Friday, July 25, 2014

Salomon Hydration and S-Lab Running Shirt

S-Lab Hydro Set ( 
As always, it's fun to review quality gear. It's fairly hot out right now, and regardless of whether it's hot or cold, you need to have adequate gear when you run. I'd like to introduce  you today to some Salmon hydration gear and their amazing S-Lab Sense Tank.

S-Lab Sense Tank

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Tank is the lightest, most breathable piece of gear that I currently own. Literally, it feels like I'm wearing almost nothing! It doesn't have compression, which makes me happy and keeps me cool. This is literally the most breathable piece of gear that I own. I've often run with a hydration pack on and my back neither sweats nor does the shirt build up sweat. I need to reemphasize this: the shirt does not accumulate sweat. It seems to evaporate, which helps when it comes to thermoregulation.

The best part is the Cocona Fabric, which is Salomon's odor and moister control. I already mentioned the moisture control and how great it is, but the odor control is equally fantastic. I know this sounds terrible, but I like to run frequently but I don't like to do laundry frequently. I've run as many as 3-4 times in this shirt before washing it and it still does not really retain any odor pre-wash. Great for people who don't want to do laundry as often, eh?

Sense Hydro Set
I'm going to say it like it is -- if you buy the Sense Hydro Set, you don't need anything else for hydration for the most part. This is by far one of the best pieces of hydration equipment on the market. For those of you who are still looking for the perfect hydration pack or belt, look no further! Use your hands.

When you about the gloves, you get two gloves and one SOFT FLASK. The gloves fit very nicely on my hand, and I never experienced any abrasion while using them. The soft flask, though, is what really makes this hydration set shine.

Fill up the soft flask to 8oz, and you can insert it into the glove and it is secured by the bungee system and palm strap. You literally don't need to hold onto the flask as the glove secures it on its own. Thus, no energy is really needed to carry the flask. I LOVE THIS!
To drink from the soft flak, all you need to do is squeeze. You don't even need to put your lips on it. As the water in the flask is used throughout the course of the run, the flask shrinks and remains secured. Thus, you get the benefits of carrying water without the downside of having to carry a big, awkward running bottle. Kilian Jornet made this set popular during his win of the Western States 100.

5/5 stars and can't recommend it enough! I've used this hydration set on almost ALL of my super hot, cruddy summer runs!

XR Energy Belt

I'm a huge Salomon fan, as you can tell, but I do have some mixed feelings about the XR Energy Belt. As a hydration belt, I think it's probably the best that I've tried, but hydration belts just don't work for me. I have a very sensitive GI, and I found that the weight around my waist even wight he Energy Belt just didn't work for me. I think this belt primarily excels at slower paced run than quick runs.  On fast runs, I felt that it bounced a little too much for me.

As a belt, it sits nice on the waste, and the weight seems to be distributed fairly equally around the torso. It comes with a fairly decent sized pocket to store gels and a smaller iPhone and keys. It also has a race number strap that you can secure a race bib to -- nice for those longer races!

Even the belt pockets have little storage areas for gels. So, you can fit quite a bit of fuel in this little energy belt, along with the two, 200mL plastic flasks that come with it.

I didn't use the belt that much since most of my long runs tend to be about 2-2.5 hours at the absolutely most, and I would use the Sense Hydro set (two pairs) instead and refill them when needed.

HOWEVER, if I were to be out on the trail for multiple hours running at a slower pace, this would probably be the ideal pack.

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