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Nathan’s VaporAir (unisex) and VaporAiress (women’s) vests have been longtime favorites in the company’s lineup thanks to their combination of minimalist profile and large cargo capacity. Nathan’s new Lite versions of those vests shift the emphasis to the lightweight side, coming in about 30% lighter, but at the expense of some cargo capacity – 7L in the original VaporAiress compared to 4L in the Lite version. They also feature a new harness fitting system that allows a customizable fit.
One key design innovation is the use of Velcro attachment points on the rear torso, providing a large degree of variability to accommodate a large variety of sizes and precise customization. In this regard, it could be an ideal pack for those who struggle finding a pack that fits just right. The attachments are relatively easy to adjust on the fly, which allows you to change size when adding or removing layers. This comes in handy during unpredictable weather, or in mountain environments where weather changes can happen frequently.
The VaporAiress Lite features Nathan’s new lightweight breathable mesh for the main harnesses, and a thin moisture-wicking panel in the center of the back. The mesh has large ventilation holes that allow air to flow through, which helps the vest dry quickly from sweat. All of the material contacting the body has a soft, comfortable feel and when combined with a custom fit, the light weight makes the vest feel like next to nothing. The new material construction is a noticeable improvement over the original VaporAiress vest and is ideal for runners who sweat excessively.
Despite a reduced storage capacity compared to the original, the Lite version can support a decent amount of cargo and provides a number of storage options based on preference. Large dual pockets in the front can store up to 22oz of fluid, or larger items like a phone if you’re not carrying flasks. We tested Nathan’s 22oz soft flask (sold separately) with this vest and it rested snuggly against the chest with minimal bouncing. Each front strap has a smaller pocket with an adjustable cinch closure. These are great for trash storage or small items, but we did find that things fall out somewhat easily if the cord is not cinched completely. If two bottles are used in the front, there is not a great option for phone storage in front of the pack, as the Lite vests lack the vertical zipper pocket behind the flasks that are found on the original VaporAir and VaporAiress vests. Rear storage is primarily occupied by the 2L reservoir, but there is a full-length Velcro pocket above this that has plenty of space. An additional small pocket at the back equipped with a zipper closure is great for items like keys that you want to keep secure.
We found the VaporAiress Lite to be a fantastic addition to our gear closet for traveling light and fast, and also a great option for those who often find themselves in the “in between” sizes, as the adjustable sizing system allows for a lot of customization and overall comfort.
The Nathan VaporAiress Lite and VaporAir Lite Vests are now available at www.nathansports.com.
Specs and Features:
- Weight without bladder: 7oz
- Storage Capacity: 244 cu in/4L
- Fluid reservoir: 2L bladder
- Adjustable sizing system and dual sternum straps
- 7 total pockets, including large capacity stretch mesh rear compartment
- Front pockets accommodate flasks up to 22oz (sold separately)
- 360-degree reflective accents
- Two size options
- MSRP: $125