for trail running will help you decide which one to buy, based on your individual requirements.

Chirp Wheel Review: How Well Does It Relieve Back Pain?

In this Chirp Wheel review, we cover the key features, pros, cons and our thoughts on using this back pain relief wheel to relieve tension in our aching backs.

FitTrack Scale Review: The Best Home Smart Scale Available?

Full review of the Fit Track scale, a home smart scale proven to provide accurate tracking of body composition metrics such as weight, BMI and body fat.

5 Best Waterproof Trail Running Shoes in 2020 (so far…)

This concise list of the 5 best waterproof trail running shoes will help you decide which ones to buy, based on your individual requirements.

5 Best Waterproof Running Jackets for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in 2020

This concise list of the 5 best waterproof running jackets will help you decide which jacket to buy for your Winter trail running adventures.

Best On Running Shoes Ranked With Reviews 2020: Ultimate Buyers Guide

The ULTIMATE 'Best of' list for On running shoes (Trail & Road), ranked & reviewed. Find out which On running shoes are best for YOU in 2019!

latest Gear Reviews/Guides

BioLite HeadLamp 750 Review: Editor’s Choice Award Winner, Here’s Why…

This BioLite HeadLamp 750 review covers the key features of this high-performance headlamp, my loves/dislikes, and how it performs while ultrarunning and hiking.

5 Best Waterproof Trail Running Shoes in 2020 (so far…)

This concise list of the 5 best waterproof trail running shoes will help you decide which ones to buy, based on your individual requirements.

The Best Labor Day Sales For Trail Runners & Hikers 2020

Here's a round up of the best Labor Day sales for trail runners and hikers in 2020 - Epic deals of up to 50% of awesome outdoor gear!

Viakix Review: Elegant & Affordable Women’s Hiking Sandals

This Viakix review features the Acadia Women's Hiking Sandals, which are designed to handle everything from hiking to watersports as well as everyday wear.

Nike Trail Running Shoes Compared in 2020: Which Are Best?

Everything you need to know about the Nike Trail running shoes collection in 2020. Find out now which one of the 4 Nike Trail shoes are best!

NIKE Wildhorse 6 Review – Everything You Need To Know Before Buying!

In this Nike Wildhorse 6 Review, you will learn everything there is to know about the latest version of these Nike trail running shoes.