Monday, November 12, 2007

5 Useful Review of Hydration Systems (from the Seattle Times)


I've been mulling over which hydration system to buy for my marathon training, & so, have been searching around for relevant product reviews on the internet. I came across this article, which I thought was fairly useful.

If any of you have any recommendations for a hydration system that you've personally tried & loved, or likewise, could advise me on which systems to avoid, I'd be ever so grateful!

I'm hesistant to go with CamelBak, as I've heard several negative comments about how people chafe after 26.2 miles of running with that thing bobbing up & down on their back! I'm slightly more inclined to go with a belted system of some sort. However, I also understand from friends & reviewers alike, that these systems aren't exactly perfect either: The most common complaint is that bottles routinely fall out of the multi-bottle holster-style systems. (As for this particular style of hydration system, the brands I'm most familiar with, thus far, are Nathan Sports, Amphiphod, & Fuel Belt.)

It sounds to me like the various companies that make hydration systems still have a long way to go in order to perfect their products' design, for better usability, comfort, & overall mobility & mechanics. Not sure how long I'll wait for them to engineer the "perfect" product, but right now, I have atleast another 6 months to a year before I actually need to start thinking seriously about making a buying decision. So maybe there's a chance that they'll get their act together by then, eh?! ;-)

Think I'm going to head over to R&J's at some point to check out the different hydration systems in person......

At any rate, I'm certainly open to suggestions, so if you've got a convincing argument for one particular system over another, I'd love to hear your opinions.


Helen said...

Hydration systems really are kind of a personal choice. What drives one runner batty might be just perfect for you.

That being said - I've tried a lot of them over the years and my clear favorite for running is the Nathan Speed 4

It's great for marathon training. It's comfortable, I don't notice any bouncing, and it holds gels and keys too.

My friend won one of the Amphipod SnapFlask things that was the winner of the review in the Seattle Newspaper. She hates it because the bottles constantly fly off and are hard to reattach on the run.

My sister runs with a fuelbelt brand waist thing and she really likes it.

The handheld bottles are OK but they bug me for anything longer than about 5 miles.

Good luck!

cymrusteve said...

Helen, you're absolutely correct! What works for one person can be a real pain for someone else.

Here's what I wrote on BlogCatalog earlier today:

"Corey, I'm an Amphipod fan. I used to use a Fuel Belt, but now prefer the clip on Amphipod bottles with the larger opening (useful for adding sports drink powders). The bottles are easily cleaned and the belt is so comfortable you hardly know you're wearing it. It doesn't jig up and down either...

Fuel Belts have changed a bit since I owned one (I had a 4 bottle version), so I can't really make a straight comparison on current models. I must say I had no issues with the comfort of the belt - the downside for me was bottle size, size of bottle mouth and the elastic bottle holder that I sometimes struggled with.

Haven't used a Nathan Trek and I would only consider a CamelBak for bike riding. Last time I wore one on a run, it drove me crazy."

I must say after clicking on Helen's NathanSports link, I'm initially impressed with the design. Definitely worth a look. I'd also like to add I've never had a problem with my AmphiPod bottles flying out, and clipping them back in after use has been easy. Great to hear other people's point of view though...

hydrateme said...

Have you checked out AquaJoe? ( It allows you to take less liquid (very heavy) & take more powder (very light). As long as you have access to clean water when you run it's the ideal solution.

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, everyone, for this very useful information! Much appreciated!

Helen said...

I just noticed an ad in the back of Runner's World for new design Fuel Belts. They look a lot like my Nathan and come in different colors.

I am enough of a dork that I am considering buying the pink one just because it's pink. But I think that frivolous purchase will have to wait awhile.

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