75879LTR - Kenmark Sports Armband Water Bottle - Andrea Murland
- May 23, 2013Jamie,
Here's my late LTR on the water bottle. I had the right date in my head and started the report but when I didn't see any others pop up I thought I had it wrong so didn't finish it. Bridget has now set me straight. Whoops.... Thanks in advance for the edits! It was good working with you on this test.
Kenmark Sports Armband Water Bottle
Long Term Report – May 23, 2013
I have used the Kenmark Sport Armband Water Bottle for running, cross-country skiing, hiking, and ski touring since my initial report, as summarized here:
Skate skiing: 16 times, duration of up to 2 hours, temperatures between -20 C (-4 F) and 5 C (41 F). Clothing was one to three layers of moderate insulation.
Running: 6 times, duration of up to 2 hours, temperatures between -15 C (5 F) and 25 C (77 F). Clothing was zero to 3 layers on my arm.
Hiking & Ski Touring: 9 times, duration of up to 2 days, temperatures between -15 C (5 F) and 10 C (50 F). Clothing was one to 3 layers thick.
My very first use of the water bottle was on a cross-country ski at about -18 C (0 F). I was about 3 km (1.9 mi) into my ski, and I’d used the bottle once, when it seemed like my arm was feeling cold underneath the band. After some more skiing in denial, I determined that the bottle was leaking. I tried several times to re-screw on the lid with no luck. When I finished my ski and got home I had a very soggy arm, frozen clothes, and the water bottle and holder had a layer of ice on them. Thankfully, that is the only leak I’ve had over the course of the test.
I have found that the lid of the bottle is easily put on crooked and not threaded properly. I frequently have to try a couple of times to get the lid on properly. I suspect that my leak event was caused by this, followed by being iced up and unable to be screwed down properly.
I used the holder in quick access mode almost exclusively. I found that, even with the bouncing movement of running, the bottle was secure in that position. It was much easier to get the bottle out of the holder one-handed, with gloves on, and without taking my ski poles off.
Although the holder did a good job of holding the bottle and giving me quick access to my water, I found that it was a bit of a pain when hiking or ski touring. During those activities, I often access my backpack to change layers, get out food, etc. With the holder on my arm, getting my pack shoulder straps on and off was a challenge, and I had to modify the order that I usually put on my shoulder straps. In addition, if I was changing layers, I had to take off the Armband Water Bottle in addition to my pack and my clothing. This wasn’t really a concern while running or cross-country skiing, as I don’t carry a pack and rarely remove layers during these activities.
The pocket I usually used for my cross-country skiing pass. When running I put my ID and occasionally my phone in the pocket. I did try it with my mp3 player once while ski touring, but found that it made it even harder to take my pack on and off because of the headphones getting caught on things. Since I don’t generally take music with me outside, it was easy to give that up as a feature.
Other than the ice on the outside of the bottle while it was leaking, I never experienced any freezing in the bottle during day trips. On my overnight trip the bottle did freeze while in the tent overnight, at about -15 C (5 F).
Comfort & Fit:
I found the armband to be generally comfortable when worn over clothes. On bare skin, the straps are a bit scratchy and after 30 minutes or so start to get noticeably uncomfortable. When running with bare arms and wearing the armband, there were red marks and light indentations on my arm. I did find that I had to tighten up the straps a lot or the holder would slip down my arm towards my elbow as I moved, which rapidly became extremely irritating and would necessitate stopping to fix the issue. There seemed to be a small window between being tight enough and too tight and constricting. It seemed that over the course of the test I had to tighten the straps more and more, but I have no real data to support my theory that the straps may have stretched. I will note that I was generally wearing fewer layers as the test progressed, so that may have contributed.
I found that the Armband Water Bottle was comfortable while cross-country skiing, ski touring, and hiking – low impact activities. While running, it bounced a fair bit and was less comfortable, but manageable. I think I still prefer it to any other water carriers I’ve tried for running.
The water bottle has a few scratches on it where the blue colour has come off, but otherwise the bottle looks good. Unfortunately, the plastic on the front of the holder is broken. It shattered when I touched it the morning of my overnight ski tour, after spending the night at about -15 C (5 F). As I mentioned above, I think the straps might be stretching, but they still work.
The Armband Water Bottle has been a good addition to my kit. It was especially useful while cross-country skiing for carrying water, and is comfortable enough that I will carry it while running, which is better than my usual practice of not carrying any water at all! However, I will probably continue using my existing hydration setups for hiking with a backpack.
Easy access to water
Bottle was secure in the “quick access” configuration
Able to use it with gloves and ski poles on
Pocket for small items
Pocket front shattered
Straps may be stretching
Complicates taking a backpack on or off
Thanks to Kenmark Sports and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this interesting product!
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