Camelbak Octane Dart

Running vests come in all shapes and sizes. Some may be built to hold items in place and have little room for liquids. Others are robust and built to last, but maybe too heavy on a long run and feel uncomfortable over long-term use. Some vests are built for hydration purposes and may contain nozles or reservoirs with pouches built into them to sip water out of easily.

There are different options for such vests depending on need and usage. Some runners, athletes, hikers, and marathoners may need a heavier or bulkier nag with a lot of liquid volumes to hold their water and be hydrated on their longer outings. Other runners may only be joggers who want a very flexible, light and durable vest with only enough liquid volume to last them their morning and evening runs -- but not necessarily be bogged down by their pack and need a ton of room for items to carry inside.  The CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack is such a vest. It is the lowest entry in terms of liquid volume carriage capacity, weight and gear carrying capacity volume in the CamelBak Octane lineup: this lineup includes Octane XCT Hydration Pack with 10 oz in total weight, a liquid capacity of 2L and a total gear capacity of 5L as well as the CamelBak Octane 16x Hydration Pack, which features a total weight of 15 oz, hydration capacity of 3L and gear capacity of 13L. The entry-level Camelbak Octane Dart features only a weight of 7oz, liquid capacity of 1.5L and a gear capacity of a meager .5L.

This is not a vest to really use to carry much gear in at all. If you want a vest for that you are much better in picking one of the other two options. Its hydration capacity, on the other hand, is decent and will get you through most running endeavors. This is one of its strengths, besides price factor and weight, when compared to other packs or vests in this lineup or on the market as a whole. All of the hydration packs in this lineup feature the Crux Reservoir system built for hydration intake in a very efficient way. The reservoir comes with a leak-proof On-Off Valve, as well as a Big Bite Valve, to keep the water from leaking and allowing for easy sipping. You will not have to worry about drips or leaks even when tossing the pack on a couch. It also comes with Anti-microbial HydroGuard coating and an easy-open leak-proof cap, to allow very easy refilling and sanitation for runners.

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Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a nice¬†reservoir for water intake
  • Minimalist design
  • Inexpensive
  • Cons
    • Very little gear storage space
    • Larger bladder will not fit it
    • Key Features
      This is a hydration vest made with minimalism in mind. It is intended for joggers, light runners or even heavier running -- albeit where hydration is the most important thing to consider, not robustness or gear intake. The vest offers the Crux Reservoir system, which happens to also be available across the CamelBak Octane lineup that has many great features.

      Read also about men's running sandals.

      The reservoir's hydration intake is 1.5L, which is no slouch, and it has notable features when compared to other rivals reservoirs. It comes packed with a pair of already-mentioned valves that have features preventing water leakage and bacterial cleanliness. The on-off valve is leak-proof and will allow you to seal your water supply with just a thumb flick. The Big Bite valve also shuts off the water flow after intake. The reservoir also includes anti-bacterial protection, called Anti-Microbial HydroGuard Coating, which is said to be free of BPA, BPS, and BPF.

      Besides the impressive reservoir, the pack also has other noteworthy features, such as a four external pockets (albeit less than the six and eight its rivals come with) and padded mesh on its back panel. There is a lot to like regarding features it comes packed with despite its minimalist design.
      The vest is very breathable as it has been made of a very lightweight material called 3D Mesh. This mesh is cushioned and made to reduce body chafing. It also allows for a cooler run due to its minimalist design. There are also large ventilation shafts or holes that are very visible on the shoulder straps to keep airflow intake active. The body should be fairly cool on the run and you should feel ventilated enough on your run as long as you take advantage of the hydration this pack offers.
      Comfort is one of this vest's hallmarks. It weighs in as much less than the other packs in this lineup: 7oz as opposed to 10oz and 15oz respectively. This may be a good thing or bad depending on use as it also means unlike the rivals, it features fewer pockets. The Octane Dart features four as opposed to six and eight. This should be plenty of space for the essentials, however, and it also means that it may be more comfortable to wear during runs than the other vests. It is minimalist, lighter, offers a decent chunk of hydration intake, and features the same easy to use on-off valve system of the other packs.

      The other nice thing about this vest is that it is unisex. This means both men and women can wear it and makes it stand out among many other vests that are only built for one gender.
      The vest comes in at a weight of only 7 ounces. Its dimensions are 12.4 x 8.7 x 4.9 inches. It will fit torsos of 38-53 cm/15-21 in, which are smaller dimensions than the other packs in this lineup and if you are a petite woman, this is probably your best bet as a purchase out of the lineup.
      The pack is very durable as it is made out of a mesh material that is stretchy and versatile. It also sits very tight to the body, so it shouldn't be rubbing much out there besides light brushes as runners whizz by them. It is a quality made product and should last for a while.
      The main accessory the vest comes with that should be noted, and was previously mentioned more than once, is its hydration pack or the Crux Reservoir. This is a great accessory to have for runners as it offers a very comfortable, sanitary and easy to refill way to remain hydrated on runs. You will not have to carry water bottles with you as you just sip on the valve and turn it off afterward without worrying about spillage. Then, after you start feeling dehydrated again, simply flick the valve on again and start sipping from the valve.
      The style is one of this vest's strengths. It offers three different colors to choose from, and they include Lime Punch/Black, Deep Amethyst/Fiery Coral, and Black/Atomic Blue. All of the variants have something cool to offer and their take on the style. The lime punch variation is very bright and yellowish although it includes black sections for the shoulder wraps and a blue nozzle. The atomic blue and black offering are very dark in appearance, but the blue makes it look gloomy and interesting. The deep amethyst and coral offering has a nice mix of blue, violet and red along with some black thrown in.
      The pack is inexpensive overall when compared to other vests on the market, notably being so feature-rich and offering a very comfortable and lightweight design -- not to mention style when compared to most vests on the market. It is the cheapest offering from the CamelBak Octane lineup and the entry-level model. You may need to shop around and see for yourself, but it isn't expensive in any way when compared to average vests you get with such a feature range on the market.
      Key Features

      • Stretchy pocket on harness to keep small items such as energy gels

      • Minimalist design

      • Very little soshing

      • 1.5L hydration capacity

      • .05 gear capacity

      • Padded mesh back panel

      • Reflectivity for early morning or night running

      Bottom Line
      If you are looking for a running vest with minimalist design, ultra lightweight, comfort and ventilation shafts, this pack will fit this bill. However, it will not fit close to as much gear as its rivals and offers only half the liquid intake of the top model. This shouldn't be a problem for most runners as the hydration pack is very easy to refill and offers many great features to love -- such as its anti-bacterial function and valves that turn off without usage thus avoiding spillage. The other nice thing about its built is that it is unisex and both men and women can use it comfortably. There is a lot to like about it, and it should be used for anything from casual jogging to descent runs. Ultrarunners, larger-built athletes, and marathoners may take a look at its larger siblings, but for most other runners this is a great option.
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      By Mike Lata
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 30. 2021

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