Gear Review: Lululemon Enlighten Hydration Vest
Updated: Apr 21, 2019
I tested out : 1. Enlight Hydration Vest
At a glance
Size availability : S, M, L Fabric: Ultralu, Lycra Reviewer is : 160cm, 45kg, wears a size S
-Minimalist in looks -Low profile and stays close to your back -No bounce and lightweight -Easy to clean (throw it in the wash like your sports bra•
-More support for more busty women -Nice reflective strips for visibility
-For this price-point at $178USD I would expect it to come with a bladder
-Design wise, not trail friendly as one would have to be self sufficient and the lack of easy access to pockets and items and difficulties in adjustment and putting it on can be a turn off.
-Feels constrictive when running
-Not much airflow going on in front event though it's a mesh design.
As a multi sport athlete, im always looking for new gear in the market to test, and Lululemon is my go to for run apparel. Being fun sized, it can be a challenge finding the right workout gear that looks good, performs well, and fits well.
I do both trail running, spartan races, as well as normal road running, and I happen to drink like a camel, so my interest was piqued when I saw that Lululemon had released a hydration vest, and was keen to test it out.
The good folks at Lululemon Sg set me up with it for a review and I took it for a run the next day.
Im no stranger to hydration packs, but this was one confusing vest. Multiple straps criss cross at the back, and there are 4 adjustable points around the bottom band and shoulders, however these come in the form of hooks and eyes very much like a bra. It was most frustrating having to take off and put on the vest multiple times each time I tightened the straps in different hooks to try and get the right fit as they didn't have tabs to pull and adjust on the go. On the odd occasion the straps folded over and I stuck my arm into the wrong hole. However, I suppose this would be a once off process and once you get the right hook in the right eyelet you wouldn't change it again.
Material wise, its made from Ultralu, the same material as their Enlight bra, and meant to provide additional support for more well endowed ladies.
Note that this does not come with a hydration bladder, so you’re going to have to use or pick up one if you don't already have it. There are a multitude of options out there i.e Camelbak, Osprey, Hydrapak( What Im using) Salomon, Kalenji, just to name a few.
Marketed as fitting a 1.5l bladder, I was able to fill mine to 1.8l and fit it in at the back, throwing in my car keys, 1 gel and off I went on a run.
During the run
At first, I wore a sports bra, a run tank, and zipped up the pack on top. It was comfortable walking, but once I broke into my stride and started sweating, it began to feel constrictive and I couldn't breath properly, and was so hot. I stopped to take my top off, which fit into the pocket behind the hydration vest and put it back on again, this time with the zip halfway down. Much better, the heat dissipated more easily, and breathing was much easier.
I was pleased that there was no bounce going up and down the trails, and it stayed low profile on my back and lightweight. Drinking on the go was easy.
Due to the placement of the zip at the back, if you want a gel, or bar, you have to take the whole thing off and get it, then wear it back again. Although there is a small stash pocket in front, it wont fit bigger sized gels or bars.
A lot of design adjustments could be made to improve this vest, if Lululemon is keen on focusing more on adventure gear it may be back to the drawing board for this one, and checking out the little details that make all the difference to long distance and trail runners. For now I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking to Ultimate direction, Inov8 for my hydration needs.
To be fair, it might work better on women who appreciate additional support to them girls while running instead of constrictive for my body type, i.e Small boobs.
I walked around in it unzipped and it still stayed close to my back and didn't move around, might be good for filling it up with wine and walking around the park/house if one so desires after a long day at work.