I have been riding with the Women’s Chase Vest 50oz, Camelbak’s only women’s specific bike vest. The Chase Vest is designed to fit a woman’s body, which means, it’s smaller on the back and the adjustable chest straps allow for a more custom fit. This vest is great for any woman looking for a more minimalist hydration pack.
The Chase Bike Vest ($99 MSRP, available at REI, Wiggle, and Amazon) works really well for my riding style. I use it for most of my weekday rides that don’t usually take longer than two hours. Unless I’m hauling a camera along with me, or planning a long day in the high country, I don’t generally want or need a pack that’s too big. On the front range trails in my area that are full of steep climbs, the Chase Vest is the perfect size because it doesn’t feel like it’s working against me. If 50oz of water isn’t enough, one of the chest pockets could easily fit a small water bottle.
The Chase Vest is lightweight and has a small footprint on the back. I’m 5’2” and it extends from below my neck to the middle of my back. It sits high and doesn’t pull on the shoulders like a traditional pack, which can be frustrating on a long day.
The pack has a multitude of well-designed and well-placed pockets. Pockets on the chest straps allow for quick access to your phone and snacks while on the move. Pockets on the back provide more than enough storage for tools, extra food, and possibly a light rain shell.
The adjustable chest straps move easily to ensure a good fit. The Chase Vest also stays in place while riding, even down technical descents, and it doesn’t bounce around.
There were a few negatives to this pack that I noticed. With the water reservoir full it can be hard to fit in the pack if you have anything in the back pockets. With the reservoir full it’s also hard to fit anything extra, like a rain layer, in the outer stretch pocket. In this case, I generally fill the reservoir a little less and carry a bottle on my bike. If you don’t plan on carrying bigger items, like an extra layer, or have a more strategic packing plan, this won’t be a problem. Like other Camelbak bags, the loop attachment that holds the reservoir up can be difficult to use, and it would be nice if it did a better job preventing the reservoir from slumping down.
Aside from those few nitpicks, I really enjoyed the vest. Overall, I think the Chase is a nice alternative when I need more than a water bottle but less weight than my normal pack. I can get a lot of miles in and have snacks and water but not feel weighed down. Camelbak designed the Chase with biking in mind, but I use it for trail running and hiking just as often as I do for riding. If you intended on carrying enough to fill all the pockets, you may be better off going for something bigger than a vest. But if you are looking for a minimalist option the Chase Vest has proven to be a great option.
We would like to thank Camelback for sending the Chase Vest for testing and review.
The Feel Good, Ride Good series is an effort to help women find mountain bike gear and clothing that just feels right. We recognize women have different body shapes, styles, and needs so we hope to help them discover women’s products that fit those unique requirements so we can just focus on the ride. While we are all different, we all want gear that fits, that works, and matches the energy and personality we bring to the bike. We’ll be back on #FeelGoodFriday with more women’s MTB products.