This post has been a long time coming, and for that, I apologize, but a stellar product deserves a stellar review. So here it is.
While back, I mentioned that I do not run with much in the way of ‘gear.’ I have a $20 watch from Wal-mart and a pair of Phases from Skora. However, delving into the ultra world, I quickly realized that I would need some sort of hydration system which I was not pleased about. A couple of years ago my father-in-law got me some hydration belt. It vaguley resembled a fanny pack which was something of a false start, but I decided to give it a go all the same. The results were awful. It rode up, it chaffed, it was impossible to get the bottles back in without a huge slow down. I threw it in the back of the closet and gave up on hydration on the go.
Cue tri-athlete friend sporting a HydraQuiver. I kept complaining about hydration packs and could not contain my disbelief that h
e had found something that was comfortable and actually worked. He let me borrow it, and I was hooked.
Since there are so many quality things about the HydraQuiver, I will start with what works for me: comfort. I do not care how well a product works, if it is uncomfortable and causes any sort of chaffing, I am out. With the HydraQuiver, this is a non-issue. It goes on like a small back pack and rides between the shoulder blades in a naturally created pocket. The straps over the shoulders are wider, slightly padded and because it is so lightweight, it is barley noticeable when it is on. I was a little concerned about the straps going under the armpit, but because of the angle in which the meet the bottom of the pack, the straps want to go away from the body and end up not getting nestled in the armpit ripping you to shreds. On top of all this, the bottle holder is set in a perfectly reachable space at the top of the back/bottom of the neck, kind of like a quiver full of arrows (get it?). Try it out. Pretend you have something on your back and reach to get it. Easy to get, and just as easy to get the bottle back in. The bottle holder is wider than the bottle at the top and funnels the bottle into the holder. The bottle holder also has a Velcro strap that allows you to change the depth of the holder – have a bigger bottle, lower the
bottom, have short arms, raise the bottom up. It is pretty fool proof and essentially a one-size-fits-all solution.
For me, that is all I need in a pack, but there is so much more to the HydraQuiver, and not telling you would be an injustice. Let us start with another piece of the comfort picture. Where it sits on your back there are two, big pieces of foam with a massive channel between the two. This helps to allow for maximum air flow and breathability. There is no overheating, and normal sweating that does occur has someplace to go.
Another big plus for a lot of people is the amazing storage space in this little pack. It is as if Orange Mud figured out how to make black holes and put them inside all their HydraQuivers. Firstly, there are two packs on the shoulder straps for quick access. They are made of some stretchy elastic type material that will hold any number of gels or Gu-s or homemade sweet potato mix. In case you needed more space there is zipper access to the space between the back pads and the bottle holder. The Orange Mud website says that there is 54 cubic inches of cargo space. What is 54 inches of cargo space, well, if you needed to use it all, you would not be running, maybe packing your bags and getting out of town?
For me, the only question is: HydraQuiver or Double Barrel. So go on and get yourself one. And if this review did not sell you, these are designed and made right here in the USA, it is your patriotic duty to get one. Seriously folks, check them out. Lots of good, quality products for runners and they are ever expanding.