Camelbak Apex Pro Run Vest – REVIEW

GEAR Independent Review by Nick Laurie⚙️

The latest release from Camelbak is the Apex Pro running vest. I was sent one to test drive and I had some deep thought on how I would put it through it’s paces.


I usually use a back pack for my distance races with the thought that I can carry more water and not have to waste time topping it up. This tactic did not pay off in the Kepler last December when I ran dry for the last 10k. I was lucky that there was a supermarket set up on the trail that saved me from dehydration. I was keen to try a quality running vest and Camelbak have come to the party. I could easly refill the small bottles at taps, streams, or aid stations. You can use a bladder in the Apex Pro as it has an area to hold one and a clip for the hose.

The biggest bug bear with a running vest is that the bottles bounce around and slosh. The inventors at Camelbak have tackled this problem by using their sealable flasks that have a leak lock. They are secured with 2 tie downs and have a nifty hole in the bottom so that you can hang them when drying. When you drink you have to suck the flask taking the air out of play and eliminating the slosh.

The next complaint is that the material is too light and rips and tears easily. The Apex pro is made of strong material around the pockets and has strong mesh to keep it superlight. There are heaps of handy storage pockets and even a waterproof one that fits an iphone. The big deal about this vest is that it has RECCO technology sown into it that will reflect any search and rescue beacon making it easy to find you if you get lost after dark.


I wanted to test this vest on a track with heaps of stairs to see how bouncing around would feel. None better than the track from Huia to Whatipu in West Auckland. Steps, Steps and more Steps. I knew that the return trip would take me 3 hours and the 1 litre of water that I could carry in the flasks would give me enough. If I was guzzling too much I could refill at Whatipu campground. I also decided to carry all of the compulsory gear that is needed for a race to test the capabilities. I discarded the quiver pack for poles that comes with the Apex Pro because I am not a stick racer just yet. It was easy to remove and will clip back on just as easily. The gear fit in easily and I could distribute it around to different pockets for comfort. I didn’t need a whistle because the pack comes with it’s own.

I’m reasonably broad with a 105cm chest and was given a size large to try. What! Not an XL! At first glance that line from the flight of the concords “small mans wetsuit” came to mind but once I put it on and adjusted the positioning of the cross straps, to fit around my man boobs, I was very grateful for the snug fit- no rattling or bouncing. I found it way freer to run with than the backpack and loved having all of the weight up around my shoulders rather than down in the small of the back which after a couple of hours can get annoying.  It felt good.


The only bug bear was that I am a heavy sweater and the whole pack with exception of the phone pocket was saturated. I would suggest putting thermals that you want to stay dry in a plastic bag. I chucked the pack in the washing machine with my running gear, washing out the bottles separately and am ready for my next adventure.


This vest is the bomb!


Provided independantly by Nick Laurie

for more information on CamelBak see HERE

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