Not for the really big people
I've owned this for several months now. I went into the store with the intention of buying a belt that would carry a water bottle or two, but when I saw this I decided to try it. I've very glad I did. It's easy to fill once the bladder is out of the bag and not difficult to put back. I'm able to ride for up to about an hour and a half in Phoenix-area summer weather before running out (or hike, walk or run). As one of the other commenters said, it's better to route the tube on the right side if you're at all long in the waist.
I've not had a problem with it bouncing. I just make sure that it's in the lumbar region instead of on my fanny and cinch it properly. It is a little sweaty there, but any belt is going to do that and it's much better than a full backpack. I'm a pounding runner too, so it would bounce if it were going to.
Cons: The tube could be a little longer. I don't have the tube clipped in to the guide at all and it's barely long enough. I have to bend my head more than I'd like to get the bite valve in my mouth. The belt was also a bit short for my waist when I started, although that's much improved since I've lost 30 pounds after buying it. make sure to try it on if you're over about a 48" waist and remember that in the store you don't have a full water bag, which will make a difference when you go to put it on.
Pros: Holds enough, lots of extra pocket room, stays put, cinches nicely. On the bike it has a very low profile on my back so not much wind drag or noise. The belt is substantial and sturdy too, with a buckle that is centered rather than to one side and the straps on both sides of the buckle can be adjusted, as well as the compression straps.
Good Pack for Running Hydration
I used the pack for longer runs where carrying hydration is necessary. I have tried bottle belts and found them to bob too much and invariably the belt twists around. Carrying a bottle in hand also seems rather clumsy to me; I could not imagine doing that for 10, 15, 20+ miles, especially with the volume of fluid needed for those longer runs, one bottle in hand might not be enough (or would be too gigantic). I also tried hydration backpacks, but found it uncomfortable to have 50-100oz. fluid on my back and shoulders.
This pack gives me exactly the kind of hydration carrying style I like, and is quite stable, without a lot of up and down bobbing. One does need to tighten the waist belt periodically, but this is easy enough to do: just pull the two belt straps apart. There are also smaller straps in the back to cinch down when the fluid compartment is emptied more and more.
The complaint I read here about the tubing being too short: I did not find this to be short at all. I am 5'10-11". Plus, there is one more thing to try: the pack came from the store with the tubing coming out of the bag on the left side; the tubing actually comes out of the reservoir bladder on its right side, and there is an identical pack opening on the right for tubing to come out, so I just rerouted the tubing to come out of the pack on the right and that gave me even more slack.
Opening the pockets during running is not that easy; but I found it possible to just turn the bag temporarily to the front to open for gels, etc. and then turn the pack to the back again.
All in all, a nice hydration pack that avoids the "back to school" look and feel of a backpack, and keeps your hand free.
Best water belt I've used so far
I bought this for long-distance training runs and have only used it on a single 21-mile run so far, but I'm a convert. This belt holds more water, bounces less, and is far more comfortable than the water-bottle belt I've been using for two years. Be realistic, any belt that carries the weight of water is going to cause some level of discomfort and chafing when you're running for hours on end, but this one's shape, balance, and padding seem very well thought out. The large opening of the bladder allows you to add ice, which kept my water cool through a 3-hour run in 82-degree weather. The outside straps allow you to compress the pack, pulling it in tighter as you consume water, keeping the bouncing/sloshing to a minimum (bleeding out any air after filling helps, too). Drinking from the tube is easier than wrangling bottles in and out of a belt while running. The two zippered pockets have plenty of room for phone, ipod, gel packs, etc, and I was able to open and close them relatively easily while running, even with all the straps cinched down.
There may be better, more comfortable long-run hydration solutions--I've never tried running with one of the backpack-style systems, for example, but it just seems like the shoulder straps would chafe like crazy after a few hours of running. Until I find something better, I'll be using the FlashFlo for all my long runs. Love it.
Great pak with a few upgrades.
