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.
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?