Select your style & size:Select options
Run with the lightest.
- Body-mapped, super breathable materials
- Over-the-shoulder load lifters
- 2-liter bladder with quick release valve included
- Two easy-access front bottle pockets
- Front media pocket
- Two front stash pockets
- Water-resistant pill pocket
- Side stretch mesh pockets
- Reflective details
- Item #NAT001F
- Q & A
Nathan Vapor Air Hydration Vest
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I know this is a men's vest but I was given it as a gift. For light hiking with some trail running it's perfect. I wore it on some hikes in Zion National Park where we ran in some places and hiked in others and I didn't notice it at all. For that trip I took the bladder out and was able to pack gloves, snacks, a 16 oz. Nalgene, maps, extra socks and a Patagonia Houdini jacket and I still probably could have fit more. I've used it in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah as well and when I'm doing a mixture of hiking and slow trail running it is perfect. When I'm doing serious runs though, there are a few things that really bother me, some of these might be resolved if I had the women's specific vest or if I had the XS size. First, the shoulder straps rub against my neck. If you have a shirt with a collar or a jacket it kind of protects your skin but I recently did a 21 miler and by the end I had a big chafe mark on the curve of my neck and shoulder. Next, the tube from the bladder is really long. Sometimes I hit it during my arm swings and it comes unclipped and it flails around obnoxiously until you clip it back in. Lastly, the only straps you can adjust are the ones in the front. I have other packs where you can also adjust the straps under your armpits which is nice because you can really cinch the pack tight so it doesn't bounce. You can't do that with this one. On the positive side, I love all the pockets. My Samsung Galaxy 7 with a big Otterbox case fits perfectly in the front pockets. I also love the bladder. It's the kind where the entire top of the bladder opens which I think is much easier to clean. If you have any questions I'd love to help answer them for you.
Gearhead Account Manager
Lighter?! Nylon Fabric, Minimalist.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I've only used it a couple times now but this is a prime example of a truly minimalist design done right. I'm using it for MTB and was afraid the lack of down pull straps would cause the pack to ride up and hit me in the back of the head. There was none of that, the pack stayed put and actually breathes excellently underneath me. The storage system is rudimentary and a bit unorganized, and the bladder doesn't have an attachment point at the bottom of the bag as far as I can see, so it misses a star there...but other than that, a great product.
On the trail
Out in the rain
Into the Canyon
My friend Abe wearing his Nathan Vapor Air vest on the S. Kaibab trail as we started our Rim2Rim2Rim run
For the Long Haul
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
First and foremost, I'd like to say thank you to Backcountry.com and Nathan for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.
Nathan Hydration products have always been my go to for handhelds. Their SpeedDraw Plus has served me for hundreds of miles. With having such a great experience with their handhelds, I was really excited to but the Vapor Air vest to work on some long runs. In the larger scheme of things, it got the job done, but there were certainly areas for improvement.
-Storage: The two "bottle pockets" can hold several gels and the two rib pockets keep my bars and other solid, on-the-go foods. You can really store a lot on the back pocket as well.
-No chaffing: All the seams seem to be taken care of by a soft material and I experienced zero chaffing issues.
-Large bladder: This is really nice for the long days on the trail where you know water sources will be few and far between.
-Weight: The weight could certainly be reduced and is surprising given the price point. Other packs with similar storage are lighter and some are even cheaper.
-Storage: This was part of my pros but is also a con. I feel some of the pockets could be redesigned for better access, larger volume, etc. For example, making the rib pockets front accessible instead of top accessible and making them wider to hold larger/more items.
-Fit: I could never seem to get this pack to hold like my other hydration vests. I found that the back/hydration bladder would continually migrate down and the upper chest strap would be at my neck. I tried a size smaller and it seemed to do the same thing.
In the end, the pack does its job. I've taken it with me on 4-6 hour runs and it held my nutrition and water just fine and in a comfortable manor. I can't help but feel that if a few things were redesigned and tinkered with, this pack would be a favorite of mine. Unfortunately, I have two other packs that perform a little better in the fit, comfort, and weight area and get me through my 6 hour training runs just fine so it's hard for me to take this pack over the others. However, the amount of storage I can work into this pack is a huge plus when it comes to early season high alpine outings. I can carry poles, crampons, and extra layers far easier in this pack than the rest. I really hope to see a redesign of this pack soon and hopefully it can tighten up on the few flaws I found.