Review: Salomon S/Lab Sense 2 Set Vest Pack
Looking for a solution to your marathon race day needs? The Salomon S/Lab Sense 2 Set Vest Pack may be your answer.
Some runs just don’t lead a lot of gear. 100km race on the mountains? Yep, take a big pack. 3 hours on the road? Not so much. I recently took the S/Lab Sense 2 Set for a tour of Melbourne during the marathon.
Looking around at the start line of the Melbourne mara, of the near 7000 marathon participants, very few look to have brought their own hydration. Most preferring instead to rely on water and ‘sports drink’ available on the course or personalised drink stations available on course. During long distance running events, we all have varying hydration and nutrition needs. Relying on ‘on course’ support must be a flawed process. Using ‘sports drink’ mid-race that you have never tried before, fighting with other runners to get access to the drinks table, finding your personalised drinks among thousands of others and trying to get any water out of the tiny plastic cup while spilling most of it on the runner next to you. Oh the cups! Maybe a hundred thousand used for an event of that size? Maybe more? Surely there has to be a better way, for both the environment, and for the athlete trying to fuel their way through 42.2km? Enter the Salomon S/Lab Sense 2 Set Vest Pack.
The S/Lab Sense 2 Set is light, compact, breathable and comfortable. It has 2L of storage made up of a few smaller front pockets, a zipped chest pocket, a bigger rear pocket and 2 chest pockets suitable for the 2 included Salomon 500mL soft flasks. One of my main issues with the pack is the size of the zipped chest pocket, unfortunately not quite big enough for my iPhone 7 but perfect for secure nutrition storage. Some of the front pockets are large enough to hold a phone which I have done on training runs with no issues, but my personal preference is to have it zipped away.
Using a size medium sized pack (which is probably slightly large for me), the pack sits comfortably, hardly noticing any movement in the pack once its on. Expecting hot weather on race day, I chose to carry a 3rd flask which I carried in the large rear pocket, swapping it out for an empty chest bottle once needed. I was a little worried about how this would sit but didn’t have to be. The extra bottle created no extra movement, I was so surprised I actually had to check it was still there! The mesh sides and back help to reduce the extra heat produced by wearing an extra layer, but still expect to be a little warmer than you would be without it. Some may be disappointed with the small capacity of the 2 Set, but the vest never pretends to be suitable for full day mountain runs or events requiring mandatory gear. The flasks sit in a great position and together with the stretchiness of the pack, you can drink without removing the flask from the pack.
The Salomon S/Lab Sense 2 Set Vest Pack is a great option for runs lasting 1-3, maybe 4 hours requiring some fluid, some fuel and no minimal mandatory gear. This vest will be my best friend for longer road training runs, road marathons and shorter trail races.
This would be the perfect pack for an event like the Point to Pinnacle. With changeable weather conditions, the vest will hold a warm layer or jacket, along with all my nutrition and hydration needs.
Written by Find Your Feet Ambassador Ben Brockman
Ben is an experienced trail and road runner here in Tasmania who works as a full-time physiotherapist at Physiotas. Thanks so much for your epic review Ben!