Nathan VaporKrar 12L Fully Reviewed

Runners have many things to worry about on a run. How will they stay hydrated and keep their nutrition up to avoid pitfalls such as exhaustion, dehydration, and illness (no one wants to throw up after a run)? They also need something to hold key items in places, such as keys, phones, and even electronics, like laptops, at times when their run may end in a coffee shop or pub.

Vests may be a great option overall. The Nathan VaporKrar 12L was developed with performance in mind and is tailor-made for ultrarunners. It was originally developed while looking at the demand specifications and various endurance tests of a world-class ultrarunner, Rob Krar, so you know you are getting a quality product here that will keep you hydrated and running.


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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
$139.96See Deal Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
$139.96See Deal Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Tight fit with no sloshing
  • 4 pockets that are easily accessible
  • 1.8L bladder to hold liquids
  • Up to 12L in storage capacity
  • Cons
    • Not cheap
    • Only available in mens' fit
    • Key Features
      The Nathan VaporKrar 12L is a running vest that can be used for ultra runs or even marathons as it is designed with such strenuous running in mind. Keep in mind that it is designed for men and matches their body type, so it is not a unisex type of vest.

      It holds up to 12L of items regarding storage capacity with a 1.8L bladder (collapsible water bottle attached to its frame) for liquids. The bladder it comes with was designed to reduce sloshing and is easy to reach during runs for hydration. However, it also has room for water bottles in its front pockets where there are multiple storage spots to place items into. The front pockets fit bottles up to 22oz in size and can even fit an iPhone 7 plus.
      Nathan VaporKrar 12L is a very breathable vest with a body-mapped and form-fitting design. It is made out of very breathable construction with an apparel-like fit. There are even multiple ventilation holes in the material, such as the easily visible vents on the shoulder straps to let air intake through.

      The overall construction is lightweight and will feel as if an almost paper-type material is attached to your body on your runs. The materials on are not only light but also soft and stretchy. This means it is also flexible in use and comfortable.

      Many vests may be made out of ventilated material, but also come with rigid side straps that are just too tight for a fit and squeeze the wearer. However, with Nathan VaporKrark, they do not rub the ribcage or sandwich in the wearer. This is because of the straps construction and the fact that they can be easily loosened or tightened.
      There are various things to like in this vest regarding comfort. First of all, as mentioned, the 1.8L bladder it comes with was designed to reduce sloshing and offers a quick way to drink while on the run and remain hydrated. It is called a Vapor hydration bladder and offers an hourglass shape, designed to reduce sloshing.

      It also offers a hose to drink out of while running. This is efficiency in motion, as while running or doing challenges such as cross-country, marathons or obstacle courses, we do not want to be looking down or away from our path and grabbing water bottles. The hoses offer a quick way to drink and keep on going forward.

      The vest itself is also designed with comfort as it is made out of very lightweight material with zip pockets to hold items such as smartphones. There are also ventilation shafts on the material in places such as the shoulder straps to keep it cool. And to top it off, the vest has side adjustment straps to tighten the vest and keep it in a closer and more comfortable fit.
      Nathan VaporKrar 12L is a hydration vest designed for men. Its dimensions are 17 x 13 x 3 inches, and it weighs 2.53 pounds. The vest comes with four storage pockets, a hydration bladder with hoses storing 1.8L of water and an overall storage capacity of 12L. There are also various sizes available for the purchase of male body types of all fits. The options include everything from X-Small to X-Large and everything in between.
      The Nathan VaporKrar 12L has been designed for heavy running or ultra running in mind and has passed various tests in its construction, not least of which was input by the ultrarunner Rob Krar. This means durability is one of its hallmarks and it should serve you will no matter where you take it on your runs. It can also be used for other purposes such as hiking to keep hydrated on the go.
      The Nathan VaporKrar 12L's main accessory that it comes packed with and is worth noting is its 1.8L Vapor hydration bladder. The bladder that holds the liquid in place has been designed to reduce sloshing and make long-distance runs as hassle-free as can be. It also includes a hose to sip water or liquids out of.

      You can read more about Nathan's patented hydration bladders from its Amazon listing. Some of its listed features include high-flow bite valves, easy-fill openings and quick-release hoses for convenient cleaning. It is a nice thing to have in order to keep hydrated and cool in the long run.
      It is more about function than form when it comes to running vests as they may look awkward to onlookers who are not used to their functions. However, running with a backpack may also look awkward. If you care about how you look on a run you shouldn't be running in public, and instead in more remote locations like mountain ranges where this vest will suit you just as well for hydration needs.

      The colors are dark grey with various shades of light grey and either orange or yellow sections that include the logo written in the middle. There may or may not be ways to change this section upon order as there seem to be different images showing on different stores of either yellow or orange, but no option of selection.

      There are also a lot of stylish looking ventilation holes upon the front of the vest that makes it stand out. Overall, it has a nice design.
      The Nathan VaporKrar 12L isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for. You get a vest that has been designed with an ultra runner's input, has multiple easily accessible front pockets, ventilation, and access to a specific bladder made for hydration with a drinking hose. It has everything anyone would need on a long run or a marathon and is very lightweight to boot and comfortable to wear.
      Key Features

      • 4 storage pockets

      • 1.8L Bladder for hydration

      • 12L of storage

      • Lightweight

      • Ventilated material

      Bottom Line
      If you are looking for ways to keep hydrated on long runs without having to constantly grab water from nearby gas stations, have to hold a water bottle in your hand or want to go for a run even to the remote wilderness for hours at a time, this vest has you covered. It will also satisfy your needs to hold essential items in place with its storage capacity and pockets.

      The bladder is really awesome because of how easy it is to refill and drink from. It also offers 1.8L of capacity so to put it in perspective, this is almost four pints that you see in a regular glass of beer in a restaurant or bar. That should be plenty of water for anyone on a long-distance run or even a hike and again it is easy to refill.

      There is a lot to like about this vest in terms of function also. It has a lot of pockets and storage space along with a tight fit that you can adjust to fit your body time. Of course, the one gripe is that it is only available for men although Nathan offers other variants for women.

      The Nathan VaporKrar 12L is also not the cheapest vest or hydration solution for runners out there, but it has been custom designed for ultra running and can pass the test no matter how heavy or light your runs are. If you are a serious runner or athlete it may be a worthwhile investment in terms of its bladder and hydration offerings if nothing else.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      $139.96See Deal Link
      See Deal
      By Mike Lata
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 05. 2021

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