Gear Review: Hydration Waistpack
We’ve had 21 days of 90+ degree heat so far this summer. 13 is normal. 11 of the first 17 days in July have been 90+ with more to come. Just walking outside feels like being hit in the face with a wet towel. Running can be deadly. There’s plenty written about hydration – and I suggest you read it before venturing out. I’m going to review a new piece of gear that has helped me survive this Amazonian summer.
I recently purchased the REI Single Shot Waistpack. I wanted something to carry small personal items as well as a 20 oz bottle. At $30, this hydration system is fantastic! Here’s my take.
- Perfect Size. At 67 cu in, It easily holds keys, wallet, iPhone, granola bar(s), gu packets, garage door opener, and a 21 oz water bottle. Any bigger and space would be wasted. Any smaller and it wouldn’t carry what I need.
- Convenient pockets. There are two “kangaroo” style pockets on each side of the belt. One has a zipper, the other tight elastic. These are easy to access one handed, and virtually impossible for something to fall out of them. The main compartment is a little more difficult, but easier than other waistpacks.
- Easy access to water. Not much to say here. The water bottle comes out when you need it, and slips back away when you don’t. Some packs/belts fight you to get the bottles in or out. Not so here my friends!
- The Water bottle stays in place… mostly. I hate it when the bottles bounce around. It took a bit of adjusting (there is an extra cinch strap for the bottle), but once I had the straps down tight, the entire bottle stayed put. It helps if it’s not totally full.
- Breathable Belt – The belt itself is made of highly breathable air-mesh. It didn’t make me hotter. Since there is very little elastic, the belt didn’t tighten or loosen as the run went on.
- The Water bottle is a tad bouncy. This only really seems to be an issue when the bottle was totally full of ice and water. Not horrible, but at first I kept reaching back thinking the bottle was going to fall out. It never did, but it felt like it. After a few sips, it seems to settle down and ride like it should.
- To tight. Since there isn’t much elastic on it, I really had to tighten it down around my hips to keep it in place. I did get a little wear blister from where it was rubbing agains my shorts. That’s probably more my fault than anything.
The REI Single Shot Waistpack is definitely worth the money if you’re looking something under $30 with just enough room for essentials. I do NOT recommend this for runs longer than two hours if you can’t refill along the way.