If the purpose of the Fluid Vest is to securely tote water and nutrition for long runs, I decided my first test should be to gear up for the trail. I like long, exploratory routes through unimproved logging roads and old growth woods with little groundcover. These sorts of runs give me the mileage I need for the week, plus they build in some adventure and excitement. The route lets you wander at a slow pace for about three hours, find new features, seek a few vistas, and then map your way out. But it’s all a little scary to think about the possibility of an emergency.
Wearing the Fluid made me feel secure about this type of run. I had my cell phone with me, enough water to last a day or more, and pockets full of Gu, Shot Bloks, and Hammer gels. The construction of the Fluid incorporates reflective accents for high visibility. Two “sternum straps” fit so securely that I didn’t notice the three pounds of water and the other items. And everything was accessible in either elasticized or zippered pockets.
Moving along at 10-minute miles felt a little like sitting in a comfortable commercial coach seat. You’re moving through space with a nice view, snacks and refreshments within arm’s reach.
The fit was excellent—but that comes with a caveat. For now, the Fluid only comes in one size: small/medium. Because the vest is also unisex, I had my wife try it on. She generally doesn’t want anything to interfere with her sports bra while running, but on her, the vest was short enough that it didn’t reach to her bustline; it held to her upper torso, making it a plausible option for women as well.