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Naked High Capacity - Women's Review

The snug fit and intelligent pocket placement on this vest make it great for daily runs when you just need to carry the essentials
Naked High Capacity - Women's
Photo: Naked
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Price:  $150 List
Pros:  Comfortable, functional hydration system, minimalist
Cons:  Low carrying capacity, complicated sizing
Manufacturer:   Naked
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Features - 25% 8
  • Hydration System - 15% 7
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 4
  • Pockets - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Naked HC is unlike any other hydration vest we've tested in that it takes its female-specific design to a whole new level, fitting more like a secure sports bra than a hydration pack. Because of this design, there is minimal opportunity for your gear and water to slosh around while you move. We love how the pockets hug the body's curvature, and the mesh material is far more breathable than we initially expected. The Naked HC is a great vest for daily runs where you only need to pack a few things. This might not be your pick for an ultra, but the comfortable, clothing-like feel make it a great minimalistic choice.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, functional hydration system, minimalistComfortable, huge storage capacity, great pockets, lots of size options, durableUltra comfortable, stretchy, breathable, simple yet precise pocketsIncredibly comfortable, great pockets, breathableAffordable, ample water storage, user-friendly, durable
Cons Low carrying capacity, complicated sizingExpensiveNo trekking pole attachment, slight sloshing, priceyStrange hydration straws, average storage capacityLess gear storage, less frills
Bottom Line The snug fit and intelligent pocket placement on this vest make it great for daily runs when you just need to carry the essentialsThe most comfortable and spacious hydration pack that we have tested to dateA super comfortable and brilliantly designed hydration pack for long days on your feetA storage-oriented hydration vest that wears like a silky-smooth second skin and packs all of the essentials with easeThis is an affordable pack that offers ample storage with enough room for your trail running essentials
Rating Categories Naked High Capacity... Nathan Pinnacle 12L Nathan VaporHowe 2.... Salomon ADV Skin 8 Set Nathan TrailMix 7L...
Comfort (30%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Features (25%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Hydration System (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
4.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Pockets (15%)
7.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Naked High Capacity... Nathan Pinnacle 12L Nathan VaporHowe 2.... Salomon ADV Skin 8 Set Nathan TrailMix 7L...
Weight (without hydration system) 5.11 oz 7.20 oz 7.09 oz 10.16 oz 7.13 oz
Carrying Capacity (liters) 3+L 12L 12L 8L 7L
Included Liquid Capacity (liters) 1L 1.6L 1.6L 1L 2L
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!) 0.59 1.6 1.69 0.79 0.98
External Storage Pole holding loops, pockets atop the hydration pockets, back section is a kangaroo pouch Large rear kangaroo pocket, front nutrition or soft flask accomodations Nutrition pouches on the front Many bungees and one kangaroo-esque pocket Rear daisy chain, pole holder loops, and nutrition pockets
Type of Water Storage 2 soft 500mL bottles 1.6 liter hourglass, insulated reservoir 1.6 liter hourglass, insulated reservoir 2 soft 500mL bottles 2L reservoir
Pole Holders? Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Naked HC sports bra-like vest is super comfortable, even when its 3+ liter capacity is maxed out. This vest has all of the features of a bigger, heavier vest but weighs in at only 5.1 ounces for a women's size 5. It is crucial to get the sizing right when purchasing this vest to help ensure comfort and prevent chaffing. If a tight-fitting, supportive, breathable, and minimalist vest is what you're in the market for, the Naked HC is a great choice.

Performance Comparison


The Naked HC hydration vest is great for no-fuss runs where you want...
The Naked HC hydration vest is great for no-fuss runs where you want a few essentials secured close to your body.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Comfort


We were pleasantly surprised by how much comfort the Naked HC hydration vest provides. The component that tops our list as the most exceptional is the breathability of the mesh — we never felt like our bodies heated up beyond normal. The nylon mesh is also very soft. We've found that more breathable mesh can sometimes be rather stiff and irritating, and soft vests are often not as breathable as we prefer. Happily, the Naked HC hits a perfect balance of these two crucial elements of comfort.

The Naked has an elastic band that snuggles in below the breast line. The purpose of this band is two-fold: it provides extra support, but it also helps ensure that the vest stays in place during even the most technical maneuvers. The zippered front closure is another unique and lovable element of this vest. The zipper makes for strong, complete closure and offers a compression-like feel. As a bonus, the zipper never needs to be adjusted like many of the bungee-closure options.

The semi-lock zipper helps prevent this pack from opening while on...
The semi-lock zipper helps prevent this pack from opening while on the move.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Purchasing the correct size of the Naked vest is vital to ensure a comfortable fit. It is available in 12 different sizes, and a size chart is available to help you find the right one. If you do not choose the right size, you risk being unable to zip this vest closed. Or, if you choose a size that is too big, it won't have the delightful compression effect and thus won't be as comfortable. Though we love the comfort of this vest, we acknowledge that its shorter body and sports bra-like fit won't suit everybody. We personally love the anti-chafe body and seams, but as usual, we recommend trying this vest on before buying. Once you get the right fit, we bet you'll love the comfort of the Naked HC hydration vest as much as we did.

The elastic banding around the edges of the Naked hydration vest fit...
The elastic banding around the edges of the Naked hydration vest fit like a sports bra - that is why it is important to ensure you buy the right size to fit your body.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Features


The Naked HC packs a ton of features into a vest with a really low carrying capacity. It holds around 3 liters of gear, but the max capacity depends on the size you purchase. This vest includes designated pole holders, though we found our cumbersome trekking poles to be too big to carry comfortably with this pack. If you have lighter and smaller poles, you'll likely get more use out of this feature. However, because of this pack's low capacity, it isn't our first pick for long trail days anyway. Beyond that, this vest includes a safety whistle, a feature that we take very seriously, and the heat transfer logos add an extra bit of safety if you choose to run in lower visibility areas.

