Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta review

Last updated: 24-Oct-18

By Alice Morrison

The Ultra Vesta is part of Ultimate Direction’s Jenny Collection which is designed by women for women under the aegis of lead designer Jenny Jurek. Like a lot of women, I struggle to find the perfect back pack/hydration pack because they are mainly designed for men who obviously have broader shoulders, wider backs and flatter chests. I also run in hot climates a lot of the time as I am based in Marrakech so I was really interested to try this vest out.

FEATURES

FRONT

  • Bottle holsters compatible with Body Bottle and Body Bottle Plus soft flasks
  • Front storage holds phone, gels/bars, and valuables
  • 2x Sliding rail sternum straps
  • Emergency Whistle

SIDE

  • Adjustable straps allow for customized fit

BACK

  • AirWall Mesh wicks away moisture and is soft to the touch
  • Two vertical zippered pockets in the rear, plus a third horizontal pocket offers ample storage
  • A mesh pouch for wet or voluminous gear, with a compression bungee
  • 1.5 litre reservoir compatible
  • 1x Ice axe loop
  • Trekking pole loops
  • External and internal bungee cords stabilize varying capacities
  • Reflective accents for easy visability

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Volume Capacity: 7.2L / 439 in3
  • Fluid Capacity: 2 x 500ml soft flask bottles (included)
  • Compatible with a 1l or 1.5l bladder / reservoir (not included)
  • Weight: 8.6 oz. (11.06 oz. with bottles) / 246 g (316 g with bottles)
  • Dimensions (XS/SM): 7.9 x 9.4 x 5.7 in. / 20 x 24 x 14.5 cm
  • Dimensions (M/L): 11.8 x 9.4 x 5.7 in / 30 x 24 x 14.5 cm

PROS: What’s good about the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta

The biggest plus for me was that it fits like a dream. I had the m/l version. It sits quite high up and the cutaway of the straps allow for completely free arm movement with no rubbing. I would say I have average sized women’s shoulders and normally with a man’s pack, I find that it slips off, but the Hydra Vest is cut absolutely perfectly and the straps stay in place.

There is no bounce. Internal and external bungees give it balance and you can adjust them. Also, there are two chest straps.

The mesh back lets the air circulate so I kept relatively cool.

The soft bottles are great for carrying/storage when you are not using the bag and I liked them in the bag itself. I was concerned that they might slip down into the pocket as they emptied, but if you position them properly and tighten the cord that is really not a problem.

Give that it is a minimal-style vest, there is actually loads of storage for extra kit and food. I managed to fit in a light waterproof, a slightly thicker jacket, a couple of bars … and the kitchen sink (ok, I am joking about that bit).

There are loops for an ice axe and poles which are really handy although I didn’t try out the ice axe and suspect it would be a tad heavy for the bag.

There is a fine array of pockets: two at the front, one with a zip and one that you can stuff a bar into; as well as the main one on the back, you have two that are waterproof and open up at the side. A very nice little feature, was a hairband on the inside of the top one – I always forget mine. There was also a key ring.

CONS: What’s not so good about the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta

The bottles are high up but without straws you still have to bend down or push them up to have a drink. This was not a major problem but I think I may buy a couple of lids with straws just to make it easier.

My main negative about the pack was that they do not supply a bladder with it. I find that there is enough water for an hour (in the desert) – two hour (in the UK) run but anything longer than that, I would definitely need to use a bladder.

The little clip at the top of the bungee crossing the back came off when I was putting in my poles, so I ended up knotting them.

CONCLUSION

This is a very well-designed pack that does an excellent job. I found it a great fit and good to wear. In fact, once you put it on you can basically forget about it, which is exactly what you want. I could tell that it was designed for women by women as all the things that can be difficult with unisex bags were resolved. It has plenty of space for kit and food. Definitely one I would recommend to my female running friends.

Score  
Design 9/10
Features 9/10
Performance 9/10
Value 8/10
Total 8.75/10


Other packs you may want to consider:

OMM Ultra 15
Inov-8 Race Ultra 5
Inov-8 Race Ultra 10
Salomon Advanced Skin 12
Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0
Osprey Rev 18

All images unless stated: Alice Morrison.

Have you used the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta hydration vest? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.

We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.

Disclosure:

We use affiliate links in some of our reviews and articles. This means that if you purchase an item through one of these links we will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through our links but the income will help us to keep bringing you our free training guides, reviews and other content to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support.

OUR RATING:
5/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"The biggest plus for me was that it fits like a dream"

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related reviews

Run under a midnight sun

Last updated: 20-Aug-18 By Elsa Trujillo For those of you living in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is fast approaching. Whether you celebrate or

Read More »

REVIEW Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta review

{{ reviewsTotal }} Review
{{ reviewsTotal }} Reviews
{{ options.labels.newReviewButton }}
{{ userData.canReview.message }}

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.