I purchased my first hydration pack in April 2016 and went with the Nathan Sports VaporShadow for numerous reasons that I wrote about in the review blog but primarily I chose it (all other factors being equal) because it was cutest thing eeeever …
The VaporShadow (if you’ve never worn a hydration pack) is great but after one particular run where I ended up close to tears and scoffing down pain killers, James suggested that it may have been due to the weight of the pack. It seemed a logical explanation so I started looking into minimalist vests that I could wear during my training runs. All I needed was something that would allow me to carry the bare essentials – water, my phone, car key and a plb and I’d keep the VaporShadow to use in any event or area where I would need to carry more gear.
In the end I chose the Camelbak Circuit
Our lightest running vest still carries enough supplies to keep you hydrated for a long run. The Circuit™ holds 1.5 liters of water, with two pockets for storing extra water bottles in the front. All of your essentials are close at hand: a sweat-proof pocket holds your phone, card and keys, and a smaller compartment stretches to store gels or snacks. The dual sternum straps provide a snug, adjustable fit, and the external-fill design lets you top off your water supply without taking the reservoir out of your pack—a crucial time saver on the trail. (Source).
Although the Circuit comes in pink (which we all know is my fave color) I opted for the Blue/Lime combination, that way should James want to use a hydration vest during an event he could use this one (it’s a one size fits all item).
I loved it (comfort wise) from the very first run, it’s so light (even with a full water bladder) and although 223 grams doesn’t seem like much (that’s the difference in weight between the Circuit and the VaporShadow) it’s certainly noticeable when you are wearing it! I also observed that it’s far more flattering on the body than the Nathan VaporShadow due to the longer length through the torso – which I guess is totally a girl thing to remark on I doubt James would have thought to mention it.
So let’s break it down ..
- It’s light weighing in at only 310 grams.
- You can fit two bottles in the front pockets so you don’t need the water bladder if you’re just going out for a short time.
- It dries quickly as it’s mostly made of mesh.
- The bladder is a pain to fill (Camelbaks Quick-snap cap that tightens in just a quarter turn is in my opinion shite).
- The bladder is hard to clean (because of the aforementioned shite quick-snap cap)
- It’s extremely hard to get the nozzle in and out of the clip system.
- You can’t put any clothing you take off during a run into the pack.
- You can’t take ANY extras. Eg – if you want poles for just one section you will need to carry them for the entire time.
From the lists above you would think I dislike the Circuit, but that is far from true – sure it has it’s drawbacks but I purchased it to wear on those short runs where I just need to carry my phone, car keys and a plb (because it’s always better to be safe than sorry) and it’s perfect for those occasions.
I do think the addition of a bungee cord on the back where you could stow a layer of clothing would be an awesome addition, in fact if this vest came with a bungee cord system and pole clips it would be near on perfect. Well that is if they sort out the bladder – it’s anything but quick or secure, I’ve lost count of the times mine has leaked ..
Till next time