Nathan Firecatcher

5028NU_FireCatcher_NathanBlue_Front 5028NU_FireCatcher_NathanBlue_Back

Comes with two 10 oz / 300 ml flasks with push-pull caps and will accommodate a 1.5 L
bladder. The bladder is not included. Pocket options include a moisture resistant pill
pocket, secure zippered pocket and a mesh front pocket for gels. The fabric is a
breathable mesh with reflective markings. There is additional storage in the back where
the bladder fits.

I’m always re-evaluating the best way to carry my water and fuel while keeping my
hands free. I’ve tried several packs that are designed to carry water in the front pockets
and found that they didn’t work well for me. Either the placement of the bottle pockets in
relation to my torso, or the fit of the pack once loaded up failed me. I couldn’t get a snug
fit with no bounce. I continued to try new packs with this option in hopes I would find one
that worked. The idea of being able to do a quick refill at aid stations is very appealing.
Here’s why I found this vest worked really well.

There are two main straps that are used to secure the vest, as with most vests and
packs out there. The feature that is unique with this design that created a snug no
bounce fit, is the bottom strap combined with the ability to move the front bottle pockets
in regards to where they sit on the strap. The bottom strap connects to the back of the
vest and wraps around your rib cage running in and behind the front bottle pockets. You
can then slide the pockets to a position that works with your torso depending on which
bottles you choose to use. The pockets can also hold Nathan’s SpeedDraw 18 oz / 535
ml bottles.

The straps have a secure band to control any additional hanging strap after tightening to
the right fit. You can move these bands to the sides of the vest or leave them up front. I
find I like to move them to the sides.

Given that this vest can work with two sizes of water bottles in the front pockets, a
bladder, has an arrangement of pockets and an adjustable body fit design and yet
remains a light and minimal vest. I feel like I’m getting a lot of options that all work really
well. I’m having a hard time finding cons for this vest. Something that might be a nice
feature is a clip system for the hose when using the bladder. However I really like just
using the two loops they have on the vest currently. It’s simple and works.
I’ve used this vest for short evening runs, long weekend back to back runs and a 50k
supported trail race.

Value: 10/10
Comfort: 10/10
Features: 9/l0
Durability: 10/10

~Kelly Anne Wald is an ultra runner in Barrie, Ontario. Photo credit Nathan.

 

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