Billy Brown's Blog

Gear Review: E-Lite Hydration Vest

Going small is the new going big in the running world these days; lighter weight shoes with a dearth of cushioning and a negligible heel drop are hotter than Hansel right now. The trend isn’t limited to shoes anymore – hydration system company Hydrapak is taking aim at thirsty minimalists with the E-Lite hydration vest.

The vest sports a 1-liter version of Hydrapak's great reservoir system and five points of adjustment to let you dial down the fit. There’s no storage in the back like a traditional pack. Instead, it sports four stash pockets and two zippered pockets on its straps.

When I first saw just how little material went into the E-Lite, I was skeptical about how secure it would be. Usually, the less there is to a pack, the more bouncing around it’s going to do when I hit the trails. It didn’t take long for the E-Lite to prove me wrong – throughout my test runs, the E-Lite stayed in place and moved with me. The vest was snug enough to keep the reservoir from bouncing around, and its light weight and unobtrusive design made it easy to forget that I was wearing it.

The entirety of the vest’s fabric is made up of open mesh, which not only keeps the weight down, but it makes the whole things extremely breathable. It never soaked out on warmer runs, and it never felt uncomfortably hot on my back.

The only storage on the back is for the reservoir, so if you’re looking for a ton of space for gloves and layers, this isn’t the pack for you. But it the six pockets on the straps were handy for holding all my long run necessities (Gu’s, my keys and my iPhone).

The E-Lite vest pretty much kills your excuses to not buy a race vest. At 9.9 ounces, the pack is a great way to add a liter of water to your run without adding a bunch of weight to your back. And at $54.99, it won’t be taking too much weight from your wallet, either.

Check it out at

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Billy Brown
Billy Brown (Featured writer)
I'm a total sucker for all things outdoors-I've been mountain and road...
Member since 09/21/09
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