Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 Set

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
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Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 Set Review Facts
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The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 Set is a minimalist running pack that hugs the body ultra-tight for a super secure fit. It’s the newest edition in Salomon’s line of lightweight packs. Since the previous version, the bag’s flask pockets have increased in size with new bungee cords to keep the bottles locked down. The pack is even lighter than before with better sweat-wicking technology. The design is more breathable, features a new elastic sternum closure, and there are more sizes to choose from. The bag is available in three size variations. This review covers the 8L pack. For the runner who doesn’t like to deal with a hydration bladder, the S-Lab features just enough room for its included bottles offering plenty of water storage for training and racing. The bag has a few drawbacks, which we cover below in our detailed breakdown of the S-Lab Sense Ultra.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very lightweight
  • Lots of storage for such a minimalist pack
  • Durable construction
  • Chafe-free design
  • Easy-fill flasks
  • Easy-access pockets
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • No room for a bladder
  • The wrong size will result in a lot of bounce
  • The elastic chest strap is annoying to use, feels flimsy
  • Expensive
Activities
Activities

Activities

The S-Lab pack offers athletes easy access to stowed gear and onboard hydration. The bag represents a simple storage solution for the minimalist long-distance runner. The pack is lightweight but features space for all the essentials including a pocket for your mobile phone and a variety of nooks and crannies for everything else. At the front of the pack, there are two easy access pockets that house the included soft flasks. Each flask can hold 500mL of water. Reviewers liked the updated bottles and said that they seemed to slosh less than the older design.

On the side of the vest, there are two easy-to-reach zippered pockets. Make sure not to leave them open accidentally. Stuff will readily fall out. Also on the sides are two stretch pockets that expand wide enough to fit almost anything. Located above the flasks is a stretchy pocket that includes a safety whistle. It’s the perfect spot for storing gels and other small items. At the back, there are two rear compartments suitable for storing things like extra layers.

Overall, the back is surprisingly roomy but is also lightweight making it the ultimate run companion all year round. Note, there’s no spot for a bladder. The pack is genuinely minimalist and isn’t equipped to handle a reservoir. Not everyone wants to haul a hydration bladder around, so it’s not a dealbreaker. A reservoir represents an extra accessory to deal with and take care of. A bladder requires maintenance, so if you’re not interested in cleaning one out on a regular basis, a bag without one might be a good alternative. Just be aware that that limits your water carrying capacity. You can’t add on a bladder if you so choose to later on. You’ll need to rely on your bottles instead. If you’re going long, make sure you have a place to refill, so you don’t find yourself incredibly thirsty and suffering from the effects of dehydration.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The bag features anti-odor stretch mesh fabric made of elastic power mesh. A quick-wicking material covers other portions of the vest, and a unique 37.5 technology helps control humidity levels.

Additional 3D Air Mesh helps with breathability, though some found the mesh portions of the vest a little rough and not at all appropriate for shirtless running. The sturdy mesh is also not so gentle on specific materials. Some users reported that the mesh eventually rubbed its way through shirts. Despite the issues noted with the mesh, reviewers found the vest incredibly breathable. It’s an excellent choice for runners training in very hot weather. Just be careful not to store anything that might succumb to water damage in the compartment that meets your back since that portion of the vest is not at all waterproof or resistant. Instead, it will just soak up your sweat. It’s great for ventilation but not so great if you plan on storing a camera or phone in that compartment.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Salomon S-Lab vest fits close to the body thanks to Sensifit technology, and it features minimal seams to reduce the risk of chafing. When packed with gear, the vest’s weight is well balanced. The anti-chafe design includes zero straps and buckles and the edges all feature soft trim to prevent uncomfortable rubbing against the body. Some users complained that the shoulder straps tended to loosen over time on a run. Instead of a sternum strap or buckle, there is a bungee cord system that crosses the chest area. The revised closure system is simplified, but it doesn’t quite achieve its purpose of preventing the pack from bouncing around. Adjustment is easy, but it loosens over time. Reviewers also worried about the durability of the bungee system.

