Review - Nathan Speed 2

Friday, June 15, 2007

As you may have noticed from the end of my post a few weeks ago, I also picked up a Nathan Speed 2. I purchased the X Trainer Plus and had not so good results. Mainly the issue came down to how the pack fit or in this case did not fit around my waits. This is understandable considering the belt is said to fit waists from 42''-26'' I'm on the lower end of the waist measurements at about 29'' so finding a pack that conformed properly could be an issue overall. Or would it be? Enter the Nathan Speed 2. , so I though this might be the ticket. I picked up the size small and within a minute of putting it on knew that the fit issue of the former belt was not going to be the case here.

Part 1 - Design

This pack comes in several colors, pink, blue, and the standard Nathan colors of gray and yellow. It also comes in 3 sizes; SM 26-32", MED 32-36" & LG 36-42. The belt is made of stretchy fabric and it attached together by Velcro. It has 2 - 10oz. bottle cages that are directly attached to each side of the belt. The cages are fixed in their position and cannot be moved. 2-10oz. flask like bottles are included. Between the bottle cages is a pocket. that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin fabric divider the give it a front and a back section.

Top View - Bottle Cage view. The bottle cage is build specifically for the Nathan bottle or at least one of the exact shape. They are made from a flexible plastic. The cage is sewn directly to the belt by way of elastic straps. The bottom strap keeps the bottle from falling out the bottom. The sides are attached by 2 short elastic straps on each side of the cage that have 4 strips of a rubber-like thread that give extra grip to the bottle to keep it in place.

Top View - Pocket. The pocket pictured above is the only pocket on the Speed 2 that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The outer facing part of the pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin nylon fabric divider with a Velcro tab that give it a front and a back section. The back section of the pocket contains a key holder. The beauty of this pocket is the mesh. Since the mesh used has larger then average holes in it, irregular shaped items can be squeezed in better. If the item has a corner on it, it can simply push out of one of the holes instead of poking you in the back. The pocket is divided into 2 sections. Though I'm not 100% sure this is useful, it does allow you to put items that you don't want exposed or for a marginal bit or organization.

Front View - Full pocket. Here is an example of how much can fit in the pocket. As you can see, I have 2-1.25oz Gels, a larger then normal cell phone and my pill case for my S! Caps and my car key. Though not all of those are items I would carry on race day, I could easily fit a few more gels, or some anti-chafing stuff, a few bandaids even a baggie of electrolyte drink. As a side note.. this waistpack came in a combo pack with a Nathan Quick Draw Plus so some additional storage is found on the handheld.

Part 2 - Performance

I put on the pack the first time for some easy road running and was happy with how it held up. I was able to get my whole workout in without having to be angry at the pack for bouncing around or being uncomfortable. The second time I wore it was for my long trail run and had the same results as the road run. The 2 smaller bottles may be a turn off for some. I found them to be nice because unlike a singe bottle pack that may shift from side to side (at least on me) it was for the most part balanced and did not shift around at all. For me I only carry water in the small bottles and use my handheld for my electrolyte drink. Not that you could not use the packs bottles for mixing drinks in. The opening of the bottle with the lid is surprising large and easy to fill. The divided pocked actually comes in quite handy on the run as it give you a feel of where you are after as opposed to everything being piled in one spot. If 20oz is not enough, you can step up to the Speed 4 which also adds a small zippered pocket on the front of the belt. It would also be possible to add an extra flask and zippered pocket to the Speed 2 for a more customized solution, which is what I plan to do. I am going to add one more 10oz flask and a small zippered pocket. I wont need them for everyday use, but will add and remove them as necessary.

Final Thoughts

This pack has performed great. It has an excellent, no bounce fit. I found it to be extremely comfortable and easy to adjust on the fly. The fact that it comes in 3 different sizes is a plus for those with smaller waists or those looking for a more custom fit. Lastly, the ability to add/remove flasks, pockets, music carriers.. etc make it a flexible choice.

*Note - I have no affiliation with Nathan or any other products mentioned or shown in this post. These are merely my opinions and preferences.

Posted by Travis at 5:43 PM  


thanks for the great review, travis. i have been trying out some of the nathan products lately, but hadn't tried that one. it looks like those bottles will fill easier than the fuel belt brand. very interesting!

matt said...
7:07 PM  

Thanks for the review... just bought one today!

RR said...
5:01 PM  

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