CamelBak Circuit Hydration Vest Review

Camelbak Circuit Vest PhotoCamelBak Circuit Test Trail Running | Photo Mountain Weekly News

The CamelBak Circuit Vest is designed for running long distances over mountainous terrain with minimal weight on your back. The Circuit running vest picks up where the tried and true CamelBak Marathon left off. So what is it that sets this vest aside from the competition? For starters the weight.

Circuit Vest Weight

The CamelBak Circuit Vest picks up where the tried and true CamelBak Marathon left off. So what is it that sets this vest aside from the competition? For starters the weight. The CamelBak Circuit Hydration Vest weights in at only 6 oz.

The Circuit Vest reservoir has the capacity to hold 1.5 liters of water which is the equivalent of 3.31 lb bringing the entire weight of the vest to just under 4 lb.

With the reservoir full there’s even an additional 3.5 liters of room to store small gear, snacks and sunscreen.

CamelBak Circuit vs Marathoner Vest

CamelBak Circuit Vest Review

Circuit Vest on Left, Marathoner on Right | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

Mesh, Mesh, and More Mesh. One of the best features of the 2017 CamelBak Circuit Vest is the use of 3D Ventilated mesh. Each part of the Circuit Vest that comes in contact with your body is chocked full of super breathable ventilated mesh.

The old CamelBak Marathon Vest (shown above on the right) used mesh on the front part of the vest. The newly updated Circuit Vest from CamelBak is now 100% mesh.

CamelBak Circuit Vest Mesh

Back of Vest | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

What else has changed between the two vests? For one the size. The CamelBak Circuit is a streamlined version of the Marathoner. The size is much narrower, shorter and for the most part more aerodynamic.

Less bulk = faster and longer runs.

What can be changed? For starters, this vest only comes in one size. You may have to fiddle around with the sternum and chest straps to dial in your fit. And keep in mind this same vest is being sold to someone bigger or smaller than you.

Personally, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to dial in the Circuit Vest fit. If CamelBak could figure out a way to make these more size-specific it would make for an even better fitting and performing vest.

However, the ability to adjust on the fly can actually be a good thing. If it gets hot, loosen the straps. If the trail’s getting technical well to tighten them back up.

One tip I found was loosening the straps on the downhills allowed for the pack to almost float downhill.

The only other thing to be mindful of with this vest would be the use of the CamelBak Crux reservoir mouthpiece. The Crux on-off closure takes up a ton of space and can be cumbersome when attempting to get the mouthpiece in place. CamelBak does sell other mouthpieces however this one is actually tough to use.

Mike Hardaker Running on Snake River in Jackson WY

Mike Hardaker Running with His Dog Char in the CamelBak Circuit Vest along the Snake River | Photo Mountain Weekly News

Overall Impression

CamelBak clearly worked with their team of athletes and ambassadors to design the well thought out Circuit Vest ($99.99)

Two deep chest pockets on the front will make sure your GU and Shot Blocks are always within easy reach. There is also a zippered pocket on the front that works well for storing car keys, money and other small items.

The main compartment can even be used to store a lightweight rain jacket, camera or other small items you may want on your next run.

Thanks to a 1.5 L capacity the Circuit Vest works well for runs under 3 hours in length. If water is available on the trail, then the potential to run long distances in the CamelBak Circuit vest becomes unlimited.

Related Articles:

  1. Top 10 Running Hydration Vest and Backpacks
  2. Camelbak LUXE 15L Backpack Review

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News based in Jackson, Wyoming.

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