Water, Water Everywhere

At the end of July, when it was hot as all hell, I got an email from Camelbak, asking if I’d like to review some of their products.

Feeling chronically dehydrated in that heat, I gladly accepted their offer to help me stay hydrated.

You’ve seen me post some pictures with both the Arc Quick Grip Bottle and the Marathoner Vest, and I’ve been promising reviews, but I wanted to wait until I got a few good, really long runs in with the Marathoner.

Quick Grip Bottle


Well, that’s an awkward angle.


What I like most about this bottle is the size. I used to have a handheld water bottle that could hold my phone, but then the iPhone 5 had to come out and be all long and stuff and it didn’t fit. And duh, I need my phone with me so I can Instagram. /sarcasmfont

That little pocket is really useful. I can fit my phone/cash/a credit card/subway card in the open area where my phone is, and in the area with the flap, I’ve either been able to fit my headphones or a Gu / package of ShotBloks.

As far as the actual water, the bottle holds 10 ounces, which is fine for a short run on a hot day. (I don’t usually carry water for short runs if it’s not hot out.) My only complaint with this water bottle is the angle I have to hold the bottle at. In order to drink, I have to very dramatically throw my head back to get any water in. But honestly, the storage is worth it to me for it to be a little annoying to drink out of.

Marathoner Vest


18 miles was a good distance to get an accurate feel for this bad boy.

Verdict? The first mile or so, it took some getting used to. It felt heavy, but obviously as I drank out of it, it got lighter. (Duh.) Once I was a few miles in, I didn’t really notice it moving around, and it was really easy to drink out of. I threw two Watermelon Nuun in the reservoir before I started my run and had some nice, tasty, electrolyte-y water. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Nuun until this year, but their flavors lately–especially watermelon!–have won me over, and I am now a convert.

Once again, I really like the storage options on this one. There are two pockets in the front, and I put my phone and a little changepurse in one and my gels in the other. After I took this picture and a gel and put my phone back in the pocket, the pack felt incredibly off-balance, but I got used to it again.

A bustier-than-me friend pointed out she didn’t think it would be a very comfy option for larger-chested women, and I can definitely see that. As a solidly in-betweenish-sized-chested lady, I didn’t find that part uncomfortable, but thought it was worth a mention.

The only place I deduct imaginary points on my imaginary hydration scorecard is for the chafing factor. I got some chafing in my cleavage that I’m pretty sure is from this pack, and I also have two smaller spots of chafing: one on my neck and one on the inside of my arm.

I was so glad to have the Camelbak with me on that long run; I’d taken the handheld on some other long runs and got really sick of filling it up so often.

What about you? How do you drink on the run?

If you are one of those people that can wear a fuel belt, please tell me how that is comfortable??

18 comments on “Water, Water Everywhere

  1. Cathryn

    I usually carry a handheld…I’m considering a hydration vest for longer trail runs but am not sure I can justify it really!

    Like you, I’ve been distinctly underwhelmed by Nuun. The stuff tastes horrible, to be honest, I wasn’t sure why everyone was raving. I did however try their All Day flavours, esp the blueberry and it is perfect – not sweet at all. When I run, I dilute 50:50 apple juice:water and that works well for me but I like hydating before/after with Nuun.

  2. Christina

    I’ve never run with a vest, but I don’t run long enough to need that much water. The hand held is interesting, though, because I can definitely benefit from a little water when it’s really hot/humid. Did you have to bite the valve for the water to flow?

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Christina: nope! You can just suck the water out. I did also like that it’s not leaky at all, like my last bottle was. Even after I colossally wiped out a few weeks ago, hardly any water came out.

  3. jennifer Olszowy

    I have used Ultimate Direction for a long time. I have used the hand held bottle(even before the newer style valve top) and just bought a fuel belt to have a bigger storage area. One reason I love this company is I like the valve and how the water flows and the water bottles size is awesome, the bottle holds 20 ounces of water. I hold this without having discomfort. I love my fuel belt too. I am just dabbling with a hydration pack because I’m training for my first Ironman.

