Harrier Curbar 5L Trail Running Vest | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Harrier Curbar 5L Trail Running Vest | Review

Here's our thoughts on Harrier's latest feature-packed, lightweight trail running vest, the Curbar 5L

Why We Chose It: practical, budget-friendly, minimal bounce, snug fit

It’s always clear when a product has been designed and produced by a proper trail runner. Packed full of handy features, with every square inch of the product made use of, you can really see that the Harrier Curbar 5L trail running vest is made by someone who knows exactly what an off-road runner wants.

It’s a trail running vest that’s lightweight, comfortable and feature-packed, all coming in at a low price of £54. There’s not much to dislike with this one.

Photo: Chris Johnson

Who Is The Harrier Curbar 5L For?

At 5 litres, the Curbar 5L is ideal for short to medium distance single days on the trail. The 220g (for a size small) weight is going to suit all but the most serious of weight weenies, especially when you consider the masses of storage this vest is packing.


The Curbar 5L is made from a soft and extremely stretchy polyester and comes in two different colourways (blue or orange). This polyester has been treated with a DWR coating on the exterior and features plenty of mesh on all the next-to-skin sections to promote moisture wicking.

On the back of the pack, Harrier has made use of a very simple mesh panel system to provide a lightweight, yet comfortable carry system. We’ve got to mention that there is very little padding between your back and the main compartment, so considerate packing is key to avoid any discomfort.


The Curbar comes in four different sizes; XS, S, M and L. Selecting the correct size ensures a close fit and, when combined with the stretchy material that the Curbar 5L is made up of, you’ll have minimal bounce, even over technical terrain.

“It’s got everything a trail runner needs.”

You’ve got plenty of storage options across the entire vest; certainly more than you’d expect to see from a 5 litre trail vest. On the back of the pack there’s a large main compartment that stretches down the full length of the back. This compartment is split up into two separate sections; a kit one and a hydration bladder one. This can all be closed off via a simple, yet practical, velcro tab.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

The only pole holders on this pack are located at the base of the pack, where cords let you stash them horizontally. If you prefer stowing your poles on the front of the harness, the Harrier Kinder 10L, which has a host of stash points, will be a better pack for you.

Outside of the main compartment is a really handy waterproof jacket pocket at the bottom of the back, giving you quick access to your jacket without having to take the vest off. 

It’s a similar story on the front of the pack, too. With a total of 9 pockets squeezed onto the shoulder straps and stretchy side panels, giving you plenty of space to store a trail snack or two… or three. Starting with the flask storage, you’ve got space for a 300 or 500ml soft flask on each shoulder strap which gives quick and easy access to water on the go.

In front of the flask sleeves sit another stretchy sleeve which works well. There’s more storage for a few energy bars or gels as well. On the left shoulder strap sits a zipped mobile phone pocket that’ll accommodate all but the largest of mobile phones. 

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, deputy editor of Outdoors Magic

“The first thing I noticed the moment I slipped on the Curbar 5L was the body-hugging and extremely comfortable fit. I’m 191 cm, weighing 77kg, and found the medium size to fit well with summer layers and even over a very lightweight waterproof jacket. I was fortunate to have both a medium and large to try on, but if you’re not able to try before you buy, I’d recommend ordering the vest true to your usual clothing size and you should get a good fit.”

OM tester Callum using the Harrier Curbar at the foot of Moel Siabod in Snowdonia. Photo: Chris Johnson

“The main compartment worked well by keeping all of my kit close to my back. I found this really helped to increase the carrying comfort, particularly when I had the pack fully loaded for a day in the hills. There’s something extremely satisfying about finding a vest that fits you well, and the Curbar manages to do this at a fraction of the cost of many of its competitors, so big thumbs up there.

“It’s clear Kate (the founder of Harrier) has listened to the feedback from fellow trail runners when designing this vest: it’s got everything a trail runner needs, while cutting out on many of the useless features found on many other vests.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

Harrier Curbar 5L


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