Let’s talk hydration today. I’m not talking Nuun or Ignite or Gatorade or whatever your hydration drink of choice is, I’m talking hydration GEAR. Last year while training for MCM I wore my Camelbak Charm. It was the only hydration pack I had ever used and I thought it was the cat’s meow. It was small, fit on my back nicely, the colors were nice and vibrant! Bring on MCM last year, and hydration packs were banned. I was not happy. So I rushed out and bought a handheld. I don’t particularly care for them because I find myself gripping them really tight and then my shoulders tense up and that leads to all sorts of other problems. But, I used it for MCM grudgingly. This past winter when I was training for Shamrock, I didn’t used anything but a water bottle because I was training for the most part on a treadmill. Bring on the start of training for MCM this year in the heat and humidity, I dug the Camelbak out once again. I wore it once and decided that I hated it. It wasn’t comfortable, it bounced around, I woke up the next day being sore from wearing it, so I began the hunt for another hydration pack or some sort of hydration system.
I decided to try a waist belt. In my head, I wasn’t a fan. I had bought one like 12 years ago and hated the thing and had sworn it off. They weren’t that ergonomic back then and it was like carrying a canteen around your waist. A bunch of friends have Fuel belts so I got this pretty pink one! I’ve had good luck with it, but it doesn’t cut it for a run longer than 10 miles. It only holds a total of 28 oz. Back to the drawing board.
Enter Ultimate Direction. I was introduced to them at the beginning of the year when I became a Zooma Ambassador. Ultimate Direction was one of their sponsors and I was given a small handheld bottle and waist pack as part of the perks. As I was perusing their website I noticed their hydration vests. They had just come out with a new line called the Jenny Collection. A line of gear designed for women, by women.
The aweome people at Ultimate Direction gave me the opportunity to test the Jenny Ultra Vesta hydration vest! Super excited for this opportunity!
Jenny Jurek designed this vest to be ergonomically correct and fit like a glove for women. Well, let me tell you…she got that right. The first thing I noticed when I put this on was how is just fit perfectly on my back. The mesh straps were super comfy, they didn’t itch or scratch at all. I’m going to review the vest from front to back.
Front: The vest has two sternum straps to really customize your fit. I had originally received and XS, but had to send it back for a M/L. I normally wear a S/M in most tops and am about 36 inches in the bust. Technically according to the specs I should have fit in an XS but it was just a hair too snug so I went up (I wanted to avoid the dreaded chafing!)
- side adjustment straps for a custom fit
- holds a 2L reservoir
- bungees on the outside to hold jackets/outerwear (totally took advantage of this at my last race..it was cold to start and I didn’t want to check OR throwaway my sweatshirt, so I rolled it into a ball and secured it with the bungees!!)
- reflective accents for visibility
- Cool Wick Air Mesh: Wicking mesh is lightweight and breathable for optimal ventilation and moisture management
- 150D Rip Stop: Lightweight fabric provides durability and protection
- Power Stretch Mesh: Provides versatility with a supportive stretch material that expands for variable capacity
Appearance: Ok, this isn’t super important BUT, it is super cute, I LOVE the colors used.
Fit/Comfort: LOVE the fit, fits close to my body and I never had to adjust the straps mid-run. No bouncing either which was huge for me. I thought the placement of the bottles was perfect as well. I was a bit nervous about the bottles as I have never run with them in the front before. I didn’t notice sloshing much at all and a loved that I was able to have 20 extra ounces. The summer heat in DC is humid and I need as much fluid as I can get on my 20 mile runs. It was comfy and I didn’t feel like I was wearing a huge pack.
Storage: ample storage. Perfect for long runs with space to store extra gels, food, socks, tape, you name it. Loved that there was a pocket in addition to the one where the bladder/reservoir goes. And the bungee to hold down the reservoir was brilliant, definitely helps the reservoir to stay in one place and not bounce!
Breathability: AMAZING. The vest feels super light and there is ample air flow. I didn’t feel hot with it on at all. I expected it to be soaked with sweat after my long run, but that wasn’t the case at all.
I haven’t really had any cons. The only thing I could think of was that a bladder/reservoir was NOT included in the price. There have been some complaints about the water bottles being tough to open, but I didn’t have that experience at all.
Click HERE to purchase with free shipping!!
*Ultimate Direction provided a vest for me to review. All opinions are my own however and I wouldn’t endorse something so emphatically if I didn’t actually love it!*
*Links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you click on them and purchase, I will receive a small commission to help pay for fees associated with my blog*
What is your favorite hydration gear?