Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest – 3 Liter Super Light Trail Running Vest

The Slope Runner vest fits like an extra shirt and holds everything you need for long trail runs. The front pockets fit two 500-mL flasks along with phone, gloves, and goo packets, and you can shove your pants and windbreaker in the pocket across the back

Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest – 3 Liter Super Light Trail Running Vest

Drew Thayer

A vest for long runs that carries it all and still fits like a shirt.

 Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest

Cruising through aspen groves on a chilly morning. I started running before dawn with gloves, buff, Airshed Pro windbreaker and Strider Pro pants, but stashed them all in the minimalist Slope Runner vest once the sun warmed the forest

Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest Review

The Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest ($149) is my favorite running vest. I’ve tried a few that are built like slimmed-down super-light backpacks, and they work great for long trail runs. Sometimes they rattle, or the cargo shifts around, but I figured that’s to be expected.

This vest, however, feels more like an extension of my body – like wearing an extra shirt with pockets sewn in.  This slim, chest-hugging vest somehow manages to fits like a piece of clothing, carry quite a lot of cargo, and do it all with minimal jostling, rubbing, or rattling. And it’s really light, only 175 g (6.2 oz) in size medium.

The carrying strategy on this vest is simple: two double mesh chest pockets with one long and one short pocket on either side, a small zippered pocket in the rear, a vertical slot down the spine that can hold a 1-liter water hose bladder, and the coolest part: the entire rear mesh panel functions as a large stretchy pocket with an opening on either end, like the belly pocket of your favorite hoody, but on your back instead.

This design is awesome because unlike the backpack-style running vests, which must be taken off to access their large main pocket, you can reach back and pull out clothing or stow it away without removing the vest. This is super handy for a warm hat or leggings that I’ll wear for the first half hour of a chilly morning run and then remove. It’s so easy to stow them away.

The Slope Runner vest fits like an extra shirt and holds everything you need for long trail runs. The front pockets fit two 500-mL flasks along with phone, gloves, and goo packets, and you can shove your pants and windbreaker in the pocket across the back

The Slope Runner vest fits like an extra shirt and holds everything you need for long trail runs. The front pockets fit two 500-mL flasks along with phone, gloves, and goo packets, and you can shove your pants and windbreaker in the pocket across the back

Patagonia says the capacity of this vest is 3 liters, which is on the small side for long-distance trail running vests. I was a little skeptical that it wouldn’t hold enough for a mountain run, especially because it looks so minimal, but I’ve found that it holds everything I need (my runs max out at about 15 miles). On a long run with chilly temps I’ll typically carry super-light shell pants, gloves, a hat, and a windbreaker like the Airshed Pro for clothing. This can all fit in the rear pocket. Small loops that perform as a very minimal but effective pole-carry system allow me to bring light trekking poles on mountain runs with a few really steep climbs.

 

I can fit all my hydration and nutrition needs in the front chest pouches. The vest comes with two 500 mL HydraPak soft flasks which fit into the deep front pockets.  These are great flasks, easy to clean, and the sipping nozzles allow me to drink without removing the flasks from their pouches. The smaller chest pockets easily swallow up a few bars and goo packets, and I often end up shoving a buff and gloves in there too. The chest pockets are deep enough to fit the flasks if they are filled to the brim, but as a precaution there is a small catch loop of elastic atop each pocket to secure the flask nozzle, just in case.

 

Small details really shine on the Slope Runner vest. The designers made very good use of tiny pieces of cord and elastic where larger buckles are often found, and this design contributes to the overall minimal nature and garment-like feel. The absence of buckles, ladder locks, or webbing straps means there isn’t much to knock around while running; all suspension and tightening is done with thin elastic and small hooks. Accordingly, this vest is a little less adjustable than larger pack-style vests with webbing slide-buckles, but if you get it sized correctly that’s not a problem (your friend with a different sized torso just might not be able to borrow yours).

 

The bottom line: this is the most comfortable running vest I’ve tried; a great option for serious runners. It fits more like a piece of clothing than a backpack, holding the cargo very snug to the chest and back, and seems to fit a lot more than its 3-liter size implies.

Grab one here – Patagonia


Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest - 3 Liter Super Light Trail Running Vest 1Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Trail Running Vest

 

 

 

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