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  • Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set

    Posted on August 22nd, 2013 Michele Sun No comments

    Usually I am not very into “product review” type of writing, because it reminds me of  “job”; yes people often joke about that I actually hold a job and do have to make a living (sigh) besides running around 🙂 Plus, to me running related products can be very personal, for instance running shoes — what works for me may not necessarily work for you. But in some cases if a product or gadget that I truly found “wow, what a brilliant idea”, I would not hesitate to share with my friends enthusiastically, and can’t wait to be a complete evangelist for that product. So today I am writing about what I think of this Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set.

    Last year I bought a Camelbak when I started getting into trail running/races in the spring, thanks to Max for introducing both the trails and the hydration pack. I used my backpack for both trail races and longer training runs on road. However, I noticed that my Camelbak has been causing serious skin rashes on my back, chest and shoulder.. etc., and those areas get irritated and painful when temperature gets warm, thanks to nice California weather. The problem is the material that can’t breathe. So I started asking around about hydration pack solution for my long runs. My runner buddies have  suggested other brand of hydration backpack, handheld water bottle, fuel belt..etc. But I  had used Fuelbelt before the CamelBak, then gave it up because did not like the extra weights around my waist and lower back, plus it bounces. And I don’t like to cling to a water bottle for the tightened grip gets me nervous for no reason; I like to keep my hands free and relaxed during my runs.

    Then I learned about this Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set from Richard, and it seemed to be really neat when I saw the pictures. Here are the product description from Salomon website:

    ” The Hydro Sense glove is Salomon’s lightest weight solution for carrying water during races without water bouncing or sloshing.This unique system designed around the hand with soft vented fabrics perfectly fits your soft flask, bouncing free without effort whatever the volume from 150 to 500ml. Sold by pair, with 1*250ml flask. Check your size.”

    I value Richard’s inputs all the time, and never thought his suggestion would be  biased, so I have been waiting to see the actual product and find out how they fit and feel in my hand. I can’t tolerate anything bulky while running, whether on my back, waist or hand. The first question I asked Richard was the size of the water bottle; I have very small hands and usually can’t find products that fit my hands right. He told me there are different sizes of the glove and two sizes of bottles.

    Finally I got my Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set, which comes with two gloves for left and right hand, and one soft flask that holds 7 oz fluid.



    I immediately liked the soft material and the black/red/white color combinations — very Salomon look.  It has red elastic band and a tie cord, and the terry cloth is very soft.



    The water bottle/flask is interestingly soft as well, unlike any plastic bottle we usually seen, and it’s flat when empty. Now I wondered how such soft bottle would work during actual runs.



    The official “field test” came at Cinderella Trail Run on Sunday 8/18. I was in for the Half Marathon, and remembered that I would come across the aid-stations three times, so I had decided that I would not bring my CamelBak with me at this race. I filled the soft flask with 7 oz GU Brew, and figured I would refill my bottle at aid-stations when necessary.

    At the race start, I put the glove on my left hand and inserted the flask through the red elastic band. My immediate feeling was the flask being too long, and wondered if I should get the 5 oz bottle instead. Max looked at my new toy with interest and he commented “you will not be able to hold a fist.” Some runners gave me curious stare, and couple asked me what I was holding in my hand since it’s a bit “Spiderman“ish. I explained that I was testing the new Salomon hydration bottle.

    Here is a picture of how the bottle fit in my palm, and you can see there is a tie cord that wrapped around the neck of the flask. I did not understand why the tie cord part at first, and Max also wondered why a cord oddly stick out like that. But later I realized what a great design that actually is!

    salomon 1


    You can’t really see the bottle once I turned my palm down, but you can see how well the glove fits. It fits snugly but not tight, and again it’s very soft and comfortable. The mouth of the bottle oriented between my thumb and index finger, nice!

    salomon 2


    Once the race started I noticed that the bottle actually felt kind of natural in my hand, and I made no effort to “hold” it since it’s strapped by the red elastic band right in the middle. It did not bounce during my run, and I did not feel that I was holding anything. While running up and down those hills, I never have to worry about dropping or losing my bottle, because it’s strapped by the tie cord from the top. And when I needed water, I simply raised my hand to my mouth and I “took” the water not “sip”. Unlike most water bottles that require shifting the cap with your teeth and suck to get fluid, this Salomon flask has soft  valve that I only needed to bite it lightly and water squirt into my mouth. No need to suck or sip the valve, nor squeeze the bottle. And I didn’t have to shift or push any part to close the cap.



    Sunday was unusually warm even in the woods, and there was no wind at all; I took water more frequently than usual so the bottle went nearly empty before I reached the second aid-station. I fold the flatten bottle into half since it’s soft, and it’s feather light in my hand and wasn’t flapping around like a tail, nice!!

    salomon 3


    At aid-station, I easily removed the bottle from the elastic band, unscrewed the cap, Joseph refilled the bottle for me, screwed the cap back, and inserted it back to my glove.  Simple!

    When I got home, it’s very easy to clean the inside of the bottle since the opening is big and the shape is not odd like FuelBelt bottle, and I turned it upside down to let it air dry.

    So how do I like this Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set?

    The water bottle size is perfect, even for someone with smaller hand like me and there is really no need to get a smaller 5 oz bottle. The 7 oz bottle felt and weight very little in my hand, and I am sure for guys that will be like nothing. If you need to carry more water with you, then you can carry two bottles with both hands; you do need to buy a separate bottle though. It’s nicely designed, built, functional, compact, and the look of this water bottle/glove set is very appealing to me.

    I definitely will start using this regularly at my weekend long runs. And I can use it at races as well so I won’t rely on aid-stations solely for hydration, and I can carry my favorite GU Brew instead of using unfamiliar sports drink.




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