As gravel racing continues to grow and bikepacking races gain in popularity and length, an increasing number of riders have turned to vests and backpacks for hydration, including our own Neil Beltchenko who regularly uses an ultra-running vest during events. There are plenty of them on the market and quite a few cycling hydration backpacks, too. However, bikepacking bag maker Apidura decided to create a hydration vest that was tailor-made for competitive ultra-endurance cycling. According to Apidura, running vests have all the features that riders might want, but they’re designed for a very different body position, often resulting in chafing and discomfort. And, cycling-specific hydration backpacks are simply too heavy, bulky, and overbuilt.
The Apidura Racing Hydration Vest is designed with a few anatomical adjustments that are pretty specific to the positions riders have on a gravel bike. For one, it has a low-cut neck to avoid chafing or getting in the way of your helmet in an aero position. The front is shaped to be comfortable while in the drops, fitting high enough up the torso to avoid causing any chafing or impeding movement. The rear of the pack is made so riders can still access their jersey pockets. The sides are shaped to avoid any chafing around the arms, using an open construction and stretchy materials that provide a secure fit without restricting breathing.
As far as features, the Apidura Racing Hydration Vest has two large mesh pockets on the front which stretch to accommodate snacks, bottles, or even cans. The pockets are designed for easy, one-handed access, aided by a one-handed bungee lock closure. It also has a zippered device pocket on the front, and at the rear, two additional pockets can fit bulkier items, with the larger of the two featuring a pump loop to minimize rattling. Lastly, the pack has a hydration bladder pocket with an integrated bladder loop and customizable hydration hose routing. The included 2L bladder has high contrast fill markings, a quick click hose connector, and roll-top closure for easy in-pack refills.
The Apidura Racing Hydration Vest comes in two sizes to accommodate a variety of riders and adjustment options to provide a comfortable unisex fit. The small/medium vest is designed for riders with a 60-85cm chest measurement and the large/extra-large will fit riders from 80-125cm. For riders that fall between sizes, Apidura recommends sizing down.
The Apidura Racing Hydration Vest is available as of today for £138/€157/US$189/AU$247/¥19,800 from Apidura.com.
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