I wrote a detailed review of the soft flasks that Salomon carries (manufactured by Hydrapak) last year after using them in a few short races. At the time, I didn’t have any great way of carrying them other than holding onto them, or rigging something up like a double wrapped buff to secure them (which actually worked quite well in first 50k). Salomon had designed the Sense Hydro S-Lab Set to secure them to a runner’s hands, but the product was not widely available until now.
I received a pair of the Sense Hydro S-Lab Set “gloves” just before Christmas (actually it must have been one of the last stops for the UPS driver on Christmas Eve) and have used them a couple of times since then. They are definitely the ideal companion for the soft flasks.
The Hydro Set gloves are very similar to skate skiing pole straps. They wrap around the palm of your hand, with an opening for your thumb. On the palm section, there are wide elastic straps to secure the reservoir part of the flask against your hand. On the back is a piece of terry cloth to wipe sweat (or anything else) off your face. The bite valve of the flask is secured with an adjustable elastic between your thumb and forefinger. This keeps the flask secured, and the valve perfectly positioned for drinking.
The gloves are super easy to put on securing the flask is very straightforward. While running with them, I didn’t even notice that they were on my hands. They are low profile and I didn’t have any issues with them limiting my arm swing. I used these in cold weather which meant wearing gloves and the Hydro Set fit over thin gloves with no problem. I also noticed that they were a secure fit, without being so tight that they cut off circulation which would have been a problem this time of year. I was also still able to use my hands while the bottles were attached, which is nice because it saves unstrapping everytime you need to get into a pocket or open a gel.
Obviously the flasks are size limited (either 5 or 8 oz) but if this is adequate fluid for a shorter race or between aid stations, they’re much easier to carry than large bottles. I plan on doing some shorter trail races this coming summer, and will definitely be using the Salomon Hydro Set to keep my fluids available.