Harrier Kinder 10L Trail Running Vest | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Harrier Kinder 10L Trail Running Vest | Review

The Kinder 10L from Harrier Running is an extremely comfortable and well-featured trail vest, for great value

Founded in 2019 by Peak District-based Kate Mackenzie, Harrier Running has gone from strength to strength since its modest beginnings (Kate’s started it from her bedroom, between her full-time job). Today, the brand offers an affordable product range, from trail vests to running poles, and is showing the larger brands what can be produced without an outrageous price tag.

“You’ll not find any ‘next generation construction’ slogans”

So how does a young brand go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights, and still manage to pull the punches on pricing and features? Well, that’ll firstly be thanks to its direct to consumer model, ensuring there’s no middle man (shops) creaming off any profits.

Secondly, take one look at a Harrier pack and you’ll learn that the company likes to keep their kit nice and simple. Their equipment is still packed with features (more on that below), but you’ll not find any ‘next generation construction’ slogans or gimmicks dreamed up by oversized marketing teams.

So this, the Harrier Kinder 10 is the latest trail running vest from Harrier and, as we’ve come to expect from the brand, it’s packed full of useful features that’ll help to streamline your life on the trail. Coming in at a size of 10 litres, this is going to be an ideal option for those winter or longer distance runs where you’ll require the extra space for additional clothing, equipment and fuelling.

“This is going to be an ideal pack for those winter or longer distance runs”

We’re big fans of trail running vests in the 10 – 20 litre category. Some stand out options we’ve tested include the OMM Phantom 20 and Inov-8 Adventure Lite 15. While the Harrier Kinder 10 isn’t quite a multi-sport champion like the OMM and Inov-8 packs, it is sporting a generous capacity and good carrying comfort, meaning that it’s going to be an ideal candidate for longer distance trail running adventures.

Both the Phantom 20 and the Adventure Lite 15 make use of pretty complex carrying systems to ensure the load is evenly distributed across your back. The Kinder 10, on the other hand, relies on a close fit to your body for stability. Four sizes (XS –L) are available to help tune that fit based on your body shape. On top of that, if you size up larger than a L, then check out the Stanage XL vest, which features both XL and XXL sizes.

The majority of this storage comes from a large back compartment. This compartment is split up into two sections by a lightweight mesh divider. This compartmentalised space gives you the option to throw in either a 1.5 or 2 litre bladder for hydration on the go (the bladder sleeve can be easily set up on either the left or right shoulder).

The shoulder straps feature the standard sleeves for 500 or 300ml water flasks and plenty pockets – for gels, bars and even smaller maps (like a Harvey) – both on the shoulder straps and the side of the vest.

If you’re lacking equipment such as flasks, first aid kits and bivvy bags, then it’s worth mentioning that Harrier sell these handy vest bundles with everything you need to get you out on the hill.

Tester’s Verdict

I guess the first thing that’s worth noting about this vest is the importance of the fit. Get it right and you’re going to have an extremely snug and stable running vest that’ll happily hold down 10 litres-worth of equipment in the main compartment. If you do however get the fit slightly off, then the vest will bounce around as you run.

I handed this pack around to some of my trail running partners, who found the large size a little too big for them, and they noticed a lot of bounce while running. This bounce is due to the lack of a suspension system (like the ‘yolk’ system found on the OMM Phantom 20), which usually allows for you easy adjustment on the fly.

With that out of the way, it’s worth noting that I’ve been left extremely impressed with the fit and overall comfort of the Kinder 10. I’m usually split between a medium and large and found the large Kinder 10 to fit very true to size, and for that reason it carried extremely well – even when full to capacity. Size this pack right and you’re going to have an extremely well-balanced pack.

The Kinder 10 has stood up well in terms of durability, even after a bunch of longer distance trail running trips (20 – 30 km each). Kate noted that I’d received a pre-production sample that featured slightly less durable mesh, which is certainly noticeable. Other than that, the whole pack has stood up pretty well. Although the fabric is lightweight, it handles any potential scuffs without bother.

The bungee cord on the back of the vest can look quite untidy. Say you take a jacket out of the pack and cinch the vest down, there seems to be a lot of excess bungee left to flap around as you run. A quick, streamlined solution to this would be to create a tuck sleeve to hold any excess bungee. A small point, I know, but I feel this made the pack look unfinished.

All in all I’m pretty impressed with the amount of features that the Harrier Kinder 10 has. Coming in at £60, it’s got the price tag of a Decathlon vest, but all the features and comfort of a Salmon or Terrex vest. Finally there’s the woman behind the brand. Kate’s clearly extremely passionate about her company and making it the best she can – this is something that’s refreshing in the extremely competitive world of trail running brands.

We’re really looking forward to seeing what Harrier comes up with for 2021.

Full Specifications

10 litre / zipped main pocket with hydration sleeve / two soft flask pockets / secure zipped pocket for phone/ DWR treated fabric / XS – L.

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