  4. Dori

    I’m reviewing the same thing on Tuesday! I initially chose the backpack but it wasn’t good for me, so then I tried the handheld and LOVED it. So much better than the two others I’ve used before. I don’t notice the same head tilt back thing though. Also, you phone stays in place in that pocket? I was scared to try.

  5. Rob Runs

    For shorter runs I used to use a handheld 20 ounce bottle, but I’ve heard that holding a bottle can be really bad for your form so I went back to the belt. I noticed all my aches and pains were on the same side I held my bottle – coincidence or not I figured better safe than sorry. I went back to my Amphipod Full Tilt belt and it’s not so bad, I mostly hate it because it make my butt look huge (which is it, so not really the belt’s fault). It doesn’t move or bounce really, though as the bottle gets emptier the belt gets lighter and I find myself tightening it.

    For long runs I use a 70 ounce CamelBak. The one we have is “made” for bicycling so it’s got a ton of pockets – I can carry actual food, Nuun, bandaids, tampons, gels, and an extra shirt if I need it. It’s like I’m my own Sherpa! I love that thing.

  6. Liz

    I just got a camelback on sale at runnerswarehouse.com and I am in love with it! Not the marathoner vest, but they are all pretty similar. Ideally I’d like to run with nothing, not even a phone or my spibelt, but I have to say for long hot runs the pack is a wonderful thing! I HATE handheld anything, soooo not for me. I feel like it throws my gait off.

  7. Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad

    I hate carrying just about anything with me when I run but I have been dying of thirst lately. I have been thinking about exploring handhelds. I have no interest in running with a vest of some sort. I do have a waist pack thing but I also hate that. When I train for my next marathon (whenever that is) I will have to look into a hydration system that doesn’t annoy me. (This makes me sound really cranky. I just don’t like things bouncing around on me when I run or ever for that matter)

  8. Ashley

    I’ve gotten into carrying a very similar water bottle to that on my long runs — and just refill it at water fountains around the city. I know here as it gets colder that won’t be as easy of an option because they’ll turn off the water fountains, but I have been known to stop into coffee shops for some H20 on long runs!

  9. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run

    I use a hydration belt that I picked up for $15 at Marshalls during my first marathon training schedule. Do you think the vest distributes the weight better than a belt? I’m glad you made a “busty girl” mention…we get ignored so often in the running community! Kinda kidding, but not really.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Annie @ Annie Get Your Run: I personally do? I just find the vests much more comfortable. I tried a hydration belt a few times and could never comfortable with it.

      Though I don’t use vests often, it’s a nice option to have on long runs when I know I will want/should consume water more frequently than there are water fountains.

  10. Carla - Love the Run You're With

    I started using a similar 10-ounce handheld on long runs this summer. I refill it several times, but I’d be stopping even more without it, so I think it’s a winner. However, I don’t plan to use it at NYCM since I think refilling it then would slow me down more than just grabbing water cups.

    I don’t understand the appeal of fuel belts at all. Maybe they’d be useful on a long run where water fountains are few and far between, but in a race you’ve already paid for course-side water, Gatorade, etc. And I don’t know how anyone who wants to run fast in a race can benefit from adding a couple of extra pounds to their midsection in the form of those bottles. I can’t think of a single person who runs with one AND happens to be a super speed demon…

  11. Katrina

    I use a fuel belt, and find it comfortable – *but* I don’t train for marathons, just halfs. (halves? hah). I have a handheld too – but with the water and my phone and what not, sometimes it just feels way too heavy. I use that most of the time, but have loved the fuel belt the past few 8-9 mile runs I’ve had.

    1. Theodora Post author

      I asked the Runner’s World editorial staff to weigh in on the halfs/halves thing last year, and they voted halfs. I trust their editorial judgment 🙂


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