Red and black is the new black… at least as far as the 2013 Salomon S-Lab range of products are concerned. The Sense Ultra has this colour way, the new S-Lab 12 Set Pack and the new S-Lab Skin 2 Belt.
I first saw the S-Lab Skin 2 Belt being used at ‘La Course des Templiers‘ in the latter stages of 2012. Several of the Salomon Team used the belt.
As with all products in the S-Lab range it is about finding a solution to a problem! Light, minimalist, practical and comfortable are all important key elements that go into the design of a product like this.
At some point, many of us will have used a belt pack and like so many other people the biggest problem has been ‘bounce’ from the bottles. Salomon are getting around this problem by providing a belt that fits close to the body. It is provided with 2 small 200ml bottles but actually the belt pack may actually be far more comfortable and versatile using the new ‘Soft Flasks‘.
The soft flask when first released was only available in small sizes but Salomon are now releasing a range of new larger sizes to be used with the new 2013 range of products such as the new S-Lab 12 pack and the new Hydro handheld flasks with glove.
Other key elements are storage options. It has zipped pockets, stretch pockets and bottle pockets. It has 2 bottle pockets on one side and six pockets on the other, two of which have zips.
The belt is really two halves coming together to make one whole item. The two halves are connected with Salomon’s snap clip closers, which are lighter than alternative buckles. They ensure the pack remains very secure once fastened. This secure fastening can mean that fastening and unfastening can be a little fiddly but once on the fit is great! You have the option to choose which way round to position the bottles and pockets depending on your requirements or personal preference, realistically it has no front or back.
It really is practical and spacious. It has a large, well thought out pocket system. A total of six pockets. I added small zip cord to my belt as a lack of a ‘pull’ on the zip pockets means they are not easy to open on the move or if wearring gloves. A small omission that is easily rectified. The zipped pockets are ideal for valuables such as money, keys, phone, camera etc
Two large pockets sit on top of the zipper pockets, they are open and ideal for energy bars or items you may need to access easily. Two narrow, angled pockets at the edge of the belt are perfect for holding energy gels or salt tabs etc as they can be easily pulled out as and when needed.
Ultimately you either like belt packs or not. But if you have used a belt pack in the past and just not liked it through poor fit or bounce, then you may well find that this is the product to convert you! The Skin S-Lab Belt is made with Salomon’s high attention to comfort and fit. Using ‘Sensifit’ the belt fits really well to the contours of your body. Adjustable waist straps offer flexibility to enable runners to get a comfortable fit and reducing bounce even when fully loaded in addition the mesh construction keeps it breathable
Salomon Running website HERE