Monday, April 14, 2014

REVIEW: Hydrapak SoftFlask™

I am a pretty low maintenance kind of girl. Not only in my day-to-day life, but also in my running ways. Sure, I normally "need" my Garmin so that I can track my pace, distance, and time {which is totally me just being anal - you don't really need something to track that info to be a runner}, but other than that I can usually take it or leave it. I don't run with music (gave that up about 6-9 months ago and LOVE running without it now... it doesn't hurt that I get to hear the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean on the majority of my runs), am still learning about fueling (prior to starting my marathon training I would say I never really even gave fueling a second thought), and normally don't run with any type of hydration unless I am planning on being out for more than 15 miles or if the weather calls for it.

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying this is the RIGHT thing, I am only saying it worked for me in the past, so I didn't think I really needed to switch it up. That is until I received a Hydrapak SoftFlask™ in the mail.

As I mentioned, I normally don't run with water or anything unless it is super hot (for example, when I ran a few miles at a horse track in Barbados) or if I am doing a longer training run. I don't know why I never ran with water prior to now other than I thought I didn't need it (and didn't have anything to carry it in).

There are so many hydration options out on the market right now and I am thankful I didn't have to do the searching on my own because it seems as though it would have been slightly overwhelming. There are hand-held options, belts, backpacks, and just about everything in-between (you would think that I would realize with the PLETHORA of options that it was probably an important aspect, but I guess I am a little slow on the uptake).

I have taken the SoftFlask™ out on a few training runs thus far and have really been impressed with it. First I took it on a 13 mile run. I figured that the distance didn't call for the hydration vest I had been using on my longer runs (I won the vest through a Twitter contest a few months ago - again, so I didn't have to wade through all of the options for that one either), but I still wanted to make sure I would be able to have something with me since it was on the warmer side.

I had never run with anything in my hand before (other than my phone every once in a while), so I wasn't sure how it would feel, but the flexibility of the bottle made it super comfortable and easy to hold on to. Also, there is a little soft finger loop that I was able to put my thumb through as a "safety" in case it started to slip out of my grip - which never happened. Oh yeah, and just in case you are worried about squeezing it too hard and having the water leak, the top is a high flow bite valve, meaning the water (or other liquid) will only flow when you are biting the valve to open it. (You can even seen in the video below that they were stepping on the bottle and no water shot out :))

I LOVE things that compact well and this collapsible lightweight SoftFlask™ is easy to use and packs tightly for efficient storage and transport. (I even packed it for our Barbados trip, but unfortunately I kept forgetting to pull it out so didn't get to test it out there {OOPS}, but I am able to comment on the ease of pack-ability :)) Not only does it pack well, but due to the flexibility of the flask, it also allows you to squeeze the entire contests out for consumption.

Gotta get every last drop out on those HOT runs!

My hubby was even able to grab a couple shots of me running with the SoftFlask™. This particular run was a 5-miler, so although I didn't use the entire flask worth during my run, I was able to have some at the end to cool down with.

I have the SF 500 and think it is a GREAT option for my mid-distance runs, probably anything from 5 to 13 miles. If you have drinking fountains along your path then you could do even longer distances and just fill up the flask along the way. I have used it on 5 mile runs, 8 mile runs, and a 13-miler and give it my seal of approval. {FYI - I find that I normally drink about half the bottle and rinse my mouth out with the other half throughout my run. For me, at least, sometimes my mouth just needs something in it, but I am not necessarily thirsty, so I can just rinse it out and I feel fine. This is one way of staying comfortable without getting the 'sloshing' feeling in my stomach from over-hydrating. But again, that is just something that works for ME, you should find what works for you.}

1 comment:

Kym said...

I have tried a few hydration packs, but they're all so bulky. I've been wanting to try this hydration pack, but didn't know how others liked it. Thanks so much for the review!! :)