Friday, July 29, 2016

AKUltra Vest 2.0 Ultimate Direction Hydration pack

A few weeks back, I decided I couldn't handle my hydration pack that I have had for years.  I loved it when I got it for the Konquer the Konza 25 K, and it served it's purpose. I just couldn't have the soft bottles up so high on my chest, swinging in the wind and driving me insane, yet I couldn't do the hard bottles either because I needed more than 20 oz total.  I had been part of a group on FB, the Trail and Ultra Running public group (TAUR), as I have gotten ready for my first 50K.  They have a gear swap every week, so I put a plea out to find a new pack, much like my running partner's pack, the Ultimate Direction SJ 2.0 vest.  I loved the lower bottle position, and the fact that the bottles carried more, plus who doesn't love multiple pockets!
While no one was selling the exact pack that I wanted, a gentleman stepped forward that owned a store in New York, and had something similar and at an awesome price!  He was clearing out older vests to make way for newer vests, and he had the AK Ultra Running Vest 2.0.  I just couldn't pass on the price (although now they are reduced on the website as well, but were not at that time).  Let me tell you about why I love this vest (and some things I don't love but eh, it's the 2.0 and there are more evolutions of it now).
bottle holder pockets.  Can be cinched tighter if you want to put other things like phones or fuel in said pocket 
LOVE: the bottle position.  I so love having them lower on my body!  I have eliminated the wild swinging that was going on when they were higher up on my chest.  I also don't feel like I have giant boobs sticking out (sorry, only choice of words I could think of).  I love the fact that my body bottles fit right in, and that as the bottles get smaller, they fit down in the pockets and I can cinch up the pockets to keep the bottles from moving at all.  I haven't run with the harder bottles yet that came with the vest, but may have to try them as our mileage gets more and more, so I don't have to swing by the house to reload on hydration.  I know we swing through several aid stations during the race, so I will be able to re fill my bottles on the course, but of course don't have that when i am training.
Pocket above bottles.  Not big enough for my cell phone but fits my fuel nicely
LOVE:  four pockets on the front, two below the bottles and two above.  Plus, the back can fit a bladder, but I have been using it to store things like my sunglasses and or my head lamp after it gets light enough to not need it.  There is tons of storage back there and nothing seems to move around when it is in the back bigger pocket.

pocket below bottle holders.  Pretty small but you can get some small amounts of fuel in as well as keys
DON'T LOVE:  None of the pockets are big enough for my iphone 5 in it's otterbox, but this isn't a huge negative for me.  My shorts I use for running have very big side pockets, and my phone fits very comfortably in those pockets, which makes it super easy to get in and out for pictures or pokemon Go:)  If you don't have shorts with pockets, this may be an issue, although if you don't need your phone during the run, you could just store it in the very back bigger pocket.
back pocket open.  You can store a lot of stuff in there but hard to get things in and out with pack on
back pocket: can fit a bladder in if needed
 LOVE:  How lightweight it is.  I have had some issues with chafing that I didn't with my other pack, but I really like the overall fit of this pack and how small/light weight it is.  My main areas of chaffing are on my shoulders, but I am getting better about getting body glide in the right places, plus I am chafing pretty much everywhere right now due to the humidity.

LOVE:  The fit.  I am pretty small and this small/medium fit me perfectly, even with my bigger chest. I do have room to let it out some, so if want to have more clothes on underneath, I can for fall and winter running.

I just am really digging this new vest. I am glad i went ahead and purchased another one, and will be selling my old one shortly.  I think if you are only running a 25K or less, my old pack and the 10 oz bottles a piece are more than enough, but I need more water for training in the KS heat and humidity and for when I train with stella.  Check out Ultimate Direction's website and get on their mailing list as they commonly have sales and good deals.  I LOVE their products and use not only this vest, but the hand held "clutch", the "body bottles", the hip pack ( i no longer see this product on their website), and their hard bottles in my training.  Maybe I can be an ambassador some day, but for now I am just a runner smitten by their products like everyone else :)


  1. That looks fabulous!

    I have a camelback with the bladder on the back, and while I love it I wish it had more pockets like this one!!

    I'm amazed you, getting up early, long runs, and surviving this heat!!!

    1. Honestly this summer may kill me yet. Why do I keep signing up for fall races? I am going to try a spring race next spring to see if that is easier. Watch, we will have the most snowy winter ever so everyone can thank me when this happens.