This lightweight, compact hydration pack delivers comfort on the trail, but don’t expect heaps of room for extras
Compact and lightweight
Stays put when you’re on the move
Ventilated back system for breathability
Includes 2L hydration pack
Shock cord webbing to carry your extra accessories
Minimal plastic taste on first use
Not much space for extra gear
External storage cords won’t keep gear dry in the rain
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Vango Sprint 3 hydration pack: first impressions
With the Sprint 3, Vango has focused on function and designed a hydration pack that will accomplish your hydration needs without slowing you down. This sleek and lightweight hydration pack contours nicely to your body and feels really comfortable even when the bladder is full on a long run, thanks in part to the breathable ventilated back system. The drinking tube comes with a sealable cap to prevent you from leaking water during transport, the roll-top bladder is easy to use and doesn’t spill, and reflective details help with visibility for road runners.
• List price: £30
• Weight: 14oz / 0.4kg
• Capacity: 2L
• Sizes available: One size
• Materials: Excel® 420D Honeycomb Polyester
• Best use: Road and trail running
This is a small, no-frills affair. You’ll find a small zipped pocket just big enough for your keys and phone and if you want to use it to carry any other gear, such as a running jacket, you’ll need to lash it to the outside of the pack using the shock cord webbing, which won’t provide any rain protection. However, if all you want is the ability to comfortably and easily carry a couple of liters of water, you’ll get everything you need from this hydration pack for a low price.
Vango Sprint 3 hydration pack: in the field
I’ve been testing the Vango Sprint 3 hydration pack on my longer trails runs for a few weeks, and though it’s very small, I give it high marks for comfort, ease of use and weight
Starting with what I like about it, it fits really nicely to my body and, even when the bladder is full, is really comfortable to run in. Though the weather has turned colder lately, I’ve worn it for a few late season warm runs and it’s definitely breathable on sweaty days. It comes in one size so I can imagine for someone much bigger than me, it might be too small, but the straps do offer a lot of wiggle room, so perhaps it really does work for all bodies.
It’s also easy to use, which might seem like an odd thing to comment on, but I’ve tried running backpacks that were a bit like trying to solve a Rubix cube, so this came as a relief to me. The bladder is easy to remove and fill, even with its roll top design instead of the usual screw top. The straps are all easy to adjust and the bladder so far seems to be leak-resistant. Once I removed the plastic wrap from the drinking tube (remember to do this before you set off), I was pleased to find that there was barely any plastic taste at all on my first run with it.
At under half a kilo, it really doesn’t add any significant weight when it’s empty, which is ideal, but this is also because it’s fairly light on features, which brings me to the characteristics that don’t work as well for me. If the bladder is full, there really isn’t any space at all to cram in any running gear – the idea is that you use the external cord webbing. This works pretty well, but of course doesn’t protect your gear from the elements. There is a small pocket for my phone and keys, but basically I use this for hydration only. The tube is perhaps a little long and unwieldy for my liking, but I just tuck it into the hip belt and there’s no problem there.
Overall, you probably can’t find a hydration pack at a better price and if you’re just looking for something comfortable and lightweight to carry water in, I think you’ll be pleased.
Here’s how it performed:
Comfort and breathability
Fits really well and stays put with no rubbing or chafing, and the breathable back panel works well on hot days.
Weight and capacity
Very lightweight when empty, not much room for anything other than water, but storage webbing works quite well.
Too soon to tell, but the fabric and stitching on the backpack and the bladder and tube all seem sturdy enough.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.
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