Say hello to my new go-to pack!
My first run in the Raidlight Responsiv 12L (V2) was a 35km trail run with 1800m of elevation gain (so we gave it a proper workout!) and it was comfortable and user friendly right from the start. This was also my first time using poles so it gave me an opportunity to test out the pole storage as well. There are so many positives with this vest but I’m going to keep this review focused on what I think really makes this vest stand out from the crowd.
The flasks are 600ml each instead of the usual 500ml – This is good for me. I’m on the larger end of the spectrum when it comes to runners and I go through a lot of water. I also like to carry as much water and nutrition as possible for 50km events so I don’t have to stop at aid stations. Being able to comfortably carry 2 flasks in the front and 2 in the rear pockets as well as a 1.5L bladder means I can get deep into a 50km trail race without needing to stop. The way the flask pockets are set up also means you can carry any other brand flask in this pack without struggling to get them into the pockets or having problems with them falling out.
The comfort and fit of this vest is sensational. I’ve been wearing it on all my long runs since getting my hands on it because it doesn’t rub when I’m wearing a singlet and it’s super breathable which means I’m running much more comfortably in the Queensland summer. That’s good. What’s even better is how well it fits and hold to your body – if it’s bouncing at all, then you haven’t put it on right. The reason for this is the “Freelock Micrometric dial adjustment” (Raidlight’s words – think of the Boa tightening system on snowboard boots). It has the usual elastic chest straps but also has this additional tightening system over your sides which allows you to incrementally tighten the vest with the twist of a dial while you’re running. It also means the vest holds to your body better than any other vest I’ve worn.
The storage and pocket setup is very user friendly. In addition to the extra flasks I also carry a number of gels, mobile phone, car keys and a small first aid kit whenever I’m doing a long run in the bush. The front zippered pocket works great for managing rubbish or keeping keys safe and the 2 elasticized front pockets are great for quick access to your phone for navigation or snacks and gels. If you don’t want to have your phone on hand but just need to keep it safe there is a handy zippered pocket on the back and the main storage compartment will easily fit your mandatory gear. This vest is also compatible with Raidlight’s “Trail Quiver” which you can attach to give you an alternative, easy to access pole storage solution and an extra 6L of storage which would be handy for really long self supported missions.
I will be using the Raidlight Responsiv 12 for my races this year, I can’t recommend it enough.
Review by Ian Stuck