I have been testing the latest and update version (2022) of the Harrier 10l Kinder Race Vest for runners. This is a vest style-pack that is meant to fit neatly higher on the back and doesn’t have a waist belt. There are four sizes (XS to L) and it is important to choose the right size so that the pack fits neatly and, therefore, doesn’t move about as you run.
Vest packs have become very popular among runners, especially hill runners.
I tested an earlier version of the Harrier 10l Kinder pack and gave feedback to the British company about what I liked and what I would life to see updated. Along with feedback from other runners, Harrier has created their new version.
What’s new with the new Harrier Kinder 10l Race Vest?
- Refined front pocket structure
- Improved trims and zips
- Silicone grippers on front straps
- Different fabric panels to allow more storage and hold kit better
- Zero bounce or chafing, find your perfect fit from our six size options
- Comfortable, soft and stretch fabric (DWR treated)
- Loads of pockets, including a water-resistant phone pocket
- Various hydration options
- Pole and jacket holding options
- Sizes: XXS to XL
- Colours: Red or black.
- Weight: 268g
- The pack is £59 at Harrier Run Free
- There is also a smaller Harrier Curbar 5L vest pack.
What I like about the Harrier Kinder 10l Race Vest
I am really pleased to discover that the Peak District based company has addressed one of the issues, which was to have a bit more stretch in the pack. I found the last one quite difficult to get on and off. The new version has more give and stretch so it is easier to get on and off.
I am a UK 10 and I have the size small. It is a good fit over the shoulders. I have adjusted the chest/ sternum straps and I was a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to pull them tightly enough (ie I would run out of strap to pull in) but actually the straps work just fine (I have a small chest so anyone with a wider or larger chest will probably find the straps are not too “pulled in”.)
When running, even with an almost full pack, the Harrier Kinder vest pack feels pretty stable on the back. This is vital. A pack that moves around too much will be annoying and may end up rubbing your body and skin over longer distances.
The vest pack has been slightly redesigned to be lower on the back of the neck. Well, at least I think it has. I found the first version came up to high on the back of my neck, but this new design seems to be generally better shaped and more comfortable.
There is a nice lightly padded back and the large main compartment is split in two vertically by a mesh divider. This means you can add in a hydration bladder and keep that separate from other kit. There is a bladder hanger and a shoulder sleeve for feeding through a bladder drinking tube.
I tend to use soft water flasks – Harrier makes great soft flasks – and these I place in the pockets positioned on the front of the vest pack on the shoulder straps. There is a handy electric loop to keep the bottles upright and to prevent them from sinking down inside the pocket as you drink your water.
There are several other pockets on the front of the shoulder straps that can be used for gels, other snacks and a key (you can put this in a zipped pocket).
There are two other “underarm” zipped pockets and also a rear bungee for stashing items that you might need quick access to, such as a waterproof jacket.
Also, design thought has gone into reducing the number of loose-hanging straps and pulls. I made the point with the last vest pack that when you are running – and especially when you get tired and a bit “hangry” – a pack with straps and pulls that flap around can become irritating.
The new Harrier 10l Kinder Race Vest has some useful solutions, such as features that allow you to tuck away loose ends. For example, if you are not using the running pole holders, these are tucked away into narrow elastic tubes. Don’t try to tuck these away if you are short of time or have cold hands though! These are useful features but can be a bit fiddly.
Other details that I like are the many reflective features and areas of “sticky” silicone details that are meant to keep straps and it’s in place (or at least aim to stop things flapping about or falling out).
What I don’t like about the Harrier 10l Kinder Race Vest
The rear bungee cord is very long; very long indeed. There is a lot of excess length to the elastic so you need to tuck it behind the at the rear of the pack. I don’t think anyone is ever going to need this much elastic bungee.
There is a way to secure excess chest straps but I have yet to work out how to do this.
There is a zipped phone pocket that it is to small for my iPhone Max to easily fit into. The only place I can carry my phone is in one of the open-top pockets at the front. This is fine and it does stay in place – there is a sticky silicone strip inside the top of the pocket that helps t keep the phone in place – but I would rather have a zipped topped pocket for security.
There are two narrow chest straps but I would like to see a wider velcro strap lower down the chest. I really like this on my Montane vest packs – the Gecko VP 5+ and Via Snap 4L. The velcro strap is very easy to open and close when on the move and it adds a bit of extra stability to the pack when you it full of kit.
I find that as a woman, the extra velcro strap is the best way to keep the vest-style packs really stable.
Who is Harrier?
Harrier was founded in 2019 in Kate Mackenzie. The company sells a range of “more affordable” products for hill and ultra runners, such as vest packs, poles, jackets and accessories.
• I was sent a Harrier 10l Kinder Race Vest to review.