Camelbak Ultra LR Vest Review
While running long distances, most all of us know by now that it is important to hydrate. Without enough water and electrolytes, your body begins to break down and your running will start to deteriorate. Running packs came out a while back where you would throw a hydration bladder in your backpack and call it good. While these packs still remain on the market and serve their purpose, running specific packs have evolved.
I have been testing out the Camelbak Ultra LR Vest for 6 months now and I have put this pack through all the hardships as far as testing goes. When I first received the Ultra LR Vest, I ran the GORE-TEX Trans Rockies which is a 6 day stage trail race that take runners through the Rocky Mountains. Each stage averages 20 miles, so as you can imagine, after 6 days of running 20 miles I was able to get pretty intimate with the LR Vest.
When comparing the Camelbak Ultra LR Vest to other running hydration packs, the most noticeable difference is where your pack load is located. In a standard running hydration pack, your pack load typically sits on your back with occasional hip pockets for energy food, cameras, etc. The Ultra LR Vest on the other-hand distributes this weight a little more evenly across the upper body. For starters, there is not a big zippered main compartment on the back. In the LR Vest, there is a medium sized mesh pocket that can fit a lightweight jacket, water bottle, and a few other small items. If you need more storage for more gear, don’t you worry. There are two good sized hip pockets that are big enough to hold a point and shoot camera, cell phone, and energy food. Multiply this by two for each side and you can see there is a decent amount of storage, it’s just not all in one place.
For hydration, the hydration bladder sits on the lower back so when you are running; it does not slosh from side to side. For filling up with water, you can either fill with the hydration bladder in the vest or remove it. I prefer to fill it outside of the vest so in case I overfill it, the rest of my gear won’t get soaked. The hydration bladder holds 2 liters along the waist. One nice feature that comes along with the bladder for when you start to empty the hydration bladder, you can tighten the straps to keep it snug around your waist. For additional liquids, there are two water bottles that sit on each side of the chest. This originally takes a little getting used to, but after a few runs, it’s not all that bad. After heavy mileage, I did find that the front side of the vest would rub my nipples from time to time making them pretty sore after consecutive days of running. For the ladies, this is not as much as an issue as your sports bra typically saves you from this.
After putting the Camelbak Ultra LR Vest through many long runs which is what it was intended for, I give this vest a two thumbs up!