Tuesday, 21 April 2015 15:15

HydraQuiver Review Pt.2

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HydroQuiver ready for another coastal long run HydroQuiver ready for another coastal long run
I’ve been running with the HydraQuiver for over a year now since my first review {read it here or on SDRI}. My feelings haven't really changed since that review, its a great bottle holder, and my go-to if I need to carry more than 8oz but a camelback is overkill. My use has evolved and I had a few more thoughts recently though, so I thought I’d share an update. 
 
A postural device?
We're going to down a little diversion from what you’d expect out of a review of a hydration device, but follow my line of reasoning here. It wasn’t obvious to me for a while that the unique side of the shoulder–almost falling off–slings was an ideal design. It wasn’t uncomfortable or annoying, but it was noticeable. The contact feels like it is out near the delts, not on the traps snug to the neck like most backpacks. After a few uses, I mostly got over the feeling that they were going to fall off all the time, and now I have a reason to think its the perfect design.
     I’ve been thinking a lot about upper body posture (you know, “running tall”) and shoulder mobility recently, both with respect to my running form and some nagging shoulder/neck pain/tightness. The most obvious flaws I see in a majority of runners anywhere I go is poor arm carriage (lack of sufficient swing and not following the Coach Piszkinism "nips to hips” or crossing over the midline). Related to that is rolled in shoulders, which is a general posture problem we modern-day humans hear about plenty. I’m pretty sure that if you don’t externally rotate your shoulders, you can’t get your arm to carry right (just like hip external rotation is part of normal gait). So, I’ve been working on this, both with mobilizations and conscious cues while running. Now, I find automatically and naturally, my external rotation remains in check while wearing the HydraQuiver, even at later stages of long runs where form tends to break down.
They even make specific braces for this, that look pretty similar to the quiver without storage (check out the comparison below; I'd rather wear a HydraQuiver for style reasons at least).
backbrace   hq square
 
Change of mind: water held on shoulders is better than tight around the waist
My one negative early on using it was the new sensation of having something on my shoulders. Its not the same secure feeling of a running camelbak where that thing is essentially grafted to your body. The HydraQuiver, sits much higher, and almost feels like it is going to fall off (if its on correctly), but IT NEVER WILL. It took me a while to get used to this and have faith that I have it set right, but now its dialed in and I use it almost exclusively for anything longer than about 1:30, when I used to use a waist belt held bottle. Now, I can’t imagine going back to that tight feeling around my gut of a belt-held bottle.
 
Just the right amount of storage for travel runs
I run a lot in random cities while traveling for work. Annoyingly, it means I need to carry a few extras for safety or convenience. You know, in case what I think is the right route ends up taking me on an extra 10 mile loop, or not happening by a 7-11 when I need fuel. This includes money, hotel keycard, food, and increasingly I wish I could carry my phone with me. None of this will fit in the little tailbone shorts pocket, and I don’t want to have to pack and fuss with a camelbak everywhere I go. The pocket in the HydraQuiver turns out to be perfect for all this. For luggage efficiency sake, I habitually also look for any items I travel with to have multiple uses (like the backpacking axiom). So then I also have a regular water bottle (rather than a bladder) that I can use for other water holding purposes with an economy of packing size/weight (gym, spin, bedside, airport). The quiver itself packs pretty well. I usually pack around the bottle-holding loop, but I’m pretty sure it would be fine if I crushed that flat….I’m just a sucker for keeping it pristine.
 
Net-net?
I love this thing, and the wife is jealous (and can use the postural reminder) so we're getting another. Heck, I might even get the double-barrel one. Oh wow, they have a vest version too. Maybe if when I do another ultra-marathon...
Read 7950 times Last modified on Sunday, 26 April 2015 12:31
Harper

Head of Commercial, TitanFlex

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