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Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest

03.08.19

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Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest

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  • A front view of the Nathan VaporHowe.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • The material is breathable.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • Main storage of the Nathan VaporHowe.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • Proper fitting is ensured by adjustable straps.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • The Nathan VaporHowe offers a great fit.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • Storage on the Nathan VaporHowe.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • The Nathan VaporHowe.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
  • The Nathan VaporHowe.- Gear review: Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest
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Pro Contributor

Nathan VaporHowe 12L Racing Vest specs

  • Weight: 12 oz/340 g (weight includes bladder)
  • Volume: 732 cu in/12 Liters
  • Sizing
    • S: Sternum: 30-31; bust: 34 inches
    • M: Sternum: 32-33; bust: 36 inches
    • L: Sternum: 34-35; bust: 38 inches
  • Materials: Nylon/polyester
  • Lightweight, designed to fit the female form
  • Includes a patented 1.8L Vapor hydration bladder, with a new design to reduce sloshing.
  • Apparel-like fit with a lightweight, breathable structure
  • Compression system tightens the load against your back for stability
  • Adjustable sternum straps attach for maximum flexibility and personalized comfort
  • Rear bladder pocket is easy to access on-the-go
  • Main rear zippered pocket with internal stash pocket
  • Multiple stash pockets for on-the-go access to essentials

Where to buy

$179.99 • Nathan SportsAmazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

The Bottom Line: A super soft running vest with big capacity that works great for both your racing and mountain adventure.

The back of the Nathan VaporHowe 12L vest. Rini Sugianto.

After trying many running packs over the years, Nathan VaporHowe is hands down one of the softest and best fitting of all, especially for women with a bigger bust (thanks to its adjustability, it fits girls with small frame perfectly too). It fits like a second shirt, and even after you empty half of the pack during your run—drinking water—there are straps around mid-ribs to tighten it. On top of that, Nathan VaporHowe comes with a big range of sizes from XXS to XL.

For the bladder user, there is a magnetic clip to attach the hose so it won't flop everywhere. I personally prefer to use soft flasks, which fit in the front two pockets perfectly. Another bonus is the hidden whistle in the front zipper pocket that also fits an iPhone 7! It only comes in a light blue color, so keep in mind that it is easy to look dirty when you use it in the trail.

The material is also very stretchy, and you can fit quite a lot in the main compartment (without the bladder). For example, the pack can fit a lightweight down jacket, rain pants, a rain jacket, gloves, and food. Despite being stuffed to the zipper, the pack is still comfortable to run with.

On the other hand, there is only one decent-sized zipped pocket for the bag, which is located in the main compartment. Personally I would love to have some more zipper pockets in the front outside the phone pockets. 

Another big issue is the pole attachment. By default, they should be attached to the back of the pack, and for a non-flexible runner like me they are quite a challenge to retrieve. Putting them back on without having to take off the pack is a bigger challenge.

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