Staying hydrated is critical to running performance but for many, the logistics of drinking enough for two, three, or four hours on the trail can be as challenging as the run itself. Several outdoor brands are coming up with new, innovative hydration products that cater to individual preferences, making it easier for you to stay hydrated and perform your best.
The Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set is a new form of handheld hydration where you don't actually have to hold the bottle in your hand. Instead, an elastic band secures the hydration flask to your palm, letting your arm and hand muscles relax. The 250 ml (included) or 150 ml soft flasks compress as you empty them, preventing the dreaded water slosh and enabling you to roll them up and stow in your pocket when done.
A terry cloth back of the hand lets you wipe away perspiration and is machine-washable when you return from that long run. The Sense Hydro S-Lab retails for $40 and will be available early this fall with a special release at REI.
The CamelBak Arc Run Collection features six products specifically designed for all types of running and training. The latest four products to join the collection include the handheld Arc Quick Grip, together with the Arc 1, Arc 2, and Arc 4 belt systems, all built around the new run-specific Podium Arc bottle.
The Podium Arc bottle (8 oz. and 10 oz.) is a smaller, more compact bottle that is shaped to fit your grip and slides easily and securely into the various belt bottle cages with a positive in-and-out lock. The Jet Valve is self-sealing and uses an extra lockout toggle to prevent leakage.
A hybrid of the original CamelBak Quick Grip, the Arc Quick Grip ($20) boasts a sleeker design for runners who prefer a smaller, lighter, and more minimalist bottle. The Arc 1 hydration belt ($35) has a fully adjustable elastic waist and carries one Podium Arc bottle along with enough space for your phone, keys, and an energy gel. Both the Arc 2 ($45) and the Arc 4 ($60) come in three belt sizes with elastic webbing for a secure, comfortable, and precise fit.
The CamelBak Arc Run Collection will hit shelves in January 2013.
For the ultra runners, the new hydration vests from Ultimate Direction were designed in conjunction with Scott Jurek and Anton Krupicka. The SJ Ultra Vest ($125) weights 11 oz. and offers 9.2 L of packing space. The AK Race Vest ($90) weighs a scant 9.5 oz. and offers 4.5 L of pack space for those race essentials. Both hydration vests come with two Ultimate Direction 20 oz. bottles featuring the self-sealing Kicker Valve.
The SJ Ultra Vest will be available starting in November, with the AK Race Vest to follow in January 2013.
What are your personal hydration preferences for running?