My Sunday mornings generally involve trail running with my friend Rose in canyons and the mountains . Grew is training for the Mount Taylor 50K, and I keep her business during long runs because I’m such a sucker good buddy.

I recently analyzed women’s hiking gear for the 2014 Summer Buyer’s Guide and acquired a hiking pack I thought might work for two, three, four-plus hour runs in the Jemez. About six miles into a 12-mile jog, I understood what a fool I was. To stop bounce, I’d cinched the front straps tight enough to dig into my chest and stomach, but not snug enough to stop chafing on my shoulder blades. By the end of the run, I’d developed what looked like giant hickies on each scapula.

Lesson learned. For running no more hiking packs. Grew, mentioned her Nathan hydration systems were selling really well, and coincidently, owns a store that is running. So I decided to to try out one. Please follow the link to get more information about best hydration pack reviews.

I went with the Zeal ($140), which debuted this year and is among the business’s—and the complete market’s—best selling packs. Specially designed for girls (guys, you’ll want to check out the men’s version, the Nathan Zelos), the lightweight race vest has all you need for a morning in the mountains, including:

Loads of Water Capacity

The pack includes an easy-to-fill two liter reservoir and an 18-ounce hand-held bottle that fits perfectly in the front-right pocket. Use the other for electrolytes and one for water, and also you need to be ready to go for at least three hours. The hose runs from the bladder over your right shoulder and easily clips in and out of the sternum strap for on the go hydration.


The Zeal was created to keep you swift and light, but there’s lots of room—about seven liters—for snacks and a shell, even when the bladder is full. Key clip and a small internal pocket ensure that valuables remain safe, also. If that’s not enough, an external bungee cord holds extra layers, a hat, or post-race flip flops.

Front Pockets

There are five of them— a zippered pocket for your smartphone, two for gels, one for the abovementioned hand held, and also a smaller one for other pills or salt tablets. Basically, whatever you might want easy access to can be carried across your torso (this pack is essentially the same shape and size as your rib cage; everything you carry up front hangs pretty high—between the top of your shoulder and your 10th rib—not down around your waist region).

A Whistle

Which I aim to use next time I encounter a bear. It’s unobtrusive and miniature and grey —except if it’s not secured properly, in which case it will bounce right up and hit you in the teeth. Ouch.

No Chafing

No one likes to head out for a run understanding that however much Body Glide is implemented, some spots will still end up raw. Happily, this isn’t an issue with all the Enthusiasm, which uses a magic blend of outside shock cords, a three-way Propulsion Harness, and side straps that may be corrected on the fly to ensure the pack will not bounce. The sternum strap is flexible and may slip vertically to wherever is most comfortable (i.e. sufficiently above or below the breasts). Combine that with breathable mesh shoulder straps and a back panel that is perforated, and your on the go relaxation—no matter how much you’re taking—is pretty much ensured.

All this in just 1.1 stylish pounds?