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Hydration Pack/Vest recommendations for a female runner?

I have finally accepted that my beloved UltrAspire Alpha hydration pack is nearing the end of its life, so I am on the hunt for a new hydration pack for trail & distance running. 

Nearly all the options I have looked at (even 'women's packs') would have me carrying gear or water directly on top of my chest. As a female runner, I have enough issues with chafing at the bra line, the last thing I want to do is carry additional weight directly on top of my chest. 

Any suggestions for hydration packs/vests for a female runner?

My wish list:

  • Ideally a 2 liter capacity.
  • Pockets that are easily accessible on the run for fuel. I don't want to have to take the pack off to grab a GU
  • I don't need much, if any, backpack/storage capacity. I usually just carry water and extra fuel. Too much space just encourages me to carry more than I need. 
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7 Replies

I have had success with Ultimate Direction.  I carry empty water bottles on the front to use at aid stations during ultras.

I like my Nathan Vaporkrar.  Very comfy, not to big. The women’s packs just don’t work for me. I’m busty and they sit right on my chest and are never long enough. 

Not sure if they make a version specifically for women, but I really like my Osprey Duro. It sits pretty flat and doesn’t bounce, which is great. Tons of pockets in the front with easy fuel access. It even has a little zippered pocket in the front for key/card storage. Minimal (maybe even none?) backpack storage. I used it while training for my most recent marathon and stuffed 8 gels in the front pockets with no issues

I second this.


@Katie @SeeJaneRun @mhuang12892 

If you're willing (or know someone else who is!) to help our product designers out, they have posted a survey here in the community and would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to provide some input. Check it out here:

Calling all sports bra users - REI wants your feedback!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I have a Salomon Active Skin 8. The vest has hydration on the back as well as for two flasks in the front. The flask pocket locations are situated so it sits a little lower for a women's chest.  Plenty of pockets as well. I've had mine for about a year and I'm still finding little storage areas I didn't know were there. 

Hello! I'm not a consistent long-distance trail runner, but I have used this Osprey belt pack a few times after having a small hydration backpack for many years and I much prefer it. The water capacity is a bit short of 2 liters, but for me it suffices (the longest run I did with this was a 24 mi in the Atacama desert in Chile). Besides the water, I carried quick snacks, my wallet, phone, a hat and at other times I have fitted a thin rain jacket as well.

What I like best about this belt pack is that it doesn't chafe my shoulders, my back does not get too sweaty, and I'm obligated to carry less weight. It's surprisingly stable when running (unless you're sprinting).

Farther. Higher. Longer.