I recently paced a close friend on her quest to complete her first 100-mile race. The race went well; she nailed her time goal and weathered the miles like a seasoned vet. In the closing yards, I let her drift away so I could see her finish the race in its entirety, and I couldn’t help but smile when the lights reflected off the white and yellow logo on her back which simply read “Naked.”
About a month earlier, she had recommended I give this company a try after I had been complaining about how I couldn‘t manage to find a hydration vest that fit my build, didn’t bounce or sway with movement, and that had enough places to store the essential for a long run. Oh, and one that breathed well enough for our sticky southern summers.
I had tried various vests, but nothing seemed to fit the mold, and the closest option I found was great until I realized I was adjusting the straps multiple times mid-run due to the straps slipping because of sweat and moisture.
Until this race, the longest distance I covered was a 50k completed in 5hrs and 18 min. I had worn a Nathan’s vest that at the time seemed to perform beautifully until I slipped on a snug-fitting, high capacity Naked Innovations hydration vest for the first time. I quickly realized that this vest was going to be a game-changer.
The Naked vest hugged my upper torso like a glove—contours well for the body's natural lines. Strong elastic at the bottom prevents it from riding up. The mesh that overlays your chest and incases your back is soft yet sturdy, and the pockets! The pockets are modern marvels of how they can expand to hold and an oversize cellphone in place just as well as a single car key without the risk of items spilling out.
I wore my Naked vest for the closing 35 miles, and didn‘t once have an issue with fit or being able to access necessities. With ease, Sophie wore hers for the full 100 miles or 23hrs and 41 minutes of the race.
Naked Sports Innovations sells two different styles of vests, The Original Running Vest (sold as a slip-on version) and the High Capacity Running Vest (sold with zipper front). I opted for the high capacity due to my significant fueling demands as the miles increase.
Both models have room to store a 2L bladder in the back, and both have elastic chest pockets with the ability to hold nearly any type of handheld on the market, soft or hard shell. I opted to begin my pacing duties with the soft 500ml flasks (comes with the vest when ordered online) but seamlessly transitioned to a larger size later in the race. And although they weren’t needed for this race, there are attachment points on the vest to store additional gear.
With the thoughtfully placed emergency whistle, Naked Sports Innovations has done a complete job designing functional equipment to keep you comfortable and running safely.
*Athlos Running is not affiliated with Naked Sports Innovations and is not compensated in any way for this review.