In a continuing effort to dial-in hydration & more for ultras, I re-visited the concept of a vest. I had previously tried a different vest and returned it, primarily due to sloshing and bounce of partially-emptied bottles. I used this vest for the first time in a 50 miler this weekend (knowing the best time to try new gear is during a race!). This TO vest, with the soft-body bottles worked really well. As it empties, the air can be squeezed out. Vest-bouncing was minimized and bottle sloshing was eliminated entirely. The soft "body bottles" are definitely the way to go. Until they aren't. One "escaped" during the first miles of the 50 miler when it bounced out of its pocket. Two things, one I had not cinched it in properly, as I was using vest for first time (user error). Secondly, I was in a single-track conga line. The person behind me didn't have time to react and stepped on my new bottle. This fractured the rigid plastic opening so that it would not hold liquid. I emptied it out and continued the next 47 miles with just the one functional bottle.
In summary, this was the first vest I liked while racing, because of the bottles, yet I'm subtracting two stars for the same bottle. I understand humans weigh a lot, but having it break so early in the race on a very giving mud surface was a bit surprising, so I'm giving the pack 3 stars overall. firstname.lastname@example.org on Mar 13th 2017
Lightweight, comfortable, and easy access to all of the storage pockets. I am female, approx. 5' 4" and 120 lbs and the small fits me very well. I normally carry a handheld, but wanted something that could carry more water & more food for longer mountain trail runs, but I didn't want anything terrible complicated. I love the simplicity of this vest yet it has ample storage. For me, the soft flasks are taking some getting used to - the bite valve and getting them in and out of the pockets. Hence, the 4 out of 5 stars. But the soft flasks are much lighter than regular bottles, so that is definitely a plus. Overall, I am very pleased with this vest. Trina on Jan 16th 2017
This pack is perfect for what I need at a race. It's light, soft, and carries the essentials.
It definitely runs large. I measured myself as having a 34" chest, which could work for Medium or Small. I ordered the Medium at first. I had all the straps cranked down but the bottles still bounced around and they rode low on my ribs. I reordered this in a Small and it seemed much more secure, with the bottles riding up on the front of my chest.
I would recommend this for someone looking to keep the weight down but still having enough for water to the next aid station and pockets for phone, keys, gels, sunglasses, buff, gloves, etc. Nick L. on Nov 15th 2016
It's light, it's comfortable and has more than enough pockets. I love the soft bottles...out on the trails in AZ you have to carry some stuff, obviously water, some chapstick, a couple of goos should you get close to bonking...a car key, mole skin, iPhone, sunglasses. (You guys know all this.) I love just leaving things in the vest and just have to "add water," and I'm out running. I keep everything in the same place so I don't even have to look to access stuff. Oh, and in the AZ mountains, we have summer afternoon rain storms that often require an Houdini jacket. I would strongly recommend trail runners to try this vest. Well done guys! :) Unknown on Jul 19th 2016
Not a big hydration pack guy, but I got tired of using handhelds for my longer runs. I went for this vest because of how light and simple it is. I just wanted something to carry a litre of water and five or six hundred calories.
This vest delivers exactly that and is exceptionally comfortable thanks to the soft flasks and well placed straps. I'm gonna get a lot of mileage out of this.
My only complaint; I find I need to keep the flasks in the bottom drop pockets or even in the rear lumbar pouches (they fit perfectly in either of these locations when they are a little less than full). The front breast pockets are the least comfortable spot for the flasks. For some reason that's where I get the most bounce and chaffing, but these pockets are fine for gels, bars or a Houdini jacket.
Vest runs a little large especially in the shoulders. I don't have the sculpted upper that TO does... Unless your a running Adonis, go a size down. Small works good for my 34" chest.
Unknown on May 15th 2016
Love the vest. I normally wear a Nathan vest. However, the pockets and the accessibility of the rear pocket make this vest almost perfect. My "only" issue with the vest is that the neck collar is to high and pulls on my neck. If the neck collar was cut a little lower, I wouldn't even know I have the vest on. Unknown on Apr 30th 2016
After finding my AK 2.0 vest a bit too small, I was excited to get my hands on the TO 3.0. I don't use a bladder and I just wanted a vest that could accommodate two bottles and limited gear. The vest does this well. It is highly adjustable and super light. The two bottle pockets function well and the two stretchy pockets beneath them hold my phone and a pair of gloves or hat without issue. I can fit a lightweight shell in the larger (white) stretchy back pocket and keys and things in the other (black) back pocket and it is all relatively comfortable. The mesh and the edge binding are both significantly softer than the 2.0 versions. The fit keeps the "collar" of the vest from chafing your neck, which was an issue in the AK 2.0 for me. It is much more comfortable when wearing a singlet or going shirtless. Though I like vest enough to give it 4 stars, I do have two issues with it. First, the two pockets above the bottles should have been placed higher up on the vest as when I put a gel flask in the stretchy one, the bottle on that side pushes it up and out of the pocket and the two are just in each other's way. Second, while the back of the pack is longer than the front (this was a needed changed from the 2.0), the attachment points for the side straps on the front and back leave the straps parallel. The vest would achieve less bottle bounce if the strap attachment points were lower on the rear panels, and angled up from there to the front panels. This would serve to "pull" down on the front panels and hold the bottles closer to the body. I would think UD would have figured this out by now. Also, the side straps would benefit from some "stretch" maybe by using elastic webbing at the attachment points. This would improve mobility a bit while keeping the vest cinched down. I think UD needs to stop relying solely on their athletes for product testing and seek more feedback from it's customers on designs. All in all, it is an improvement from the AK 2.0, but it's not quite there yet. It could have been a great vest but, unfortunately, the few shortcomings in it's design leave it a bit lackluster in my opinion. D. Simonetti on Apr 10th 2016