I love made in Europe gear. As in actually made in Europe, not just designed there.
If you look closely at most hydration packs and vests, you’ll see that many are manufactured in China, including my husband’s favorite Salomon S-Lab.
I was totally thrilled to get my hands on the fabulous Made in France Raidlight Gilet Responsiv 8L Lady, a hydration vest specifically designed to fit a woman’s frame and contours. I am so in love with this vest and look forward to many hours of running and trail racing with it on my back.
The Responsiv weighs in as being ultra light–no exaggeration; it weighs only 160 grams. That’s roughly .35 lbs, only weighing slightly more than the top Salomon S-Lab options. It’s an award-winning vest, too.
The Raidlight Responsiv retails for 135 Euros, approximately $148 US Dollars.
- Ultralight bag/vest combo
- 160 grams
- Made in France using innovative LazerDry fabric & technology
- Comes with a removable mega dry pocket
- Chest pockets can hold EasyFlasks or other softflasks
- Room to put your favorite hydration bladder in the main pocket (with hook and loop)
- 5 pockets
- Room to hold an iPhone & other running essentials
- Adjustable straps and Freelock dials create a customized fit
Why I love this vest: Though I have yet to run an ultramarathon with this pack, I have run with it on training runs. It is incredibly comfortable–so much so that it actually feels like I’m not wearing a pack at all.
I was apprehensive when I first tried this vest. I loved the light feel immediately, but I wasn’t psyched to see the Freelock dials. Not only did the dials strike me as bulky and unnecessary (and possibly susceptible to breakage), but seemed somewhat flimsy. So far, I’ve had no trouble with the dials and actually appreciate the ease of vest adjustment. I’ll post an update if anything changes anytime soon.
Raidlight offers a 1 year guarantee, so if anything breaks during the first year, the vest gets repaired apparently gratuit.
A Kids Trail Running Pick
The Raidlight Responsiv hydration bag/vest is a great pick for trail running women and could also work for smaller framed bodies, like teens and tweens, particularly given its weight and options for adjustment. Currently, the Raidlight Responsiv is only available in one color scheme: raspberry/pink with grey, which might be a turnoff for some who prefer neutral or high visibility colors.
Are you a Raidlight fan–or maybe not so much? Share your experiences in a comment below.