A great training and race vest, which is now even more comfortable and better designed than before
Water bladder and bottles not included
No large phone pocket
Rear bungee elastic too long
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Harrier Kinder 10L Race Vest: first impressions
Harrier was founded in 2019 in the UK by Kate Mackenzie. The company sells a range of “more affordable” products for hill and ultra runners, such as vest packs, poles, jackets and accessories.
A new version of the brand’s Harrier 10L Kinder Race Vest has just been released, with updates that have taken into account a range of feedback from users. There are four sizes of the unisex pack so runners can find the right fit for them, plus adjustable chest straps to ensure a no-bounce experience. The fabric is treated with DWR (Durable Waterproof Repellency) to see off light rain.
Most of the 10L capacity is in the main, zip-topped compartment. This is split in half by a vertical mesh divider so that you can carry your best hydration bladder on one side and what you like on the other side. There is a bladder attachment at the top of the inside of the compartment and a short sleeve for a water-feeding tube.
There are lots of pockets of different sizes on the front of the shoulder straps, including open-topped pockets for soft flask bottles sized 300ml to 500ml. An elastic loop at the top the two bottle pockets either side is a thoughtful extra and prevents the bottles form slumping down inside the pocket.
Other pockets, both open-topped and zipped, can be utilized for gels, snacks, keys and a small phone.
There is a rear bungee for carrying items, such as a jacket, on the outside of the vest pack, and elastic straps for carrying running poles when not in use.
Updates and redesigns to the new Harrier Kinder 10L Race Vest (2022) include a refined front pocket structure; improved trims and zips; silicone grippers on the front straps and inside some pocket tops; and fabric panels to allow for better storage. There are also clever systems for folding away / tying back elastic straps and pulls when not in use.
So do these changes keep the Harrier Kinder 10L Race Vest in contention with the best hydration packs? Read on to find out what we thought…
• RRP: £59 (UK)
• Sizes available: XS, S, M, L
• Gender specificity: Unisex
• Weight (small / empty): 268g / 9.5oz
• Hydration capacity: Two 500ml or 300ml soft flasks and/or a 1.5l or 2.0l water bladder
• Gear capacity: 10L
• Colors: Red / Black
Harrier Kinder 10L Race Vest: on the trails
This is a cleverly and thoughtfully improved version of the original pack, which was already an affordable winner.
The fabric and trim seems stretchier so it is now easier to pull on and off. I am a UK10 and the size small fits nicely and neatly. Whether I have a couple of items in the main compartment or the pack is full, the pack feels comfortable and it stays in place on my upper back. The promise of no bounce is correct.
The zip pulls are easy to use, even when wearing gloves, and there are plenty of useful places to stash all the bits and pieces that trail and ultra runners take with them.
The design team has found clever ways to tuck away straps and toggles when not in use, although this can be a bit fiddly and I don’t advise you try it when you’re in a rush or have cold hands.
I’m not sure why the rear bungee elastic is so long and I would prefer it to be shorter so that there’s less to tuck away when not in use.
The zipped phone pocket is small and narrow and it isn’t the right size for my larger-style iPhone. Instead I carried my phone in one of the open-topped pockets at the front. The phone stayed in place but I’d rather have a larger zipped pocket for this item.
There are lots of small reflective details, which are great in winter and dark mornings or evenings.
There is a DWR treatment that repels light rain. If you are out in heavy rain, you’ll need to put kit into dry bags or wear a waterproof jacket over your pack.
The Harrier Kinder 10l vest pack was already a great pack and at an excellent price compared to other brands and now it is even better. If it had a larger zipped phone pocket I would have given it a 5/5.
Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.