As a long distance runner I am always on the hunt for options for hydration during a run. On many occasion I read comments and question on social media as other runners seek similar answers: “What’s the best hydration pack?”; “What do people drink when they are running?”; ”How much water should I run with?”; “What’s the best electrolyte to add to my water?”.
In its usual strangeness, Facebook seemed to know I had been reading up on such things, and the next advert that appears is Harrier RunFree. A new brand to me, I actually clicked through on the link, and discovered Kate. Founder of Harrier RunFree, Kate is a friendly and passionate runner developing new products for folk like me. Currently on the go are some brand new carbon race poles, a race pack soft flasks and dry bags.
The race pack caught my eye. The prototypes pictures look stylish and practical, with a good colourway. With a target RRP of £70, these packs will fill the big hole in the middle ground between the cheaper own brand models from the likes of Decathlon, to the pricier model from traditional suppliers such as Salomon, Nathan and UD. I’m looking forward to the CV19-delayed release of this pack.
Harrier RunFree were kind enough to send me a couple of soft flasks to try out. I lead with that statement, but in no way does that information influence my review of the products. If I were not a fan, I wouldn’t have gone to the effort! But I am a fan!
There are three varieties the 500ml slim and the 500ml regular long straw or bite valve. The slim fit is ideal for the Salmon packs. The regular is what I plumped for knowing they would be a good fit into my Raidlight pack.
Both come in a range of colours, which I find very handy. I regular run a longer distance with a bottle of water, and one of Active Root (which I buy at Xmiles) Different colour bottles make it quick and easy to establish which is which.
From the get go, the Harrier flask was great, I particularly like the wide opening, making it easy to fill either with electrolyte powders, or on the trail from waterfalls/streams (if you don’t mind those options and are sensible about it). This is a distinct advantage over the Montane and Salomon and soft-flasks I also have. The wider opening also helps with cleaning and drying.
The top closes well, and there has been no leakage issues on their many outings. One space for a slight improvement here, would be some notches/ribs on the top to improve grip when opening – I find this a common problem with a soft flask and wet hands!
I also like the measuring gauge on the side in both metric and imperial – ideal for those older folks or the US market. Harrier RunFree must have some ambitions.
The bite valve bottle scrunches well on use, meaning you get all the contents. The long-straw version works really well too. The straw also reaches deep into the flask meaning you get most of the contents without the need to squeeze the bottle.
The flasks have a reassuring quality to their build, straight out the pack they were fine to use. Although they were supplied with a cleansing tablet to clear any lingering tastes – I’ve not needed to use this. I assume by their inclusion others have commented on a taste – not different from many other hydration packs/bladders/flasks.
With an RRP of just £10, I feel these flasks are great product and excellent value for money.
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