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Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 Review

There's room for layers, ample food, water, your phone, and then some in this featherweight vest
Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2
Photo: Raidlight
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Price:  $120 List
Pros:  Lightweight, easily accessible pockets, great fit
Cons:  Soft flasks bounce around, no pole carry
Manufacturer:   Raidlight
By Jeff Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 20, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Features - 25% 7
  • Hydration System - 15% 6
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 6
  • Pockets - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Raidlight Revolutiv V2 has one speed: fast. You know when you're planning a run, and you feel like you need more than a handheld water bottle and a waist belt, but the idea of bringing a pack feels overkill? This vest fits perfectly in that niche area. Accessing all three pockets located along the ribcage and across the back is hassle-free and doesn't feel like you're chicken winging or doing contortionist tricks to get to your essential gear. Two quick pull elastic adjustments keep the fit snug, although when the soft flasks are partially empty, they slosh around significantly. That said, the chest pocket sleeves that accommodate the soft flasks are spacious enough to store additional gear such as sunglasses, a phone, an inReach device, and much-needed snacks.

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Pros Lightweight, easily accessible pockets, great fitComfortable, great fit, tons of easily reachable pockets, versatileHighly versatile, comfortable, durable, waterproofAmple storage, simple and successful design, approachable priceAffordable, carries water and gear well, simple design
Cons Soft flasks bounce around, no pole carryExpensive, must buy hydration bladder separatelyHard to insert soft flasks, limited accessible pockets, no hydration system includedLower quality bladder, minor pain points over longer distancesLower chest strap isn't placed well, no front pockets, hard to secure properly
Bottom Line There's room for layers, ample food, water, your phone, and then some in this featherweight vestA top-notch running pack, with excellent pockets and a comfortable fitBuilt for any rugged activity in the mountains but the hydration system needs some workAn entry-level hydration pack for trail running with a great price and ample storageA versatile pack for lower intensity activities at a solid price point but lacking front access pockets
Rating Categories Raidlight Revolutiv... Salomon ADV Skin 12... Black Diamond Dista... REI Swiftland Hydro 2L Hydration Backpack
Comfort (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
4.0
Features (25%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Hydration System (15%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
3.0
Pockets (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Specs Raidlight Revolutiv... Salomon ADV Skin 12... Black Diamond Dista... REI Swiftland Hydro 2L Hydration Backpack
Weight (with included hydration vessels) 6.6 oz 13.4 oz 14.2 oz (pack only, no bottles/bladder included) 13.7 oz 14.5 oz
Carrying Capacity 3L 12L 15L 5L 2L
Included Liquid Capacity 2L 1L 1L 1.5L 2L
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!) 0.45 0.90 1.06 0.37 0.14
External Storage? Not included Yes, kangaroo pockets Yes, paracord Yes Yes, mesh storage pockets, bungee
Type of Water Storage Two 600mL soft flasks Two 500 mL soft flasks (included), plus reservoir sleeve (reservoir not included) Not included 1.5L reservoir 2L reservoir
Pole Holders? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Whether you are trying to set a new FKT on a local loop, toeing the line for a fast 50k, or just need slightly more carrying capacity than a waist belt can offer, the Raidlight Revolutiv V2 is a svelte and appropriate choice. We loved this vest for mountain missions because its low profile is easy to fit beneath an ultralight pullover rain shell. Warning: having a very light vest may lead to the purchase of other very tiny lightweight gear to fit in your new petite vest.

Performance Comparison


For faster races and longer threshold workouts that require more...
For faster races and longer threshold workouts that require more than a waist belt can carry, this dainty number hits the sweet spot.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Comfort


Laser-cut fabric and taped seams contribute to both the comfort and airy weight of this vest. Initially, the thin shoulder straps and concentrated carrying weight along the bottom gave us some pause and hesitation. No need though, the medium Revolutiv fits a 5'10", 155-pound torso seamlessly, with plenty of adjustment in the elastic chest straps. Additionally, the shoulder straps weren't noticeably cutting; they remained flat and comfortable.

Two elastic adjustment straps help keep the fit secure across the...
Two elastic adjustment straps help keep the fit secure across the chest. The stretch material provides a hugging fit around the ribcage.
Photo: Jeff ColtJeff Colt

The balance from the low set pockets on the Revolutiv is amazing until the hydration flasks are emptied a bit. This is our main gripe with this pack, and we'll talk about it in a few different places. Having a failing hydration system that dramatically impacts the fit and comfort is no good, and it's what kept this pack from being a top performer.

All of the storage is positioned at the bottom of the vest across...
All of the storage is positioned at the bottom of the vest across the back and wrapping along the ribcage, nicely balancing with the chest pockets for a comfortable ride even at a fast pace.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Features


Another small complaint that we have is the pole carry system — or lack thereof. The previous version of this vest had a pole carry solution across the chest that was removed from this design.

