Nathan Sports is a runner-specific brand. So as a trail runner, I was pretty excited to try out the Moxy. A big Thank you to Backcountry.com and Nathan Sports for hand-selecting me to review it for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.
In terms of running hydration packs, I’ve previously used Salomon’s S-Lab Advanced Skin Set. A few years back, when runner-specific hydration pack first came out, Salomon was really the only choice. So, I’m happy to see that more women-specific choices are out there today.
The fit of the Moxy is spot on! The 3-way harness is no gimmick. There was absolutely no bounce, and no rubbing on the sides with the arm movements due to the slim profile. I loaded the bladder with some water, and was careful to squeeze the air out of the bladder (prior experience using the Salomon tells me that extra air in the bladder produces swishing sound during running). As a result, no annoying noise from the bladder during the run. The hose clips to the sternum strap, so it doesn’t bounce around either. Overall, the pack was secure and I love how it carries on the run - which is to say, I didn’t notice it at all.
The bladder is well designed. One big plus for us OCD’s who like to keep the bladder clean after every run is that the hose detaches from the main body for easy cleaning. The top of the bladder opens all the way, and has a stiff stripe so that a slider slides through to seal it shut. There is a small hang loop inside the pack to keep the bladder from collapsing.
One of my big complaint about a lot of running gear is that it’s never made for toting a smartphone. When I read that Moxy’s front zipper pocket fits an iPhone 6, I was rather skeptical looking at the size. But in fact it does fit an iPhone 6 plus the Apple's slim case, barely. So if you have one of the beefier cases, it might be a real squeeze.
There are 2 compartments in the back. The main one holds the bladder and stuff, and then there is an outside one that is higher. I like how the outside compartment is placed, so that not all bulk is concentrated at the bottom. As a result, I could fit a lot more stuff than what the volume suggests. I put in about 50oz of water, a Patagonia Houdini, some bars, a small first aid kit, small tube of sunscreen in the pack, with plenty of room to spare. The straps are high vis pink.
So, overall I am in love with the pack and rate it 5 stars. But nothing is perfect, and here are some thoughts on potential improvements:
- bladder hose comes out on top of the main compartment. If rains, water can get in easily.
- material may not be water resistant; neither is zipper.
- straps could be a little thinner to reduce weight
- front sternum strap could be higher, and reduce the length so the skinny runners like me can cinch down the sternum strap a bit more.
- like the Salomon pack, I had a sweaty back after the run, but not too bad. But consider I used it when it was 60F out with 50% humidity, I’d imagine I’d have a huge sweaty spot when it’s 80F out. I know this one is hard to improve upon, but I’d lay it out there for manufacturers to consider.