How most women stalk spring fashion, I stalk spring Hydration pack season. I was particularly excited to see the new Ultimate Direction line but there is something holding me back from purchasing.
I killed my Adventure Vesta in 3 months when the velcro failed but basing the entire integrity of the new line off of what looks like dainty little tampon strings is leading me to pause. The women’s line has 2 colors, a light blue which isn’t horrible and then this….I think it’s an orangey pink and garnet but I’ll just dub it Miami Vice. Nathan did this last year with their Vapor Howe lines and had teal and coral so maybe I’m just the only woman in the world who hates Coral. It’s possible. The Signature line has been updated to include the Comfort Cinch on all the packs and I just don’t know if I am willing to pay $150+ for a pack that is literally being held together by string (I don’t wear string bikini bottoms either for similar reasons).
Salomon’s Spring colors include a rather nice purple. However, they kept the same clasp system as 2017 with the hard to grab mini loops and it seems from the photos that they shifted the zipper pouch down a bit so the zipper is still running down into the actual pouch for the bottles (which limits how easy you can access if you’re front carrying). My current pack is starting to rip where the closures go so I was hoping for a little modification to this for 2018.
Ok so maybe Camelbak fixed the design issues on the Ultra pack. I LOVED the Ultra pack…at first and then had issues with the bottles falling out and was unable to get any bladder EXCEPT Camelbaks to go in the back and there wasn’t an easy way to get the mouth piece to stay in. So maybe those were fixed. Here is their new Nano pack.
It’s identical in the front to the Ultra but has taken out any back storage for poles. So this is a race pack for sure and those bottles are still going to channel some early Madonna years for sure.
What am I looking for in a pack? I want to be able to have front bottles OR a bladder or both if I’m going unsupported. I want a zipper pocket for things like my ID or phone and I want pole holders for Z poles that I can access when I’m running. Bonus points if it doesn’t chafe and is relatively durable. I’ll keep stalking the new products and see if I can find a pack worthy of purchasing and add it to the reviews.
Packs that I’ve tried so far and their current status:
-Orange Mud Double Hydraquiver (sold)
–Orange Mud Single Hydraquiver (sold)
–Orange Mud Endurance (still own 2 but kids have taken them)
-Camelbak Circuit (2016) (still own)
-Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta (returned after velcro failed 3 months in)
-Salomon 5set 2016 (sold)
–Salomon 5set 2017 (returned)
(I know they changed the names somewhat but that’s what I’m calling them)
– Salomon 12set (2016) still in rotation
-Salomon 12set (2017) primary pack
–Salomon Skin Pro 10 (returned)
–Nathan Vapor Howe 4L (returned)
–Camelbak Ultra Pro (returned)