CAMELBAK, a brand synonymous with hydration systems have been an active player in the trail/ultra scene for years, however, I’ve not really seen it in store, online or on peoples backs at races.
As one of the kings of hydration, I was keen to slip into a vest and find out for myself how these compare to a busy field of competitors.
*If you’d like to skip to the video – scroll to the bottom*
The Nano is a stripped back pack, designed to carry only what you need, leaving you free to run and move fast, whether going all out on a trail 10km or an ultra that doesn’t have a large mandatory kit list.
When I say the Nano is stripped back, I really do mean it. There are 9 pockets for gear, though they are minimal in volume and require you to think what you will carry, rather than plan for every possible situation. The front contains two flask pockets, with elastic adjusters to hold the tops of the bottles in the place. The flasks are hardier than the usual soft flasks found in my competitor vests (98.365% appear to be Hydrapak), with reinforced ribs, deep welds and a bite valve that could be used as a weapon if a bull chases you through a field. The bite valves lock and are extremely water tight. I’ve utilised these in a bum bag without any leaks.However, non leaking robustness comes at a price. I do find them harder to drink from, especially if you are running at a clip, brain focusing on good leg extension and all you desire is an effortless drinking experience. For balance, I’ve spent 10 years drinking from less secure bite valves, so yes, I’m conditioned that an on the trail top up has a specific flow rate. As with anything in life, if you stick with them you will adapt.Theres a mobile phone zippered pocket so you can keep your instagram selfie game on point, which swallowed my iPhone 7 with ease. Gone Max? You may want a smaller phone. On the right shoulder there’s a stretch mesh pocket for a gel or two. It also holds the whistle.The harness system is made from a series of daisy chain loops on either side, which use two straps that can be attached to any and all points, much like a coffee shop menu. You see a handful of options, but the combined variations are huge! As you may observe, I had no idea I had them set up at an angle. The system is secure, the clips chunky rather than tiny and fiddly. The sample I’m wearing is a small and leaves plenty of excess strap. In practice, I hooked this behind to save it flapping around everywhere. A small retainer on each strap would clean things up.Side pockets, they’re hidden by my arm. Apologies. Each side has two, stretch mesh, which can hold small items, such as lightweight gloves and nutrition. Only what you really need.
On the back, it’s truly minimal. A lower pocket designed to hold poles, which are put under the Nano and CAMELBAK silver straps (you can see this in the video at the bottom). I have been able to cram a windbreaker into said rear pocket, but in reality, it’s not designed for it. Finally theres a light loop for keeping motorists and others aware of your existence.
The Nano doesn’t have a huge amount going on, but, that’s not the intended purpose. It has been created for moving fast and light, where plenty of ‘what if’ kit isn’t required. Could this be a contender for the ultimate VK vest? Perhaps.
The body of the vest is made from 3D Micro Mesh which encourages airflow and gives this a light feel, a great option for warmer weather and those who run hot.
Thinking do you really need to carry something has its advantages and the Nano accommodates this mindset.
If you’d like to hear me ramble and to see the pole carrying system in use, I’ve a review video below.
To find out more about the CAMELBAK NANO – CLICK HERE
Product provided by Burton McCall – This is not a paid advertisement or sponsored post