The Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set may be the ultimate trail running pack, so if you’re not serious about your running then you may as well stop reading now. This pack defines intensity.
- Loaded with tons of cool, well placed features
- Form fitting, fits more like a race vest than running pack
- Underarm hydration system
- Lightweight and breathable (beyond belief)
- Slightly smaller than we expected
- While we didn’t have any issues, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that others have had issues with material durability.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a serious trail runner or ultra runner then this is an incredible pack, but not one to be taken lightly.
Before we get into a detailed look at this pack, we’ve got to say that we are thoroughly impressed with Salomon products, especially the Advanced Skin S-Lab 5. They picked the brain of elite runner Kilian Jornet to ensure this pack was incredible.
(In addition to our review you can check out the video below created by Salomon.)
Comfort and Fit
There’s really 2 unique features that Salomon added to help this pack achieve an incredible fit:
- Twin Linking System. These are elastic straps that stretch from one shoulder strap to the other. The cool part is you can connect them pretty much any which way you want, which makes it great for women who may have difficulty with other types of chest straps. Once you have the link system set up it actually feels like the pack is “hugging” you, which is one of the reasons you barely notice it while running.
- Load Lifters. The Sensi Load Lifters are positioned on top of the shoulder straps to help alleviate and stabilize any load in the pack. The cool part is these load lifters are also supposed to help keep pressure on the bladder so you always have good flow to the hydration tube.
In addition to those unique features the pack is made out of washable, fast wicking mesh fabric that almost feels “stretchy.” All the edges are trimmed with satin soft tape to prevent any chafing along with their Sensifit antibacterial fabric. Salomon refers to their Sensifit fabric as “self adjusting” meaning it’s supposed to conform to the contour of your body for the perfect fit.
Another unique feature of the Salomon S-Lab 5 pack is the “underarm” hydration. Unlike most packs where the hydration tube extends from the top of the pack and down the shoulder strap, the S-Lab does just the opposite. There’s not a lot to say here except that some people like it better and some people don’t. In our opinion it is definitely easier to access.
The bladder included is created by Hydrapak and has a 1.5 liter capacity and uses a slide seal for easy refilling. We kind of wish they went with a 2 liter capacity and made the pack slightly larger, but we understand one of their main goals was to make a lightweight, breathable, “barely there” pack, so the size they chose does make sense.
In addition to the hydration bladder there’s also multiple pockets on the shoulder straps that are perfect for storing a water bottle, 1 of which is a removable pocket.
If we had 2 words to describe this pack it might be “storage galore”. Check out all the compartments you’ll have:
- 1 main compartment
- 2 zipped belt pockets
- 2 chest pockets
- 1 safety pocket
- 1 mobile pocket
- 1 removable chest pocket
Overall the pack is a 5 liter pack (or 305 cubic inches).
Below you’ll find a couple more detailed photos of the “energy pocket” and phone pocket.
This pack is not cheap, but we’ve taken the time to find the best price online for you.