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Gear Guy

How Should I Carry Water on the Run?

I live in Chicago and want to start carrying water with me on runs this summer. Any suggestions?

Nathan Speed 2R (Photo: Courtesy of Nathan)
Nathan Speed 2R

How much water to drink while running is a contentious issue: While it’s important to stay hydrated, it’s also possible to drink too much and induce hyponatremia, a potentially fatal condition that occurs when you drink a lot, sweat, and end up with a sodium imbalance. Increasingly, experts say the best way to manage your hydration is to drink according to your thirst.

If there aren't places to stash water bottles on your routes, or even just a couple water fountains, you might want to check out the Nathan Speed 2R pack ($35). It comes with a lightweight, adjustable waist belt that holds two eight-ounce fluid bottles shaped for easy one-handed grabbing. Because the bottles are small, they won’t wiggle around much, and the belt also holds a few gel packs or other accessories. (A $5 bill for Starbucks on the way home, for example.) The Speed 2R comes in several sizes.

The Best Water Bottles for Running: UltrAspire MBS Ion

UltrAspire MBS Ion
UltrAspire MBS Ion (Photo: Courtesy of UltrAspire)

If you don't need much water, try the UltrAspire MBS Ion ($40). It consists of a lightweight belt that holds a single eight-ounce bottle–plenty for shorter runs—as well as a small snack or your keys. The bottle has an angled outlet so you don’t have to cant it up too high to get a drink.

The Best Water Bottles for Running: Camelbak Annadel

Camelbak Annadel
Camelbak Annadel (Photo: Courtesy of Camelbak)

And, of course, there’s always a true pack-style water carrier like Camelbak’s Annadel ($55). It's designed specifically for women, with a slightly shorter torso and S-curved shoulder straps. It carries 50 ounces of water, enough for most long runs, as well as sunscreen or energy gels.

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Lead Photo: Courtesy of Nathan