Nathan Pinnacle Featherlite Review: An Everyday Running Hydration Vest

A lightweight, breathable running hydration vest for carrying the bare essentials on road and trail runs.


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The Key Specifications

  • Price: $110 from
  • Sizing and fit: Unisex sizing with 4 size options
  • Best for: Carrying your essentials on shorter road and trail runs

In this Nathan Pinnacle Featherlite hydration vest review, I’m taking a look at this low-volume Nathan running hydration vest that’s been designed with both trail runners and road runners in mind, as a convenient way to carry your running essentials on everyday runs as well as races.

This running vest boasts a 1.5-liter capacity, making it a more streamlined choice for hydration packs. It’s essentially crafted for carrying just the essentials on your run, rather than everything you may need for a long day out.

This means there’s room for the basics like water – maybe in the included soft flask – your phone, some snacks, and a waterproof or windproof jacket.

The jacket can be tucked into the back via a zippered pocket, which directly accesses the 1.5 liter compartment at the back.

The features of this Nathan running vest that I really like

When it comes to sizing, this Nathan hydration pack is designed to suit everyone, offering a unisex fit.

Normally, I lean towards women-specific designs for a better fit, but Nathan has really impressed me with this one, which fits really well, with minimal bounce and easy adjustment.

That, right there, is probably the number one most important thing to look for when choosing a running vest.

It has to fit you properly, and not move around, excessively bounce, chafe or dig in anywhere – there’s nothing more annoying during a run than such avoidable discomfort (and that goes for running socks, running shoes and apparel, too!).

To get the right fit, know that it’s available in four unisex sizes so choose accordingly.

While I’d normally fit a medium in most hydration packs and running apparel, I chose the XS/S size, which you can see me wearing the small in the pictures throughout this review, and my Nathan Pinnacle Featherlite video review where you can see me put it to the test on some local trails.

The vest features four adjustable straps: two in the front and one on each side, allowing for a quick and precise fit.

Honestly, it’s probably the fastest I’ve gone from trying on a new vest to achieving a snug fit, and I’ve tested my fair share of hydration vests, so kudos to Nathan for this design.

There is no awkward fiddling around with buckles and slides, they just slide to the fit I want, and stay put when I run.

It’s a very minimal hydration vest – both lightweight (4.4oz / 125.4g excluding the water bottle), and breathable.

These features make it an easy companion to throw on for even those shorter runs where you just want a comfortable way to carry your phone, key and some water, and prefer a hydration vest style over a running belt.

This hydration vest comes with one soft flask water bottle, which is certainly my preference over a water bladder style hydration pack (although those have their advantages, too).

It’s curious only one bottle is included – you could absolutely buy a separate second bottle and have one on each side of the hydration vest in the two upper front pockets, if you need to carry more water on your runs in hot weather, for example.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Features that I feel could be improved

There are a few aspects of this hydration vest that could be improved in a future version.

Firstly, I consider a phone to generally be an essential that most people, myself included, are going to want to take out running, so I really appreciate a vest that comes with a dedicated, zippered pocket for it.

Unfortunately, this vest only offers these small front pockets that fit your phone but only have a small Velcro closure, which doesn’t feel as secure or convenient as I’d like.

However, as my phone has a silicone case on, it’s a snug fit and I haven’t been concerned that it would slide out (I would be, if my phone didn’t have a case).

Another drawback is accessing the zippered pocket at the back. While it is zippered (a plus!), the zipper itself is quite short, making it somewhat tricky to get items in and out, especially larger items or when you’re trying to access it mid-run.

A simple fix would be a longer zipper that runs further up the back of the pack.

Color-wise, it comes in two options: the grey version I have, and black.

While it’s a shame there aren’t any bold, bright colors, I actually quite like the grey version – as a plus, it means it will go with any other colors I choose to wear!

Nathan Pinnacle Featherlite Hydration Vest – review summary

The Nathan Pinnacle Featherlite 1.5l running hydration vest is a comfortable, lightweight and breathable running vest that I’ll be keeping as an easy to wear, no-frills everyday running companion.

At $110, with a soft flask water bottle included, it’s well-priced and I expect many runners, both male and female, will be happy with this one.


Nathan Pinnacle Featherlite running vest – image gallery

One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.


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