Friday, July 13, 2007

The quest for the perfect hydration pack

I'm currently on the search for the perfect hydration system for my runs. When I first started out I wasn't going that far and I picked up this snazzy little bottle from the Nike outlet store. It is reasonably ergonomic, but doesn't hold a lot for hot days or long runs, plus after awhile it is really a big pain to carry.

Last year while I was training for a full marathon it looked like I was going to have to run a 10 miler while on vacation in Las Vegas in June. Knowing that one bottle of water wouldn't be enough I started to look at what my other options were. I wound up purchasing a Camelbak Flashflo hydration pack which holds 45 oz of fluid. It has storage room for keys and gels or what not. Unfortunately I didn't get to try it out in Vegas since that was right when I figured out there was something wrong with my ankle and my training was derailed. I honestly still haven't tried the Camelbak on a run yet. Bad Leana for buying something and not using it, but I do mean to try it out soon...honestly. I think it is because the one time I filled it up to take it on a run the water tasted really plasticky.

This summer I thought I would try out the bottle in the holster type idea, so I picked up this one from Ultimate Direction. Again, same issue with capacity since it only holds a bottle. Plus with the waistband not having any give - I try to wear the pack more on my hips - it rides up, wants to hang around my waist which isn't comfy, and bounces around.

Today I stopped in at the Running Room and saw that they had some discontinued Fuel Belts on sale. I picked up the 4 bottle Endurance belt at a great price. This one has a stretchy belt, so I'm hoping that will help to keep it on my hips. The pocket isn't huge, but it should be enough to fit the necessities. I'll give it a whirl on my next long run.

I'm curious as to what other people have found work best for them and what their favorites are. Drop me a comment if you have a strong opinion!


Angry Runner said...

I have the 4 bottle Fuel Belt. It works well for me, although i did buy an additional "pocket" thingy to hold more stuff than 2 gel packs (keys, phone, etc). On hot days, i doubt it holds enough fluid to adequately hydrate me on 10+ mile runs. We'll test that theory tomorrow.

I wear mine tight up around my waist, but you gals are configured differently...try it out, see how it goes. It DOES NOT bounce around though. Big plus.

merrymishaps said...

Hello, I just recently found your site!

I've been using an amphipod water bottle. With the handle, you slide it over your hand and barely notice it while running. I have the one with a pouch, I can fit a gel pack and my car key (a license fits, but it's not a big pouch so you'd probably have to loose the gel pack).

I switch hands while running and it is not at all bothersome. It's still only a 20oz bottle, but I refill it at water stops during longer races.

Whenever we have long runs (I ran my first marathon in May), we would make sure to have at least one stop to refill!

A friend of mine has the waist pack that holds a bottle -- that makes it hands-free, and you have a larger pouch for your stuff.

Hope this helps!

Ken said...

I'm old schoold and just lay water out and grab it! Tried all of the belts and didn't like any.

TNT Coach Ken