Posted By:Laura Luksich
Posted On:Jun 1 2010 3:24PM

Hydrate - one of the most important things to do while exercising.  One of my biggest challenges has been finding a comfortable hydration system.  I’ve tried four, very different, options recently: Nathan Trail Mix (belt), Nathan Thermal Quickdraw (handheld), Deuter M3 (3L pack), and the Camelbak Annadel (1.5L pack).  I’ll post about them all in the next week or two.

                  Nathan Trail Mix       Nathan Quickdraw         Deuter M3    Camelbak Annadel

Last year, I had a dehydration episode after a long run.  I didn’t carry water while I was running and ended up in the ER at 2am to get rehydrated by IV with anti-nausea meds mixed in.  Overall, it took about 12 hours to stop vomiting after the dehydration set in, and another 12 to recover after the ER visit.  Now, I will always carry water for any exercise that I plan to do for an extended period of time.

The trick is finding the way to carry it that is functional and comfortable.  Anything that is uncomfortable to start a run with just becomes torturous after hours of running.  Comfort is key.

I’ll start with the Nathan Trail Mix


Nathan Trail Mix                                       Nathan Speed 2

We are the Nathan Clan.  We should be an advertisement for this company.  Everyone has one – all five of us, and if you glance back at the pictures I've posted, you can spot them in almost every one.  Somehow, I missed the part of buying one with a Velcro strap that goes around your waist – the Speed 2.  Mine has a clasp – the Trail Mix (the others all have the Speed 2).  It’s not uncomfortable, but the Velcro looks like much more fun.  The belt works great:

  • Molds right into my lower back
  • I can run with one or both of the 10oz water bottles – which I can pull out, take a swig, and put back with one hand while I’m running
  • The little zipper pouch fits a cell phone and energy bloks perfectly

Courtney and Brooke with their Speed 2 belts on.

I have three issues with the Trail Mix belt:

  1. When it’s empty.  No matter how much I tighten or loosen my belt, when all the water and bloks have been used, the belt rides up over my hips and bounces all around, especially when I’m headed downhill.  I love the downhill, but with my belt bouncing all around, well it just takes away from the loving.
  2. My guts.  For me, there’s just something uncomfortable about wearing a belt cinched around my belly and running for hours.  My stomach starts to cramp and feel nasty.  On shorter runs, I didn't notice it, but when I started upping the time to 2-3 hour runs, I really noticed my stomach was unhappy.
  3. I need more water.  20oz doesn’t cut it on a longer run, especially if it’s hot.  Not for me.  I need an option that will hold more if I don’t have a place to fill up during my run.

Bottom Line:
The Nathan Trail Mix is a great option for shorter runs.  It holds a fair amount of water and it really is surprising how much I can stuff into the little pocket between the bottles.  I’ve found I’m not a fan of belt hydration systems, but the other women I run with don’t seem to have many complaints.

View Comments

  •  Posted By: Laura Luksich
     Posted On: Jun 19 2010 4:48PM 
    Thanks Jill! I just finished reviewing the hand held bottle. That one was my favorite. Check it out. Good luck to your mom!
  •  Posted By: Jill Hovden
     Posted On: Jun 9 2010 5:58PM 
    Love it Laura!! I'm trying to find a good hydration system for my mom for the Chicago marathon so thank you so much for narrowing down the choices! :)
  •  Posted By: Laura Luksich
     Posted On: Jun 3 2010 10:36PM 
    Thanks Waspi! Deuter review coming up tonight or tomorrow!
  •  Posted By: Brian Waspi
     Posted On: Jun 3 2010 10:27PM 
    Laura, your blog rocks :)
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