Choosing a Race Vest

Nutrition & Equipment

Race vests (or hydration vests) are packed full of storage options and special features to make your runs more comfortable and practical compared to a standard rucksack.

Courtesy of our Official Trail Equipment Partner Harrier, here are some top tips to help you choose the right race vest for you.

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Combine Options

Want more flexibility? Team up a race vest and waistbag to allow an extra snack bag which spins round to your front when needed. This allows you to keep your front pockets less cluttered for soft bottles and your phone.

Prioritise Capacity

Choose a race vest which will allow you to carry all you need on your longer training runs where you will have to carry more supplies, compared to race day where aid stations will help provide you with refills.

For a summer ultra Harrier recommend a larger capacity race vest, such as their best-selling and award-winning Kinder 10L. This pack will allow you to carry all of the kit you need, including snacks, a wind/waterproof, jacket and a litre of fluids up front, with more room in the back to carry an extra bottle or bladder.


The key to race vest comfort is getting the right size. Choose a vest that offers comprehensive size grading and not a ‘one size fits most’: a race vest that’s too small can mean you’re limited on how much kit you can carry or it feels tight; too big, and it can cause chaffing from movement and rubbing, especially around the collar bone area.

The good news is that Harrier offers sizing from XXS to XL, so you can find the perfect fit for you.

Practice Indoors

Try your race vest at home with kit in as this can affect how snug it feels.

Key Features

Important features on a race vest can include things like:

  • Easy access pockets – and lots of them!
  • Flexibility for hydration set up such as soft bottles and water bladder combo
  • A good option for carrying poles

All of these features well positioned around the race vest ensure good balance of the kit you are carrying with easy access on the move.

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