First look: Nathan VaporAir Race Vest

nathan_packs_men_womenStaying hydrated and fed during a long run or race is super important. That means finding a way to carry enough fluid and food to ensure your body doesn’t run out of fuel. There’s also the need to carry other supplies such as a whistle to get the attention of a support crew if you fall or get injured as well as basic first aid gear.

The Nathan VaporAir (for men) and VaporAiress (for women) are race vests that can carry up to two litres of fluids and another five litres of other gear.

The VaporAir is very light. Unladen, it weighs 264g including the bladder. It’s worn like a vest, has a pair of adjustable chest straps and can also be adjusted so that it sits either higher or lower on your torso. It took a little bit of tweaking to get all the straps and adjustments just right for me.

Nathan makes the VaporAir and VaporAiress in three sizes; XS, S/M and L/XL for both men and women. Although my shirt size is generally a medium, I needed the largest size.

The largest cavity in the pack is for the bladder. The Nathan Hydrapak system is very easy to open and seal. And a magnet along the hose attaches to another magnet on the front of the pack so you can easily access the nozzle when you need a drink on the road.

There are two other pockets on the front of the VaporAir and VaporAiress that can be used to stow food, gels, a cell phone or drink flasks. There’s a large, zip-up compartment on the back as well as a smaller zipped compartment on the front. There’s also a whistle for attracting attention if you get in trouble on a trail.

My partner ran wth her Nathan VaporAiress last weekend on a 32km run. Loaded up with a full bladder of water, a cell phone and a few small snacks, she found the pack much easier to manage than her drink belt with four flasks and the accessory pocket she normally uses. The pack was comfortable and didn;t move so there was no chafing caused by the pack.

I’ll be running with the VaporAir  over the next couple of days for shorter runs and on the weekend for a long run.

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