I really like Camelbak products, I was a little skeptical when I read the reviews for this product. I went to the store in ABQ and loaded this pack and essentially ran around the store and found what I did and didn't like about it. Yes it will roll on you with alot of gear and water in the pack. BUT, it took me 5 minutes to fix that problem. I had one of those flexable cutting boards that were very thin. I cut it to fit in the pack (I initially used cardboard to ensure that I got the right size). I know what your thinking is that why should I have to go through all of this, well it's all about how you want to wear it. I didn't mind going through this to ensure that I would use this for a long time running. But that is up to you, there was no actual product tampering, just some minor addon's.
I also added a longer hose, I'm 6'2" and 250lbs so I needed a little more length on the hose so that I didn't fall over while running and trying to get a drink.
Don't let the flopping over get you to not purchase this product. YOu can fix this extremely cheap if you really wanted.
awesome for long runs!
After running a marathon last month and suffering from dehydration, I realized I needed something more than my old standby water bottle on long training runs, especially with the summer heat coming on. This waist pack got mixed reviews, but I ran with it for an 8 mile run this weekend in 70 degree weather and loved it! I did sweat quite a bit under the pack, but I'm not sure how that could possibly be avoided. The pack didn't move around or flop at all, which is a real plus since I have sensitive skin and tend to chafe. As the reservoir emptied I was able to easily adjust the straps as I ran. This pack is going to be a staple for my weekend runs and I couldn't be happier with it! Plus buying it was a great excuse to try out our new Olympia REI, which was a pleasure and full of helpful people. Thanks, REI!
I was originally looking for a Nathan's or FuelBelt bottle carrier, but my wife bought this as a Christmas present for me, and I have not looked back. I used my first run with it to adjust, and then it has been a perfect companion for my middle to long distance runs. I just finished a 14 miler with the Camel Back yesterday and it didn't bounce or chafe at all. As well the pack gives you ample room to store keys, a cell or gels.
When I first ran with it the drink tube came out the left side and was shorter (because of where the tube goes into the bladder). Routing it out of the right side, gave me all the length I needed. Also it does have some minimal reflective tape, but since I run a fair amount in the dark I could easily add a blinky light.
Great for long runs
All in all I am very happy with this pack. It holds way more than any of the bottle packs in terms of food and other support products that you need for long outing. If you move on to using the reservoir pocket for holding additional stuff you can fit enough for a good long day out. The cinch straps that help stabilize the water from bouncing are awesome.
Things to note however is that it takes some getting used to on cinching it down when it is full, and it feels bulgy until you have drank the first 5 - 10 ounces. I have only used it twice as of right now, so I might has some more to learn about it, but if you fill the reservoir on the go, be careful to let out the slack that keep the reservoir from bouncing.
just as expected from Camelbak
This was given as a Christmas present. I use it for trail running and short hikes. I thought I would hate wearing this on a run but it fits well and stays snug. I'm smaller (35" hip 28" waist) and this just barely tightens enough for me. I love being able to run on the trail with a larger bag (I was using a spibelt) so I can easily carry a phone, whistle, water & a few emergency supplies - I feel much safer on the trail. The hose is a little awkward at first but I just stick it through the hip belt to keep it out of the way. It was also a little difficult to get the bladder in the bag once filled but when the bag breaks in a little it's not as hard.
Best running tool I have ever bought!
I bought this pak when I was training for my first marathon. I had never worn anything like this before and had slight reservations. THOSE RESERVATIONS ARE GONE! I absolutely love my 'fanny pack' and the instant access I have to my water at anytime. The straps to tighten the pack down as the water level goes down are easily adjusted and the second pocket has always provided more than enough space for the extras I may want to take with me on my longer runs. I have only run out of water one time on an extremely warm day. I was at mile twelve of thirteen when I sucked the last of my water out. It really is an unbeatable accessory, especially if you are a distance runner.
better than expected
I use this on any run over 1 and 1/2 hrs. I would have given 5 stars if the belt buckles didn't loosen as I ran. When full I experience a little bounce, but after I drain 15 oz or so and cinch down the straps it's barely noticeable. Fixed the buckle situation with a diaper safety pin. No slippage now! This is a well thought out and executed waist pack(just fix the buckles). As to those who have a short tube problem, I don't get it. Out the left side and under the arm, plenty. I actually prefer to stow the tube in the belt clip as I run. I am 6'2" and 200 lbs as a size reference.