Nathan HPL #008 Race Vest Review

April 10, 2012


The Nathan HPL #008 Race vest is the perfect hydration system for short distance runs up to training for marathons. Personally this is my go to pack, it has 1.5L of water and is perfect for about 3 hours of running on a hot day. Just last summer I wore this pack on a 16 mile run and I ran out of water right when I finished, I admit it was a hot day but for such a light pack it holds a lot of water so you can explore the trails. This pack is very breathable due to its very airy construction and the very thin material which is used to make the pack. But the cool thing about this pack is that the material is very light and breathable but it is also very durable and stays put when you run.
Most hydration packs bounce around and are uncomfortable, but this pack does no have any of those problems. This pack has a sternum strap which holds the pack secure but the key to this pack is its glove like fit. The pack almost feels like a tight shirt, it just holds to your body and doesn’t move around, I believe it is like this because of its stretchy breathable construction material. Main point is it just hugs your body and has a very nice fit.
When on long runs you need nutrition, to address this need the pack has two big pockets in the front which can hold lots of gels and other nutrition you might need. It defiantly has enough room for nutrition over 3 hours which is very good. The pockets are also large enough to fit in an iphone or your cell phone. The pocket on the left has an open top and this is usually the one where I put my nutrition, because it is easy to get to and it is secure thanks to the stretchy cord which can be tightened. The right pocket is zippered and is usually where I put my phone and other things like tissues or a small map. On the front of the right pocket it has a mesh pocket which can be used to place a gel or salt tabs. 
HPL #008
On the back of this pack it has a stretchy mess pocket which can be used to hold a jacket or a trail map. I use this pocket usually for a jacket, a map, and a safety blanket. It is pretty stretchy so it can fit a lot in it. Also pay attention to the side straps, these are used to create a tighter fit to the body and help create a perfect fit. This is also how you access the bladder through a zippered pocket, usually it has a little extra space so you could put a plastic bag full of tissues in there. 
The bladder has a slideseal top which allows for easy filling and cleaning, it is better than the camel back packs because the water hole is in the middle and the water usually can splash out when filling. The hose comes up from the back and runs down the front and hooks onto the sternum strap which allows for easy access to water. The bite valve is a pull n suck and is perfect because it doesn’t allow water to come out unless you want it to. A word of advice for this pack, do not put anything besides water or the Nathan specific fix drinks. Anything else will ruin the bite valve and will be a pain to clean.
Overall if you are looking for a lightweight running pack that has enough water for 3 hours or more, this is the pack for you. Happy trails! 

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