Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Orange Mud HydraQuiver Hydration Pack Review

I have found my new favorite piece of running gear.

HydraQuiver_Perspective-C_1024x1024[1]

It is the HydraQuiver from Orange Mud (MSRP = $84.95).

For runs longer than an hour, I usually carry fluid (and not just in my bladder). For the past few years I have used a trusty hydration belt with 2-10 ounce bottles. This has served the purpose, although I’ve never been a fan of having something around my hips when I run.

For long trail runs where I knew planted water or stopping at a convenience store for hydration would be a possibility, I have also used the bladder-type packs with the hose thing. Not my favorite.

When the opportunity came for me to try the HydraQuiver I was intrigued. I liked the idea of running packs vs. belts. I also wanted a hydration system where I could carry more stuff  like gels, toilet paper, tampons, condoms, nail polish, phone, etc. (you never know what you will encounter on a run). The pocket on my fuel belt was too small for such things. The HydraQuiver has a nice deep pocket located behind the bottle.

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My first time trying the HydraQuiver

When I received the pack, the instructions stated to “Try it three times. When first trying it on, people will think wow, this is weird and will surely chafe me. It’s a normal reaction, but it won’t!

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The 26 ounce bottle is made by Specialized

Being the overachiever that I am, I tired it five times prior to do this review (for runs ranging from 7 – 15 miles). I tried it on the road, I tried it on the trail, I tried it on the path, I tried it while eating kale (well not really but I am channeling my inner Dr. Seuss - I do like kale, though).

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Using the HydraQuiver on 8 mile trail run – Picture Rock, Lyons, Colorado

One of my biggest concerns when running with a pack is that they tend to slide around a lot on my frame or bounce. I’ve had a tough time adjusting previous packs so they are tight enough, but not uncomfortable. I found with this pack that the fit is secure and has minimal movement, even when running faster or when climbing rocks, etc. on the trail. See for yourself:

One of the tricky things about this pack is that I found it difficult to access the bottle while running. I eventually was able to pull it out of the holder without stopping, but this required using one had to hold the pack down and the other to pull out the bottle. I wonder if the holster will eventually loosen some thereby making it easier as I know other reviewers have not had this issue. Getting it back in was very easy.

Pros:

  • Minimal movement of pack while running. No chest strap.
  • Decent storage for food, phone, etc. with no bulkiness
  • Very lightweight (less than ¾ pound). You almost forget it is there.
  • No chafing! Although, I am not sure how it will feel in the warm months with only a running tank.
  • For very cold days (like this one), water does not freeze as quickly as it does in smaller bottles.
  • Small and convenient enough to strap on to go on a short walk with the dog or a quick outing. Could also be used for skiing, hiking, etc.
  • Orange Mud provides a 100% guarantee meaning if a customer doesn’t like the product after trying it, it can be returned for a full refund or replacement.
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Price point. $84.50 seems steep. After using it, however, I found that this is a quality product. It is sturdy, well made and has double stitching throughout.  Part of the higher price may due to the fact that the pack is made in the USA. I also think that on occasion you can get $10 off coupons.
  • Difficult retrieval of bottle while running. This is something that may improve over time.
  • Only can carry up to 26 ounces of liquid. This means on really long runs where I would need double that, I will have to plant or stop for water. I did notice that there is a now a HydraQuiver Double Barrel available, which has 2-24 ounce bottles (MSRP = $109.95). Might need to try that.

Overall, I found this to be a top of the line, quality product providing comfort and ease of use. I am a convert. No more fuel belt for me.

 

What do you run with for hydration? Pack? Belt? Handheld?

SUAR

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received The HydraQuiver for free from Orange Mud as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.

38 comments:

  1. Seems interesting. I hate the fuel belt, too. I tried the Fitletic fuel belt at a trade show and liked how it didn't move much. Before the Florida summer hits, I'm going to have to pick something for sure :-)

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  2. How difficult is it for retrieving fuel? If the pocket is behind the bottle?

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    Replies
    1. Not too hard. The pocket is behind, but there are two zippers on either side so you can pull things through. It's pretty user friendly that way.

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  3. I started with a fuel belt, too, and hated it. I tried a Camelbak next and liked carrying water on my back, but didn't like the fact that to access my food on long runs, I had to stop, take the pack off, dig my food out and put it back on it. It wasted too much time. Now I have a Nathan hydration pack (same type of thing with a bladder and hose), but it has pockets on the front of the shoulder straps so that you can access your goodies while running! I LOVE it!

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    1. Thats sounds great I have a camelback and have the same issue got to take it off.. should have seem me last week.. I was tangled all in the straps. I am going to look at the Nathan. Thanks for posting.. Greatly Appreciated!!

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    2. Yes, thank you for posting! I love my Camelback for hiking, but know it would chafe for running (it's not a running specific model), so I'll definitely have to check out the Nathan!

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  4. Thanks for the review, I've been thinking about something like that myself (not to fussy for the waste packs). The price is a bit steep though...

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  5. I run with a Salomon 14+3 pack if I'm going long. I found it in the Bargain Barn of Sierra Trading Post for $30, minus its bladder. I like it because it has little pockets on the front for extra water or, my favorite, Clif Bloks. It holds a 70oz CamelBak. I also have had an impressive amount of layers in it, but the whole thing is so light. My only gripe? I have boobs. I'd like a pack from anyone that doesn't make me look like my breasts are going to hulk out.

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  6. I run with either a Nathans Swift (when only 1 bottle is needed) or my Amphipod belt (when I need 2-3 or more bottles). I love them both. Both have small pockets or pouches that fit the stuff I carry. If I need more gels than I can stuff into the pouch, I just water it down a bit and put them all in one of the bottles. Easy to carry 5+ gels in a single bottle with the other 2-3 being plain water or gatorade. I also like that the hydration belts can double as race belts to pin bib number to.

    I'll admit I've never tried a pack-style hydration system. I have no complaints whatsoever with my set-up so I can't justify getting another one yet. (Although there is no lack of cool stuff to try out there). Great post and gear review. I was surprised that there was no chaffing. That would have been my first concern.

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  7. The big question for me is... can you hear the water sloshing around? I love my Nathans hydration pack because there is no sloshing. Fuel belts and similar around the waist thing are annoying because of the sloshing.

    I am tempted to look at other options since hydration backpacks were banned at MCM with just a few weeks notice. I run with a large handheld but I miss having the pack to hold lots of just in case items and plenty of water.
    Thanks for the review!

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  8. I use a Nathan hydration pack (the Intensity - it's designed for women) and love it! Can't do the belt thing -- too much bounce.Once you get all the straps adjusted correctly, the pack is very comfortable and doesn't bounce. The extra storage and front pockets are great, too, for fuel, jackets, etc. on those long, more adventurous runs. I used my for Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon, and it was perfect!

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    1. Me too! Compartment is small but extras like space blanket & first aid can go in bladder section. This one looks interesting, for runs requiring less water. Water drops aren't an option on long runs.

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  9. Crap, I thought this was a giveaway!!!! I really like the idea of it, I hate the ones around my waist, the bottles always rub my back raw fromt he bouncing up and down. ( I know, that sounds really weird)

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  10. I use a belt but found it restricting after a marathon training season. This HydraQuiver looks great. Did you carry your phone? Did it bounce around a lot in the pack? Also is there access to it with ear buds? I run with music and podcasts.

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    1. Yes there is an access for headphones. Absolutely no bouncing when I carried my phone.

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  11. As an ultrarunner, I've used just about every type of pack on the market. For runs of less than 2-3 hours, I use the Amphipod handhelds that provide space for a few gels or a key. They seem to leak the least and the strap stays tight enough that I don't have to grip the bottle when I run. There are handhelds by Nathan that have a larger compartment for food, but I have to grip the bottle and they don't fit as well when I'm hiking up hills and want to do it euro-style with my hands on my quads. Handhelds encourage me to drink more since it's always in front of my face and they help break my occasional falls so I don't end up with a flapper.

    Like you, I don't like water around my waist. I don't mind a small belt for my phone, camera or gel flask (like the Ultraspire Quantum), but generally don't use one.

