When Salomon’s bag designers sat down with women trail runners in recent years to learn more about their race experiences, they were surprised to learn that many of them had a story about abandoning a trail running race simply because they had discomfort from whatever pack they were wearing. The design team thought this was unacceptable, so they went to work to make women’s running vests/packs more, well, female-friendly.
“In the past, even professional trail running athletes have told us that one of the biggest discomforts during races was abrasions caused by their pack,” says Dorian Treboux, Product Line Manager for Salomon’s Bags category. “We took that into consideration and, back in 2019, started this approach to designing bags specifically for women. Now, all of our trail running vests are available in specific women’s versions.”
The biggest issue reported by women runners was that many bags cause skin abrasions because they move around while running, so Salomon’s pack developers first set about improving the design shape to better fit women’s bodies.
“If the bag doesn’t fit your body, it moves a lot and you have injuries because the bag isn’t fixed,” Dorian explains.
The bag design team re-worked the fit for a women’s morphology using Sensift technology, a stretchy and breathable material. While men’s versions use Sensifit on the sides, the women’s bags have additional Sensifit material under the arms, on the sides of the chest and wrapping around to the back under the arms, increasing comfort in areas that have traditionally caused trouble for women runners.
What's the deal with those straws?
Creating packs that better fit a woman’s body also meant examining the shape of the flasks that hold your water and offering a straw to drink from. The shape of women’s specific flasks was improved to fit under the breast, rather than on the chest as it is positioned in men’s packs. The women’s-specific 500 ml flasks come with a long straw, which should cut down from the top to a length that works for you.
“To determine where to cut your straw on the woman’s flasks, fill them with water, put them in your running vest and see what length of straw makes it comfortable for you to drink,” Dorian explains. “Then cut the straw, keep the valve and filter, and put them back on the end of the straw. They should fit securely. You don’t want the straw to be too long because it will swing around when you run and be uncomfortable.”