As a female athlete with a short torso, the Orange Mud Gear Vest 2.0 crushed the competition with regard to fit and comfort. It was released less than a year ago and sold out ahead of schedule. Having tested out its durability and functionality, I see why. This vest is so lightweight, yet packs tons of features and creative storage so you can run without feeling your gear. This pack is a must have for OCR due to its light-weight and ability to remain stable, without any bouncing or sloshing.
Orange Mud Gear Vest 2.0 Features
Storage – Orange Mud’s ingenuity in designing this vest shines through its innovative, yet simple features. The Gear Vest’s front pockets fit 600ml soft flasks or a large phone. I fit my iPhone 8 Plus in the front pocket with no movement and still had room for additional gear in those pockets and the trash pockets.
Every single time that I wore my previous vest from another company, I could feel my phone bouncing around, but not with the Gear Vest. This vest also has shoulder pockets for nutrition or endurance gels and is secure enough to hold your id cards or cash in them as well.
Bounce – The rear compartment holds a 1L Bladder but you can fit a bit more gear in the back without it feeling overly packed. The mesh layers keep the bladder stable with ZERO sloshing. There is a shock cord on the back where I was able to hold my jacket for rainy runs on the trail.
Accessibility – The best part about all of these features is that I didn’t have to take my pack off during my run to access anything. Everything was easy to reach, including my gear in the back pocket due to the higher positioning of the vest. On previous vests where my flasks were in the front, I would still have to stop to take a drink because the positioning of the flasks were never accessible likely because of my torso height.
Fit – The Orange Mud Gear Vest pack works phenomenally well for short torso females but scales up for larger frames. The adjustable elastic chest harness makes this pack easy to adjust for runners of varying height and width. I was able to fit into this pack and had my husband who is 3 feet taller than me and 45 lbs. heavier than me wear this to test out the adjustable harness and it fit him like a glove as well. This is something that I am not able to do with other packs I own that are designed for a female without versatility for all sizes, but especially for females. The vest itself was snug but not tight, and I felt like the higher positioning of the vest and the adjustability of the chest straps provided more room to breath during my runs, as opposed to other packs that fit so snugly that it makes it hard to breathe. The pack weighs 8.9oz without the bladder, and even with a full bladder and my gear and phone, it still felt so light that I didn’t even feel like I had it on during my runs.
Orange Mud Gear Vest 2.0 Usage
I was able to use the Gear Vest on trail runs to test out how stable it was on hilly, rocky terrain. I was shocked when there was no bounce or sloshing of the bladder. Even when climbing over fallen trees or large rocks, I was able to move freely, without even noticing the pack. I was worried that the water in a 1L bladder wouldn’t be enough on some of my longer runs (12+ miles) but I was pleasantly surprised that it lasted. I also wore this vest on interval runs at the park while hopping on and off monkey bars, rock walls, and other equipment to test the bounce and how it would feel on obstacles. I never felt like I was wearing a pack while sprinting or climbing as it stays in place perfectly and didn’t snag on any equipment. My fuel packs all stayed in place and the hose to the bladder didn’t get caught up either.
In addition to typical trail runs, I took the vest on a work trip to test it out on the beach. It was hot and humid and I was worried about feeling the vest rub more due to the heat. Surprisingly, the vest didn’t rub at all, not even on the chest straps or shoulders. Another great surprise was the fact that after sweating like a beast while wearing this vest and having no way to wash it on a trip, it was completely breathable and didn’t smell after it dried.
Orange Mud Gear Vest 2.0 Durability
While I haven’t ran an OCR with this vest just yet, I have put tons of miles and climbing in with this and it hasn’t shown any signs of wear at all. Despite being dragged in the mud (literally) on trails and obstacle training, it doesn’t even appear dirty. I anticipate that this vest will hold up very nicely over several race seasons.
Orange Mud Gear Vest 2.0 Pros and Cons
- Super light weight
- Extremely comfortable fit with the ability to adjust size to fit smaller frame or larger frame individuals
- Breathable material makes it feel like you aren’t even carrying a vest
- Despite its size, it has a surprising amount of room for storage
- Fits a large phone unlike other brands
- Items stay secure in their spots and there is No bounce from the bladder
- Not enough space for tons of gear if you are planning an endurance event but they have other options for that
Orange Mud Gear Vest 2.0 Conclusion
As you can see, I can’t provide a list of cons for the Orange Mud Gear Vest, 2.0 as it is hands down my favorite one I have owned. I wasn’t expecting much from such a small vest but going from a vest that weighed me down and was hard to drink from the front flasks without stopping to this light weight, easy to wear vest had been a complete game changer for me. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of gear it can store. I tried so hard to find flaws to make you aware of and I can say with 100% honesty that there really aren’t any. If you are looking for a light-weight vest that doesn’t bounce around, you need to get this vest. I plan on buying some other vests from the Orange Mud product line because their designs are perfectly simplistic yet efficient.
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