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.Editor's Note: This review was updated on December 1, 2022, to add in more helpful recommendations after our fall round of testing.
Cons: Low carrying capacity, complicated sizing
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Naked High Capacity - Women's
|Price||$150 List||$193.99 at Amazon|
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$139.95 at REI
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$94.19 at Amazon
|Pros||Comfortable, functional hydration system, minimalist||Comfortable, huge storage capacity, great pockets, lots of size options, durable||Accessible pockets, comfortable, intelligent features, great carrying capacity, waterproof pockets||Huge storage capacity, well-placed pockets, super breathable||Affordable, ample water storage, user-friendly, durable|
|Cons||Low carrying capacity, complicated sizing||Expensive, full-coverage fit||Less soft to the touch, not the best for minimalist runners||Heavier than some, slightly less comfortable, long compression bungee||Less gear storage, less frills|
|Bottom Line||The snug fit and intelligent pocket placement on this vest make it great for daily runs when you need to carry the essentials and not much else||The most comfortable and spacious hydration pack that we have tested to date||A well-featured and comfortable pack that is designed to haul everything you need on ultra-distance running excursions||This fantastic super-hauler vest is the one you'll want if you are taking on techy alpine climbs or tackling double-digit trail days||This is an affordable pack that offers ample storage with enough room for your trail running essentials|
|Rating Categories||Naked High Capacity...||Nathan Pinnacle 12L||Ultimate Direction...||Ultimate Direction...||Nathan TrailMix 7L...|
|Hydration System (15%)|
|Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)|
|Specs||Naked High Capacity...||Nathan Pinnacle 12L||Ultimate Direction...||Ultimate Direction...||Nathan TrailMix 7L...|
|Weight (without hydration system)||5.1 oz||7.2 oz||7.8 oz||11.5 oz||7.1 oz|
|Carrying Capacity (liters)||3L+||12L||10.1L||12.7L||7L|
|Included Liquid Capacity (liters)||1L||1.6L||1L||1L||2L|
|OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!)||0.59||1.6||1.29||1.1||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||water resistant chest pocket, rear compartment, , zippered main pocket, waterproof shoulder stash pocket||Clamshell main compartment, 2 stash shoulder pockets, front mesh pocketsm corded elastic||Rear daisy chain, pole holder loops, and nutrition pockets|
|Type of Water Storage||2 soft 500mL bottles||1.6 liter hourglass, insulated reservoir||2 500ml bottles
2L reservoir compatible (Not included)
|2 500ml collapsible bottles
Resevoir compatible (not included)
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 chafing. If you're in the market for a tight-fitting, supportive, breathable, and minimalist vest, the Naked HC is a great choice.
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. We truly forgot we were toting gear while ripping up mountain trails in this vest.
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.
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 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 maximum capacity depends on your purchased size. This vest includes designated pole holders, though we found our cumbersome trekking poles too big to carry comfortably with this pack.
You'll get more use out of the pole holders if you have lighter and smaller poles. However, because of this pack's low capacity, it isn't our first pick for long trail days anyway. The Naked HC includes a safety whistle, a feature we take very seriously, and the heat transfer logos add an extra bit of safety if you run in lower visibility areas.
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.
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.
The Naked vest doesn't feel top-heavy or cumbersome, unlike other high-riding vests with similar hydration systems. 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. 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, and after testing, we discovered that it doesn't really work.
We recommend other options if you want a vest that can interchangeably accommodate a bladder and flasks. 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.
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, give or take.
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.
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 storing our gear, especially on race day. We like choosing what goes where instead of storing things 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.
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.
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.
Should You Buy the Naked High Capacity?
The Naked vest is a fantastic minimalist choice that quickly became one of our favorites. Though it doesn't hold as much as other options, its durability and usability make it well worth the cost. We even felt like we learned how to become more minimalistic on our runs thanks to this 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. We never had any issues with sloshing and often opted to run with only one flask in front, saving the opposite pocket for iPhone storage.
What Other Running Hydration Vests Should You Consider?
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. It could be the perfect fit for you if you are looking for the most comfortable minimalist vest made especially for women. If you want a sort of minimal vest but want to be able to carry more or have the option to insert a hydration bladder, check out the Ultimate Direction Mountain Vesta 5.0. The Mountain Vesta fits in a contoured and minimal way but has a 10-liter storage capacity versus the 3-ish of the Naked vest. Though not a high scorer, the Amphipod PureRun Minimalist 24 is another minimalist vest with the capacity to carry 1.6-liters of gear, excluding water.
— Ally Arcuri
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