The greatest part of life is to have priority such as when you;
- …are flying – where I did not find my self almost ever not queuing in Economy class :),
- …are waiting for a table in a restaurant - thx most London restaurants are first come first serve)
- Or you have the first chance to test the new product of your love mark…- Whooo hoo ! That’s me !
I bought my first Salomon Advanced Skin Lab 12 Set from Castleberg Outdoors as well. I bought it just before using it on UTMB TDS. These packs are Salomon’s form fitting, motion adapting running packs that are designed for the most grueling events in the world# like UTMB, Transgrancanaria, Tor des Geants and etc..
These endurance races require more than physical capacity but also you need to carry some mandatory equipment all the time. Due to severe weather changes in these races, you need to carry almost 2-3 kgs of equipment, where you can read the example list here.
While carrying all the listed gear for 15-20 sometimes 30 hours, you are in deep need of a light, form fitting, ergonomic pack that helps you balance your movement and which does not put all the weight to your spine and restrict your movements.
As always these packs were being tested since 2 years. Julien Chorier, Killian Jornet and many Salomon elites have tested them and these packs evolved since 2-3 years time.
Picture : GoTrail
I have tested this pack for a week and will be using in one of my long distance races in a months time which is Petzl South Downs Way 100. The pack this time does not come with bladder but the 500ml Soft flasks that Salomon has introduced almost a year ago. This is a great change and the pack is also customised to use 1.5 litre bladder. The under arm routing similar to the previous lab vests are used as same here. (You can see in the below picture that I used the pack with bottles and bladder together)
The pack is 340 grams compared to over 500 grams of the previous version. This is due to lack of bladder, pipe, and change of materials and using less zipper and cords.
The old version has a lot of cords to pull and adjust the water bottle holders, however this one is customised for 500ml Salomon bottles and elastic. I will be testing with normal plastic 500ml and 330ml bottles in the future as well. The bottles are great, easy to use. However taking them from the pack and putting back is slightly unusual. Blowing to the bottle to get back to its shape like a balloon and than putting it back to its front sleeve is much more quicker than trying to put it when it is soft like a jelly. You can drink without taking the bottles from your pack. But you have to practice this.
The best part of this pack is the amount of pockets you have. Basically Salomon Advanced Skin Hydro S-Lab Hydro 12 Set has:
- Safety Pocket with safety blanket
- Back compartments – 1 central low compartment with 2 side access
- 2 front Energy Pockets (shoulders -see above with two Overstims gels in each)
- 2 front Hydro Pockets – for 2 x 500ml soft flasks
- 2 front/side vertical pockets for carrying gels, Cliff Blocks, Hydration tablet tubes and etc. ( See below picture)
- 2 Zipped Lateral side pockets – securely carry essentials and access them easily.
- 2 Secure drop-in mesh side pockets – carries your readily required essentials and hydration flasks.
The two bits that I loved about the pack is the side back pockets (see below) that you can put your clothes, hat, buff, rain coat simply by putting them. in UTMB or these type of races you do not have chance to take your pack off all the time and put your stuff in to the bag. Simple and easy. Elasticity is crucial as these items won`t fall out with this design.
There is also vertical zipped pocket for storing essentials like large maps, waterproof pants, jackets and warm layers. This section is protected by a harder material than the mesh fabric and is resistant to water.
On the two shoulders there are also Salomon Lab marked Z shaped elastic cords. These are great to put your wet visor, or top when the weather changes for drying them up. Or for an additional Buff to cover your head in further parts of your race.
The most improved part is the lightness and the stretching function of the pack which surrounds your body (Thanks to motion fit technology). No need to say that the pack has a pole attachment system, safety blanket, and a whistle comes as default. (Pure Salomon Quality)
What I think could be better ?
Vertical zipped pockets are great but still need longer handles to catch them if you are not a very thin athlete.
- Small Velcro closures on the vertical side pockets near bottle holders would be great.
- Shoulder gel pockets are great but elastic closures might loose easily. i wish they were slightly bigger as well.
- Struggled to find the water pipe out hole on the right bottom part of the pack where you can under arm route the bladder pipe, a small sign would be great. (It was my stupidity for looking for it for an hour ;-))
- Fitting the folded poles to right and left side of the mesh pockets would be grea if they had a Velcro or elastic holder for top right and left part of the pack.
More information about Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 12 Set
- Ultra stability, ultra precise fit, anatomic morphing and quick access to hydration and energy.
- The all new Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 12 Set has taken on board comments from users of the original Advanced Skin Hydro Sets and included 2 large pockets on the front that fit 2 500ml soft flasks perfectly and allow the user to drink from them directly without having to remove the bottles from the pockets.
- Access to the side zipped pockets is now via vertical zips making on the fly access easier and drop-in mesh pockets directly behind them are ideal for stowing items needed quickly.
- The fit is highly adjustable thanks to a range of sizes, the sensi-fit material and the load lifters ensuring the contents are kept close to the body to prevent unwanted movement.
- Topped off with large mesh drop in pockets on the back and hydration reservoir compartment and you have the ultimate in transportable hydration.
Other Technical Details
The ultimate hydration pack for ultra runners and adventurers | Anatomic morphing fit – moulds to your body shape |
- Sensifit – secure, snug fit | Easy access front hydro pockets |
- Multiple, easy access pockets |
- Volume: 12L |
- RRP: £150.00
- Weight: 340 g
- P.A.C.E. Fit – the pack is supported by the ‘hard’ body (i.e. ribs & scapula) and not the ‘soft’ body (i.e. vital organs) – increases comfort and reduces pressure
- PVC, Phthalate, Bisphenol-A free
- Bite valve
- 2 x 500ml soft flasks included
- 4D Front Soft Hydration – for easy access to the reservoir even when fully loaded
- 4D Pole Holder – instinctive, quick and easy access to your poles on the move
- Soft Trims
- Apparel sizing
- Safety Blanket Included
Where to buy:
Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to test this great pack and you can buy this 12 litre & the 5 Litre version from Castleberg Outdoors by clicking here.
About Salomon S-Lab
Salomon Lab (S-Lab) is a process of making dedicated products to meet the individual fit and performance of the Salomon International Team. Athletes and designers work together, through every step of the process, because a millimetre or a gram is ultimately the difference between gold and silver.
Salomon has worked with athletes to develop head to toe products for adventure racing and trail running for more than a decade. This collaboration between engineers and athletes gives Salomon a unique ability to develop the most innovative trail running products available.
And while the S-Lab process is focused on winning, the products it generates are your assurance of pure performance. Products that enable you to realise your goals, and find your own freedom.
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