One of the most common questions I get on both the website and Youtube channel is, what hydration vest do you run in? And after 3 years, dozens of races, and ultra hikes I can still say there is one vest that always comes with me when I travel. The Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set Hydration Vest is the go to for me and my team when running.
Making the jump to a high-end running hydration vest can feel like a big investment as a runner. But once you find the one with the right fit for you, you’ll know they are worth every penny. I’ve used my vest to run ultras, climb 14ers, cross via ferrets, taken it into caves, and run the rim-to-rim-to-rim in the grand canyon. So here is my 3+ years of testing Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set Hydration Vest review.
- 12 Liter Capacity (732 cubic inches).
- Weighs 9.77 ounces and dimensions are 40 x 20 x 12 inches.
- Reservoir compatible but not included.
- Includes 2 bottles. 500ml each.
- 6 Main storage compartments. 1 main stretch compartment with side zip opening; 2 front stretch pockets; 2 top stretch pockets; 1 back compartment with mesh pocket; 1 low back pocket with dual-side access.
- Sizing is unisex and comes in sizes XS-XL.
Sizing (Chest size):
- XS: 32-35 inches
- S: 34.5-38 inches
- M: 37.5-40 inches
- L: 39.5-42.5 inches
- XL: 42-45 inches
Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set Hydration Vest Review
There are a lot of running vest options on the market so finding the right one can feel like a bit of a task. But if you’re considering the Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set Hydration Vest you are looking in the right direction. If you have raced at an ultra event there is a good chance you’ve seen this vest in action. With the classic Goji Berry being a dead giveaway from a distance. And there is a good reason you’ll see so many people (men and women) wearing it.
The vest itself fits snug and may feel a bit small once cinched tight. But this is a good thing. Movement means friction and the adjustable elastic straps do a great job of keeping the vest firm. While still allowing it to move with you as you run. I’ve run in this vest without a shirt for long distances, and with proper body lube, have had zero issues with chafing.
You have the option to use both a hydration bladder or the two included front water bottles with the bag. I’ve become a big believer in the front water bottles. And these fit perfectly, allowing you easy access to drink while running or refiling quickly at aid stations. The hydration bladder strap also makes a great clip to hang your hat or helmet from while running/hiking.
Where the Salomon Advanced Skin 12 really shines is the quick access to gear and pockets while running. There are so many places to stash food and gear. Sometimes I’ll find gloves or snacks squirreled away a week or two after an event. Just so many options. Almost all accessible while running.
My only real complaint about the vest is that I wish there was a pocket or divider in the larger storage section. Smaller items tend to fall to the bottom. And this can mean having to empty the whole bag to get them if the need arises. This can be a major pain during a race. I’m sure they did this to save weight. But I’d much rather have a storage pocket inside.
There is no question that the Salomon Advanced Skin 12 is a winner. It allows you to carry everything they need within reach while running. With ample easy access storage for all the layers you will need while out in the mountains both day and night. But storage is just one area where the vest performers. The material and adjustable cinching system allow you to get the bag fit perfectly to your body. And with XS-XL sizing, you have the option to get it dialed into your size. If you have questions about sizing, I always recommend buying through REI. They have the best return/exchange program in the industry. Even better than the brands.