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A vest is best.
When ultra-runner Scott Jurek set out on his record setting 43-day Appalachian Trail run, he relied on the Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra 3.0 Hydration vest to carry all the water and calories he needed along the way. Inherently stable, the vest design eliminates bounce, and it holds water bottles in the front of the pack for easy access and accommodates a reservoir in the back for endurance runs. Bombproof, featherweight, and flexible mono mesh fabric along the inside of the vest keeps everything together in a lean, low-profile package for a minimalist fit and feel. A total volume of about 518 cubic inches means you can take along a light layer, gels, or extra hydration on your epic outings.
- Flexible knit mono mesh harness
- Wide lateral strap
- T-hook adjustable sternum straps
- Two bottle holsters
- Two soft flasks included (16.9oz)
- Reservoir-compatible back pouch
- Trekking pole straps
- Phone compatible pockets
- Item #ULD000Y
- Q & A
Love the UD packs
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
UD makes arguably one of the best group of running packs on the market and caters to all different distances. These packs are durable, fit snug and are designed for the pickiest of runners. I have run for 6+ hours in these packs with no shirt and never had any sort of chafing or any issues. Very easy to clean as you can easily throw them in the washer along with your running clothes. These vests come with soft bottles which are fantastic! Don't be skeptical, just try them out.
Great Way to Unobtrusively Carry Stuff
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Need to carry stuff while you run? Stuff your stuff into your UD SJ 3.0 vest, and then forget about it until you need it. In the past month I've used the vest for training, racing, and the daily run-commute to and from the office, and found the vest to be exactly what I want it to be: a convenient, unobtrusive, and generally comfortable way to carry things while running.
The vest's capacity is large enough that I can carry water, a change of clothes, and my lunch when running to the office, yet it's light enough that I don't mind it when running or racing for 5+ hours. Fully loaded, things stay snug enough to forget that I'm carrying a pack, even at race pace.
I'm generally happy with the soft flasks--though the bonding point between the soft lower and firm upper portions can chafe uncomfortably on the chest when completely filled.
The mesh material design is great--both for airflow, and for weight. That said, I suggest bagging off in a zip-lock anything you don't want soaked in sweat.
Sizing: be aware that the vest sizing is measured at the bottom of the rib cage, not around the chest. I have a 38" chest, and should have gotten a size small.
Could have been so much more...
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I wanted so much to like this pack. I had tried the 2.0 packs and just felt that they were way too stiff and unforgiving, plus I just couldn't adapt to the misery of hard bottles against my body. This pack is super light, breathes really well on hot days, has the right amount of storage, looks great, comes with the awesome soft bottles and for the most part is comfy on. BUT, the sizing is funny. There is lots of adjustment for sure, but I just couldn't find the sweet spot between the M and S. The straps fell perfectly on my shoulder and didn't create any chafing, BUT they just didn't hold the bottles to my chest when they were full so there can be a lot of bounce, especially when you start zipping along or heading downhill. I tired every adjustment and couldn't get things settled, which meant that the entire run I KNEW that I was wearing the pack, which got more and more irritating. The pockets were all super well designed and highly functional. The materials and fabrics had some give and stretch for sure, BUT not nearly enough so when things were cranked down I felt my breathing hindered. And the hydration bladder pocket? Oh my. This was such an afterthought, especially since I've never seen Scott Jurek even use them, the bladder won't stay attached and I've NEVER worn and pack with so much sloshing, bouncing and noise. I would not recommend this pack if you plan to use a bladder. All and all so much going on here, but I still don't see why these packs are so popular. I've moved on to the Salomon packs and yes they are more expensive (although not right now on RW!), but I have never worn a more functional, comfortable pack. No bounce. No noise. Forget I'm wearing it.
Can you fit 750ml bottles in the front bottle holsters?