Friday, August 12, 2016

Nathan: TrailMix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Belt Review

We all know that hydration is essential in all endurance sports, and long distance running is no exception. It is a no brainer that you need to have some sort of fluids with you if you want to survive and endure this beloved sport of running. How we carry our fluids is actually the challenging part that most runners face. I have tested a lot of hydration systems even before I started blogging and sometimes it is really hard to find products that really works well. I was searching for some products to review and came across with Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Belt. The timing couldn’t be any better since we’ve been hitting triple digits lately and running with this type of hot weather condition could be challenging sometimes.


Features
·  SpeedFit holster with two 10oz / 300ml Fire and Ice reflective and insulated flasks ensure quick one handed access.
·   Zippered pocket with key ring clip and front stash pouch for gels, compatible with iPhone 6 Plus.
·   Ergo-shaped, soft mono-filament belt offers multi-directional stretch that eliminates bounce.
·   Dual shock cords with one-pull tension lock for energy gels and glove storage.
·   Double- wall flask construction keeps fluids cooler, 20% longer than other insulated flasks.

Fit and Functionality
The Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Belt is a one size fits all that is fully adjustable and is the first ever double wall flask. The insulted flask keeps the fluids cooler by 20% longer than other insulated bottles and it offers 360 degree reflectivity for those early and late evening runs. It features a mono-filament stretch material which keeps the belt from bouncing, it is one of the most critical aspects when designing a belt type system. It is secured by a clip type locking devise and getting the right fit is as easy by pulling the extra strap. Never did I experience it getting loose the entire run.


Other belt systems that I have tested come with a small pouch that sometimes serves no purpose to me and I ended up taking it out…not the TrailMix Plus Insulated. It has a decent size external mesh pocket with three separated compartments. The zippered pocket (with two separated compartments inside) can even hold some of the biggest phones in the market today while the outside compartment (secured by a Velcro) is a bit smaller in size but is perfect in holding gels and gummies for easy access. It is also equipped with shock cords (on both sides) to hold extra stuff like gloves and my Buff headgear.


The TrailMix Plus Insulated has two 10oz bottles and first thing that came to my mind was the weight. Any long distance runner can tell you that adding extra pounds can sometimes compromise your performance. But there is a balance in that, it depends on where the weight is located, the design of the TrailMix Plus Insulated was very well-thought. The bottles sit snug on the left and right of my lower back and the pouch on the center. The contour shape of the bottle gives an extra fit and snug as well. During the run, the bottles stayed perfectly on the holster and never got ejected. One notable thing to mention is the ultra-soft perimeter binding of the mono-filament material that prevents me from chafing…you know how it feels:-).

I was really surprised that even with full bottles, it created no bounce and even more surprised when I emptied the first bottle. I thought that the uneven distribution of the weight will make it bounce but I was wrong. Even with one hand operation, the bottles were so easy to access and getting a quick sip from a large “push-pull” cap is a breeze. Water comes out by a gentle squeeze and it will deliver the right amount of fluid without the experience of getting choke. Here's a short video courtesy of Nathan Sports.


My Verdict
I have tested the TrailMix Plus in several occasions especially on my long runs during the weekends. I didn’t experience any problems like bouncing and bottles being ejected from the holster. I can say that this is one of the most comfortable hydration belt systems that I have tested and honestly speaking, I couldn’t find any fault or suggest to make this product even better. The balance and the location of the weight are excellent and with the pouch that is capable of holding a good amount of my running essentials is a definite plus in my book…this TrailMix Plus Insulated is already PERFECT in my humble opinion.

The Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated is available in their website and on most retail stores for $64.99, you can even get this in a much lower price thru Amazon for $49.91. I love my TrailMix Plus Insulated and this is definitely on my “go to” gears when running. Rest assured that Nathan stands behind their product, as their motto said “No matter how hard you push our gear, we guarantee it”. Nathan will repair or replace at its discretion any manufacturing defect free of charge.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.

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