Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gear Review: Nathan 2V Plus

I used the Nathan Elite 2V Plus during the 2008 running season as a product tester for Nathan Human Propulsion Laboratories. There are various pro’s and con’s to this product, of which I will discuss in detail below in the hopes that any changes made to these products will better serve my fellow runners.

Running with handheld bottles can become a drag, especially 50+ miles into an ultramarathon when your arms are tired from running in the same posture for so very long. Having an efficient waist pack is an integral way to ensure that you are able to utilize the various parts of your body that help propel you, instead of holding you back. I choose the 2V Plus because of its functionality.

The pack comes with two 22 oz. Hydration bottles of which I am not a fan of. I find the plastic used to make the bottles is very stiff. I do not like the mouthpiece because it has a tendency to leak, and is very hard to pull up and push down. I do very much like the clip ring that makes up part of the bottle cap as it makes the unit easier to clip anywhere and carry if I am doing activities other than running such as hiking or snowshoeing.

The pack has twin angled insulated holsters for quick bottle access. I love the angled idea as it allows the bottles to rest comfortably against the back. The angle of the bottles leaves you plenty of room so that when you swing your arms while running, it is very unlikely that you will hit them. The twin holsters are functional in that you can easily remove the bottles and place them back in without any hassle at all. This is essential in preventing the annoying. The insulated pockets keep drinks warm or cool.

The zippered rear pocket is one of the reasons I love this pack the most. I can place many of my run essentials in this pocket; hat, gloves, buff, arm warmers, batteries, supplements, flash light headlamp. It is also easy to reach back and unzip the pocket while running. While it is obviously difficult to put everything in this pocket, the fact that the pack has additional twin removable zippered pockets in the front for easier access. These pockets are also great for gels and other supplements. You can remove these zippered pockets for easier cleaning.

The pack also has front glove/jacket draw cords on the front. This increases the functionality of the pack. On cold race mornings or colder runs where the temps are bound to rise; the draw cords allow you to store your gloves or jacket out of the way.

The pack does come loose while running, though not as quickly as other packs I’ve had. The strap stays do tend to get in the way and when I go to tighten the waist strap, I sometimes have to stop to move the strap stays aside. This has been known to be a major nuisance as it causes me to stop during the run and waste valuable time. If there was a way to prevent the pack from coming loose or slipping, the pack would be PERFECT.

Grade: A-