All in all a good first time buyers purchase. I'm using it on trail runs and have used it for a marathon so I would recommend trying it out. Great value for money and easy to use.
Great storage capacity
Side zip pockets are not reachable while wearing
I bought this running hydration vest as my first, in order to help me in my training for my first ultramarathon (Hoka Highland Fling 2016). So far, I've ran a few times with the bag both on and off road, from 6km to 16km, in order to test the vest. My conclusion is that it's a great bag. I still have to run with water bottles up front, but with the supplied hydration bladder the vest does a great job in staying close to the body and decreasing bounce. I have not experienced any chaffing so far, but will wait for longer runs to take any conclusions regarding this. The materials seem pretty good, except for the adjustment straps. The buckles tend to slip a little and the chest ones can be a little tricky to adjust, but nothing major. The bag is also very roomy.
I recommend this bag for budget concious long distance runners. It's amazing price per value.
Construction, stability and quality
straps could be easier to adjust
Loads of storage and good looking bit of kit let down by the water bottle position and the adjustment straps not giving a good fit, The pack bounces around a lot when loaded with water and kit.
Good kit, well made, lots of storage
water bottle position, bad fit.
Great value for money. I haven't put it to the test on a long run. Furthest I've ran with it is 12 miles and I have no complaints.
loads of room for water and kit.
none as of yet
I was looking for a running race vest as most of my runs are off road where you have to carry certain safety items when racing. I needed something with bottles on the front as it's too easy to run out of water when using a bladder as you never know how much you have left. This Kalenji bag ticked all the boxes.
This bag is a good size, has two large bottle holders (I bought two 500ml Kalenji bottles and they obviously fit perfectly). The bag was very loose on my first run which annoyed me all through a trail/fell marathon so I had to hold it in place against my body. This was me just expecting it to be a good fit for me right out of the box. I have since spent time adjusting and double feeding the straps through the holes and the bag now doesn't move on my body. This bag is perfect if you just need to carry equipment to pass a kit inspection and need fluids to drink while on the run.
Where this bag fails is on accessibility to the back area. As this bag doesn't have a clicky clasp fastener and you have to loop the ties through the strap, then removing the bag and re-fastening during runs where you are cold and wet and your hands aren't functioning property is very difficult. At times I have known that i need to eat food now but have continued onto the next checkpoint a few miles away and asked a marshal to retrieve my snack from the back compartment. I have taken the bag off during a run before with cold hands and it took me ages to get the bag back on and fastened due to how cold my hands where and how fiddly the fastenings can be.
There are two small zipped compartments, one of either side, on the fastening loop which are described as 'easy access' but I find these difficult to use unless you are just picking out one item such as a flapjack bar etc. I tried using this for jelly babies etc but I dropped more on the floor than I managed to get into the compartment while filling up at a marshal point. This is due to the fact that you are reaching behind to where your kidneys are to use these pockets.
I have since started using one of the front bottle holders as a food holder which works pretty well.
Overall this is a good wee bag with the only two flaws I can think of are that the fastening needs to be a quick release clip rather than fastenings and the side, easy access pockets, need to be further around the front to allow easier access.
I have given this bag 4 out of 5 for the reasons listed above but the value of this product compared to Ultimate Direction etc is great. Instead of spending £100+ on a bag this cost my about a third of that. If you are a runner that can just keep going and doesn't need to faff then I'd recommend this bag. If you need access to your kit often then I would look elsewhere.
Sits high on your chest and is very secure
Difficult to access anything other than fluids.
great value for money and seems to have the features of vest 4 times the price.Not sure how waterproof it is as yet
sits high up on the back and is stable
not much padding so nave to pack carefully
The real drawback with this pack is that it is very difficult to access the side pockets. You may need to stop and remove the pack to get anything out. Good value for money, though.
An excellent backpack for longer runs, ultras or anytime you need to carry more stuff and lots of liquids.
The pack fits very closely with shoulder straps that are light weight and has soft bottle holders integrated into the straps. These can be used to hold gels, food or small items of kit, but easily hold a 500ml sports bottle in each with easy access and stowage, and cord fastenings to secure them in the pouch on the move. The two chest straps are adjustable to easily secure the shoulder straps in place in the most comfortable way for the individual.
Small pockets on the waistband are zipped and can hold gels, cash, mobile phone etc, with easy access and secure closures.
The back storage is in three parts - the main pack is split into two sections, the section nearest the back holds the (included) 2L bladder, with hanging hook and routing through either shoulder for the tube. The outer section is small but will easily hold a lightweight jacket and over trousers or extra layer, while there is a zip around 3/4 of the edge which, when unzipped, opens a shock-cord lined gusset to increase the storage capacity from 9L to 14L. Both sections close at the top with a couple of Velcro pads and there's a dedicated phone pocket in the top which is zipped and has a covering flap to protect it from the elements. The third section is the elasticated outer panel, which is perfect for stuffing in a lightweight jacket, a bike helmet or any kit where you need to access it quickly and easily.
A number of points on the outer of the pack provide cordage to secure walking poles or the like, and the pack itself has a number of reflective flashes on the fabric making it more visible in the dark or low-light conditions.
The only gripe I have with the pack is that, aside from a loop on each shoulder strap to route the bladder tube, there is no obvious way to secure the mouthpiece to keep it static but accessible 'on the run'. Now this is a minor issue and given the flexibility of the pack also easily manageable.
Overall, an excellent, well designed, well thought-out piece of kit, and considering that similar products that fit this niche tend to be somewhere between £75 and £130 it is also remarkably good value for money - oh, and it has a 2 year guarantee.
Stuff easily accessible, figure hugging design
Bladder tube well routed but no mouthpiece storage