My name is Nick, I am a Wisconsin dad who loves all things fitness, diving, and food! Persistent Resilience is a log of the fun and craziness that is my life. I am passionate about running, I love to see how far I can push myself, and my favorite runs are off-road. Currently I am trying to add to my ultra-marathon experience. If you have any questions about how/why I run or eat the way that I do please do not hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment, via facebook, or by email at Thanks for Visiting

20 May 2013

Hand Held Hydration Evolved - 2013 Salomon Sense S Lab Hydro Set Gear Review

Hand Held Hydration Evolved - 2013 Salomon Sense S Lab Hydro Set Gear Review

What comes in box 2 gloves & 1 8oz flask
 I was recently given a new Salomon Sense S Lab Hydro Set to demo by Performance Running Outfitters, one of my sponsors.  Like most ultra-runners carrying fluid on long runs or during races has always been a bit of a challenge for me.  I tend to go for as minimal an approach as possible when it comes to race day gear.  Other than really long self-supported efforts, or races with mandatory kit I avoid packs.  I have one, an Ultimate Direction Signature Series AK, and it has only been worn a few times.  I usually use either a single hand held or a single or double bottle waist pack.  The waist packs are ok but become annoying, and can restrict you stomach.  The single hand held bottle is acceptable however it becomes very fatiguing to carry one for 50+ miles. In the past I have just accepted this as the way things have to be.  Well Salomon decided that hand held hydration needed a new way to be!

In keeping with Salomon’s continued athlete inspired product innovation they partnered with Hydrapack, to create an entirely new hand held hydration system.  The system is based on Hydrapak’s soft flask technology and an integral glove designed by Salomon to hold the soft flask. This collaboration between Salomon and Hydrapak has produced a comfortable, highly functional hand-held hydration solution that has truly changed the way I comfortably carry fluids.

The design of the system is simple; it utilizes a pair of gloves that slip over the fingers and thumb and nestles into the palm of the hand. The palm side of the glove is comprised of a highly breathable mesh palm fabric area and two elastic bands. The elastic bands hold the soft flask in place while running (see image 1 below). To secure the flask a small adjustable elastic loop is provided. This is intended to loop around the base of the nipple of the flask to keep it upright and in place to facilitate easy consumption of liquids.  The backside of the glove has a nice terrycloth fabric area for wiping sweat from your brow (see image 2 below).  I found the glove to be very comfortable and it breaths well.  The freedom that the gloves provides your thumb and fingers is great for scrambling, power (euro) hiking, or completing tasks (opening gels). The gloves come in three sizes, which are measured at the circumference of the palm across the knuckles.

S: 6.75 - 7.25 in.
M: 7.25 - 7.75 in.
L: 7.75 - 8.25 in.

Image 1
Image 2

The soft flasks are easily inserted underneath the elastic bands and quickly adjusted  to exactly where you would like the flask to reside for running. The flasks are easily manipulated because your fingers and thumbs are free due to the design of the glove. Shown below is an image of the 247 ml (8oz) flask in place. The flasks are surprisingly secure, feel quite comfortable, and have a soft, form-fitting feel.  Salomon is releasing three sizes of soft flask, a 5oz, 8oz, and a 17oz.  The bladder is PVC and BPA free.  The bladder has a bite valve on top and it functions by biting it and squeezing the flask.  This design eliminates the need for pulling up a valve on the run and trying to close it again. 
Flask in place while running

Some may be concerned with the limited capacity of two 8oz flasks, for runs/races were aid is more than 10 miles/1.5 hours.  I have found however that this volume of fluid is more than adequate for that distance and beyond.  As an aside I do not consume a lot of water when running unless it is brutally hot.  Refilling the flasks is much easier than I expected with the smaller opening.  The only drawback is that adding ice to the drink is almost impossible.  That being said you can always freeze multiple flasks (if you have them).  The benefit of this reveals itself during hot runs as the miniature ice blocks will also cool your core temperature as they rest against your wrist (radial) arteries.   A side benefit is that as the flask empties it collapses in on itself, so you can stick it in your short pocket when done!

I ran with both the 8oz and 17oz flasks during a recent 50 mile race.  The 8oz flasks worked great especially one on each hand.  The 17oz while allowing for greater fluid carrying capacity, tended to flop around as it drained, making it extremely annoying.  It is my suggestion that if you plan to use the gloves in a race/run situation that you stick with the 8oz flasks.

The price of the S Lab Hydro Set is $60 from Salomon, with individual flasks priced around $20.  This is not uncommon for Salomon gear.  You can find the glove set for around $40 if you look.  I believe that the comfort and function of this system is truly worth the price, and I would highly recommend it.

DISCLAIMER - I was given the Hydro Set from a sponsor to review.  The opinions in this review are mine and mine alone.  Neither the sponsor nor Salomon were promised a favorable review.

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