I was a proud winner of Nathan hydration products for the 2019 Running Free Lottery. I will be providing a review of the Nathan Trail Mix Plus 2 hydration belt, Fire & Ice Flasks and Race Caps.
The Nathan Trail Mix Plus 2 (20 oz.) hydration belt is an improvement from the Nathan Switchblade (24 oz.) hydration belt. For one, Nathan did without the adjustable Velcro flask holders! They were a real pain, as the Velcro for the flask holders found a way to stick onto your running gear rather than your fuel belt.
Another improvement I noticed right away was that Nathan did away with the gel loops. I found these loops would loosen over time and I would be victim to lost gel packs during my longer runs. I remember last year I had to sew these gel loops so that the loops were much smaller and could grip on to my gel packs. Instead of gel loops, the Trail Mix Plus 2 has a front stash pouch and adjustable cords so you can store and access your gels with ease.
The Trail Mix Plus 2 has two generic 10 oz. hydration flasks. I kind of wish that they kept the hand grips that were embedded in hydration flasks from the Nathan Switchblade hydration belt. The embedded hand grips made it really easy to hold on to your flasks while you ran.
The Trail Mix Plus 2 hydration belt also comes with a large zip pouch, which can hold larger smartphones and other necessities.
The hydration belt claims to be bounce-free, but once both hydration flasks are filled with fluid, your belt will still move. I noticed that I chafed more from this fuel belt (along my lower back) compared to my previous Nathan Switchblade hydration belt.
I also noticed that the elastic securing the hydration bottles from the Trail Mix Plus 2 hydration belt frays overtime. I might have to replace my fuel belt again next year.
The Fire & Ice Nathan hydration flasks are 8 oz. easy squeeze and doubled-walled. They are compatible with the Trail Mix Plus 2 hydration belt . They are supposed to keep fluids cooler 20% longer than any other insulated flasks, which they did. I’m curious to see if they will keep my fluids from freezing during the winter. I did have a faulty flask though. After three uses, my electrolyte fluid leaked between the double-wall barrier. Hopefully my new one holds up.
The Fire & Ice hydration flasks came with race caps which are convenient for racing but comes with its own drawback. Be warned-they are not leak-proof. You may notice that fluid from your flask may spontaneously spray out through these convenient caps while running. A non-issue during warmer seasons but may be unwelcomed during your winter runs.