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Review: Montane Women’s VIA Snap 4L Running Vest Pack

Written by Fiona

April 16 2021

The Montane Women’s VIA Snap 4L Running Vest Pack is one of my all-time favourite running vest packs. It is designed for training sessions or day-long adventures.

Features of Montane Women’s VIA Snap 4L Running Vest Pack include:

  • Fabric: RAPTOR UL
  • Flyte Mesh Air back pad
  • Polygiene odour control
  • Women’s specific Montane FREELIGHT chassis vest with stretch lower body adjustment
  • Two stretch harness straps with adjustable hooks and multiple attachment points
  • Main zipped compartments with expandable sides
  • Soft flask compatibility (sold separately)
  • Lots of pockets
  • External bungee compression or additional storage
  • Hydration bladder compatibility
  • Under-arm pole attachment
  • Removable whistle
  • Weight: 323g
  • One size
  • Montane VIA Snap 4l running vest pack. Buy from Amazon for £66.98. (I receive a small commission for items purchased through my website.)
  • £95
  • (The men’s equivalent is: Montane VIA Fang 5L Running Vest Pack.)

The Montane VIA Snap 4 is designed to fit women and it is sold in one size only. I am a size UK10 and I have a small chest. It fits me well. There is plenty of room to adjust it to suit larger sizes.

The brand claims the pack has “unrivalled stretch body fit” and the pack is meant for “training missions” or “done-in-a-day” mountain trail runs. 

That is me in the middle wearing the Montane Women’s VIA Snap 4L Running Vest Pack.

Review: Montane Women’s VIA Snap 4L Running Vest Pack

The small size vest pack fits me really well, once it’s on. It is a bit of a tussle getting the pack on and off because while Montane claim there is an “unrivalled stretch body fit”, I disagree. It requires a bit of a wriggle to get the pack off, although, I accept that it might be that I am inflexible so that is why I find it more difficult to get it on.

Remember that these is only one size and I am slim so I don think this pack will be suitable for women larger than a UK12.

The chest straps are excellent and the best of any vest pack I have tested. There are six pairs of location points along the front of the pack  so whatever your chest size, you should be able to get a comfortable fit. I am never sure how these packs fit if you are larger chested but I am presuming it is possible to move the straps up and down for a comfy fit.

The clip system is also easy to use even when wearing gloves. I find other brands have fiddly clips but Montane have designed large, plastic clips that are very easy to use. I can even do them up when my eyesight usually fails me so close up.

The additonal Velcro strap at the lower part of the pack, around the base of the ribs, is superb. It keeps the pack in place but without rubbing. I really like Montane designers for adding the velcro strap.

I also like that the two main compartments have plenty of room. This is a four litre pack but it seems much roomier. I can stuff in a spare baselayer, a lightweight waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, over-mitts and snacks.

I use the front pockets for water flasks instead of a hydration bladder. The bladder would take up quite a bit of space in the main area of the vest pack, which is why I prefer to use the soft flasks and keep the rear area and pockets for spare clothes.

If you choose to use a water bladder, the tube can be pushed through a designed hole in the top of the pack or lower down, depending on what you prefer.  

There are lots of pockets for adding bits and pieces of kits, such as snacks, gloves, compass and car key (I use a zipped pocket at the front of the pack for safety).

The best pocket – and what I really love about this pack – is zipped and large enough for my “max” size iPhone. It is at the front of the pack, too, so this makes the phone easily accessible for taking photos.

I wear the pack for almost every run I do.

One improvement would be an elastic loop in the water bottle pockets to stop the soft flasks from slipping down into the pocket.

The bungee compression system at the back is made more versatile with extra clips to create a zig-zag style securing system. This is useful for carrying spare clothes. I have a criticism of the compression elastic, however, because when it is stretched across the back of the pack it makes it more difficult to get access to the inside of the pack.  

There are attachment points for carrying poles and I like that when these are not in use they are tucked away into wee pockets. This is great attention to detail by Montane because it is annoying when running to have bits of elastic and toggles hanging off the pack and jiggling around. 

The clips and zippers are well made. Update after about seven months of use: I lost a zipper pull. To be fair, I’ve used this pack almost daily and I don’t tend to take care of these sorts of items. I would say it has proved very durable.

Vest packs are not cheap and £95 is a lot but it has been a great and durable work horse plus it fits brilliantly and that is very important when running lots of miles.

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