Nathan RunAway Collection Review
Sooner or later, we will be traveling again. To races and group runs, to places that, well … aren’t our couch (we love you couch, but we just need a break). As any good traveler knows, a good pack goes a long way. Traditional backpacks can be great, but it’s rare to find a pack that’s designed for runners, by runners.
Luckily for us, Nathan just released its RunAway collection, an entire lineup of gear ranging from daypacks to fanny packs. With varying capacities that allow for everything from shoe storage and hydration options, there’s something here that should suit all your adventuring needs, from the grocery store to the great outdoors.
ALEX: The Nathan Runaway 7 Liter Runner’s Pack is the smallest pack in the RunAway family. It has a compact look and feel, designed so that it can be stashed in your luggage when it’s not hauling your trail necessities. The idea is there, but the execution fell short in a few places.
The RunAway 7 Liter is affordable (only $25) and sports a simple design. The main compartment is large enough to fit a book, lightweight jacket, and a pair of tights. The smaller internal phone pocket was large enough for my iPhone, wallet, and keys. I prefer a zipper on those kinds of smaller pockets, but the velcro closure seemed to keep things in place well enough.
The material seems durable, but not super packable or lightweight. When the pack is secured with the chest strap, it doesn’t bounce. The Runaway 7 Liter sits high, like a running vest, and is comfortable with a full load, aided by ample shoulder strap padding. I found the bungee compression system unnecessary given the pack’s small volume.
One of my main complaints was the clunky design of the chest strap hook closure. I spent a lot of time trying to unhook and rehook the strap, as it isn’t easy to remove or secure. And without the strap, the pack bounces.
The RunAway 7 Liter could be great for a day hike or quick trip to the gym. I like the close fit and simplicity of the compartments.
JORDY: Good things come in twos with the Nathan RunAway 7 Liter Runner’s Pack. It has two adjustable shoulder and chest straps, as well as two pull bungees at the bottom of the pack to keep the contents from bouncing around during your run. Two internal pockets provide versatile storage, with one big enough for my iPhone and AirPods case and the other big enough for a few snacks, a water bottle, and a book for the ride home. In the main compartment, I fit a light pullover, leggings, and slides.
I took the RunAway 7 Liter pack with me on one of my morning long runs in the park. Having never run with any kind of pack before, it was a little off-putting at first. I was able to use the bungees to keep my things from bouncing around inside, and the shoulder and chest straps kept the pack secure against me. However, the hook system of the chest straps can be a little cumbersome at times, especially in the cold.
The outer materials seem to be pretty durable, but I wouldn’t recommend this pack for carrying things in the rain. Also, I like the lighter color that I got, but I’m afraid it’ll dirty up with regular use.
Overall, the RunAway 7 Liter pack is a great running accessory or daypack, especially for those running on trails or just logging hours of miles at a time.
PRICE: $25Shop RunAway 7 Liter
THOMAS: This thing is insane. This pack is ideal for any run commuters or anyone that likes to travel for races. You can literally take it all with you. For starters, the bag rests snuggly on your back and doesn’t bounce whether the bag is near empty or fully loaded. The bag has the standard two shoulder straps and only two lateral straps to achieve the lockdown. The padded back will keep you from getting jabbed by your junk.
Within the main compartment, there are several zippered pockets to keep things organized, as well as a water bladder pouch, and plenty of space for clothes. Don’t want to use a bladder? There are two generous side pockets designed to hold water bottles. Under the main storage is another zippered space set aside specifically for your shoes up to men’s size 12. There is room for a laptop in a padded separate pocket on the part of the backpack closet to your back.
But wait, there’s more! A pocket that is almost invisible is lined to protect sunglasses or your phone. My favorite feature is the bungee cords that can hold your foam roller or a tripod. The $60 price tag seems like a steal for this bag. With our headquarters a mile and a half from our home, this bag is gonna get abused this year.
PRICE: $60Shop RunAway 30 Liter
MERCER: The Nathan Runaway Runner’s Fanny Pack is a bottomless pit that holds all of your running goodies, well, right on your fanny (or across your shoulder like the kids today wear it). During my run, I was able to fit my phone and 17 gels in this pack which is absurd. It’s got four pockets that, as long as they’re not filled to the brim, won’t bounce with your stride. It also has a bungee compression system that allows you to shrink the insides of the pockets to keep everything in place.
The only complaint I had with the Runaway Runner’s Fanny Pack was all the extra strap I had hanging off of the pack. It doesn’t make the pack function poorly, but it doesn’t look right.
At a $20 price point, the Nathan Runaway Runner’s Fanny Pack is a great gift idea for the runner in your life, even if that’s yourself.
THOMAS: I thought there wasn’t a way to make a fanny pack you could run with that wouldn’t be flopping around. The pack stays secure against the body. Mercer is right about how absurd the storage built into the tiny pack. This pack is ideal for runners that are taking their time to finish a distance race. Or just walking around a new city for a day.
You will have the extra space for more nutrition and anything else you want to carry. The main zippered pocket has a divider to organize your goods. There is also another zippered pouch and an open pouch for quick access on the side of the pack that is closest to your body. This might be a stealthy pack for traveling. Instead of emptying all your pockets, put everything in the pack and whip it off to get through security faster and access your goods with more ease when flying. I used the elastic band on the belt to avoid the strap issues Mercer had.
PRICE: $20Shop RunAway Fanny Pack
ALEX: The NATHAN SpeedDraw Insulated Flask is an 18 oz / 535 mL double-wall insulated flask that keeps fluids cool. The ergo-shaped bottle allows for a natural, non-slip grip and a Race Cap for quick access.
I’ve used SpeedDraw flasks in the past (but not this insulated one) and have really appreciated its simple yet effective design. The expandable and zippered pocket fits most smartphones, plus nutrition, keys, and small essentials. I love when running accessories add reflective material, the more the better. It features 3M fabric for 360-degree reflectivity.
While the double-wall construction is marketed to keep fluids cooler for 20% longer than uninsulated bottles, I was interested in putting the reverse to the test. Currently, in Minnesota, temperatures have been hitting -20 on and off for over a week, cold water was the last thing I needed.
I left the SpeedDraw flask out in -15 degrees for about 4 hours to see how it would fare. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one quick squeeze broke up the small amount of ice that had formed on the inside allowing me to easily drink from it.
I’m super excited to bring the SpeedDraw flask with me on those hot summer runs. It’s an excellent option for handheld hydration during your long, strenuous miles.
PRICE: $29Shop SpeedDraw Flask
MERCER: You may be asking yourself, “What is a ‘Dirty Stuff’ sack?” Well, it’s a drawstring sack that you put your dirty stuff in. Simple as that. I found it pretty useful in the gross weather we’ve been having in Virginia. I was able to fit my jacket and shoes in it after a run and keep them separate from my dry stuff, which is huge. It’s definitely a running accessory that you don’t realize you need until you have it. The cinch locks tight, so nothing will come out like dirt, mud or even stench.
I’m not gonna tell you that you NEED to go grab a Dirty Stuff bag, but if you’ve got an extra $7.50 laying around on your way through the Nathan checkout, consider picking one up.Shop Dirty Stuff Sack
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