The original thirst-quenching undervest gets a big overhaul for 2011 resulting in a lower profile, more user-friendly performance – but it’s still a Marmite item. The RaceBak uses a QuickFit compression fabric to keep the water bladder stable and squeeze it down as it empties, improving aerodynamics.
The lower-profile filler cap is much more aero-helmet friendly than the original design, and if you’re careful you can fill it without getting the vest bit wet. There’s a removable thermal pad to insulate you from the cold water or stop you heating it up. The fact the hose has to come out of your collar or front zip means pipe routing is awkward and the two litres of water slops about noticeably.
The tight fit means anyone with a big chest needs to check sizing. Testers who are normally a small or medium in shirts and base layers had a real fight getting into a medium and felt almost suffocating chest pressure once they were down on the tri bars.