I’ve got to admit, the P.F.V (Phone. Flask. Vest.) Hydration Pack was the first running hydration pack I’ve used as I rarely run over two hours and have always thought most packs to be too bulky and obstructive to want to try them.
So I was pleasantly surprised when Josh at Orange Mud told me about the P.F.V., which was designed for runs under two hours, where you only really want to carry a small flask, maybe a gel or two and your phone - which is all I usually need.
The P.F.V is available in S/M and L/XL. I’m 173cm (5'7") tall and weigh 67kg (148lbs) and the S/M fits snuggly across my chest and is pretty adjustable if needed.
I’ve been running with the vest for a month or so now and it’s very much become something I use on nearly all of my runs.
If I’m going long (~90-120 minutes), I stick a gel in the small velcro pocket on the shoulder, which is really easy to access and can be done with one hand if needed. I’ll mix up some PH in the 450ml (~16oz) flask, stick my phone in the pocket and I’m hot to trot.
On my shorter, easy runs I’ve also been using it to carry my phone and listen to podcasts/music without it bouncing around in a pocket or waist strap (I’m yet to find one of those that actually stays in place!).
The only time I haven’t been wearing the pack is for my ‘fast’ interval sessions, which are usually done on a track or grass field where I’m running in circles, which aren't the kind of runs the pack was designed for.
I’ve been comfortably running at speeds varying from 5min/km to 3:20min/km, so I’m confident that it doesn’t get in the way when I do pick up the pace, or at least try…
Something I haven’t had a chance to put to use yet (because of the warm weather), but that I think would be really useful in the cooler months, is the elasticated ‘cargo, shock cord’ on the back of the pack.
I’ll often head out in the winter with layers that are needed to start with but that I tend to ditch after a couple of miles. Having the ability to strip a jacket off and tie it to my back is really appealing and something I plan to test out as the winter closes in.
I’d happily run on-road or off-road with the pack, I'd even put it on when heading out on the trails on a mountain bike but I don’t want to shoot a bottle from the bottle cage.
I’m definitely a convert to running vests since testing the P.F.V. Having the ability to run freely whilst carrying my phone and some fluids has been helpful for my running and something I plan to keep with through the winter.
You don’t need to be a dedicated ultra-runner heading out for brutally long runs to warrant a running vest.
It’s also worth checking out their caps if you’re into your headwear, I’ve been sticking the orange one on a lot and it looks pretty rad....