Jesse M.wrote a review of Mountain Hardwear Fluid Race Vest - 175cu in on July 26, 2014
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have used this vest on many 3+ hr runs and one 8+ hr run over 3 months. I typically use a 50L bladder for 3 hr runs and add a 24oz bottle for longer outings. I carry about 200 calories/hour on such runs. I typically carry a small blister kit and of course a little TP for emergencies. This pack works great for this.
On longer runs Ive added a map, GPS, spare socks and headlamp or once, a super lightweight harness, belay device and 100 feet of 7mm tag line.
The vest remains comfortable regardless of load or sweating. I think the wide shoulder straps, side elastic design and adjustable double front straps works very well. Even on hot days I didnt feel any hotter for having the vest on.
The bladder pocket is made for a 50L bladder and you can cram in a pair of socks too but that is about it. You can route the hose under arm or over shoulder to either side in a low profile manner. There are 4 front pockets. The two low ones can easily accommodate standard size 24 oz bottles or lots of snacks but not both in any one pocket. The upper pockets seem ridiculously small at first but the zippered one holds a small blister kit and a tube of lip balm fine and the velcro one just barely holds a handheld GPS or full sized cell phone. There is also a small zippered pocket low on the back that holds keys, some TP or other small stuff. You can add bungee or cord to the back to hold a rain or wind shell or some other small amount of gear you might need.
The front pocket sizing is the limiting factor for self supported outings. For me, I was able to go 6-6.5 hours with a bladder, one 24 oz bottle and the other large front pocket full of snacks. Obviously this is subjective but Im throwing it out there as a ballpark planning factor.
Finally, the price is fantastic for what you get. It was a major decision factor for me and Im not disappointed.
While Ive seen some other cool vests out there, Id buy this one again. Its well built and has a great price point.