A couple of months ago I bought the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta. I have worn it on a number of long training runs and during a 50km trail running race two weeks ago and I absolutely love it. In this ultra vesta review blog post I share why I think this hydration vest is such a great piece of kit.
First of all, what is the point of a running hydration vest?
Staying hydrated when you are going out for a long run is super important in terms of performance and recovery. During road races there are usually plenty of fuelling stations along the way so there is no real need for carrying your water around. But if you are going out on a 2hrs+ training run or if you are competing in a long trail race you need to have a think about where you will get your water from.
There are quite a few on the run hydration options. When I started running longer distances I used to take a plastic water bottle with me, hide it behind a rock and run loops so that I would pass my personal “water station rock” every now and again during my training run. Probably not the most efficient option but it worked :). As I got a bit more serious about running I started using a hydration belt. Waist belts are great but they don’t allow you to carry massive amounts of water. Plus, it can be quite difficult to find a belt that fits well and doesn’t bounce up and down when you are flying around your marathon course.
A hydration vest on the other hand allows you to carry relatively large quantities of water. They also have pockets that allow you to carry food and spare clothes with you. And if you choose a model that fits you well you won’t even notice you are wearing it.
What I love about the Ultimate Direction Women’s Ultra Vesta
I spent hours on running forums reading hydration pack reviews before I finally decided which model to go for. Here is why I chose the Ultra Vesta:
1) It fits perfectly. The vest is designed specifically for women and fits really snuggly. The first time I wore it I was so surprised by how comfortable it felt and by how little it was bouncing around. I have heard from other runners that it is common to get neck chaffage when you run with a pack but I haven’t had any irritation issues from wearing the Ultra Vesta.
2) Lots of pockets. There are two pockets for soft body bottles, a zip pocket (that I use for energy bars) and a phone pocket in the front. These pockets are super useful because it means that you can have all your essentials quickly accessible. In the back there is a bladder pocket, a large inner pocket for spare clothes, two smaller horizontal zip pockets and an outer mesh pocket which I use for my wind shell.
3) It even comes with a ponytail holder. In the upper horizontal zip pocket on the back there is a key clip which comes with a ponytail holder – I think that’s pretty cool. Proves that you can be a trail runner and still be feminine 🙂
Let’s get technical…the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta specs:
- Volume capacity: 7.2L
- Weight: 246g (without the bottles and water reservoir)
- Dimensions (M): 30 x 24 x 14.5cm