Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 6.0 Review
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The Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 6.0 is hands down the best running pack I’ve used. As an avid runner and ultra distance competitor I am always looking for the ideal fit when it comes to this essential piece of gear. This pack is designed for longer efforts given all its storage compacity and extra features. The pack is extremely light, and comfortable, so could be used for hiking and mid-distance runs as well. It comes in two colors, Onyx, and UD Blue.
Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 6.0 Features
- Comfort Cinch™ has been upgraded with High Molecular Weight Polyethylene cord for extra strength and air mesh panel to prevent chaffing
- One front bottle pocket and one zippered multipurpose pocket capable of fitting a bottle.
- Deployable rain fly to keep contents of your main pack compartment dry when the weather turns.
- Zippered water-resistant phone pocket at front chest
- Shape has been upgraded to wrap completely around the body for a more secure vest-like fit
- Comes with 6 hooks and bungee loops to attach trekking poles. These loops can be attached at the front or back of the vest for customizable trekking pole carry options
- Large rear compartment to accommodate up to a 2.0L reservoir
- Front buckle sternum straps with sliding rail adjustments
- Zippered rear lat pockets are accessible while the vest is being worn
- Weather resistant main pocket with zippered clamshell opening and smaller internal zippered pocket for more organization
- PLB pockets for GPS locator devices
Ultimate Direction has a sizing guideline on the website that I would suggest you read over to make sure you have the right fit for your body. I am 175lbs and 5’10. I ordered a men’s medium, and it is true to size. It has enough available adjustments to make sure it fits well. I would recommend taking some time before your first longer effort to make sure everything fits appropriately. The chest straps can move up and down the vest to ensure the best fit. The straps stay where you have them set.
Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 6.0 testing
17-mile trail run 75 degrees
I sized the pack without a full bladder and after I added it and headed out for my run, I did have the straps rubbing on my neck. It wasn’t very easy to adjust anything on the fly. After loosening it quite a bit it rode a lot smoother over my shoulders. There is a pocket or compartment for everything you need, and because it was hot, I had the 2.0L bladder full and had some energy gels as well as my phone in the waterproof pocket in the front. This could have easily got me 30 miles as there are additional pockets with an included water bottle in the front.
20-mile trail run 70 degrees
I corrected the fit for my second run. I added in quite a bit of elevation on this run. Even with the bladder full, large iPhone in the pocket and packed with extra nutrition this pack remained comfortable and light throughout. I adjusted the chest straps as the water bladder was depleted to maintain comfort. It didn’t bounce and I was able to tighten it down to a very snug fit. Even flying down hills, it didn’t bounce, and everything stayed where it should.
Ultimate Direction 2.0L Reservoir HydraPak
One thing I had hoped the pack would have included was the bladder. This is extra so something to note when ordering. It does come with a water bottle that holds 17oz. I don’t think this would be sufficient for longer efforts though.
Ultimate Direction does have reservoir’s available, and they sent me a 2.0L bladder. This bladder is extremely easy to use. The top opens wide so you can pour in water as well as any mix you might want to include without it spilling everywhere. It is narrow so you don’t feel water moving around a lot and hooks in easily into the pack to hold everything in place. The tubing easily connects and doesn’t leak.
This pack is loaded with places to put things and easily my favorite thing about the vest! It has 13 pockets! The large gear compartment can easily fit a change of clothes with room to spare. There is also a zippered pocket within this compartment perfect for a phone, wallet, and keys. The other larger compartment is where the water reservoir will be held if you bring one.
On the front there are 9 places to hold items! 6 of them are zippered pockets for extra security. The others are great for stuffing in a gel or anything you would like accessible. I always carry my phone (iPhone 14 Pro Max) The pocket on the front easily accommodated this. I also kept it in the water-resistant pocket that zipped, and it was still very easy to get to.
On the back there are more pockets! Including another zippered pocket as well as a pass-through pocket. These are harder to get to while on the move but nice to have additional places to put things. Even when it is full the vest fits nicely and continues to be comfortable on the move.
One other feature that would be great for long hikes or extended ultra runs is the included rain fly that can cover the whole back, so your stuff doesn’t get soaked in the rain.
In addition, there are bungies to hold a coat on the back, plus multiple places to secure hiking poles.
I would highly recommend this pack for anyone considering a trail marathon or ultra. The fit and overall comfort even over long miles make this a great choice. It will allow you to be self-sufficient and less reliant on aid stations. I will be using this for a 52.5 ultra this fall! In addition, I am planning on using this for longer hikes when I want to be hands free yet have all the nutrition and water available. This vest is very versatile and has everything you need for a day out in the elements.
For more info on the Adventure Vest, visit www.ultimatedirection.com.