As many of you have seen Salomon has had this crazy hydration vest out there but it has been hard to get your hands on one as they have been so popular. The upcoming model of the Salomon XT Advanced Skin S-lab 5 has been developed in conjunction with Kilian Jornet for his use in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc coming up August 26th in France.
The UTMB is a footrace that begins and ends in Chamonix and covers just over 31,000 vertical feet over about 103 miles. The race is semi-self sufficient and runners are required to carry a waterproof jacket, warm clothes, food and water, whistle, survival blanket and head lamp.
What better way to carry all those goods in either this race, a similar event, or an extended run than a nice snug fitting hydration vest like the Salomon XT Advanced Skin S-lab 5:
This ultra form-fitting pack for longer, serious trail running comes in two sizes for precise fit. Includes organization pockets in the main compartment and Sensifit construction, a stretch breathable mesh that literally wraps the pack and it’s contents around the body for a secure, non-binding, abrasion-free fit. Large enough to carry hydration and required equipment for UTMB and other long endurance races. PVC/BPA free bladder.
As Salomon states the vest comes in two sizes, XS/SM and MD/LG. It weighs in at 1 lb 6oz and has a capacity of about 5 liters and costs $180.00. The vest is comprised of one main compartment, two chest pockets, a mobile (this is coming from France so it’s not a cell phone, ha!) pocket, one removable chest pocket, and two lateral side storage areas. In addition it has a trekking pole carrying system on it. It will accommodate a 1.5 liter reservoir (included) and also comes with a whistle and safety blanket, both required items for the UTMB.
This seems like a great option for a top end athlete like Kilian Jornet or someone like you and me who enjoys exploring the wilderness fast and light but like to carry a few extras just in case that late afternoon Sierra thunderstorm rolls on in and catches you by surprise.
Also considering the warm sun we have here in Tahoe I think if you trade in your running shoes for Nordic skis in the winter the race vest may be a great option for an afternoon at Tahoe XC as well. The hydration reservoir and mainly tube may be problematic with freezing if you are a member of the early morning club or during a cold snap but otherwise I think this would work great for a day out skate skiing.
If you do use any type of hydration system in winter you may already know that if you keep on top of blowing the water out of the tube and back into the reservoir this solves the majority of freezing issues. Otherwise if the bite vale freezes just tuck it into your jacket for a bit and it will usually thaw out within a few minutes. But for now we won’t worry about freezing reservoirs!
As a final sad note you’ll have to wait in anticipation to get your hands on one of these bad boys. As of now Salomon is sold out! We’ll have them at Alpenglow in late spring of 2012!