Salomon does a superb job of designing stretchy, breathable hydration packs that conform to the body and provide a remarkably precise fit. Having used Salomon running vests for years, I had zero hesitation returning to the brand when I needed a new minimalist setup. I knew the Salomon Sense Pro 10 ($180) would be light as a feather, great at absorbing and removing moisture, and would provide ample pockets for all my essentials.Shop the Salomon Sense Pro 10
Salomon Sense Pro 10 Construction and Fit
The Salomon Sense Pro 10 is constructed similarly to other modern Salomon hydration packs, composed of a mixture of stretchy softshell material and mesh. The mesh lines the pack where it makes contact with your body, and the stretchy softshell material makes up the exterior layer of the pack, including all the pockets.
Speaking of pockets, lots of pockets cover the Sense Pro 10 in every direction you look, intended to provide swift access to all you’ll need for up to several hours of running in a variety of conditions.
The Sense Pro 10 employs Salomon’s adjustable zig-zag elastic front buckle system. You can move the elastic cords up and down each chest strap. And additionally, you can adjust the tension on the cords to get a closer or looser fit. In short, this system remains the super comfortable yet precise fit we have grown to appreciate in Salomon’s running vests.
When I got my first Salomon hydration pack close to 10 years ago, there were far fewer women’s-specific options available, if any that I can recall. Currently, there are several female-fit packs available and also various unisex packs, both in a wide variety of sizes. I tested an extra small in the unisex Sense Pro 10.
Salomon size charts suggest the unisex extra small is compatible with a chest measurement of 31 to 34 inches (78.5 to 85.5 centimeters). With a chest measurement of approximately 35 inches, I seem to fall somewhere between an extra small and a small.
I own a small unisex Salomon Adv Skin 12 running vest, designed for chest sizes ranging from 34.5 to 38 inches, per their website. Due to the stretchy nature of the vest and front adjustable cords, both sizes have worked well. I have to cinch the small down considerably, and a generous amount of cord is available on the front for adjustments.
However, I do wonder if sizing down (as well as precipitation and uneven weight distribution) on the Sense Pro 10 encouraged the neck chafing I recently earned while running a trail marathon, as I cannot recall having that issue with other Salomon packs.
Salomon suggests sizing up if between sizes; I would agree with that recommendation on this particular pack, as others have reported it may run a touch smaller than some of the other styles.
Salomon Sense Pro 10 Storage and Hydration Options
The Salomon Sense Pro 10 offers 10 liters of storage capacity; there is also a five-liter version in the Sense Pro. I usually opt higher versus lower when given a range of volume options, as Salomon has a knack for keeping pack weight down despite carrying capacity.
Comparing the Sense Pro 10 with the Sense Pro 5, the main difference appears to be the presence or absence of the large zippered pocket on the back, which substantially increases the storage capacity at the penalty of a fraction of an ounce.
The front stretch pockets accommodate an array of items for very easy access. Two big zipper pockets in the front serve as my go-to holders of all the things I prefer easy access to, but also can’t chance losing.
A third, smaller, zipper pocket higher on the right chest strap also provides easy and secure storage. The opposing chest stretch pocket (that also contains a small whistle), despite lacking the security of a zipper, is designed with overlapping fabrics so you’re unlikely to lose anything.
This is a favorable update, in my opinion, from previous models with pockets featuring large side openings. I’ve used these side pockets to clip in my old-school iPod shuffle, an outdated convenience that likely currently applies to very few ultrarunners. I am happy to report that the Sense Pro 10 has 100% functional and sensible storage options when compared to previous models.
The back kangaroo pocket rides nice and high, which is very comfortable but reminds me that I need to return to yoga and work on my shoulder mobility. I’ve never had issues with items jumping ship from here, but they can be slightly cumbersome to retrieve, as access is only from the top. Like the other non-zipped storage options, the back compartment and side kangaroo pockets are silicone-grip-lined to help keep gear secure.
The large back zipper storage area is my go-to for contingency items that may be handy to have, but don’t need to access on the go. The inner wall of this area is mesh, so contents are subject to sweat and/or may cause you to sweat more by reducing the breathability of that part of the hydration pack.
For example, I tossed a Patagonia Houdini windbreaker jacket in there recently to have available for post-run coffee; by the end of my run, it was nice and sweaty and not especially helpful. I love that substantial storage is an option in the large back zippered pocket if needed; just protect that Houdini from sweat via the old ziplock baggie trick!
Breathability is certainly better retained when the back zippered pocket is not chock-full of items. The pack retains a slim fit and is streamlined, with no extra fabric flapping around, even when empty.
The Sense Pro 10 comes with two of Salomon’s new speed soft flasks, which have a hard base. I was very impressed the first time I slid these flasks in and out of the front pockets with notable ease when compared to the regular soft flasks, which have a soft, flat-seamed base.
However, I have to echo some of the feedback Salomon has received regarding the speed soft flasks: while they may streamline your aid station experience, their hard bases may also beat up your ribs. Some runners seem to be resilient to the mild abuse caused by the movement of the bases against their torsos. I personally experienced this with a previous setup, and have consequently been resistant to give the speed soft flasks a second shot, opting rather to use the regular soft flasks from my Salomon Adv Skin set.
Bungee loops secure the top of the flasks in place so they don’t slouch down into the pockets. Recent models of Salomon soft flasks seem to be more durable and far less likely to spring a leak around the lid and seams compared to my flasks from a decade past.
I have zero leaks to report from any Salomon soft flasks I’ve acquired in the last couple of years. Granted, I’ve used the regular soft flasks significantly more than the speed soft flasks included with this pack.
The Sense Pro 10 has been perfectly suited for circumstances in which the 34-ounce capacity of the two soft flasks is sufficient. Instead of packing water on my back, I can enjoy the increased breathability of water not being there!
Unlike the Adv Skin hydration packs, there is no handy little reservoir sleeve for a bladder or loops to thread a bladder hose. In a pinch, you could still put a bladder in the area between your back and the large back zippered pocket, but you’d just be lacking the extra compatibility features that make it especially comfortable and convenient.
Salomon Sense Pro 10 Overall Impressions
My tried-and-true, long-term relationship with a well-fit Salomon hydration pack has me convinced that I need not shop elsewhere. The Salomon Sense Pro 10 pack has a great design for trail racing when you need more pockets than your shorts have to offer, and when it’s not necessary to carry lots of water, like in my aforementioned trail marathon.
If you hope to purchase a hydration pack primarily for long hauls that are self-supported, I would suggest exploring the Adv Skin sets, designed to better accommodate a bladder and increased storage weight in general. Whether lightly loading my Sense Pro 10 with the intent of staying quick and unencumbered, or dropping off-grid with everything under the sun in my Adv Skin 12, I love how Salomon’s construction can breathe, stretch.
And, if sized appropriately, it can ride so smooth that it feels like a part of your own body. My previous packs have endured years of wear and abuse; I’m optimistic this one will as well.Shop the Salomon Sense Pro 10
Call for Comments
- Are you running or racing in the Salomon Sense Pro 10? If so, share your thoughts on this specific hydration pack.
- What is your favorite Salomon running vest?
- If you’re a female, do you prefer women’s-specific vests, or do unisex ones work well for you?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]