Bladder capacity: 2L
Storage capacity: 7L
Colors: Periwinkle/Magenta (women’s), Deep Blue/Safety Yellow (men’s)
Weight with bladder: 13 oz / 376 g
Weight without bladder: 8.8 oz / 227 g
Sizes: XXS-M, L-XXL, 1X-3X (women’s), XS-M, L-2XL, 1X-3X (men’s)
Availability: Online or retail
Obtained by: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Lightweight, Comfortable, and Breathable Hydration Vest
In March, Nathan Sports launched an updated version of their popular VaporAir (for men) and VaporAiress (for women) hydration vest. The vest is ideal for various sports like cycling, hiking, or running and is lightweight, comfortable, and doesn’t shift around like some other brands.
The new features of the VaporAir/Airess include:
- extended sizing through 3XL since athletes come in all shapes
- new two-layer moisture-wicking air mesh material on the shoulder straps and back interior to reduce the pack’s weight and makes it more breathable
- updated stretch fabric along the back lets you store more gear/nutrition
Dial in the Fit for Your Body Shape
One size doesn’t fit all, so Nathan’s extended sizes, combined with their Adaptive Fit Adjustable Sizing system, allow you to dial in the fit. This unique system and adjustable front buckle straps keep the vest from moving around while riding or running. I tested it on gravel, and MTB rides with zero chaffing and maximum comfort.
Plenty of Storage
This vest has ample storage with pouches and pockets distributed both in front and back. There are bungee cords on the front shoulder and back panel for even more carrying capacity. And for hikers, there are storage loops on the sides for trekking poles.
Stay Hydrated on Rides with a 2-liter Capacity Bladder
The men’s and women’s versions come with a 2-liter bladder system. I really liked certain features of the system and others that need improvement. First, I liked that the hydration tube disconnected from the bladder for easy cleaning. Second, the bite valve was easy to drink from and access. I did have to cut the tubing because it was too long. Finally, the bite valve is always easy to grab as a magnet on the tube attaches to the front strap.
Now areas the bladder could use improvement include opening it to fill or empty. I tried for 15 minutes to figure out how to fill the bladder before resorting to YouTube because there wasn’t any information on the Nathan site or the hang tags. Finally, I found a woman who had the same problem and returned to the store where she purchased the vest for assistance. A simple fix is printing directions on the bladder to avoid this problem.
I also found it hard to keep the mouth of the bladder open to let it inside dry thoroughly between uses. So I stuck something in the opening, but it wasn’t an ideal solution.
Features That Keep You Safe
On both versions, reflective features keep you visible when out in the dark. Plus, a security whistle is designed into the front strap on the women’s version. I didn’t see one on the men’s vest, which seems odd. A whistle can come in handy if you fall on a trail and no one is around.
Nathan Sports has figured out how to design hydration vests that are comfortable, breathable, and don’t shift around while cycling. The revamped VaporAir 3.0 for men and the VaporAiress 3.0 for women are optimal for your next gravel or MTB adventure.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.