Salomon Adv Skin 12 Running Vest Review
The Salomon ADV Skin 12 Running Vest is a hyper-efficient running companion with the storage capacity of dreams. This thing is made for any runner who wants to be prepared while tackling miles. Features are the name of the game, coming loaded with pockets and a variety of adjustment points for a personal fit. This vest is packed with features, but let’s take a look at how much of that I found actually useful.
Salomon ADV Skin 12 Running Vest At-a-Glance
Total Weight: 13.8 oz
Included Accessories: Two soft flasks and insulated hydration sleeve
Intended Use: Long trail runs
Circumstance of Review
I spent an entire spring and summer putting miles on this vest. I’ve been running on and off for years, but this past year I finally dialed in my consistency. The vast majority of my runs came in the Alabama summer humidity, often opting for a shirtless vest experience. Most of my runs were in the shorter range (5-10 miles), though I did log a few half marathons and my first ever full marathon through the Greyson Highlands in July. I hit the included flasks pretty hard but rarely found myself wanting to add a bladder.
Salomon ADV Skin 12 Features
- Includes two 500 mL soft flasks for easy drinking on the move
- Internal insulated reservoir sleeve with hanging loop
- Micro emergency whistle
- A whopping seven total pockets (all can be accessed while wearing)
- Sensifit construction provides comfortable fit with efficient weight distribution
- Multiple adjustment points for dialed-in fit
This particular running vest is designed for long runs. It is definitely built with efficiency in mind: this thing is loaded with easily accessible pockets. There are two zippered chest pockets (one on each side over the bottle), and it feels like every other part of the vest is basically a pocket. A runner could easily store snacks all over their body and still have a handy spot for their phone. Then of course there’s the large back pocket. It’s spacious enough to fit a layer or two even when loaded up with extra water.
The ADV Skin also comes in a 5L capacity for lighter runs. It packs most of the same features, except of course the large back pocket.
My Testing Experience
This was my first go at using a running vest, so I came into this review used to just cameling up on water before a run. Having recently moved to a place (central Alabama) prone to hot humid summers, I was happy to just have any way to lug around water.
Enter the ADV Skin 12.
It probably wasn’t hard to do, but this little pack made my running life a hell of a lot easier. Fancy pockets aside, the hydration intake is extremely efficient. I had never used soft flasks before, so I was especially blown away by hands-free hydration. I could just lean my head down on either side, bite, and suck. No hands required. It isn’t even difficult to get every drop out.
At the end of my runs, I barely have moisture left inside the flasks. Cleaning them has proved simple so far as well. After each run, I rinse the sweaty lids and leave everything out to dry. A few months in, I haven’t noticed even a hint of mold or mildew.
These pockets are no joke. Even on my longest run I barely used half of them. In addition to the multitude, they are also conveniently placed and sized. I am able to easily slide my phone in and out of either chest pocket with one hand. It’s also simple to keep snacks separate from empty wrappers or other trail trash packed out. They’re sleek enough that I haven’t had any issues with wadded-up plastic rubbing my body awkwardly on the move. Finally, I have even found the pocket on the back to be accessible on the go. It takes a little concentration, but I have so far always been able to put away or pull out my sunglasses on the go from my back.
Initially, I honestly wasn’t stoked about the size of the pack. It looked like a bit too much for my basic running needs. And usually, I’m correct. Most of my intended purpose for this vest is going out on a run for a couple of hours and staying hydrated. The large pocket on the back felt like overkill looking at it… but when I went out I barely noticed it.
Again, I’m not used to a running vest so maybe it’s more of a hassle for someone not used to anything extra. But as a lightweight backpacker and ounce counter, I gotta say I really didn’t mind the few extra ounces, especially after being so well distributed by the vest.
And now, this is actually also my go-to day hiking pack. Thru hiking has ingrained backcountry minimalism into my habits, so it’s easy to fit what I need for a day into this pack. I can easily fit an extra layer, my Sawyer Squeeze, first aid supplies, and even a lunch into the main compartment of this pack in addition to the aforementioned snack pockets. It may occasionally be a little much for a casual trail run, but it’s also just enough for a good hike.
Salomon ADV Skin 12 Pros & Cons
- Pockets: Quantity and quality. There are quite a few pockets, and they’re both adequately sized and conveniently located.
- Hydration: The two included soft flasks are wonderfully simple to use. The insulated sleeve for an additional personal bladder is also a nice bonus.
- Capacity: There’s plenty of space back there for either a big haul on a trail run or even a simple day hike.
- Adjustment: There are a handful of adjustment points on this pack to dial this pack in precisely for the user’s personal comfort. There’s a spot to cinch around the waist and also a stretchy cord across the chest that can be dialed in. The extra cord along the side and back can be tightened up for larger carries as well.
- A lot going on: While there are certainly a multitude of benefits from all the features on this pack, it could be argued that it’s all a bit much. Are seven accessible pockets completely necessary? Are all of those adjustment points really making that much of a difference?
- Price: Honestly it’s not really all that different from the other competition out there. Running vests in general just tend to cost a pretty penny.
- Potentially too big: For my needs, it ended up being easy to justify the space, but this could certainly be a bit much for many runners.
The ADV Skin 12 has quite a bit to offer. It’s packed with handy pockets and a convenient hydration system, with the option to add more for long dry stretches. This has been quite the game-changer for my own running experience. Obviously, going from nothing to any vest is going to be a massive upgrade. Still, though, I think this vest is an excellent option. There aren’t really any changes I can think to suggest. As a novice, I found the entire system simple to use and full of choices. For me, at least, it’ll be a staple for many of my single-day outdoor pursuits.
Weight: 8 ounces
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Weight: 11.6 ounces
The Salomon ADV Skin 12 was donated for purpose of review.
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