Love the snack pockets, but the Velcro seal … |

Love the snack pockets, but the Velcro seal …

I bought the Ultimate Direction Wasp Hydration Pack for the pockets.

I was headed off to run Lake City’s 50-mile trail race, and desperate for a hydration pack lighter than the one I had. And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted pockets.

I wanted pockets that I didn’t have to take the hydration pack off to reach. Pockets in the front ” so I could make sure I was eating and taking electrolytes throughout the race.

This was about three years ago, and at the time, the Ultimate Direction Wasp Hydration Pack was the only running hydration pack with “snack pockets” on the front.

But a good friend and training partner already owned one, so I knew the pack had one key downfall: The actual reservoir, a sort of extra-thick plastic bag inside the pack that holds the water, has a Velcro seal.

Yes, a Velcro seal. It doesn’t sound very secure ” and it isn’t. Filling the reservoir is a delicate art. A drop too much water, and the whole thing overflows. Next thing you know, the hapless runner (me) spends the entire race with water running down her back.

But my friend insisted that once I got the hang of filling the reservoir, I would stop filling it full enough to break the Velcro seal.

I was convinced enough to buy the pack, but apparently I’m not careful enough to use it properly.

About once in every 10 runs I overfill the reservoir and end up running for hours with water running down my back, usually in grim and freezing conditions.

Or my dog sits on the reservoir in the car, and it’s soaking wet by the time I pull it out to go for a run.

But the pockets? I love them. I did a quick Google search to see if anyone else has added front-loading snack pockets in the last three years, and it doesn’t appear anyone has.

I’m such a fan of front-loading pockets that I don’t understand why they haven’t caught on. Here’s a free idea for trail-running hydration pack manufacturers: Make a pack with front pockets and a reservoir that actually seals. How hard can it be? You’ll sell thousands.

In the meantime, I think I’ll make my own hybrid, by taking my Camelbak reservoir and putting it in my Ultimate Directions pack.

That way I’m sure to keep my blood sugar up ” and stay dry.

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