With minimal weight comes minimalist features, but ventilation is...
With minimal weight comes minimalist features, but ventilation is inherent to the build of this vest.
Photo: Jeff Colt

There is ample storage in the Revolutiv considering its petite size with three zippered pockets and two oversized hydration sleeves. The material itself is a great feature, with top-notch breathability and visibility of each pocket's contents. Additionally, an emergency whistle is positioned on the top adjustment strap.

Hydration System


The Revolutiv V2 is not compatible with a hydration bladder but comes with two 600mL soft flasks equipped with extension straws that place your bite valves a turn of the head away. All of this sounds great in writing, but there are some hiccups. For one, the elastic loops that are meant to secure around the neck of the bottles and support the soft flasks within the sleeves are loose. And, once the flasks are partially emptied, they bounce around and out of the support loops.

Our biggest gripe with this vest: the bottles don't stay in play due...
Our biggest gripe with this vest: the bottles don't stay in play due to the elastic support loops being too loose. The bottles slide down into the hydration sleeve and bounce significantly if they are partially full.
Photo: Jeff ColtJeff Colt

A snugger-fitting hydration sleeve pocket for the soft flask could prevent this, but we like the additional room in the chest pockets for storing random gear. A more durable tighter support loop is needed to help with managing the flasks. We also found that the straw that extends into the soft flask from the top makes it dramatically more challenging to drink from the bottles. We can suck pretty hard, but our cheek muscles tired out trying to drink from these without actually squeezing the bottle.

At 600mL each, the soft flasks have a nice shape and carry more than...
At 600mL each, the soft flasks have a nice shape and carry more than a liter of water, but the straw on the bite valve makes it difficult to get water out of the bottles without squeezing them.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Volume to Weight Ratio


We gave the Revolutiv a marginally higher score than the ratio delivered, in part because we could fit so much in the 3L of storage and because there is a noble design element to making the lightest race vest on the market.

At 6.6oz, the Revolutiv is the lightest pack we tested and with some...
At 6.6oz, the Revolutiv is the lightest pack we tested and with some management, it performs really well for a featherweight race vest.
Photo: Jeff Colt

This vest is trimmed down for racing at 6.6 ounces (with the soft flasks), but we found it to be in a league of its own. It is closer in weight to many hip belts but can carry nearly as much as a proper hydration vest meant for ultras. What's more, the positioning of the gear is excellent. Unlike hip belts that can mess with the interface of your shorts and shirt and bounce with every stride, the positioning of the gear in this vest is right at the taper of the ribcage, keeping everything snug.

Despite only 3L of carrying capacity, we fit an entire race kit in...
Despite only 3L of carrying capacity, we fit an entire race kit in the three zippered pockets. We also found that the hydration sleeves on the chest were oversized and could store additional gear like sunglasses, a phone, or GPS unit.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Pockets


While there is no external storage pocket, we managed with the two side zippered pockets and larger back zippered pocket quite well. Accessing a phone was more difficult in the back pocket, not because of location, but because without external storage, there was also a rain jacket and a first aid kit in there.

The gear and food for a 20 mile mission in the San Juan Mountains -...
The gear and food for a 20 mile mission in the San Juan Mountains - it all fit!
Photo: Jeff Colt

The confidence we got from taking this pack on a 20 mile, high alpine epic of 10+ hours changed our thinking about whether or not the Raidlight Revolutiv V2 is suitable for ultras. Our conclusion is that we would use this pack for distances of 100k and under. It doesn't quite have the storage to easily manage gear for a 100-mile race, but can adequately carry two layers, food, water, and other gear.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

A small zippered pocket on the chest for storing food, trash, or car keys would make a big difference in this space-conscious design. On the whole, we found every pocket to be accessible while running fast, something no other vest could deliver.

Value


If the above description makes you giddy for this vest, then yes, there is value. We will reach for this vest instead of a waist belt going forward because it changed how we think about accessibility and the distances that qualify for bringing along a vest. The Raidlight Revolutiv has a niche, and it outperforms lightweight vests and higher volume waist belts. While we didn't recognize this hydration pack with any award, for the right runner, this is the choice vest in our review.

Conclusion


Lightweight, highly breathable, ample storage, comfortable, and no issues accessing any of the pockets while running at a fast clip. This vest is almost perfect in some regards, but take note: there is a learning curve to using it and making it work with the loose support straps for the hydration flasks. We will certainly be keeping our eyes out for a V3 that addresses the loose soft flasks because, with that fixed, the Revolutiv is a top contender.

What an awesome mountain running companion! With some tweaking and...
What an awesome mountain running companion! With some tweaking and strategic gear storage to prevent the soft flasks from bouncing , this vest is capable of most missions!
Photo: Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt