Nathan Elevation 16 ReviewFebruary 28, 2016
- Three-way propulsion stability
- Stowing capabilities
- Conforms to body
- Well thought-out extras
- Small cell phone holder
- Low positioning on back
- Poor strap management
- Poor hydration hose routing
The Nathan elevation 16 is a good value for the traditional Nathan pack fit, as it’s an echo of the original design from 2001, with new components to modernize it. It falls short in its class due to weight and where the weight is carried on the body: at the middle of the back. This is a good option for trail runs into two to three hours, while carrying a light jacket and other layering options to be stowed away.
The elasticized straps do a great job conforming the pack to the body, and chest straps make adjustment easy for variable loads. The pack is quite comfortable with variable layers of clothing, whether it’s a thick fleece jacket or just a singlet. Unfortunately the storage area sits too low on the back and feels awkward compared to other packs in its class.
STABILITY IN MOTION
Nathan’s proprietary three-way propulsion harness minimizes lateral swinging no matter how much bulk or weight is in the pack.The negative side of that harness is that it wraps so tightly around the body comfort is compromised and it limits the best use of the pack to running or hiking.
The pack is not the lightest for the size, but it’s acceptable. The Elevation is 14oz without the bladder, and much of this weight comes from the three-way harness system.
QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION
There are well thought-out extras made with good quality, such as hefty elastic gear hold-downs, waterproof electrolyte pill pocket, and ergonomic side pockets. The pack has many adjustable straps but it’s lacking in hold-downs for loose strap ends.
There are lots of anchor straps and pockets allows for versatility with trekking polls, stowing of clothing layers, bottles, and nutrition. The pack lacks versatility outside of light hiking or running due to the harness system wrap-around feel. The cell phone stretchy pocket is too small for most phones and there’s not a designated port for the bladder hose to come from the pack sleeve.
Adam Stepanovic- Faculty
Adam Stepanovic has become an expert on running packs from not wanting to wear them at all during his numerous 100-milers and FKT attempts on the country’s most famous long distance trails.