Thursday, September 22, 2016

Orange Mud Endurance Pack Review

I started running with a hydration vest about two years ago. I spent much of my endurance running career trying different hydration belts with varying levels of success. I had a hydration vest that I would use for longer trail runs but never road running, for some reason. Finally I just gave up on the belt and started running with the hydration vest full time. Over the course of the past two years, I ran with either the Nathan Women's Intensity Vest, which I really liked, or the Ultimate Direction Jenny Ultra Vesta. I really like both of these vests but they each had something I didn't love or needed more of, leaving me wishing I could somehow combine the two. The Nathan vest allowed me to put the reservoir in from the top, allowing for easy loading and refilling. But it lacks pocket space for those long self-supported runs. The Ultimate Direction vest has plenty of space, even front pockets that allow for additional bottles for extra fluids. But the reservoir had to be placed in from the side and it was very annoying trying to refill it on a long run or during a race. I could never quite get it back into the vest the right way and it would bother me for the remainder of the run. So I was looking for something with extra pockets and space but a top-loading pouch for the reservoir. Enter the Orange Mud Endurance Pack. I'm reviewing my top 5 reasons for loving this new pack!

Before I continue, I'm linking up with the Friday Five link up hosted by Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run. Be sure to check them out when you're done reading here!

1. As mentioned previously, the main draw to this pack is the way you place the reservoir inside the pack. There is a large open pocket where you just put the reservoir in and secure in place with a velcro tab (the tab -the thing being held in the pic below- goes through the black top of the reservoir and secures it to the pack). You then weave the reservoir tube through the various tabs on the vest so it sits how you like it. I've used this pack on several 20+ runs now, including two 50Ks that required several refills and it was amazingly easy and fast. Score!



2. The pack has one large zippered pouch on the back of the pack where I can keep items that I won't need on a regular basis throughout the run but still need, such as my medical supplies and back-up fuel. There is also a key clip to attach your car key more securely than just leaving it loose within the pouch. In addition to the zippered pouch, there is also an open pouch between the reservoir pouch and the zippered pouch for even more storage. I bought the endurance pack upgrade that includes cords and locks, as well as hardware to secure trekking poles to the pack. If I'm going to do a 100-miler next year, I need a way to secure jackets and poles that I'll need throughout that jaunt. This was attached easily to the large zippered pouch and works perfectly as advertised.


3. There are 4 pockets on the front: two that are open and can be closed by tightening the cords and two pockets that have velcro closures for items that need to be more secure. I keep my phone and food I'll need right away in one of the open pockets (that I can tighten with the cord) and then more food or another bottle in the other front pocket. I got the soft flask that has a tube and bite valve, that collapses as you drink. It's really convenient to have extra fluids but have the option to fold it up and put it in the pack when I'm done.



4. The pack comes with a 2 liter hydrapak fluid reservoir. It has a quick-remove tube, a locking bite valve and is really easy to fill and subsequently clean. This is a great reservoir that will last a long time and didn't have any plastic taste upon first use. I did rinse water through the tubing and bite valve a few times before filling it for my run.

5. This vest sits a little higher than other vests, which makes it much more comfortable for the long haul. My arms don't hit it while running and I don't feel I have a dead body laying on my back from my neck to my lower back. This sits right in the center of my back and, once the vest is adjusted, doesn't move.

Bonus: the vest came with a letter written by the owner of Orange Mud with tips on cleaning, storing and using your pack. There are tips in there that will save you time in learning how to adjust the pack and get it to your own specifications. That was a nice touch.



Note- I purchased this pack with my own birthday money and did not get compensated in any way. The opinions and photos are my own.

Do you run with a hydration system? Do you prefer a vest, belt or hand-held? Have you tried Orange Mud?

14 comments:

  1. I'm not a hydration pack person, but this review definitely has me considering it!

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    1. Oh you will love it! I love it so much better than the other vests I've used. Good luck if you try it!

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  2. I LOVE Orange Mud! And I love you...so win win! And I love when you don't feel like there is a dead body on your back! :-)

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    1. Yes, not having a dead body on my back is a plus!!

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  3. I ran with the camelbak hydration belt for a while but it just wasn't my thing. My sister has a vest though and will carry water for the both of us on long runs!

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    1. That's awesome she'll carry fluids for you! I definitely prefer the vest over a belt any day!!

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  4. I have a Salomon S lab vest, but have yet to try it out. I think once I make the jump to the ultra distance I'll try it out. Or maybe on some of my long runs in the coming months. Hubby loves orange mud and has been considering the double barrel. Maybe he should look into this first though. Thanks for the info!

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    1. Everyone I know that has the double barrel loves it. I never went with the bottle systems, but may get one for shorter runs.

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  5. Thank you for this review! I was highly considering the ultimate direction Jenny hydration pack but now the wheels are spinning.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Lupe! Don't get me wrong, I like the Jenny Vesta but I don't love how you have to put the bladder into the pack. I think the Endurance Pack is much more user friendly, in my opinion. Good luck!

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  6. Might try this vest! I live and hate the one I have. The bladder is a huge pita but tuscso comfy. Plenty of pockets but I need 1 more

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    1. I think this would be a great vesr for you, Cheryl!

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  7. Thanks so much for reviewing our pack! It's been my favorite design yet, so I'm pumped that you dig it!

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    1. I absolutely dig it!! I've been using it for any run in the double digits. It's just perfect!

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