Monday, December 10, 2007

Nathan HPL #020 Hydration Vest

I recently started using the Nathan HPL #020 hydration vest. I received it as a birthday gift from my brother and his family. Here is a pic:

I am still getting used to the fit and feel, but so far I like it. It has easy access to the storage pockets up front which makes it easy to access food and other items. The fit can be adjusted pretty easily, and the bladder has a wide opening so you can fill it and clean it easily. You can also dump ice cubes in easily with the wide opening.

I do have a couple of suggestions to improve it, which I emailed to Nathan and just received a reply from them thanking me for my input. The guy who responded - Greg - even mentioned that one of the suggestions I had was already in the works. I like the fact that 1. someone got back to me, and 2. they are willing to listen to feedback from customers. That is good business.

So what are the issues I have with the vest, you ask? Here they are:

1. The bladder is not secured in any way inside the pack, and as such, has a tendency to bounce around a bit. This could be alleviated by sewing in some webbing loops with plastic pieces at the inside top that could be pushed through the holes at the top of the bladder to hold it up, thus preventing bounce.

2. Sew in some elastic in the middle of the side webbing to allow for a fit that is not quite so...confining. A little give, especially in the bottom tension straps, would make for a more comfortable fit - snug but not too tight and confining.

That's it. Really, the issues I have are pretty minor, but they really would improve the overall comfort of the vest. Even though, I am pleased with it and look forward to many miles of running with this thing strapped to me.

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