Disclaimer: I received an Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
Prior to 2018 I had not really run distances long enough to necessitate carrying hydration or fuel with me. Finding the right way to do so seems like a right of passage for all runners when they start getting to long enough distances. My right of passage came during my training for the Texas Big Star Half.
Before I got my PureRun Minimalist vest my longest runs were rarely over 75 minutes and I never felt the need to bring anything extra with me other than my phone and house key. Wanting to make sure I was prepared for how this vest would feel on longer runs I strapped it on for several shorter runs. I didn’t really know that it really wasn’t necessary with this product.
Sizing is pretty basic for the vest. It comes in 2 sizes based on chest circumference so it was fairly easy to find the right fit for me. The size 1 vest fits 24″-40″ chests and the size 2 vest fits 36″-50″ chests. I actually fell into the 4″ inches where there is some overlap in the size so I decided to go with the size 2 vest just to be safe. Ultimately I think that using the size 1 would have worked out just as well because the vest was comfortable and didn’t ride up or move much at all even on my longer runs.
Speaking of how the vest fits, I was super impressed by the design and feel. It is very light in weight and without full flasks it felt like I was wearing a light jacket and not a hydration vest. The pockets for the flasks sat high on my abdomen and the tops of the bottles were just on my chest. This made access to the flasks quite easy because they rested at almost the same level as my arms while I was in motion. I could pull them out, drink and place them back in their pockets without looking by the 3rd or 4th run.
My first real test for the vest being loaded up was a 5K fun run and I am actually super glad I decided to bring it along. This was my son’s first attempt to run anything more than a half a mile at a time and I figured it would take a while so I loaded up the front pockets with some energy bars and my phone, filled the flasks and threw my wallet and keys into the rear pouch. There was no gear check for this race that I could find so this was a bit of a necessity. Let me tell you how happy I am that I had the PureRun Minimalist vest for this race.
We ended up being on course for an hour and fifteen minutes. It was cold and being over 3 miles I did lots of running/walking with a 7 year old on my back, shoulders and hips. If I had used a back pack for all the stuff I brought or loaded up my pockets then I’d have been miserable. Because the vest is so light, the chest pockets and flasks are so accessible I was able to carry my son and get to whatever I needed with ease and didn’t need to put him down in the process. Having snacks on course with a 12 oz. flask of water for each of us was such a gift.
Just one week after I used the vest for a fun run I was going to see what it was really made of. The Texas Big Star Half Marathon was my first half in a long time and I previous to this one I hadn’t taken any fuel or water with me on course. Training for this race was a little abnormal as I did an extreme taper starting about ten days out due to some achilles and calf tightness. I didn’t plan to push myself that hard and risk injury but I felt great after the first mile and was sticking pretty close to the 1:45:00 pacer, which was my initial plan before my injury, so I threw my easy run plan out the window.
If I hadn’t filled been prepared with two flasks filled with Nuun then this would have been a really bad idea. It was another cold race day with temps in the 30’s prior to the race so I was a little bit layered up on my upper body. This was great pre-race but I started to heat up really quickly once the sun came up. This meant lots of lost fluids to sweat. I needed every bit of the 24 oz. between the two flasks that come with the PureRun Minimalist so I am thankful that I had the vest.
There is zero doubt in my mind that I would have had to scuff this race early on without being able to carry water with me. Carrying a handheld with this much water would have felt to clunky and likely would’ve thrown off my rhythm. I’m also not as comfortable with any kind of belts as they often ride up or aren’t as easy to get the water out of. Instead of a scuffed run I ended up with a PR and nearly ran sub 1:44:00, which is a goal of mine in the near future.
Any morning that I go out for anything over a mile I will be wearing my vest. I can easily carry anything I would need in case of emergency without feeling bogged down by any noticeable weight. I feel confident in saying that even adding a full bladder on the back wouldn’t be bothered by the weight. The PureRun Minimalist Hydration vest has the potential to be used for much longer races with ample pocket space on the chest, in the back and the capability to hold a bladder as well. Whether you’re grinding out 5K’s in the spring/summer heat or trying to conquer an ultra distance race this vest will serve you well. I know I’ll never need another vest again!
You can check out the vest on Amphipod’s website here.
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