To run in the summer heat and humidity, it is essential to stay hydrated. For the past 2 years, I have been meeting my water needs by drinking adequately before the run, and for runs of 90 minutes or longer, wearing a hydration belt. I have one from Nathan that I got from Amazon for $44.17 that came with four 10 ounce bottles. Because I feel safer running with a cellphone on longer runs, I use one of the bottle slots for my cellphone, so I effectively only have 3. The belt has really been great for me, and I would highly recommend it to others.
Yet while the belt has worked great up until now, my longest training runs are such that I run out of water on them (I’m up to almost four hours now), and I have to loop back to my car or find some other water source to refill the bottles mid-run. Not only that, on the really hot days, I find the water gets warm and sometimes unpleasant to drink before I run out it, even when I freeze the bottles solid before the run.
For these reasons and out of curiosity and having a desire to try new things that might make my running easier or better, I decided that I wanted to see if a hydration vest would be better for me on long runs. My issue with the vests is that they seem to be terribly expensive and there is no way I want to spend a ton of money, especially if I might find that I don’t even like running with it! For example, the Orange Mud HydraQuiver VP2 Vest Pack is $134.95 from Amazon, and a lot of its competitors are similarly priced.
When I saw the SLS3 vest on Amazon, I was drawn to it, because it looked like the real deal, but only cost $35.90. The one I got came with two 24 oz. bottles, but there are options for other sizes (17 oz. and 9.5 oz., and a few bucks less in price). The relatively low cost of my vest compared with most others made it less risky for me to try. I of course read the reviews, and most of them were quite positive, with the negative reviews worth noting, but nothing I thought would prove to be a show stopper.