Gear review: Nathan PEAK HYDRATION WAIST PACK

The weather has gone from summer to steamy almost overnight and while I love the heat, staying hydrated can be tricky. Drinking enough water throughout the day helps, for sure, but I’ve found that even for a short run (anything over 8ish km), especially in 25+ degree heat, I need fluids or I start to suffer.

I have my Ultimate Direction Vesta for longer trail runs (and I LOVE it), but it’s too much for a shorter road run.

I have a Nathan Speedraw Plus Insulated Flask handheld that I want to love, but it bugs me in the heat when I get sweaty and I end up changing hands a lot. I don’t like the imbalance of one, but would two bug me twice as much?

I don’t like the belts with the little bottles that sit near the kidneys (the small bottles cause too much sway), nor do I like the ones with bottles in front AND back.

Then last year I discovered the Nathan Peak Hydration Waist Pack. It’s almost exactly what I want in a waist belt. Almost.

PROS:

  • The bottle snugs into my back so there is very little bounce, and surprisingly very little side-to-side motion either (no chafing!) especially when worn up higher. I used to wear it on my waist but my body is pretty short (hello, dorky race photos!) so I’ve started wearing it lower on my hips. I do have to tighten it periodically, but it’s not a big deal.
  • The wider panels that wrap around the side provide nice support without being bulky.
  • I love the angle of the bottle, and it’s surprisingly easy to access, drink out of and put back, even when moving. (A left-handed version would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)
  • The 18 oz / 535 mL Ergologicalâ„¢ SpeedDraw Flask with Push-Pull cap sits nicely in a smaller hand and doesn’t leak when slipped back into the holster. The bottle is insulated too, but not for long in hotter-than-the-sun weather. It fits my other non-insulated Nathan flask too.
  • There is a stretchy zippered pocket for gels and/or a smaller phone. (I have a iPhone 7 and it fits, but just.)
  • At $60 it’s not cheap, but I use it regularly and it’s weathering very well.

CONS:

  • The zippered pocket is small and there is only one. I wish there was a second zippered pocket to put a car key, for example. Having my key, phone and gels jammed into one place is a recipe for losing something. There is an expandable shock cord system for extra storage, but it doesn’t really work for me. (The gels fall out. And that makes me cranky.)
  • I said above there is little bounce, but that’s not entirely true: it does bounce when the bottle is full, but I find the same with my Vesta soft flasks. Again, not a big deal, but seems to be a deal breaker for some reviewers.

Bottomline: I give it a 4/5 stars because the single smaller zippered pocket is a bit of a bummer. The design works for me, but all bodies are built differently.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. I bought this item myself and am offering unbiased and honest feedback. I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Nathan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s