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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really the Best I've Found Well this is just excellent. A little background on my type of use: I do lots of ultramarathons, up to 100 miles in distance (but am considering Badwater), and am pretty competitive. I say this because I hate reading a review and getting to the end and the reviewer is like, "I use this for four mile obstacle course races." Which is fine, just irrelevant to what I'm looking for. I have extensively used the Nathan VaporAir, the Salomon 12 set, and the older Salomon 10 set(?), or the slightly smaller version of the 12 set, whichever that is. I've also tried hydration belts and handhelds. The VaporAir was my favorite until I found this and moved away from having a full hydration bladder, which I have found with experience is heavy and unnecessary unless you're going out solo for long periods of time. Or maybe something like Badwater or Hardrock. For most ultras, like Western States, Vermont, Wasatch, or Leadville, a full hydration bladder is overkill in my opinion. So I like this one for a lot of reasons: It holds a surprising amount, plenty of nutrition, a mobile phone, two flasks of liquid that are super easy to fill at aid stations, etc, and how well it fits and how minimal it is. I love having nothing in back except a windbreaker or something, makes it easier to sit back against things. I hated that my previous packs had of all the zipper handles bouncing around, the front straps having extra material hanging, the stretchy cords on the back bouncing (which I never used out of fear of whatever jacket I had strapped to the back falling off unknowingly), and the unnecessary adjustment straps everywhere. I was just comparing to the Nathan VaporAir, which I love and own, and couldn't help but notice how busy the VaporAir is. There are a bunch of straps and zipper ends bouncing around, plus the front straps with the extra attachment points and all the extra material, not to mention the hydration tube. If this is something that bothers you, do a side-by-side comparison and see what I mean. The 5 Set Ultra is hyper minimal in back and has only two small cords in front to attach it together. The VaporAir looks like something you would wear if you were going to go get lost in the woods for a few days, which is tremendous overkill for long runs or ultramarathons where aid stations are fewer than 15 miles apart. This pack does away with all that. There are two super minimal straps on front and those are the only adjustment point. It fits closely, no sloshing of a hydration reservoir, and just a couple very small and super minimal straps on front to cinch it down. I legitimately feel like I'm not wearing it. I use the main back compartment for a windbreaker and light long sleeve shirt if necessary. The rear middle compartment is also pretty cool to stash a headlamp after dawn. I compared to the 8 Set, but that model just makes some of the pockets larger, which I didn't need. Otherwise the 8 Set is identical, and only slightly heavier. The only problem I had was, before I really learned how to adjust the front straps (they're a little unusual), when I would drink half my water, the bottles would start bouncing a bit. This caused some bruising on the bottom of my ribs from the small bouncing over 20 miles or so. I since got comfortable with adjusting the front straps and as long as it's adjusted so everything stays close to you, it works great. This is what I will be using in ultras from now on and I'll save my Nathan so long solo runs in the mountains where there is the chance I could get lost or stuck for an indeterminate amount of time.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good race ready vest you'll be surprised how light and flexible it is. It fits well, but you'll want it to be snug/ tight. The fit is nice, it rides without chaffing me. The soft flasks didn't poke my ribs. Plenty of space for gels, tabs, phones, etc. Looks like the back has small cords for trecking poles that no one has mentioned... (that I can recall) I found the side zipper hard to access while running, opening it was easy, closing it without pulling the whole vest to the left was difficult for me. On a hot day, I got about 10 miles without restocking water with the built in flasks. Cooler days, I could see getting 12-13. I'll experiment with adding a flask to stretch longer distance between supplying. I think it's possible. I'm used to running with a side pouch so I wasn't used to the insulation of the vest. But it breathes well.
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must have Great purchase. I am 5'6. 135. 34 d. Originally purchased a medium. Thinking this would be a good fit. Returned for a small. Perks - the water does not jiggle when you run. 30 oz is perfect for 10 miles - 15. Many pockets that are reachable. Cons -the kneck line sits higher then usual on the kneck. There is no chaffing though. I am very pleased.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Vest I was looking at this vs the 8 set, but from what I could find the 8 just has bigger pockets -(same amount) so more chance of sagging. Also ordered the advances skin 12 to compare and I chose this one. The fit and feel is perfect, I have been using for Long XC ski days and I cannot even feel not on me. I will be using for 50K in April also. Tons of pockets and space enough for 50 miles and down, and if had enough supported aid stations you could probably do a 100 mile race. The advanced skin felt more like a backpack while this feels like a shirt with pickets that more perfect with body. Size down if close on chart, you can look top Saloman size chart online. I am 180 6'0 and a swimmers upper and the MED is Perfect.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Suuuuuuuper Light Ran with this pack and had a lot of moments during my trail run that I forgot that I was wearing it! It breathes very well. The vest seems delicate in some ways so I might just save this vest for competition. One of the bungees that holds the bottle in place already broke after one 3 mile run. Other than that, just don't yank too hard on the elastic parts.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Natural fit Much better than other hydration packs I've tried. Less bouncing, more form fitting. I really like the non-rigid water bottles too. I thought they'd be more difficult to refill on the run, but they're really easy. I end up forgetting I'm wearing the pack. Only criticism is the clasps across the chest are pretty flimsy.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lightweight and easy to run with A great option for a water pack that doesn't feel like too much added weight. Plenty of pockets to boot.
Date published: 2017-04-24
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Questions & Answers

Are you going to get the 8L version of this bag ?

Asked by: D Johnson
Yes, we do sell the 8 liter version of this vest:
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-02-28

I saw you mention ordering based on your normal shirt size, but recommended someone with a 41" chest to get a large. I'm 5'8, 83kg,41.5" chest and most of the time wear a medium shirt. Don't have the chance to try on for size, so want to get the best rec.

Asked by: JMckinney
​Unfortunately, Salomon does not provide measurements to base the size off of. If you wear a medium in most of your shirts a medium vest is likely to work best.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2018-01-16

Not sure of the how the sizes run on vest...I wear x large shirt

Asked by: stephen
​This shirt is based on your traditional shirt size. As of February 2018, we do not stock an XL version of this vest.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2018-02-02


Asked by: RUDY
Salomon recommends ordering your vest size based on your normal t-shirt size. Based on a 41 inch chest, a size large is most likely the best choice for you.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-06-25

What size is most appropriate for a 40 inch (male) chest

Asked by: AndyHKC
Based on your chest measurement we suggest size medium.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-03-29

What size would you recommend for a man with a 38" chest?

Asked by: Sportin Life
​A size small fits up to a 38" chest; a medium fits up to 40".
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-12-26

Is this vest compatible with a hydration bladder? If so what size?

Asked by: Mango
This vest is not compatible with a hydration reservoir.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-03-09

Are the soft flasks include (2x500ml)? It seems like the 8oz one was an artifact from the s-labs hydration kit (handheld), which is a separate product.

Asked by: Adam984
The vest includes two 500 ml. volume soft flasks.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-02-18
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