Running Vest Roundup — 2022, Part 1

In terms of storage space, the Sense Pro 5 splits up its carrying capacity pretty evenly. Up front, dual shoulder straps each have a sleeve for a 500 ml soft-flask that sits above a deep stretch pocket, with an additional roomy zippered pocket sewn in on the left side. A fourth smaller compartment sits higher up near the collar and is the perfect size for stashing a car key or emergency gel. Moving along toward the rear of the vest, dual side-holster stretch pockets under the arm openings abut a large kangaroo compartment that takes up most of the back panel. The Sense Pro 5’s design gives you options for how you want to distribute weight, and if you pack tactfully, the snug nature of the vest will prevent heavy loads from shifting while on the move.

My only complaints have to do with how the Sense Pro 5 navigates hydration options. I understand how a concentration on trail racing influenced much of the vest’s minimal structure, but I can’t quite square why Salomon chose to omit a hydration bladder sleeve. While I don’t typically need to carry that much water, a vest at this price point ($160) should at least entertain the option. Additionally, I’ve come to abhor the two 500 ml soft-flasks Salomon includes with the Sense Pro 5. When not completely stiff with water, getting the bottles to slide into their respective sleeves can feel like trying to put toothpaste back in its tube, and we all know the deal with that. This problem has been an ongoing saga for Salomon, and at the behest of customers, they eventually added rigid bases to the bottom ends of their soft-flasks to make reinsertion into their vest easier. While a slight improvement, I still struggle with them, and on longer runs, I now notice that the soft-flasks’ hard bases begin to dig into my ribs.