The Salomon Wings 10+3 vest pack has been out for quite a while, but I bought this one a few months ago and had it stashed in the closet without trying it out. After using it, and really liking it, I decided I might as well post a review. I recently wanted to do a longer distance, slower paced trail run as recovery from a race so it was the perfect time to take it out and get a feel for it. I packed it up with more than I needed to see how it would feel with a bit of “stuff” in it and headed for the trails.
I was immediately impressed with how little the pack moved while I was running. I am 6’ tall and used the smaller sized (S/M) pack. Once I had it on, and cinched up the 2 straps on each side, it was like it became part of my body. I had two 8oz water flasks in the front pockets, and a bunch of gels and energy bars, as well as my iphone in the back section. After warming up, i also stashed a light jacket in there as well. The pack didn’t bounce around at all, and the contents stayed in place.
The Salomon Wings 10+3 pack has all kinds of pockets and storage compartments. The main compartment has lots of room, and also has a smaller mesh compartment to keep smaller things (like my phone) in place. This main pocket is also expandable which provides even more room if you have lots to carry. There is a zippered access to the water bladder storage compartment with a velcro strap to hang it from. On the outside of the pack there is a smaller zipped pocket where you can fit bars, gels, etc. There are also two mesh pockets at the side of the pack – one zipped, one with an elastic opening. These are great to shove stuff that you need to quickly access without removing the pack. I had a gel in the zipped pocket and I was able to open the pocket, take the gel out, stuff my garbage back in, and close the pocket, all while moving and without taking the pack off (or dislocating my shoulder trying to reach behind!) That’s a real plus for a running pack. The front vest portion of the pack has two mesh pockets with zippers that were the perfect size to stash my 8oz water flasks for easy access.
If all of this storage isn’t enough, Salomon offers a number of modular additions that you can use with the Wings 10+3 pack. There are water bottle and gel flask holsters, and a large front storage pack that will hold water bottles and other stuff you would need to access without removing the pack. This would definitely be useful for adventure racing. It’s a great idea for Salomon to make the basic pack with optional accessories depending on your use. I prefer this to the alternative of paying for a bunch of features that I wouldn’t use.
The Salomon Wings 10+3 pack obviously limited ventilation/breathability compared to not wearing a pack, but its small size and lightweight mesh front made this less of an issue. I didn’t find that I was overheating because of it, but was obviously sweaty where I was wearing it – no getting around that! This is a great, versatile pack for those times that you need to efficiently carry more than what would fit in your pocket while you’re running.
I really found the vest style to work well for running. I didn’t have to adjust my stride or slow down to keep it in place. After a while, I hardly noticed it was there – the mark of greatness in a running product.