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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
Credit: 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
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Comfort - 30% 7.0
  • Features - 25% 7.0
  • Hydration System - 15% 6.0
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 6.0
  • Pockets - 15% 7.0

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $120 List$140 List
$139.95 at REI
$160 List
$160.00 at REI
$143.96 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$100 List
$99.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, easily accessible pockets, great fitDurable construction, comfortable fit, versatile featuresComfortable, great fit, tons of easily reachable pockets, versatileEasy to access storage, lots of pockets including useful zippers, great fit and adjustabilityAmple storage, simple and successful design, approachable price
Cons Soft flasks bounce around, no pole carryRuns slightly largeExpensive, must buy hydration bladder separatelyIncluded bottles create a pressure point against the ribs, coarse mesh against the neckLower quality bladder, minor pain points over longer distances
Bottom Line There's room for layers, ample food, water, your phone, and then some in this featherweight vestDurable materials and ample storage combine with a comfortable and secure fit to make this pack ready for the mountainsA comfortable fit and exceptional pockets make this among our favorite packs on the marketDesigned by and for the fastest trail runners in the world, this vest has the fit and features to race fastAn entry-level hydration pack for trail running with ample storage at a great price
Rating Categories Raidlight Revolutiv... Ultimate Direction... Salomon ADV Skin 12... Salomon Sense Pro 5 REI Co-op Swiftland 5
Comfort (30%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Features (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Hydration System (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
Pockets (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
Specs Raidlight Revolutiv... Ultimate Direction... Salomon ADV Skin 12... Salomon Sense Pro 5 REI Co-op Swiftland 5
Weight (with included hydration vessels) 6.6 oz 11.7 oz 13.4 oz 8.1 oz 13.9 oz
Carrying Capacity 3L 10.3L 12L 5L 5L
Included Liquid Capacity 2L 1L 1L 1L 1.5L
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!) 0.45 0.88 0.90 0.62 0.36
External Storage? Not included Yes, bungees Yes, kangaroo pockets Yes, kangoo pockets Yes, bungees
Type of Water Storage Two 600mL soft flasks Two 500mL soft flasks Two 500 mL soft flasks (included), plus reservoir sleeve (reservoir not included) Two 500mL soft flasks 1.5L resevoir
Pole Holders? No Yes Yes Yes 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


Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - two elastic adjustment straps on the raidlight revolutiv help keep...
Two elastic adjustment straps on the Raidlight Revolutiv help keep the fit secure across the chest. The stretch material provides a hugging fit around the ribcage.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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.
Credit: 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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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!
Credit: 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.

All three zippered pockets on the Revolutiv are accessible with some...
All three zippered pockets on the Revolutiv are accessible with some ease. The rear zippered pocket is the only one large enough to fit a phone, but the pocket's position on the lower back is convenient.
Each flank pocket is large enough to cram with snacks and other...
Each flank pocket is large enough to cram with snacks and other essentials like a headlamp, ultralight layer, and gloves.

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.

Raidlight Revolutiv 3L V2 hydration pack for running - 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!
Credit: Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt
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