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Orange Mud Hydration/Gear Vest 2L 2.0
Weight: 8.9 oz (without bladder); 43.9 oz (with full bladder)
The Orange Mud Gear Vest 2L has a lot of great features working in its favor: innovative nutrition storage, snug front hydration pockets that are sizable but not cumbersome, easy-access trash storage, posterior shock cords for additional layers and nimble straps.
If you’ve never run with an Orange Mud vest, the design might seem counterintuitive. It doesn’t have mesh pockets along the ribcage that are common in many hydration vests; it’s one-size-fits-all and the nutrition pockets on the front look like they’re upside down (but they’re not; they’re just clever!). After running in the Orange Mud Gear Vest, however, it’s clear that the front pockets provide ample storage (enough for 600ml flasks) as well as space for a phone, sunglasses, keys and other accessories.
The nutrition pockets, situated on the shoulders, open downward, toward your torso. The Velcro closures keep gels, bars, waffles, etc. from sliding out and grabbing calories mid-stride is made simple by reaching up and across your chest.
The one-size feature may be problematic for folks on the far ends of the bell curve, however the front buckles and elastic sternum sliders allow plenty of room for adjusting (and feature an emergency whistle!). The side straps are easy to operate as well.
The pack is equipped with a 1L bladder that nests in the back pocket and hose management is effective and easy. There is some turbulence with the pack when carrying 300ml soft bottles and a full 1L bladder. If it suits you, leave the bladder at home and use the posterior stash for your preferred hydration and still store a layer, hat, gloves, emergency blanket, etc.
This pack is suited for long treks that necessitate ample gear.
— Jeff Colt, an avid mountain runner, lives in Carbondale, Colorado. He seeks trails, tele turns, freshly baked bread and high mountain huts.