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Nathan Elite 2V Plus Water Bottle Carrier Review – Trail Running Gear

Hands-free running, extra storage, and comfort. These were three aspects I desired for my trail running hydration system at the Bandera 100 km trail run. Six or so weeks out from the race I purchased the Nathan Elite 2V Plus Water Bottle Carrier which I hoped would fill this need.



The Basic Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Nathan
  • Twin angled insulated water bottle holsters.
  • Two 22 oz BPA-free water bottles.
  • Zippered rear pocket.
  • Twin removable front pockets.
  • Fits 26″-42″ waists.

Out of the Box

The first thing you naturally do with a waist hydration pack is put the bugger on. Right from the get-go, I was impressed with how comfortable the carrier felt. I couldn’t feel any bottles putting pressure on any area of my back. It just fit. That is probably the simplest way to explain it. Of course, the bottles and storage area were empty so the true test was yet to come.

The other obvious significant feature are the three separate zippered storage pouches. Using the Endurance Buzz unofficial volume measurement device, each pocket can hold a good medium fist full of trail running needs…or wants.

Rear Pocket

Permanent Rear Pocket

Side Pocket

Removable Side Pocket

The pocket in the back, sits between the two bottle holsters and is built directly into the belt. The two side pockets have a really nice feature – they can be removed. If you only need a bit of storage area and the back pocket is sufficient, simply remove the Velcro attached pockets if you want to streamline the carrier. Nice.

Separate pouch from Velcro.

Separate side pocket from Velcro.

Pouch - be gone!

Pocket – be gone!

After thoroughly looking through each pocket, my nerdiness was a bit disappointed in not seeing the handy key-hook similar to the Nathan Quickdraw Plus. The permanent back pocket would be a great place for it. Boo hoo!

Enough lookin’, time to use the Nathan water bottle carrier on the trail!

Test Drive

With bottles filled and pockets partially loaded, I headed out for a 20 mile trail run. When I first started walking down the trail with the Nathan Elite 2V Plus, the obvious first sensation is weight. 44 ounces of water attached to your body is definitely noticeable. I didn’t feel awkward or unbalanced but simply a bit loaded down.

A subtle but nice detail was the little loop to tuck the extra strap behind to eliminate the excess strap from flopping around while you run.

Strap tucked nicely out of the way.

Strap tucked nicely out of the way.

Within a couple minutes, I started running down the trail and was impressed with how connected to the body the carrier felt. Everything felt in place, secure, and moving with my body, not against it. Eventually the whole loaded down sensation disappeared as well. The carrier simply became an extension of my body.

After 15 minutes of running, I reach back to get my first drink and become aware of another cool feature – the circular ring clip. The ring clip becomes a great way to pull the bottle out of the holster. Reach back, feel the clip, and pull. This worked slick.


As a simple way to keep the load balanced, I would roughly alternate between bottles whenever I would take a drink.

My first run with the Nathan water bottle carrier was definitely a pleasant experience.

How would it respond over 100 km?

For 14+ hours, the Nathan Elite 2V water bottle carrier was around my waist and loaded down. I carried two full bottles, the rear pocket had extra HEED in plastic baggies, my Flip camcorder was in one side pocket, and 1-2 food bars in the other side pocket. The carrier worked flawlessly and also became a bit of added cushion during my only digger.

Nathan bottle carrier in action at Bandera.

Nathan bottle carrier in-action at Bandera.

Even with the added stuff, the carrier really felt connected and a part of my body.

&#10004 Hands-free running

&#10004 Extra storage

&#10004 Comfortable

Overall Impressions

Waist hydration carrier happiness is frequently body dependent. For some, anything around the waist is a no-no for stomach happiness. What works for one person, may not work for another. So it is a bit of trial and error to find what works for you.

Smaller and larger bodies may have issues with the Nathan carrier because it is designed for a minimum waist circumference of 26 inches and maximum of 42 inches.

But, if you are looking for a two bottle waist hydration carrier that has expandable storage options and are in the more average waist sizes, the Nathan Elite 2V Plus Water Bottle Carrier is definitely worth a look.

You can purchase the Nathan Elite 2V Plus Water Bottle Carrier at Running Warehouse (Shoes, Packs, Clothes, Lights, and more…plus 2-day free shipping!).

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

[This article contains an affiliate link which provides a small commission to us (at no cost to you) if you would purchase.]


About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

9 Responses to “Nathan Elite 2V Plus Water Bottle Carrier Review – Trail Running Gear”

  1. on 29 Jan 2010 at 4:55 am Will

    I never get on well with waist-belts like this, much rather carry a water sack on my back anyday!

    Perhaps having the bottles stick to the side of your thighs would be better weight wise but you’d look like a right fool, hehe

  2. on 29 Jan 2010 at 7:52 am Derek

    Good review, now do you have any suggestions for rain gear?

  3. on 30 Jan 2010 at 2:07 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Will – Endurance sports have never been too concerned with fashion so anything is possible. 🙂

    Derek – Rain gear? What do you need that for? The trail running rain mantra – Get wet, dirty, muddy – and like it! At least that is what I have been hearing. 🙂

  4. on 31 Jan 2010 at 2:09 pm Sarah

    Nice review! I have one of these that I bought cheap on Ebay. I haven’t tried it yet, but would probably only use it on training runs since during races a waist belt usually ends up bothering me at some point. I prefer the Nathan Intensity or HPL hydration packs, but sometimes you want a bottle and hands free.

  5. on 01 Feb 2010 at 9:29 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Sarah – Thanks! I am sure I will try out some hydration packs in the future as well. Happy Running!

  6. on 23 Mar 2011 at 11:45 am Keith

    David, did you have any issues with your hands brushing the bottles while you ran? I’m 5’11” w/ a 32 inch waist. Thanks.

  7. on 23 Mar 2011 at 12:53 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Keith – Good question. Just for comparison I am 6’1” w/ a 32 inch waist…and long arms.

    Did I have issues with my hands brushing the bottle – no.

    Could it happen – yes.

    Much of it may depend on how you run using your arms (at the pace you will likely be running at with the carrier). If I kept my shoulder-elbow-wrist angle around 45 degrees I didn’t have any bumpin’. If I positioned my shoulder-elbow-wrist angle to 90-ish degrees it would be possible to tap the bottles on the lower section of my arm as it swings backwards.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  8. on 12 Apr 2011 at 9:58 am AJ Bemrose

    Thanks so much for the review, it is greatly appreciated. One question – will the larger compartment hold a gel flask? If so, what size? I’m trying to decide between this belt and the Camelbak Delaney DC and the major difference I’m hung up on is the Camelbak has two gel flask attachments.


  9. on 12 Apr 2011 at 10:39 am David Hanenburg

    Hey AJ – Thanks for the comment.

    I grabbed a typical hammer gel flask and a 6 ounce bottle from an old Fuel Belt, and both the gel flask and the bottle would fit comfortably into any of the 3 storage pockets. Obviously not packed together in the same pocket. 🙂

    The Fuel Belt 6 oz bottle fills up most of the pocket space due to its larger size but there is no difficulty in placing inside or removing the bottle.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

    Happy Running!