Ultimate Direction Women’s Ultra Vesta 4.0 Review

Last updated: 24-Oct-18

By Alice Morrison

Designed by and for women, the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0, is a high-performance running vest which is extremely light with stretchy fabric but does not compromise on details.

I carried three litres of water, a rain jacket, iPhone, keys and cash, snacks including a big sandwich and there was still adequate space for extra layers under the bungees.

Features

  • Sliding rail sternum straps
  • Extensive front storage
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Comfort cinch ™ technology
  • Materials: 4-way stretch woven mesh; 30D coated nylon ripstop; Micromono mesh; 150G flex mono mesh
  • Bottles Included: 2 Body Bottle 500s, Volume Capacity: 616.34 in3 / 10.1 L
  • Weight With Bottles: 11.22 oz. / 318 g
  • Weight Without Bottles: 7.76 oz. / 220 g
  • Sizing at Bottom Ribs (Women’s): XS/SM: 26 – 38 in. / 66 – 97 cm and MD/LG: 32 – 41 in. / 81 – 104 cm
  • RRP: $134.95 

RUNULTRA-Ultimate-Direction-Ultra-Vesta_front

Photo credit: Alice Morrison.

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

Quite simply – it fits. I have a chest and normal woman-shaped shoulders (i.e. not massive and slightly sloping) and that can be a problem when sourcing a really comfortable running vest.

This one fits really well. It has good squidgies at the back you can adjust and the front straps go above and below your boobs, which may not be great for glamorous selfies but means no nasty nipple chafing!

The position on the back is also good. I find it sits lower than a lot of other packs, which I find  more comfortable.

I really like the front storage pockets. I can get my iPhone in and out without having to demonstrate the shoulder flexibility of a yoga master. Also, they are big enough to stash cash, suntan cream, a bar of something tasty, and a small fluffy dog in (ok that last one was just to test if you are concentrating).

There are also loops for your running poles on the front of the vest. I have collapsibles and tried them out on the front which was a bit weird at first but did make access super easy.

The back has a large zipped pocket and two small zipped pockets; one with a key ring and emergency hair band – v useful. There is also an open stuff pocket and a bungee strap set for extra kit. A great little detail here is that there are tiny elastic hooks at the top so you can have some extra security in that stuff pocket.

Warning, though.. I did lose a banana by sticking it in the bungees without pulling them tight enough which led to a mini psychological crisis on the trail. If ONLY I had watched the video I would have realised that there are little hooks on the side you can slip the bungees over to make them even tighter.

The bladder pocket and fastener work well and they supply two soft bottles with the vest. I have slightly gone off soft bottles but was able to get my 750ml hard bottles in the holders without difficulty due to the stretchy fabric.

A nice little touch is that you can close the bottle holders with a little strap if you want to put something smaller in there for security.

There is a stiffer mesh for placement against the back which holds well.

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

The material on the packaging areas is so light, I am worried that it might tear. It has not so far and I have taken it out on a number of runs and stuffed it with all sorts of misshapen bits and pieces, but I think care needs to be taken.

My jury is a little bit out on running poles at the front. Whipping them out and stashing them quickly was an advantage but I wasn’t sure about having them right there beside my arms. I need to get used to that.

I am a fan of hard bottles and would have loved that as an option at point of sale.

It’s not cheap. At $134.95 (around £102) it’s at the same level as other similar products.

RUNULTRA-Ultimate-Direction-Ultra-Vesta-review_back

Photo credit: Alice Morrison.

CONCLUSION

The vest is now my go-to for both running and day-long mountain hiking. It is extremely well-designed. Stuffed full of features, every single detail seems to have been considered.

It is a thought to splash out that much cash, but this is one vest that I think would fit all shapes and sizes because it has the cinch technology.

If you look at the runner in the video she is small and slight, whereas I am the opposite but it clearly works for both of us. For me, it is a winner.

RUNULTRA Recommended Buy badge

Score  
Design 9.5
Features 9.5
Performance 9.5
Value 9
Total 9.3


For more, check out our big vest review here.

Have you used the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta pack? 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.

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

"Quite simply – it fits. I have a chest and normal woman-shaped shoulders and that can be a problem when sourcing a really comfortable running vest"

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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.