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Recommendations for Hydration Vests for running

I love trail running and I’m quite minimalist. Literally prefer to carry nothing - not even water. I get distracted easily and rather petite so prefer not to carry anything. It’s time to purchase a hydration vest but I’m worried I’ll feel the water sloshing and it may be too hot on my back. Can you feel the water?  Any specific brand model suggestions? Thanks 🤗

5 Replies

There's nothing like running in just shorts, top, and sneaks, but sometimes you just need a few extra things.  I have a Nathan vest that fits very snugly - no bounce no movement. It's comfortable. I can feel the water sloshing.  I have also run with a small pack, an Osprey Raptor 10.  I can't feel the water with that, but I can sure hear it.  It fits very close too and does not move around. The pack is nice on winter runs because I can add or shed layers, taking advantage of its greater capacity.  The vest will feel less hot on your back.  If you don't need to carry much, that's probably the way to go.

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Thanks so much, Tom! Funny enough I was looking at a Nathan or Osprey vest. Appreciate your info and suggestions. 


Thanks again @TomIrvine! Quick update. I went with a Nathan QuickStart 6L Hydration vest & love love love it. Plus no sloshing - none at all. Just turn the bladder upside down & suck the air through the state to draw all the air from the top of the bladder. It stays tight the entire run. 

Took it out on a maiden voyage yesterday for a 10mi trail run & could not be happier. Appreciate your recommendations 👍🏻


Thanks for circling back and letting us know how it performed on the trail! I hope you enjoy many more miles with your new vest!


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

@chefsteph33 when I was training for my first marathon, I struggled with hydration vests and opted, instead, for a hand-held option (one in each hand for my longest training runs). Not sure this would be of interest for you, but thought it was worth a mention!

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