Our Osprey Duro 6 Vest Review explores a versatile and fully features running vest suitable for a wide variety of situations. We really hope you find it useful.
Running (or race) vest use has grown massively over recent years. More and more people are finding the love for both mountain running and long distance running. So, the need for efficient load carrying options has also sky rocketed.
A vest can handle that need really well and so companies have produced a plethora of options. There are many styles with different capacities and features. But, they all have the aim of providing a comfortable and efficient way to transport run essentials.
Osprey have led the industry in pack and luggage design for decades and we’ve been delighted to work with them for many years. They offer several options for runners including packs and waist belts. The Duro 6 is a mid capacity running vest that will suit a wide range of runners for a variety of situations. Please check out Paul’s Osprey Duro 6 Vest Review to find out more.
A running vest needs to be able to carry loads comfortably and securely whilst offering efficient organisation options. It also needs to provide protection for the contents and the durability to cope with the rough and tumble of running life. How does the Duro 6 stack up?
The Duro 6 is made from 320 gram Nylon Stretch Mesh. As the name suggests, it has 6 litres of storage capacity. On the front of the harness there are 2 large stretch mesh pockets that will accommodate drink flasks or food. Osprey include 2 Hydraulics 500ml soft flasks with the vest.
The front of the vest also has 4 smaller stretch mesh pockets suitable for carrying food or supplements. It could also be used for smaller items such as a head torch or Buff. There is also a vertical zipped slash pockets on the harness that can fit valuables or a smart phone. It again could also be used for other items such as route details, a map section or compass. This pocket includes a small whistle.
The harness fastens with dual chest straps. These can be individually adjusted vertically and/or removed. There are also trekking pole (or could be used for an ice axe) attachment points on the harness.
On the back of the vest there is both a large and smaller zipped storage pouch and a large stretch mesh pocket. One of the rear zip pockets has an internal key clip. Finally, two open stretch mesh side panel pockets allow further quick storage. The Duro 6 is compatible with a one litre hydration system. The Osprey Hydraulics version fits perfectly although there is no reason other types won’t work too.
The Duro 6 comes in Blue Sky colour (tested) and Dark Charcoal Grey. It is offered in 3 sizes, weighs 400 grams and the RRP is £120. As with all Osprey products, the vest is covered by their comprehensive All Mighty Guarantee.
Fit & Sizing
The first key consideration for any running vest is fit. There is no point in a vest having the best thought out features in the world if it is uncomfortable. This is true for any pack, but certainly for one designed for the constant motion of running. That fit comes down to the sizing, harness system and adjustability.
The first of these is getting the correct size. Osprey offer the Duro 6 in 3 sizes based on rib measurement. Small ranges from 75-90cm (29.5-35.4in). Medium will work for 90-105cm (35.4-41.3in) and large suits 105-120cm (41.3-47.2in). There is guidance on Osprey’s website about how to find the right size for you.
In practice, I’ve found the fit to be excellent and the vest to be very comfortable. I took care to size it correctly and then to explore how the straps would work best for me with the vest loaded. It is simple enough to work out, but you mighty well find yourself tweaking things on the first few outings. It is definitely also worth experimenting with different loads as you may want to alter the adjustments at times.
The harness system is designed to balance the load and provide comfort over long distances. The storage is balanced between front and rear and from side to side and all the compartments aim to keep the load close to the body. The mesh back panel and sculpted shoulder straps again help to keep the vest snug to the body and comfortable while helping to wick moisture effectively.
Lastly, the addition of twin straps that are individually adjustable completes the fit. The clips that fasten these work superbly. The system features plastic clips that slot into a plastic rail. They are secure and yet can be easily unfastened or adjusted. They do take a little bit of getting used too, but once you’ve mastered it they work really well.
Construction & Fabrics
Alongside fit, it is worth a mention on the construction and fabrics. A running vest needs to be light and yet also has to cope with a fair amount of wear and tear. The 320 gram nylon certainly seems like it will cope with a tough life. The vest still coming in at only 400 grams is impressive given the storage capacity and features. As with all Osprey products I’ve used, the construction is great. Even if you do have problems down the line, Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee is a good safety net.
The Duro 6 looks great too. The Blue Sky colour I tested looks great and the Osprey logo and detailing makes you feel you might just run faster wearing it (although I can’t offer any evidence this is the case!).
So, all that aside, what about the storage options? I have used a few varieties of race vests over the years and so it is useful to compare. The flask sleeves are well positioned at the front and can be accessed easily. The inclusion of two 500 ml Hydraulics flasks is also welcome. The vest can be used with smaller flasks if preferred.
The other key on the go storage at the front are the four smaller mesh pockets. These are positioned under the flask pockets and are perfect for items like bars, gels or other snacks. Just as well, they will carry a headtorch or similar equipment items. They can easily be accessed while moving and yet items are held securely.
I really like the addition of the vertical zipped stash pocket. Again, this can easily be accessed on the go and yet there is no chance items will fall out accidentally. This will fit a phone or other smaller items. A small whistle in this pocket is a nice addition although there are certainly louder whistles on the market!
On the lower part of the harness Osprey have included two open stretch mesh pockets. These will house a hat or buff, gloves or packable clothing items such as a lightweight wind proof. It makes it easy to get to items you might need while moving. Again, the stretch of the pocket fabric means items are stored securely even though these pockets can’t be closed.
On the back of the Duro 6 there is a larger and smaller zipped pocket and a large mesh pocket. When operating off the beaten track you will want to consider emergency equipment or additional clothing. Of course, for some organised events it will be mandatory to carry certain items. These are the things you won’t need to access on the go and this is the ideal storage place for them. It is well thought out and all works superbly.
The option to also use up to a one litre hydration system may also be welcome. Osprey don’t include one with the vest, but I have tested it with their 1 litre Hydraulics bladder system and this is perfect. You can purchase these separately and we discussed the Hydraulics range in more detail here.
A running or race vest needs to carry what you need securely and comfortably while offering on the move access. I hope my Osprey Duro 6 Vest Review has made clear that this model does all that with ease. I really can’t fault it. It has clearly been designed by people who know what works. I’m also aware its design had considerable input from Osprey’s ambassadors too.
For some runs or events you might want a larger capacity vest and there are other Osprey models that will help you here. On the other hand, sometimes you may want a vest capacity of smaller than six litres. Here the Duro 6 has you covered. If you only part fill it it is still just as comfortable and just as capable. As mentioned at the start, this is a vest that will suit a lot of users in a lot of situations. Well done Osprey.
In addition to this Osprey Duro 6 Vest review, we have tested a broad range of other Osprey products. This includes climbing and mountaineering packs like the Mutant 28. We have also tested multi-use options like the Nanofly and mountain biking packs like the Escapist 18 or Raptor 14. Finally, we have tested some of their travel luggage models like the Daylite Duffle 60. Please do dip in and check out some of these options.