Shoes & Gear

Salomon XT Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set

Salomon XT Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set

After several years of searching, I have finally found the Cadillac of hydration packs. The Salomon XT Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set is all I have wished for, and more! When I first laid eyes on it, I knew I had to have it. It’s sleek design stays put in spite of my body’s constant jostling during a run, no chafing here!

Also, the fact that it sits comfortably on my back makes it perfect for me. I seem to have GI distress wearing a hydration belt and apparently I don’t have the strength to hold bottles for the length of time I spend running. (I also find I waste a lot of energy over gripping the bottles, I’d prefer to conserve as much energy as possible.)

The vest is secured with adjustable elastic and two clamps that can be anchored in various locations for a custom fit. Wearing the vest comes closest to running free that I have found as far as hydration solutions go. This pack even comes with an emergency blanket as well as a whistle! Plus this vest has pockets galore. Zippered pockets, cinched pockets, pockets for an extra layer, pockets for water bottles… Even removable pockets.

I have run road marathons and trail ultras with this pack, it has yet to fail me. The bladder is brilliant with a secure zip-type opening. Cleaning is a cinch, you can easily turn the bladder inside out. The tube screws off for ease of cleaning. Plus, the bladder is secured in an thermal package, keeping your liquids at your preferred temperature.

When I purchased this vest, my intention was to utilize it in my 100M race this summer. It is truly that complete. Every last detail was considered, the quality is unsurpassed. Some may balk at the price but I believe this vest is worth every penny!

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This post was written by:

- who has written 3 posts on Trail Running Club.

Holly was originally born in Chicago, Illinois but she migrated to the desert in ‘93 to attend Arizona State. She studied nutrition, but she was also very fond of her anatomy classes and decided to attend school for massage therapy. She began practicing massage in ‘95 and discovered yoga could enable her to stay healthy while being an active massage therapist. After practicing yoga diligently for two years, Holly decided to enroll in teacher training. She was thrilled to find that both modalities complimented each other so well, and they were both incredibly rewarding. While practicing massage and aesthetics in a high end spa, and teaching yoga in local studios and gyms, Holly’s thirst for education compelled her to study and test for personal training and group fitness instructor certifications. She began to teach indoor cycling, coach first time marathoners and triathletes as well as train numerous clients of varying athletic backgrounds. Holly is the Run Club Coordinator for Lifetime Fitness and leads the run club for Calvin Klein Performance. In addition to her work related fitness, Holly has completed over 40 road and trail marathons and ultra-marathons, numerous half and shorter distance races as well as triathlons of all distances including Ironman. She also competes on the national level as a figure competitor. Holly is in her second year as an Active Ambassador for Gatorade G Series PRO and has a blog on the website (

Holly is sponsored by:
Newton Running Calvin Klein Performance Compex
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2 Responses

  1. Holly says:

    Hi Marc!

    Glad the review helped! Great question, thank you. As with any running gear, the fit varies on each different body and that individual’s running form will also be a factor.

    In my experience, I used the bottle holders without issue. They were convenient but not in the way.

    If you do find the standard water bottle gets in the way, you may want to try a skinnier retail water bottle with softer plastic.



  2. Marc says:

    Thanks for the review, Holly. I was looking for an upgrade from my Nathan pack, and this review helped seal the deal on my purchase this pack. The only possible downside to this pack is the position of the two water bottle pockets. With my bottles, there is a possibility of minor chafing against my biceps. Have you found any issues with rubbing on the arms?

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