In this review, we are taking a look at The Orange Mud HydraQuiver VP2, which takes hydration back to its simplest form. Hydration hasn’t changed much over the last several years. Sure, bags have gotten better fitting and yes, small incremental changes have been made, but the status quo within hydration has remained ever present. It’s basically a bag for liquid and for lack of better terms, some sort of straw. Sure, we have bite valves and hand pumps and other gadgets many of which we have reviewed prior, but the most interesting thing with this review of the HydraQuiver VP2 is that the folks at The Orange Mud have chosen to deviate and go even simpler.
Aesthetically, you’re going to feel thrown off when you look at the VP2. It is going to seem a little weird and you’ll definitely get some questions about it. Sticking two water bottles in a backpack probably seems like a drastically simple way of looking at what people think should be a very technologically advanced process. Don’t let this fool you. In the end, you only want to have enough liquid for your run and not have the carrying of that liquid impede your ability to perform.
Design and Structure
The front of the HydraQuiver VP2 is littered with storage options. First, you have two smaller pockets with velcro enclosures on the upper portion of the straps which are great for small edibles like gels, chews, blocks, etc. You then have two additional larger pockets which I used to hold my phone, gloves, etc. These are held tight by elastic drawstrings and it stays closed tightly throughout regardless of the amount of jostling you might put it through.
The back features two sleeves that hold two large water bottles very well and you can also use smaller bottles if you like. The water bottle sleeves are universal so you can use any bottles you want, but the ones provided (BPA free, 25oz) actually work really well and are better quality than many cheap models. You really do want to carry both bottles because if not, there is a weird balance sensation, but they do make a single bottle version as well if you don’t need two.
Weight and Benefits
The entire unit itself is very lightweight, under 10oz, and is a mix of padding and medical grade mesh so it does breath very well. You have 4 cinch spots, 2 on each side. First the typical shoulder cinch and then also an under the arm cinch as well. I found the unit fit very well and also noticed no abrasions or irritation in use even at high pace (~7min) for extended periods (~13miles). It was honestly not even noticeable and when you do pull out a bottle to take a drink it’s really more accessible than you might think. Also, they find their way back into their sleeves very easily which worried me at first, but honestly I didn’t even have to think about it. Additionally, the one benefit of bottles is being able to easily stop and fill up if you run out mid-run and you can do it without removing the pack. Given that you have 50oz on your back the odds of this are slim, but obviously a nice benefit to have.
Wrapping It Up
The Orange Mud product line is definitely an alternative to the norm, but in many ways it’s over simplification is what makes it so successful. They couple that with a very functional overall design and what you have is a super functional hydration system built by and for elite athletes. So if you have ever been annoyed when cleaning your bladder and long for something simpler, then look no further. Also if you have been dying for a little extra space for your phone or your edibles, then this is definitely the right bag for you.
The Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2 comes in three different color combinations and is available directly from their website for $149.95.