Nathan Vapor Airess 2.0 Review : UPDATE

Update: after using this for two months I have found I really do not like it and regret the purchase. I wore it on a hike one day and when the weather warmed up I took off my light windbreaker and went to stash it in the back of the vest , only to realize that 1) the back pocket is much smaller than on the first version of this vest and 2) there are no longer any cross bungee cords . To me these are two essential features for a long run or hike on trails .

Last year my husband gave me money for my birthday and told me to buy a new hydration pack because mine was so worn and stinky and the zippers were failing.  Well, I used that money for other things I needed more, shoes and fuel, and I kept wearing my old vest. I more than got my money’s worth out of that vest! My first ever hydration vest was a Nathan Intensity, a low-priced, simple model. When I started running longer distances, I bought a Nathan Vapor Airess. I wore that thing in training and races, close to a thousand miles per year. It really is a great pack, but when the main zipper of the largest storage pocket broke, and the zipper on the side pocket got stuck, I knew it was time.

 

Two weeks ago we received an unexpected check in the mail and I decided to use some for a pack. I have been shopping for them for a long time, looked at other brands, but I really like and trust Nathan’s quality, so I bought the new version of the Vapor Airess. This is my review after wearing it on two runs.

IMG_6508[1].JPG

Good points

  • The price is comparable to other packs of this quality and with similar features. Varies, but retail is $149. I didn’t pay that much.
  • The weight of the empty pack is very light.
  • Comes with the excellent 2 liter Nathan bladder and tube with a magnetic clip.
  • Pockets galore! This pack has bigger and more pockets than the first version.
  • Front pockets can hold bottles.
  • Adjustable fit.
  • Breathable.
  • Female specific fit.
  • Quality construction and comfortable materials.


Negatives

  • Not as adjustable as I expected. Unfortunately, even cinched as tight as possible, it’s still a little loose on me. But I can still use it.
  • No upper adjustments, such as on the first version. So no way to tighten it up on the shoulders.
  • The fit makes it feel like the bladder is hanging lower on my back and, indeed, I got a new chafing scar from it. I can adjust to that, I hope.
  • I miss the tiny little pockets on the upper chest that the first version had.  I used them for salt tabs and Tylenol.
IMG_9935
My pink Vapor Airess , first version. See the little pockets? And the little yellow upper adjusting ribbons? Those are not in the new version.

Overall, I am happy with it and don’t plan to return it. I think I just need to get used to the few differences. There are only two sizes and I got the bigger one. Should’ve got the smaller one.  I’m 5’3″, have short legs, with a normal size torso, and a slightly wide back. So I can wear petite pants, but petite shirts feel short. I got the L-2XL because the Small size version one was starting to feel tight on my new menopausal body. It’s really too big for me. I DO recommend this product. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments. Thanks for reading and happy trails!

Women’s Nathan VaporAiress 7L 2.0 Sizing
Sternum Bust
XXS-M 26 – 33″ 30 – 36″
L-2XL 33 – 41″ 37 – 44″

 

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