If you are looking for a cheap, but reliable, trail running hydration vest or running backpack then check out our honest and very well informed Aonijie hydration vest review. In our view this is the ideal purchase for everyone to the beginner to those that are looking for a good all round hydration vest for running.
Update – 25/05/23 – I am still using this and it is still going strong – have got more than my money’s worth having completed several long runs and 2 x 50+ mile ultras. It really is good value for money.
Why I Chose the Aonijie Hydration Vest
I chose this Aonijie hydration vest back in 2018. The main reason being that a few members of our running group had bought the vest and rated it. I also didn’t have a fortune to spend on running kit either, mainly running road and just getting into trail running with none of the gear and no idea.
It was over 3 years ago now and it was when I started training for my first ultra. The mileage was 30 which at the time absolutely terrified me. What’s worse was that I had to do most of the training in Spain as pre-pandemic I used to spend the entire summer holidays there with the kids. I could not train for an ultra without one so I did some research, took the word of my running friends and ordered it.
The Perfect Trail Running Backpack
Not wanting to spend a fortune on my first hydration vest when I had never used one before, I decided to give the Aonijie hydration vest a go. After all, the reviews were good and my running friends were using it. The cost was pretty much the same as it is today too.
So, let’s actually review the vest. I took it out for my first run which was only about ten miles. I normally wouldn’t bother with a vest for ten miles or less but am always keen to try out new kit. You know what it’s like – you get new kit and you can’t wait to try it. It was comfortable, it didn’t jiggle around when I run (you have to fill it with stuff though) and I felt OK running with it.
I didn’t opt for the bladder as I prefer the bottles at the front. Note – this only has one water bottle pocket at the front so you will need a bladder if you want more water OR YOU CAN CHOOSE THE TWO BOTTLE VERSION.
Top tip though – if I take two water bottles, I prop one up in the back of the vest to switch out for later and I can still fit plenty in it. The bottles don’t leak so you are safe. I also carry a foldable cup for race aid stations.
Storage Capacity – 5 Litres
I always take my very large phone, my key, some gel shot bloks, a water bottle or two, emergency toilet roll in a zip lock bag and a running buff and it fits perfectly. Because I don’t use a water bladder, using water bottles instead, I can fit all of this and more. I’ve used it in bad weather to store my waterproof coat and gloves and can still get my phone and a spare water bottle in the back. In fact, this is exactly what I did on a 20 mile trail run yesterday.
Using it For Long Distances
In the height of summer when you are running over 20 miles, you will need more water than the 500ml you can carry on the front. In these circumstances, you may choose a bladder instead so worth considering getting both the bottles and the bladder.
I have used it for a 30 mile ultra aswell but this was local to me and there were water stations along the route. I didn’t need to carry a lot of kit so I have never used the bladder, but it’s good to have both options.
Comfort and Fit
The fit on this vest is ideal with straps that give you leverage to tighten and loosen to fit. I am 5ft 4, slim build and small chest. I have to have them on the tighter settings so there is a lot of give.
I should also give kudos to the fact that this vest has seen me through well over 2,000 miles in 3 years. In this time it has been through the washing machine a number of times! The bottles come apart too so you can easily clean inside them with small brush.
The only slight niggle I have is that if it’s not got enough in it, even on the tightest settings, it can jiggle around a bit. In the heat, and wearing a vest, might lead to chafing. Be sure to use plenty of Bodyglide.
A Range of Options
Here you can see the range of colours. Order with or without the hydration bladder or purchase the 500ml Aonijie water bottles to go with it.
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For Unsupported Ultras
If you want a lightweight vest that is perfect for training, shorter trail runs (20 miles or so) and good for ultras that have aid stations, I would highly recommend. Where it isn’t so good is long ultras where you are self sufficient. You just can’t fit enough kit in and need to look at something that is more but for that purpose. Ideally in those situations you want a hydration backpack that can take 10 litre capacity rather than 5.
A Running Backpack that Does the Job
I am not a running kit snob, no need for labels, I buy what does the job. This hydration running vest comes in colours to suit all tastes and the fact that you get the If you are new to trail running, just getting into ultras, want a lightweight or lower budget option or just a decent quality running vest then the Aonijie Hydration Vest is definitely worth a try.