“Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
I have to say, I was pretty excited when BibRave asked for endurance athletes to test out the new Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro. I have some friends who only wear Orange Mud gear that have really been talking up the products, so I was happy to see what all the hype was about.
The vest comes in several colors (I chose orange) and includes a 1 Liter bladder. It also has optional trekking pole attachments for those that carry poles.
My first impression when I took the vest out of the box was “How are these straps going to work on a woman’s chest?”. I have been wearing a vest made by women for women, so I was really used to something that was comfortable and had the proper fit. My other thought when I pulled the vest out of the box was, “Wow! This is really lightweight!” I quickly reread the instructions on how to fit the vest (adjust the side straps first) and realized that the straps were highly adjustable to customize for any woman or man, regardless of their chest size.
The largest difference I noticed when putting on this vest in comparison to the other two vests I own is how much higher up it sits on the body. This is not a criticism, just a difference that I noticed almost immediately. About 2 miles into the run, my back felt so much cooler than it does with my other packs! I loved this part about the vest the most. (My other vests run most of the way down the middle of my back where this pack does not.) I get sweaty underneath the pack, so the Orange Mud product really does make a difference in terms of keeping me cool/dry.
On my first run with the pack, I prepared by placing all items I would normally have on a long run with me into the pack… nutrition, water bladder in the back, one soft flask up front, my keys, cell phone, gum, chapstick, and first aid items. It was a tight fit but I did get it all in there. I did notice that there were not many zippers like my other packs and hoped nothing fell out along my run. (Everything stayed intact!)
The bladder that is included worked well. It seems slimmer than my other bladder and the bite valve works well. I love that the site has a section on how to clean your bladder (I always get questions about this from other people new to vests). I typically use two soft flasks up front I can refill but this bladder will come in handy on my long bike rides or ultra marathons for sure! I look forward to testing this out on my bike rides in the coming weeks (it has been raining a lot here, so I haven’t taken my bike off the trainer yet this Spring).
The First Race.
I tested the vest out on a few shorter runs and then actually wore it during the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon Relay in April. I had to wait at my relay exchange point for two hours, so it was nice to have the vest packed with nutrition and my hydration as I waited. Bonus: I was able to carry the relay baton in my vest INSTEAD of in my hand! I would never have thought to use this for a shorter race (I ran 9 miles) but in this case, it definitely came in handy!
All in all, I can see why my friends love this product. I am really enjoying the fit of the vest, although the higher ride up on the front took me a bit to get used to, I do not notice the vest on at all now.
If you would like to try out Orange Mud products, check out the website here. They have a complete line of gear, clothing, and accessories for the avid hiker, cyclist or runner. Really, anyone that loves the outdoors can find something on their site. While you are there, use code BIBRAVEGVPRO for 15% off any purchase!
See what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say about this vest below.