Saturday, February 14, 2009

Camelbak vs Nathan Revisited

My previous post mentioned some preliminary notes comparing a Camelbak Day Star to a Nathan Intensity 2.0 Women's 2-Liter Hydration Race Vest hydration system for trail running. After many more runs in both, here is an update:

The Nathan vest is superior in warm/hot weather primarily because I have never had any problems with chafing and it's open mesh makes it cooler to wear.

No problems with the Camelbak chafing during cold weather runs since I'm wearing more layers. I've been using the Camelbak during winter primarily because it has a little more storage capacity (gloves, hat, etc) and the bite valve doesn't leak.

I LOVE the front pockets on the Nathan vest! It's nice to have instant, easy access to a few small items without having to take off the vest.

The Nathan bite valve SUCKS! It is awkward to use and leaks. Constantly. Every run I've done with the Nathan results in water/sports drink dripping out of the bite valve and down the front of my shirt, shorts, and legs. Unfortunately, the drink tubes between the 2 systems are different diameters, so that they cannot be interchanged.

My solution which is so far working wonderfully:

I bought a CamelBak 72 oz Omega™ HydroTanium Replacement Reservoir, which fits the Nathan vest nicely (most of the CamelBak reservoirs are the wrong shape and don't fit at all). The Omega reservoir has a lifetime warranty and actually holds a little more than the original 70 oz (2 liter) bladder that comes standard with the Nathan. The only odd thing - the Omega has the big bite valve, but no Bite Valve Cover or Hydrolock, so I have to snag them off of my DayStar or just buy them separate.

Anyhoo, now I've got a vest that doesn't chafe, has front pockets, is light weight, and doesn't leak :)