The sheer amount of bungees on this minimalistic vest make it...
The sheer amount of bungees on this minimalistic vest make it capable of carrying more items than we originally expected.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Our favorite feature is definitely the internal compression system. This thoughtful design creates this vest's overall comfort, and we don't think it would be the same without it. This system maintains its shape and compressive properties even when wet, which is important since this vest rides so close to your sweaty skin. Though this is not advertised, we found that this vest was also the absolute best for repelling odors. Perhaps because of the highly engineered mesh and the nylon body, this vest never smelled even after our steamiest runs.

The internal compression system of the Naked vest helps ensure...
The internal compression system of the Naked vest helps ensure bounce-free jaunts.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Hydration System


As far as soft flask hydration systems go, the Naked HC vest delivers. It includes two ultra-soft, 500mL flasks, and since the vest is meant to be worn high on the body, the mouthpiece of each flask is always close by. Unlike other high-riding vests with similar hydration systems, this one doesn't feel top-heavy or cumbersome. This is due to that compression system we love, which has convinced us that soft flasks can actually be a comfortable and non-bouncy option.

The mouthpieces are pretty easy to access because of how high this...
The mouthpieces are pretty easy to access because of how high this vest rides.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

We aren't even upset about the inability of this vest to accommodate a hydration bladder because of how comfortable and functional the soft flasks are. While you could shove a bladder onto the back pocket, this vest is not really designed for that. The one-liter total liquid capacity is spot on when considered in relation to this vest's overall capacity. You may not be able to carry the kitchen sink with this pack, but it can comfortably hold enough water and gear for shorter excursions.

Even when stuffed full of water, the compression system helps keep...
Even when stuffed full of water, the compression system helps keep this vest close to your body.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Volume to Weight Ratio


The Naked HC vest has an average volume to weight ratio. It weighs in at 5.11 ounces for a size 5 and can hold around 3 liters. Despite its standard ranking, the tight fit of this pack makes a full 3 liters of gear and water feel like much less during runs. Though we deducted a few points based on this ratio, if you are looking for a minimalist vest that will comfortably hold the essentials and nothing else, this is a great option for you.

Though this vest is lightweight, its minimal carrying capacity makes...
Though this vest is lightweight, its minimal carrying capacity makes it less impressive in terms of volume to weight ratio.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Pockets


We love the versatility of the pockets on the Naked HC. Aside from the ones for the soft flasks, all of the pockets are versatile enough so that you can choose where you stash your goods. As experienced long-distance runners, we have preferences for how we store our gear, especially on race day. We like choosing what goes where, instead of having to store things in the way the manufacturer thinks we should. This might be splitting hairs, but since it matters to us, we think it might matter to you too.

The semi-flush back pocket of the Naked vest makes a great spot to...
The semi-flush back pocket of the Naked vest makes a great spot to stash your outer layer when your runs start to heat up.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

There are two pockets on the front of the vest for your flasks. The pockets are deep enough to accommodate different brands of flasks, which is nice. This also helps with the mobility and usability of the flasks. For example, if you pull one out at an aid station, you'll want the pocket that it goes back into to be big enough that the full flask slides right in. There is nothing worse than fighting with your hydration system while precious race minutes tick by. Atop these flask pockets are bilateral half-sized pockets with elastic at the top of each. Each elastic edging has a loop — we liked hooking our keyring to this and then tucking it in the pocket. The tight fit of this vest made it so that these pockets and their contents were secure against the flasks.

The front, mesh pockets are great for stashing easy-to-reach...
The front, mesh pockets are great for stashing easy-to-reach nutrition.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Each underarm panel has a small mesh pouch with elastic edging. The one beneath the left arm has a small clip, which is another secure location to stash your keys. The backside has a deep pocket that runs the entire length of the pack. This pocket has a clip closure to keep your items safe. We love that the pocket with the largest volume sits directly against the body since this further cuts down on any bounce. Superficial to this large pocket, a wide pass-through pocket is a great place for stashing any layers you choose to shed. Overall, the Naked HC vest pockets are well-placed and highly functional, making every ounce of storage space usable.

Because this vest is meant to be worn so snugly, the smaller than...
Because this vest is meant to be worn so snugly, the smaller than average pockets are far more secure than options that allow your gear to bounce.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Value


The Naked vest offers a really solid value. Though it doesn't hold as much as other options, its durability and usability make it well worth the money. The mesh is strong and resistant to abrasions, making it a soft yet durable purchase. Beyond that, this has become our go-to training run vest. We love a 12 liter capacity for ultra-distance days, but the Naked vest quickly became our daily choice for toting a bit of water on our shorter runs. This vest fits well because of its compression system, even if the only thing you stash in it is water.

The BPA and PVC-free soft flasks are softer and more durable than...
The BPA and PVC-free soft flasks are softer and more durable than many other flasks we've tested.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Conclusion


The Naked HC vest is unlike others we've tested. From its comfortable, bra-like fit to its smooth and seamless edges, this has become our daily running vest. Its PVC and BPA- free, leak-proof soft flask hydration system delivers water when you need it most. The snug fit keeps bouncing at bay, and the loops and external bungees make securing your valuables an easy task. If you are looking for the most comfortable minimalist vest made especially for women, the Naked HC could be the perfect fit for you.

The Naked HC vest quickly became one of our favorites for runs where...
The Naked HC vest quickly became one of our favorites for runs where we don't need a lot of gear.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

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