Lighter, faster, more comfortable…better. Salomon looks to up the ante again with their new hydration packs hitting the shelves in January. They essentially redesigned the existing “Sense Set” line, adding one more pack, as well as adjusting based on the feedback they heard from runners the first go-round. They also made some minor tweaks to the Advanced Skin 5 Set and 12 Set packs.
Sense Set Line
The stars of the show are the updated Sense Set lineup. Salomon introduced the Sense Set and Sense Ultra Set two years ago, and now they are looking to make some tweaks to these ground breaking styles. After some runners found that the previous versions had some issues with bouncing when fully loaded, Salomon tweaked the materials, fit, and sternum strap closure system to remedy this issue. Good thing they did, since they are now adding two packs with an even larger capacity, intended for longer races and training days.
One of the major updates with these packs is the addition of a new soft flask design. In previous designs, some runners had issues filling and replacing filled bottles in the front pockets. Salomon addresses these issues by adding a flexible ‘spine’ and sturdy bottom piece, which gives plenty of structure when sliding the flasks into the front pockets. They also widened the mouth of the flasks, which means much easier refills and cleaning, as well as less mess when adding a hydration drink powder to the flask.
The Sense 2 Set has 2 liters of storage, making it super lightweight and ideal for race day.
The Sense Ultra 5 Set offers 5 liters of capacity. This pack is still very lightweight (the lightest in its category), but is a good companion for training or racing. This pack doesn’t fit a bladder, but an extra soft flask or two will fit in the large back pocket.
The Sense Ultra 8 Set is intended for the longest races – in fact, we’ve noticed Salomon’s athletes using it primarily for 100 mile races. It offers 8 liters of storage capacity, plenty for long supported runs or mid-length training efforts.
Advanced Skin Line
Those savvy with hydration packs undoubtedly are familiar with Salomon’s flagship S-Lab packs, the Advanced Skin 5 Set and 12 Set Packs. These packs are receiving minor updates for the Spring as well, however, you will notice that they no longer tout the ‘S-Lab’ moniker. This really just comes down to the fact that Salomon is keeping these packs relatively unchanged, meaning that they will be a touch heavier than the new Sense packs. But most importantly, they will not include the new soft flask style with these packs. Both the 5 Set and the 12 Set are compatible with a 1.5 liter Salomon Bladder and offer the 4D Pole System – meaning that it’s a breeze to affix your trekking poles to your pack on the go.
With these changes, we expect that many runners will still gravitate to the 12 Set and 5 Set packs due to their versatility as training packs or race day options, as both offer premium performance and comfort.
Juli is known around Running Warehouse for her vast knowledge of running product, from shoes to hydration to nutrition to… well just about anything running related. With a background in food science (Read: Bachelor’s degree and an addiction to scholarly journal articles on exercise nutrition), she’s also a trail lover that fiends for long runs in beautiful places.