Kit Focus — Nathan Sports VaporKrar 4 Litre Hydration Running Race Vest

I ran my first trail marathon last month, and that necessitated an investment into a hydration solution; even in mid-July, at night, it was warm enough to need constant re-hydration. The Nathan VaporKrar 4 litre Men's Race Vest was my chosen ultra-running hydration vest, and it performed faultlessly.

The Nathan Sport range has been my turn-to option for previous hydration needs; in 2016 I tested, and now frequently use their TrailMix Insulated Running Belt. However, with the increased distance of the marathon event, and plans to do more future ultra-running events, I wanted something with more storage capacity.

The Nathan VaporKrar 4 litre is a lightweight race-ready ultra-running hydration vest. It has a close-fitting apparel like fit, a large amount of adjustment, a rear pocket that will hold a 1.5 litre hydration bladder, as well as two soft flasks on the front of the vest, and multiple stash pockets.

An empty VaporKrar 4 weighs a miniscule 181 grams (size small, with no flasks or bladder), and the material choice is focussed on being super lightweight and breathable.

Loading up the Nathan VaporKrar 4, you can fit a surprising amount into the pockets and pouches. On the back you can house a 1.5 litre hydration bladder (not provided), along with storage capacity for a jacket, space blanket, warm layer, and micro first aid kit. On the front of the vest there are the two supplied ExoShot 350 ml soft flasks, two zipper pockets big enough for an iPhone 7/8 Plus, and two elasticated stash pockets that are designed for easy-to-reach nutrition supplies.

Out on the trails, I found the Nathan VaporKrar Race Vest to be super comfortable and secure. Cinched down using the chest/sternum and waist straps there is zero bounce in even a partially loaded vest; it fits like a gilet, yet with minimum restriction.

Storage capacity was pretty perfect to fit the required race kit list into, and avoided me over/under packing on kit in order to rationalise or fill out the space.

Finally, there are some little design features on the Nathan VaporKrar 4 litre that are worth mentioning, and really make it stand out. The little whistle inside one of the chest pockets, the up-down adjustability of the sternum straps, and the mesh divider in the rear pocket to keep hydration bladder separate from kit; these are all great design features that make this an exceptional hydration vest. If I had one criticism of the VaporKrar 4 litre it is actually of the bottles — the ExoShot soft bottles have rather fiddly screw tops, which I struggled with in the heat of the moment at some water stations; only a minor qualm, but worth noting (alternative bottles would also fit).

To sum up, the Nathan VaporKrar 4 litre is a great race-ready ultra-running hydration pack. Light, breathable, well-fitted, and well-built — it should let you go the distance on any marathon challenge.

>> Shop the Nathan Sports VaporKrar 4 Litre Hydration Running Race Vest here <<


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