Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.
For as long as I have been running, I’ve carried a water bottle in my hand. For larger races or distances, I carry a one liter bottle. It can get cumbersome and I can’t tell you how many times my bottle was knocked out of my hand by another runner during a race. I’ve been in search of a good vest to carry my water and other essentials on my runs, but I didn’t want anything that was too heavy or bulky. I’ve read lots of reviews and have gotten lots of recommendations from running friends. When the opportunity to try the Gear Vest Pro came up, I jumped at the chance.
The first thing I noticed (besides the awesome black/orange color combination; I was born on Halloween Day, after all!) was how lightweight the vest is. That’s a big score in terms of the two main features I was looking for. At under a pound, it is very lightweight. Another big score for me. There are tons of pockets including two large front pockets that can carry additional bottles of either water or some other type of endurance/electrolyte drink. In all, the vest has nine (nine!) pockets, one of which zippers closed for added security.
The vest comes in one size and with three different color options (black/orange, lime green, and coyote brown). I choose the black/orange combination because I thought it would match better with most of my running clothes, and did I mention Halloween? I wondered how the one size would fit given I have a relatively small frame but a bit of a wide back. With four different adjustable straps (one on each side and two in the front), the vest was very easy to adjust for the perfect fit. This adds versatility so I can adjust the straps during colder weather where I may be wearing more layers. There is a flexible shock cord on the back of the vest, so if I need to carry or remove extra layers, I can secure them with the cord and have easy access any time I need it. I didn’t notice until the third or fourth time using it that there is a built-in whistle on the top front strap. How awesome is that? You know I am all about safety (you can read these posts for some good tips and ideas on how to improve safety on your runs).
I found the vest to be very comfortable the first day I wore it. Except for the sloshing around of water, I could easily forget I was wearing it. I didn’t know if I would like sipping water from a bladder, but it definitely makes it easier to drink while running so I don’t have to stop. I’ve also used the vest on a couple of bike rides, and being able to drink from the bladder is my favorite feature specific to using it when I bike. I have a water bottle clipped to the frame of my bike, and I can’t take the bottle out of the clip without almost crashing, so I always have to stop for a drink. With the Gear Vest Pro, I can just sip as I go. I’ll be doing a sprint triathlon this summer, and I’m excited to have that option. I will be in Vegas next month and plan to once again hike at the Valley of Fire. You can bet I will be wearing my vest for hiking too!
I completed the Chicago Spring Half Marathon yesterday and with rain threatened in the forecast the entire time, I wondered how the vest would feel soaking wet. Would it be too heavy? Would it cause chafing by adding extra pressure on my wet skin? It poured all night the night before the race and it was pouring during my entire drive into the city but alas, the rain stopped about an hour before the start and it held off for the entire race. While I was thrilled to death, I did not get the opportunity to test how the vest performs or feels when wet. The material seems like it would dry quickly. I can’t wait to see if that is the case.
I really like this vest and I can see using it for running and biking for a very long time. I used it for a few shorter runs just to get used to it, but I imagine I will mostly uses it for longer runs and rides.
Check out the Orange Mud website for more information about this and other Orange Mud products. Use code BIBRAVEGVPRO for15% off all Orange Mud gear!
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I completed the London Marathon on April 28th, raising funds for Whizz-Kidz, an organization that provides wheelchairs and mobility devices for children and young adults. If you’d like to contribute to my fundraising efforts, you can still do so by clicking on the link below. Any donation, big or small, will help and is greatly appreciated!