Friday, September 10, 2010

Nathan Sports HPL #020

Nathan Sports' HPL #020 is an amazing hydration vest. I say vest because it is worn more like a vest rather than a pack. I had heard many great things about the Nathan HPL hydration vest, so I being new to Ultras, was ready to give it a go. The first run I did with the vest was a short, but hilly 10 miler. The vest felt great and seemed to move with me as I ran. When I needed some fluids I simply grabbed the bite valve and sucked some fluids in. One thing that stood out immediately for me, was how noisy the water was sloshing around. It became pretty annoying after a while, but at some point I tuned it out. The 2nd run I did using the Nathan vest (20 miles), I decided to swap out the Nathan badder for a Camelback one that I had laying around. This was an immediate improvement and drastically reduced the sloshing noise. Now on some of the other Nathan vests they have included pegs to hold the Nathan bladder more securely in the pack. I am not sure why this was omitted from the HLP, but it would be a welcome addition.

The Pros
  • Front pockets allow for easy access to GUs, Power bars or whatever nutrition you carry.
  • Shoulder straps really feel comfortable.
  • The shoulder straps are wide, but still lightweight and breathable.
  • Having bungee on the back of the vest allows for extra storage of cloths.
The Cons
  • The vest gets a little warm on the back.
  • The Nathan bladder makes a lot of noise when running. This could be reduced by including the bladder pegs.
  • The actual pack (not the vest) needs to be more durable. The pack materials seem cheap in comparison to a Camelback.
What I Would Change

  • Redesign the Badder to be more secure in the pack. This would reduce the sloshing. You could do this in two ways, either redesign the pack with some type of compression mechanism or redesign the bladder.
  • Raise the pack off the back to let air flow. Adding small ridges or some other design to allow airflow between the pack and a person's back would make using it cooler.
  • Add two more pockets to the front. Having additional pockets would allow for more food/trash.
My Modifications
  • Nixed the Nathan bladder and replaced it with Camelback bladder. Another option would be to go to Michael's and buy some bungee cord and some wooden pegs. The HPL bladder has holes where you can pass the pegs through to secure the bladder to the bag.

    Useful Tips
    • Keeping a front pocket empty is perfect for holding trash, such as bar rappers and used GUs/Gels.
      Overall Evaluation -
      • 9 out of 10

      No comments:

      Post a Comment