Hydro Set is simple enough to figure out at first go- throw on the gloves, fill the soft flask and secure it to the right or left glove via the nylon palm strap and bungee cord. It took a little extra work slipping the flask through the palm strap at first try, and after a few days of use, I still have to focus more than I’d like to on securing it to the glove. As previously mentioned, I appreciate a simple handheld bottle- fill it up and slip it on. I found that the process for removing and re-securing the flask to require more time and effort than I really care for, especially for a small 8-ounce flask.
|The S-Lab Hydro Set full (top) |
and empty (bottom).
Even though the flask removal/replacement process is not as simple as I’d like, there is a lot of functionality to like about the
Hydro Set. Access to water is instant and hands-free via a squeezable bite-valve, and the flask can be squeezed in your hand without any loss of water- all in a sturdy design. The whole hydration system is extremely light- having an empty flask still attached to the glove feels similar in weight to having a couple of empty gel packets in your hand. It is great to have the ability to carry a little bit of water for a short run and finish feeling like you never actually brought any. The gloves and flask are also very compact and can be quickly stowed away in a pack or belt pouch when empty. Even when my 20 ounce handheld bottle is empty, it’s still a bulky extension of my hand. If you are someone who is completely turned off by traditional handheld water bottles, the
Hydro Set may be a viable option for you.
A notable drawback I experienced contradicts the claim Salomon makes that this hydration system is “slosh-free.” This claim stands to be true when the flask is completely full, but not so much when it is partially empty. When the flask is anywhere from two-thirds to a quarter full, the slosh creates for an interesting sensation- one that I would describe as feeling like you have a partially-deflated water balloon strapped to the palm of your hand. Given the featherweight construction of the whole system, I can see it not bothering some runners. Still, I can’t say that I would prefer the slosh in the soft flask over the slosh one experiences with a standard handheld bottle.
The gloves are light, vented and low-key. Despite this, I did find that my hands ran a little sweaty with them on, even on a cool, overcast run. I’m not so certain I would enjoy wearing them on a warm, sunny day in the Eastern Sierra.
In spite of a few quirks, I am happy to have added some much-appreciated variety to my hydration lineup.This setup has motivated me to now bring along water on runs where I normally would not in the past. I see myself using the
Hydro Set on shorter runs when a 20-ounce handheld is just way too much. Here in the Owens Valley, things get HOT in the summer and it is always nice to have some water even for the shorter runs. And for those of you seeking to go for an ultralight run the High Sierra, this could be a great hydration option where access to water is abundant. I also appreciate the ability to carry water in my hand in such a way that still allows for a natural, relaxed grip. I do feel that for the price ($40 USD), Salomon should have included a second flask. If you have the ability to, I highly recommend dropping by your local running store and try out the
Hydro S-Lab Set beforehand...the design, although truly innovative, is not for everyone.
|Testing out the Hydro Set on a warm, dry day in|
Bishop...perfect conditions for this little setup!
-Extremely light and compact, especially when empty
-Great for shorter runs or runs where access to water is abundant
-Bite valve allows for fast, hands-free access to fluid
-Comfortable design provides a natural, relaxed hand grip
-Viable option for runners turned off by traditional handheld bottles
-Multiple components and a few extra steps for removing and replacing the soft flask make for a complex system.
-A partially filled flask does slosh around, which one might find annoying
-Gloves run slightly warm, despite breathable fabric design
-Price is a bit steep for only receiving one 8 ounce flask.