I Spent All Day Sucking From This Tiddy Vest

When I first showed my sister Salomon’s Advanced Skin 8 Set, she immediately dubbed it the “Tiddy Vest” and refused to call it anything else.

Salomon Advanced Skin 8 Set

When I first showed my sister the Salomon Advanced Skin 8 Set, she immediately dubbed it the “Tiddy Vest” and refused to call it anything else.

A hydration pack for runners and hikers, the Advanced Skin 8 Set is designed to replace a backpack and “tailored specifically to follow the contours of the female body”. It has several pockets, both zipped and unzipped, to stash phones, wallets and snacks. It has numerous elastics for hiking poles, which I will never use.

But most importantly, it has two 500ml water bladders resting on your boobs, each with a drinking hose sprouting beside your head.

Hence: Tiddy Vest.

Though I’d initially wanted to break the vest in via a good long hike, a series of unfortunate events including but not limited to glandular fever prevented me from doing so until late into autumn — less than ideal hiking weather. Then when finally I did head out, roping both my sisters into the trek, we arrived at our chosen trail only to discover it had been closed.

It was getting well and truly ridiculous. Every night the Tiddy Vest stared at me from its hanger, taunting me as I tossed and turned in bed. “You pitiful fool. You truly believed health and fitness were attainable goals, didn’t you? Perhaps they are. But not for you.”

I was also trying to drink more water during this time, as I’d heard it’s good for you. I tend to under-hydrate, often too caught up in whatever I’m doing to get up and pour myself a glass. It’s easy to forget to drink, or put it off once remembered. 

Thus, from this personal failing, a spark of an idea was born. Perhaps I did not need to go to the Tiddy Vest. Perhaps, instead, the Tiddy Vest could come to me. 

Salomon’s Advanced Skin 8 Set

The Tiddy Vest was not designed to be worn in everyday life. Though wearing it in the bush makes you feel like someone who drinks kombucha and has their life together, wearing it in urban areas makes you feel fairly self-conscious.

It doesn’t help that its two straws stick up like they’re trying to pick up alien transmissions. The literature says that you can cut the drinking tubes to a length suited for you, but I did not do this, as it is more responsibility than I can handle. I’m not going to take scissors to this vest when I can’t even decide where to place a dinosaur sticker.

Even so, having 1L of water dangling from my chest throughout the day was a boon. I could be sitting at my desk typing, wandering around Woolies, or lying on the floor with my dog. If I wanted some water, all I had to do was turn my head, gently bite on the Tiddy Vest’s nipple, and suck. 

Filling a water bottle and carrying it around with me would probably have been less weird. But bottles require you to use your hands, and the Tiddy Vest left mine free for more important things, like 2L tubs of strawberry ice cream and Boatmeal’s precious paws. When working, my hands never had to leave the keyboard, so I never lost a moment of productivity/self-worth.

And sure enough, the weight of the water was comfortably distributed on my chest, such that wearing this water didn’t feel like a strain at all. When I ran, the flasks didn’t jerk around, and I didn’t feel as though things were flailing about. I felt streamlined and compact, like a runner who knew what they were doing. I do not know what I am doing, so it felt nice to pretend.

Though the Tiddy Vest comes with two flasks, there’s a pocket on the back for a third, 1.5L flask. This means it can hold 2.5L of water — 500mL more than the daily recommended intake. Drain your Tiddy Vest, and you’ll know you’re properly hydrated.

Is this sedentary use of the Tiddy Vest absolutely not what it was designed for? Definitely. Yet I would argue my appropriation is in the spirit of the vest. The Tiddy Vest exists to facilitate easier hydration in the pursuit of better health, which is exactly what I used it for.

The Salomon Advanced Skin 8 Set is currently available for $239.99. Please remember to call it that in public.