The FITLY Sub90 Hydro Running Pack

FITLY Sub90 Hydro Running Pack Review

The original FITLY pack was the perfect low profile storage solution for shorter activities. After listening to customer feedback and some thoughtful design, FILTY has released a new model focused on adding hydration while maintaining the same comfort and low profile that they're running packs are known for.

What Is It?

The FITLY Sub90 Hydro Running Pack is a minimalist running pack specifically designed to address hydration and storage needs while still providing a similar level of comfort and fit as the original.

The pack is constructed of a water resistant durable exterior shell on the outside while the inner body contact parts are made up of a very soft but breathable odor fighting fabric. It's smooth to the touch and very comfortable.

Easy to hang image

The support strap also makes the pack easy to hang.

The fabric that touches your skin. image

Soft anti-odor fabric is used throughout.

Size Comparison image

Sub90 on the left and Sub45 on the right.

Phone pocket image

The dedicated pocket keeps your phone from bouncing around.

Fully loaded image

At capacity, it's still not very large.

This new model now has three main zippered storage pockets in the back. The smallest pocket is perfect for keys, wallets, and/or gels. The 2nd largest pocket contains a dedicated phone holder as well as room for items as large as a packable windbreaker. The largest pocket is insulated and designed to hold a bespoke designed reservoir that holds 17oz (500mL) of liquids. The specially designed cap has a tube that conveniently snakes through a cleverly designed right shoulder strap. The tube comes with extra length so you can trim it to fit you. The other end of the tube has a lockable bite valve to provide hassle-free hydration while on the move. It's not a lot of capacity but probably enough for 2.5 hours of activity depending on effort, weather, and fitness.

How it works image

The tube internally connects to the right shoulder strap.

Tube routing image

The external zipper allows for easier tube management.

Thoughtful touches image

The bite valve holder keeps the tube from bouncing around.

The signature sub-pectoral thoracic belt system keeps the pack in place and contains another two storage pockets on either side for added convenience. Inside the left pocket is a smaller pocket for the included safety whistle. The right pocket contains 3 smaller pockets designed for keys, pills, or other low profile items. The thoracic belt is held in place with a neat magnetic fastener that is easy to get on and off. Each side of the belt is also adjustable so you can dial-in the fit.

The shoulder straps are also adjustable. While the shoulder straps have reflective tab loops, the left shoulder has additional and additional loop that's designed to be a sunglass holder.

More nice touches image

The reflective tab loops can be provide additional utility. The rear middle loop can accommodate safety lights as well.

Thoracic pockets image

Both pockets are expandable to hold 150mL soft flasks, gels, keys, and other items. Both have additional smaller pockets inside.

Convenient sunglass holder image

The left strap has additional loops for holding your sunglasses.

Other nice touches of the pack is the support strap at the top for easy carrying and shoulder support, the loops on the bottom back for creative mounting options (like a rear light), and the reflective touches on the front and back.

The total weight of the pack before adding liquids is just under 10oz (283.5g). I measured the following:

  • Pack only (M-L-XL size): 7.6oz (215.5g)
  • Reservoir and tube: 2.3oz (65.2g)

Fully loaded with water, the total weight is roughly 27oz (765g).

Why Did I Get It?

I loved the original model and still use it to this today; however, it lacked any convenient hydration options when it first launched. It was possible to carry soft flasks in the back pockets but it mean having to take the FITLY off to get to it and capacity was limited. Post launch, FITLY released a 250mL and 150mL soft flasks to fit in the back pocket and front pockets, respectively, that provided some options.

What drew me to the new model was built-in hassle-free hydration and the slightly larger storage capacity. It's amazing they were able to do this while keeping the minimalist spirit of the FITLY brand promise alive.

How Has It Worked Out?

In actual usage, the new pack maintains its minimalist feel and low footprint my back which makes it exceedingly comfortable and doesn't make me hot. The tube is perfectly located so that I can sip while I'm running and maintain my pace.

The flexibility of the pack is where it really shines.

On shorter efforts, I simply remove the hydration component and use it purely for lightweight storage.

However, if I want to go longer then with a combination with FITLY's new custom soft flasks, it is possible to carry up to 1.2L (40.6oz) of fluids which means even longer efforts. This works by combining the built-in 500mL with another 400mL soft flask in the outer pocket, and two 150mL soft flasks in the front pockets. Even better is that there's still room for a phone, keys, a thin wallet, and maybe 2 gels.

Otherwise, my typical load is the hydration reservoir, my phone, 2-3 gels, keys, and a windbreaker.

1.2L of total fluid capacity image

500mL + 400mL + 150mL + 150mL is possible.

My typical carry image

A common load for trail runs

Sub90 in action image

The Sub90 loves trails

Ready for adventure image

It's easy to take anywhere.

I've taken the pack on runs as long as 16+ miles (26km) and had just the right amount of hydration and nutrition. I suspect, weather permitting, I'd be fine to take this up to 20 miles (32km) fully loaded.

I had a little bit of early chafing on the shoulder straps against my bare skin before I dialed in the straps lengths to where they should be. This went away if I wore a shirt or lubed up the contact area.

Another great thing about this product is that because it's still low profile yet very storage capable, it has allowed to not worry about which shorts I want to wear because of pockets. The FITLY Sub90 has me covered. Sometimes it's hot out and I want to wear the short shorts that are pocketless. No problem!

The Good

  • Best in class hydration solution for its size
  • It's still minimal and lightweight whether you use the hydration or not
  • Holds more and slightly larger items (I can fit a light packable windbreaker now)
  • The bite valve is lockable to keep it from leaking

The Less Good

  • The bite valve mount can come undone if the strap twists too much
  • Salt build-up on these zippers accumulates fast and can clog the zippers (keep them clean after every use)
  • The safety whistle is still loose and easy to lose (would be nice if it was tethered)

Here are two short videos that show the FITLY Sub90 Hydro Running Pack in action and actual usage on my local trails. You can see how the pack moves with your body which eliminates bouncing and makes it feel like you're not carrying anything.

Is It Worth It?

Given that portable hand bottles or waist packs range from $25-60 and hydration packs or vests range from $60-190, the FITLY Sub90 is fairly priced in between at $79 USD based on its diminutive size, versatile capacity and amount of potential hydration.

While I recommended the FITLY Sub45 for up to half-marathon running efforts, the added capacity and hydration options of the FITLY Sub90 make it an even better option with the ability for up to 50% more range.

Whether it's running, cycling, hiking, walking, or simply going to the gym, the FITLY Sub90 Hydro is easy to grab and go. It's also lightweight and stays out of the way so you can focus on your activity and not have to worry about bulky shoulder or waist solutions.

The FITLY Sub90 Hydro Running Pack punches above its weight class and is highly recommended.

Product Info Buy This Product
Does it just work?
Is it well-made?
Does it deliver?
Is it worth it?
Final Score

Other recent posts