So here it is, my first gear review! I have had the privilege of using the Salomon S-Lab Adv Skin 3 5 Set, which pretty translates to the 3rd incarnation of this 5 liter Hydration vest. This is a great lightweight vest. It 225 gram which is 7.93 ounces. It is made of very high qulity and breathable mesh materials. The Sensifit fabric really helps the vest to move with you as you breathe and run. There is no bounce with vest even when it is fully loaded out. I enjoy the soft flask bottles as they mold to your body and are not hard and pressing into you. They are 500mL/ 17 ounce bottles. You do give up about 3 ounces with them when compared to hard bottles at 20 ounces. The biggest qualm I have with them is the fact that the opening is very narrow which makes it hard to put in powders when you are at an aid station. I would like the openings to be a little bit larger but overall they are great. The bite valve works well and easily allows for the fluid flow into your mouth.
My favorite aspect of the vest is the amount of storage. This thing has more pockets than a pair of cargo pants. You hvae two side zippered pockets, two side stretch pockets, two bottle holder pockets, two storage pockets above the flasks. One of these is intended to be a cell phone pocket but does not hold my Galaxy S5 in the Otter Box case.(It will hold it without the case). The vest also features a large Kangaroo pocket across the back which is accessible with either hand and can easily store a jacket or additional nutrition if you like. (this pocket is where my cell phone rides) There is also room for a 1.5 liter bladder if you like using a bladder. It comes with an insulated bladder pouch but does not include a bladder. This is a negative point for me but not a deal breaker. The vest also has a storage pouch behind the bladder compartment where you can toss extra socks, clothing, or a headlamp. It also has the ability to attach you poles to it as well.
This vest was designed with the runner in mind since I can reach everything while on the move. I do not need to stop to access any pockets. I have run with it for over 50 miles and had no chaffing, rubbing or discomfort. I have also run in it without a shirt with the same results. While it is a great product it does have one big draw back, PRICE! This vest new is $160.00 and does not include a bladder which is an additional $40.00 putting you at a $200.00 price point for a hydration vest. Though if you are Savvy enough you can find coupon codes and discounts out there and get 15-20% off which puts in it at a much more competitive price point when compared with similar products from Nathan or Ultimate Direction. Overall this is a great product and one I definitely recommend. It is my go to race vest and will continue to be for a long time.
Below is my video review!
Remember to Train Harder, Train Smarter, Train WISE!
Good luck and God Speed
Ross L. Wise