Hydroquiver Gear Test and Review
Never Race with Something New
I’m pretty sure it’s not breaking the rule of don’t ever race with something new, if you call it a “training race.” And so it was, I tried out the Orange Mud Hydroquiver on a trail marathon. Regardless, conventional wisdom is frequently wrong, like my preconception that the only way for bottles to not be annoying or asymmetrically impact my gait is for them to be strapped to my lower back squeezing my gut as tightly as I could handle. It turns out, and I wouldn’t have guessed this without trying it, that the best place for a bottle is right between my shoulder blades.
Hydroquiver is how I know this.
The Right Hydration Solution for the Right Race
There are lots of options in hydration systems. I think this setup is the ideal one for a well-supported long-ish run (race or training), such as Catalina Marathon where I first used it. A full bladder is unnecessary, and too time consuming to refill; but you need something to get through some long segments. I’d also use this as my first choice on 13-20 mile training runs with no options for refilling.
- The right amount
- Standard 21-24 oz bike bottles fit. With this capacity I easily skipped occasional water stations. I don’t like stopping at every single one if they’re only a mile or two apart, because it breaks up my rhythm and gives me a chance to dawdle.
- Easy and comfortable
- Accessing the bottle is simple; easier than I thought…and putting it back is even easier. I used a short bottle and it was no problem–there’s an adjustable strap to raise it up.
- Once I figured out that I should cinch the shoulder straps tight, it didn’t jostle at all, and was very comfortable. Zero chafing over the 4+ hrs despite being the first time I’d worn it. There is a little bit of armpit contact that took me a little while to get used to compared to larger packs.
- Tons of storage
- There is a surprising amount of storage. There are two pockets on top of the shoulders that are easily accessible and velcroed shut. I kept a Hammer Gel Flask in one, with plenty of room to spare. Then, basically the entire thing is a pocket between the padding and bottle. You can easily store a marathon worth of fuel.
Related ‘Quiver Skills
As we learned from Napoleon Dynamite, girls like guys with skills…show off those quickdraw hydroquiver skills during other bottle-based activities post-race.
Disclaimer: I received the hydroquiver at no charge, thanks to my devilishly dirty friend, Victor Runco. I wasn’t obligated to say I like it, but I like it and I’m keeping it.