So, even though I didn't really like wearing a fuel belt back in 2010, when I was given one at the USAFit organizer's conference back in March, I figured I'd give it a try again. Guess what? I lasted through one short run with it and swore it off - I just do not like having anything around my waist like that when I run. I continued to run with my handheld water bottle, but I kept looking around, thinking surely there must be something out there that would work for me.
Finally, just on a random Google search for hydration systems, I happened to see the Orange Mud website, where I found the HydraQuiver. I was intrigued. I watched their video on how the system works. I read some reviews. I waffled on ordering one based on the price - I'm not opposed to spending money on something that I'll use, but not knowing if I'd really like it? That gave me pause. However, they have a 90-day return policy, and once I decided I'd like to order, I asked for a discount, which they generously gave me. Being a ::cough cough:: famous running blogger has its perks after all...(please know I'm being facetious - I might blog, I might run, but I haven't received any offers from the running community in years, sadly)
Post 8 mile run...
My take on the HydraQuiver? I love it! I was a little surprised at how quickly I adapted to wearing this backpack system - I wondered if it would feel too heavy, or make me overheat, but nope. After the first run with it (3 miles), I was hooked! The only thing I noticed, and that was just for the first time I used it, was that I could hear the water sloshing in the bottle, which made sense since it was located closer to my ears. But after that, I tuned it out and haven't noticed any sloshing since.
The padded pack sits pretty high on your back, between your shoulder blades. You cinch it snug with their super-soft webbed straps, and it doesn't bounce at all. I wasn't feeling any bouncing, but I asked several of my running buddies to observe me during our runs, and they all said it wasn't moving, just as I thought. The straps fit under your arms, and you might think there could be chafing potential, but nope. I used this for our 9 mile rain run, and I had zero chafing. Not even a mark anyplace where the pack touched my body - I think that's pretty amazing.
Post 9 mile run - I forgot I even had it on as we posed for our rainy pictures!
The bottle that comes with the pack is 24 oz. While we have water set out on our routes to refill our bottles, with this size, I don't have to stop at each station now. It has a tapered bottom that makes fitting it into the holder really easy, which is nice considering you're doing that action blind. And even though you have to reach behind your back to get the bottle out, the pack sits high enough that I don't feel like a contortionist - they say if you can scratch the back of your head, you can get the bottle out, and they are right.
The shoulder straps have soft expandable pouches that can hold things you need to get to while you're running - for me, it's my fuel and my lip balm. I randomly crammed three GU's into one side and there was plenty of room for more. Last week I filled both pockets with all kinds of fuel...I didn't need nor did I use most of it, but I just wanted to see how it felt. I didn't notice it at all once the pack was on. The pouches have a Velcro closure system, which makes it easy to open and remove items as you run.
Other things of note: The pack doesn't have a chest strap - it just cinches at the shoulders. I like this a lot...being female, I don't want anything crossing my chest other than my sports bra. The pack is made in the USA. The construction is solid; it feels like it's going to last, but if something goes awry, there is a limited lifetime warranty.
I'm really glad I took a chance on the HydraQuiver. If you'd like to try it, Orange Mud is offering my readers a 10% discount on any of their products - click here and use the code MYJOURNEY. And please, let me know if you get a HydraQuiver for yourself, and if you like it as much as I do!
Disclosure: I was given a discount to purchase this product, and this review includes a referral link for me.