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I saw some other runners wearing the Salomon ADV Skin 5 Set Vest at Waldo 100k last summer and when mine fell apart, I thought I’d try that vest next.  When scanning the website, another Salomon caught my attention, the Pulse Belt.  So I decided to order both.

My next race was Mountain Lakes 100, so I wore both at different times in my month of training before the race.  I was really surprised by how much I liked the Pulse Belt.  I’ve been using a handheld water bottle for many years.  One problem with handhelds is that my arm actually gets tired after about ten miles.

The Pulse Belt holds a 500 ml soft flask in the easy tab pocket.  The Salomon website says that the zipper pocket also holds a flask, but that would be a tight squeeze.  When the flask is full, it can be a little difficult to put in the pocket, but after a few runs, it gets pretty easy.  I got it to where on the run I can pull the flask out for a sip of water and slide it back in the pocket with no problems.  Of course, when there is less water in the flask, it’s easier to put in and out of the pocket.

I’m able to put my iPhone 10 in the zipper pocket, but it’s pretty snug.  It’s much easier to put my phone in the pocket with the belt off, but I can do it while wearing it, but it just takes longer to do.

When it came to Mountain Lakes 100, I decided to use both the Pulse Belt and the ADV Skin 5 set.  I ran the first 26 miles of the race with the Pulse Belt by filling the flask with water at each aid station.  I was able to store my food and gels in the pockets of my Patagonia 9 Trails shorts.  I then used the ADV Skin 5 Set from mile 26 to 55.  I switched back to the belt for the run around Timothy Lake (mile 55-70) and then used the vest to the finish.

This made it easier for my crew to pack my nutrition and water for the vest.  I think it worked great.  I liked the minimalism of running with the Pulse Belt.  It hid so well under my shirt that I had a few people ask me if I was running without water.

I haven’t used a handheld water bottle since.  It does take some time to get used to the bounce of a full flask, especially on the descents.  It’s easy to flip the bottle to the back for better balance, but I mostly run with it in the front.

 

Sliding the Pulse Belt on at Mile 55 of the Clackamas Ranger Station during Mountain Lakes 100 (photo: Paul Nelson)

 

The Pulse Belt retails for $35 and comes in multiple colors.  It has some reflective stripes for night running and two diagonal straps with silicone grip provide extra storage on the go for a jacket or poles. (I have never used these straps for either.)

 

Specs

  • Volume scale 0L > 5L
  • Dimensions (L x W x D in cm) 38 x 11.5 x 1
  • Reference size M
  • Volume (liters)0.79
  • Weight (grams)62
  • Weight including accessories (grams) 92