A few users remarked that the bag bounced a bit when fully packed. The material is a bit too stretchy to hold everything in place. Reviewers also noted that the back of the pack was not waterproof or water resistant and while it wicked sweat, it also allowed moisture from sweaty backs to infiltrate the main compartment. Overall, reviewers found the Sense Ultra vest very very comfortable. Comfort depends heavily on an appropriately selected pack size, so don’t be shy to make an exchange if you find the fit less than perfect.
Size
Size

Size

The lightweight Ultra 8 vest weighs just 125 grams. Lighter than its predecessor, the bag comes in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL. Many reviewers found themselves exchanging the vest for another size. Customers should measure their torso circumference for accurate sizing, but those in between sizes might have troubles finding the perfect fit. Reviewers recommend that if you’re between sizes, you should NOT size up since the vest is very stretchy. Getting the right size is incredibly important, otherwise the pack with bounce around like nobody’s business.

Users agreed that the pack was extremely lightweight and liked that the bag was light but roomy. This review covers the 8L capacity pack, but the vest also comes in a 5 and 2L version. The Sense vest does not come with a bladder compartment so if you estimate needing more than a 1L of water during a training run or race, opt for a different hydration solution. The S-Lab vest comes with two 500mL soft flask bottles. Some runners did find a way to fit extra bottles in the rear compartment, but there’s no doubt that they’ll bounce quite a bit. The bag’s phone pocket is easy to access, but many reviewers found the compartment too small for their phones.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The updated Salomon vest features a new bungee cord to secure the soft flask bottles and a new bungee cord across the chest to adjust its fit. Many reviewers cited durability concerns when it came to the elastic cords. The sternum strap is flimsy, and the bottle elastics are equally poor quality. More than a few reviewers felt the elastics wouldn’t last over time and reviewers worried about them breaking suddenly. Users also complained that the included whistle seemed cheap.

Other than that, the vest is very durable, and the material is nearly rip-proof making it a reliable choice for long journeys.
Accessories
Accessories

Accessories

The Salomon pack is Quiver compatible and can carry trekking poles. The bag itself comes with two soft flasks of 500 mL each. They’re easy to clean and fill with a large opening and a quick-flow anti-leak valve. They’re also BPA-free. Some users found the flasks tough to get back into the front pockets, but the problem has been dramatically improved since the previous edition of the vest. The bag also comes with a safety whistle which is attached to the vest to prevent loss.
Style
Style

Style

The Salomon S-Lab Sense vest comes in black, blue, and white. Each color is more stylish than the last, but the white does get dirty really fast. The vest also has reflective detailing, a nice touch for added nighttime visibility. The color schemes are simple and not too flashy.
Price
Price

Price

This is one expensive running vest. The majority of wearers were super pleased with the fit, quality, and storage capacity of the S-Lab pack, but remember that there’s no hydration bladder compartment, so there’s no ability to add-on space for water for longer runs or trips. The bag also has some durability problems, namely the cheap-feeling elastics used to secure the bag on the body. The fit wasn’t perfect for everyone either when packed too full. The pack tends to bounce more than most would have liked. Still, it’s a worthy vest with a shockingly light and breathable design.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- 8L storage capacity
- 125 grams (without the bottles)
- 37.5 technology controls fabric humidity
- 4-way stretch design
- 3D Mesh construction
- Sweat-wicking material
- BPA-free soft flask bottles (500mL)
- Various storage pockets (zippered and stretch)
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8 Set is a great running vest update. The pack is an excellent ultra-portable minimalist option for runners of all abilities. The vest is versatile and can be used for a variety of distances and adventures. For anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of dealing with a hydration reservoir, the S-Lab vest offers a simplified hydration solution with easy to use flasks. There’s enough storage for all the necessities, and the design is super breathable making it perfect for unusually clammy summer days.