Hydration vests

  • Product Review
  • 06 Jun 2019
  • Admin Account

Salomon Sense ultra 5 versus Inov 8 all terrain pro Hydration vests

With more and more events doing ultra distances we thought we would test out some hydration vests, 

So we purchased an Inov 8 All terrain pro vest, This comes with 2 soft flasks with long drinking tubes

It has a zipped pocket on the front for the valuables and 3 further pockets on the shoulder straps. On the back it also has a zipped pocket and an additional 15l compartment that can be added to the back of the vest for that extra storage

Its RRP is £129.99 however we found ours on sportsshoes.com for £64.99

The Salomon Sense Ultra 5 is a more minimalist vest, it has 2 soft flasks, a zipped pocket on the shoulder strap and also 2 more zipped pockets under the arm pits, it has 3 more elasticated pockets on the front swell as the bottle pockets and 2 more pockets on the rear

One i big enough to take a bladder should you like that instead of flasks

This has a RRP of £140 but we managed to get one for £89.95 from the Marathon running store

So how do they compare

Both fit really well, Although they both have different types of fastening, the Inov 8 a pop buckle clasp with elasticated straps and the Salomon a bungy  string and clips,  the way the fasten there is nothing split them, I don’t think one is better than the other

Having done 5km fast runs and 15mile slow runs in both neither dig in any where, they fit snug, no bounce, just straightforward comfort.

When it comes to hydration I prefer the Salomon one as its flasks sit more on the front and its a quick bend of the head and drink, The Inov 8 one, the flasks sit under your armpits and have long tubes that run up the shoulder straps and the mouth piece tucks under a little flap so you have to first un tuck the mouth piece before you can drink, I also had some issues with the mouth piece popping out of the flap on its own and then smacking me in the cheek till I tucked it back in

When it comes to storage this is a matter of what you prefer, both hold quite a few gels, food pack etc in the front pouches and both are very easy to access on the move, The zipped pocket on the front of both vests is marketed as a mobile pocket, I have an iPhone X ( just standard size) and its a struggle to get it in either pocket, on both vests I have had to put it elsewhere, the Salomon in one of the  zipped pockets under the arm which still makes it easily accessible, and the Inov 8 in the back zipped pocket which means I have to take the vest off to get to it ( or get a friend to get it)

What the Inov 8 benefits from over the Salomon though is the rear compartment, you can get a waterproof jacket in here, My OMM Gore-tex fits in very easy, where as the Salomon one I can only get a compact windproof jacket in 

So thats the basics explained but what are they like to run in and more important take on the rigours of OCR

The Inov 8 vest fits well, it doesn’t bounce and its easy to access the main nutrition pockets whilst on the move,  however it lets itself down with the  Hydration - the straws keep popping out of their little hiding holes and smacking you in the face, which is so annoying, I think this hydration pack would be more suitable to trails and road running where you are not twisting, turning, climbing and crawling 

The Salomon on the other hand I think is almost perfect, its pockets are super easy to access while running, even the zip ones under the arms, its super light weight design and forgiving material means it moulds to your body and is just like a second skin as you crawl or climb. The Flasks are in a perfect position to just slide out of the way as you put your chest on obstacles and easy to use when you want a quick drink

So there you have it, if your after a hydration vest for that ultra OCR then look no further than the Salomon S lab Sense 5

PS- however watch this space as we test Ultimate direction and USWE in the coming months 

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