|Making it look cool|
I think the main utility of this vest is the opportunity to use bottles, but not have to carry them in your hands. I've definitely run into problems carrying handhelds during races before; lack of dexterity is MY major issue during a race. Other problems include falling down and not having free hands to catch myself, sweaty sweaty sweaty hands glued to bottles, and tired shoulders and arms after 12 hours of carrying bottles. So why not wear a pack? Well I have also been at races, rather exhausted and pulled off my hydration pack, been unable to get it open myself, or handed it to a volunteer to be filled, not realizing they had no idea how to open it, fill it, or close it (not their fault, its just confusing sometimes).
|UD stock photo|
So when I saw the AK vest, I was very intrigued, the Eurostyle bottles in the front definitely has application for us Americans, but you generally see US runners carrying bottles or wearing hydration packs with bladders.
I was very excited when I first opened up the package and put on my size S/M vest. It fits very well. Super snug, incredibly lightweight, and it didn't seem to rub me in any strange places. And then I put the bottles in - Sweet! This is going to be a great piece of gear for race day. One problem, the bottles weren't filled with water yet.
Filling the bottles with water soon revealed that it was not as comfortable as I initially thought. There was quite a bit of bouncing. I tried to adjust the pack in multiple different fashion, and eventually settled on a fit that seemed to work out OK. The one thing I quickly realized is that the front of my pack (and thus the bottles) looked to ride quite a bit lower on my chest than it did when Krupicka is wearing it in pictures.
I went for an 18 mile run in the winter with 2 filled bottles, more to test out the pack rather than actually needing the water. Besides the slightly annoying bouncing and sloshing noises, it seemed to work ok. Then towards the end of the run, I noticed myself getting more and more sore across my chest. My man boobs were really not liking having full water bottles strapped across them for miles and miles. I quickly drank down the bottles, and once they were empty, I wasn't bothered anymore.
|I feel like this chick is about to be in a world of chest pain|
What I have used the pack for is to carry stuff (camera, gels, jacket, etc.) because it is so light and fits great. Further experiment has lead me to conclude that I can get away with either small 10oz nutrition flasks in the chest pockets, Salomon softflasks, and I have heard other people (who have had similar bruises as mine) mention that the Amphipod style bottles seem to work.
|Notice the lack of bottles|
|Stuff anything you dont want into the back sleeve|