Earlier this year I ordered an Orange Mud Hydraquiver VP2 through Amazon. It arrived in a couple of days, thanks to my Prime account and I eagerly threw it on and went for a run. Now that I have put several hundred miles on it and answered many questions from other runners about it, I thought I would finally put together a review with a few thoughts.
There are several options, but I selected the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2 (VP2) which has a large pocket on each side in the front, a smaller pocket on each shoulder that closes with velcro, two 20oz bottles, and a bungee strap in between. MARP is $149.95. I also added the Modular Bag, which is held in place by a velcro strap and the bungee chord between the bottles ($22.95).
With numerous water carrying systems in and around my house, why buy another one?
I don’t like belts at all. They slide down and they bounce too much while I run. I have yet to find one that the bottles don’t fall out. I don’t mind a handheld (or two) for a short run, but I prefer to have my hands free. For longer runs, I had been using a 100oz bladder in a Camelback vest, or in a Mountain Hardwear Fluid 12, if I only fill the bladder part way. The problem with the bladder is that it’s difficult to clean thoroughly and not convenient to refill during a race without getting water all over everything else that might be in my pack. In other words, I just haven’t found the perfect system for me, yet.
The Orange Mud vest since high on the shoulders, making it move with me rather than bouncing independently. When I first started using it, I could feel the bottles shifting up and down in the quivers and it made it seem like they might fall out, but they never have. The small pockets on the shoulders hold 2 gu packs each and are easily accessible while running. The larger pockets close with a bungee chord and a sliding lock to keep everything in place. These are large enough to hold a phone (even an iPhone 6 with a case), snacks, arm bands, etc. They could be used to hold additional 20oz water bottles if that is what you prefer. The addition of the Modular Bag gives me a clip for my key and enough room to hold a small amount of additional gear. The velcro strap holds the bag securely so the bungee chord can be used to hold a rain jacket. This was particularly handy when I got caught in a sudden downpour last winter. I could reach the jacket quickly and put it on without removing the vest or dropping anything in the mud.
There are adjusting straps in the front and in the rear to customize the fit. By adjusting the rear straps first, and then tightening the front as needed, the vest can fit virtually anybody and feels light and comfortable.
People often ask me if I can easily access my bottles where they are. The designers obviously studied some ergonomics when they designed this. The reach to grab, or replace, the bottles is natural and easy.
On race day 40 oz of water (or 20 water and 20 electrolytes) is enough to get me from aid station to aid station. You could carry two additional bottles for longer runs, if you don’t need to carry anything in the front pockets. The bottles are much easier to refill quickly and much easier to clean when I get home. With the Orange Mud, I get the best of bottles combined with the advantages of a pack.
Truth be told, I still use a handheld for short runs, I still use my hydration pack with the bladder for longer, unsupported runs, but for races or runs where 40 oz is enough, I love my Orange Mud.
Check out their line of products at orangemud.com.