    As far as hydration vests, my favorite are the ones with the bottles in the front. Ultimate Direction just released one for women called The Jenny (as in Scott Jurek's wife, who helped design it) which is supposed to fit women better than the SJ or AK vest that many of us are using.

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  12. i HAVE to look for this in CANADA!! very cool!!!

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  13. Backpack-style hydration packs are now banned in some marathons (NYC, for example). I wonder if this would fall into that? If nothing else though, it looks great for training.

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    Replies
    1. Here's my request to the universe for this to reversed in the next few years.

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  14. That's so awesome. I've been looking for something for YEARS, because I HATE the fuel belt. Might have to use one of my Christmas gift cards on this :)

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  15. For hour-ish runs (like, I don't actually NEED water but might want a drink to wet my mouth since I live in a stinkin desert), a small handheld. For longer runs, I use the Camelbak Annadel model which holds 50 ounces of water plus phone, keys, and food. The Camelbak feels fine to me, but I'm used to them since I've been using them mountain biking for 15+ years.

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  16. It seems like the pockets would be tough to access? Also, I bet I'd pull a muscle trying to get the bottle. Looks nice though!

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  17. Thanks for the review! When I get back to distance running, I might try this :)

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  18. I like the look of this pack, but even 48 oz is not enough for me (and I'm too lazy to plant water). I use a Nathan hydration vest with a 70 oz bladder and I like it, especially since I tend to suck down the water on any run. If I was smaller it wouldn't fit, so I understand where you're coming from on that end.

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  19. I've heard great things about this pack and the company in general. Thanks for the review! I really love my fuelbelt, but may keep this in mind for next time I'm going to splurge on running gear!

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  20. I bought the Nathan Intensity hydration pack for women this summer for marathon training, trained 100% on trails and I love it!

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  21. I definitely like backpacks over waist belts - not sure about this one because of the bottle retrieval issue. My hydration packs have larger pockets on the back for layers, and small pockets on the waist for phone, keys, and snacks,

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  22. I use a nathan belt. and MAN do I hate that thing. my running group requires some kind of hydration system. I hate running while holding something, and the idea of a backpack turns me off too. My bottles have a tendancy to hop out of their holster. I've mostly solved that problem by wrapping rubber bands around them. I love having water whenever I want it, but I hate that belt.

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  23. I have been looking for something that would be less cumbersome. I love my handheld bottles but I am starting to dislike having something in my hand. Definitely need to try this!

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  24. Looks like you could add a lanyard to hang from the bottom to give your bottom hand something hold while you remove the bottle from the top.

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  25. I get arm pump with a handheld and I hate things around my waist. I run trails with an Osprey Viper pack. It has a 3L bladder but I usually only fill it about 2/3rds of the way. It carries my keys, dog treats, epi pen, phone, music and a snack. It has a handy outer stuff pocket that is great for guidebooks and or maps if I am running someplace new

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  26. I get arm pump with a handheld and I hate things around my waist. I run trails with an Osprey Viper pack. It has a 3L bladder but I usually only fill it about 2/3rds of the way. It carries my keys, dog treats, epi pen, phone, music and a snack. It has a handy outer stuff pocket that is great for guidebooks and or maps if I am running someplace new

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  27. I get arm pump with a handheld and I hate things around my waist. I run trails with an Osprey Viper pack. It has a 3L bladder but I usually only fill it about 2/3rds of the way. It carries my keys, dog treats, epi pen, phone, music and a snack. It has a handy outer stuff pocket that is great for guidebooks and or maps if I am running someplace new

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  28. I just use a Nathan 2 small bottle holder belt. At first I hated it...hated the way it bounced around my waist, but I have learned to wear it tight around my hips and now I love it. It doesnt move or bounce, plus it helps feel like it stabilizes my hips.

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  29. So just checking to see if you are still good with this and 1 bottle or if you are thinking of getting it with two (the double)! Do not like the belt and thinking of hiking and trail running! Have you tried the double barrel for longer runs?

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  30. After seeing the price I think I will just run with a condom full of water.

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