Running gear maker NATHAN Sports announced this week it’s launching a line of formal hydration vests suitable for everything from a business meeting to a wedding or funeral.
“When you’re an endurance athlete, your need for constant hydration doesn’t end when your workout does,” a company spokeswoman told Dumb Runner. “If you want to perform at your best, you need to stay hydrated all day—including at work.”
That, she said, is the guiding principle behind the collection, called Nine 2 Five®.
The Nine 2 Five® line consists of three models, each with a 2-liter hydration bladder and in sizes from XS to XL, according to a NATHAN news release:
The Entrepreneur, a three-button model equally at home with dress slacks or jeans.
The Exec, a more conservative, five-button vest available in a range of fabrics, colors, and patterns, including glenn check, tattersall, and herringbone.
The Monte Carlo, a clean and classic design for the most formal wear, including tuxedos and tailcoats.
“With style and tailoring straight from Savile Row and the technical know-how you’ve come to expect from NATHAN,” the news release read, “Nine 2 Five® will fast become your favorite accessory for the daily grind.”
“Sucking from a rubber tube hanging over your shoulder has never looked so good!”
All models include zippered interior pockets for keys, phone, and gels. Retail prices start at $199.
Industry experts gave NATHAN kudos for finding yet another way to get runners to carry fluids on their person.
“I have to admit, I thought the hydration product market was saturated, if you’ll forgive the pun,” said Charles M. Burns, a senior fellow with the Institute for Clever Wordplay, a think tank. “A major player like NATHAN easily could have rested on its laurels. Instead, it decided to essentially create a new market.”
“Wait,” Burns added. “Is this real?”