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Product Review - Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set - EXCLUSIVE!

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I was asked some weeks ago by Steve and James at Castleberg Outdoors to test a new, exciting and unreleased pack from Salomon....the Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set, as per usual with Salomon products my first impression was wow!! - Mark

Mark McGoldrick (Goldie) is a seasoned competitor on the UK Fell Running scene and has some impressive results under his belt with more bound to follow this season… Mark has been training with and testing the new Salomon Advanced Skin Lab Hydro 5 Set exclusively for us. The results are below...

We've got some exclusive stock of the Salomon Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set coming very soon - for further details on the Salomon Hydro 5 Set and for information on how to get a pair take a look at our Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set product page.

Salomon Advanced Skin Lab Hydro 5 Set - laid out with essentials

As it is with most Salomon products the Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set looked the business, but the biggest question was what would its performance be like in a key race? After just one outing, it was decided that I would use it the prestigious, Salomon sponsored Three Peaks race.

Salomon Advanced Skin Lab Hydro 5 Set - Side View

As soon as you put the pack on it simply feels apart of you, like you have just put your racing vest on. This is thanks to the unique Salomon Sensifit which uses innovative positioning of stretch material that moulds to the shape of the body ensuring a stable and secure fit.

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The twin link fastening system across the chest really makes the fit secure and is so easy to tighten & loosen off. The straps snap on and off a lightweight rail on the shoulder straps meaning they can be positioned according to individual preferences and their elastic nature means there is never any feeling of restriction to breathing or movement.

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As with most long Fell races we needed to carry the correct equipment for the duration of the race and the pack came up trumps with its many great pockets. The outer zip pockets easily hold your map, compass hat & gloves, and there are plenty of drop-in mesh pockets for easy access to energy gels and bars. The design and distribution of the pockets on the new 5 set is one of the big differences to previous models. Salomon have removed pockets which were deemed fiddly to use or surplus to requirements and ensured those remaining are functional and easy to access on the move. Highlighting this, on race day I set off in a jacket over the top of the pack but once on the climb up Penyghent I decided to take of the jacket, I could then simply roll it up, reach over the back of my head and stash away.

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The pack honestly felt lighter with all the gear in than it does in a bumbag and if you are running for more than 3 hours the weight spread over your back compared to around your waist is vital and the easier access to the pockets just hits all the right buttons.  In the new version of the 5 Set Salomon have really stripped the weight down, with the pack coming in at just 260g. This has been achieved by the removal of any unnecessary extras and any of the hard trims. The latter has also significantly improved the comfort of the pack especially around the front of the shoulder straps.

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Another major change in the most recent version of the Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set is the inclusion of two 500ml softflasks in the perfectly sized front shoulder strap pockets. These are fantastic with the flasks hardly moving at all due to their snug fit and compression as they are emptied.

Salomon Advanced Skin Lab Hydro 5 Set - in motion (down to Settle)

Comfort during long events is vital and the Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set certainly achieved this. The mesh on your back is comfortable and also lets the pack breathe and sweat build up never seemed to be a problem. On the move, the pack felt great and once into the rhythm of the race you completely forget it’s there until you need something and then it’s close at hand.

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If its ultra running your into or long days in the mountains this pack is certainly worth taking a closer look at and thanks to the fantastic team at Castleberg Outdoors I have had the pleasure of being one of the first to experience firsthand the improvements that the new Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set has to offer.

We've got some exclusive stock of the Salomon Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set coming very soon - for further details on the Salomon Hydro 5 Set and for information on how to get a pair take a look at our Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5 Set product page.

We’ve been working closely with Salomon and we’ve been really lucky to get a host of new Salomon products to play with – the Salomon S-Lab XT 6 is due in soon and you can pre order the Salomon S-Lab XT 6 NOW. Plus keep an eye on our news section (https://www.castlebergoutdoors.co.uk/blog) or facebook page for up to date details.