The new 2018 Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta has arrived!!! It’s a sneak preview, available in shops early-late February. This is a women’s specific pack, the men’s is called the Adventure Vest. I’m testing at least 4 running day packs for the Cape Wrath Ultra. See previous post for the other three. This is a First Look, and I’ll be doing a First Run with it later today at 11:30am LIVE on my YouTube channel Wild Ginger Films.

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The Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta 2018 running pack

The Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta info says, “Flex Mono Mesh provides a structured fit to ensure comfort and load management. MicroMono Mesh conforms to your body for comfort and load carrying ability. The 30D coated nylon, a light, waterproof fabric with superior seam and tear strength. The 4-way stretch nylon, dissolved thread provides more stretch and breathability, all while reducing weight.”

  • RRP £150 
  • Weighs 302g
  • Total capacity 12.4litres
  • Women’s specific
  • Two sizes: XS/S 58-81cm & M/L 76-102cm
  • On sale early-mid February

I like:
First thoughts – I very much like that Ultimate Direction have made a women’s specific pack and that it also comes in two sizes. The original Ultra and Adventure Vestas were designed by ultra runner and outdoor clothing and kit designer Jenny Jurek (wife of ultra running record-breaker Scott Jurek). The range is still designed by women for women, so I’m looking forward to a really comfortable fit.

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Less running, more chatting, well, that’s me for sure! Lol 😉

It feels very light, and there are absolutely TONNES of pockets and plenty of bungee and extra bungee attachments to secure a smaller load. Five pockets on the back, two on each side at the waist, one at one shoulder strap and two at the other. The zip pulls look like they have ample cord on them to operate easily while using gloves.

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A great many pockets front and back

There are three sections to the main compartment on the back, two zipped and one draw-corded. The one closest to the back has a clip to secure a hydration bladder. Then there are a further 2 zipped pockets on the outside of the outer back pocket.

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5 pockets total  on the back

Here’s a closer look at the extra zip pockets on the back, and one of the waist pockets. Inside the top one is a bonus hair bobble. Just the feature I look for in a super light backpack…I’ll save that for a hair-based emergency on the trails. I hope the men get one too, or at least some beard hair trimmers. I wouldn’t want long-haired runners like US ultra Goldilockses Anton Krupicka and Tim Olson to miss out! 😉

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Zipped pockets galore at the back and waist

Below is the left shoulder strap pocket, zipped, and with a long thin pocket behind, in which hides a whistle. The zipped pocket could hold another slim bottle at the front if needed.

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Two shoulder pockets on the left, the inner one hides a whistle

There is one bottle provided, held on the right shoulder strap. The material is slightly rubbery/grippy so it should be easy to hold it. The bite valve also has an on-off pull in and out function. Also, on both shoulder straps are some dark blue elasticated loops in which you can secure running poles – very useful.

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One bottle provided, and loops on both shoulders for running poles

I’m not sure about:
Although it’s great to have so many pockets, will enough of them be accessible on the move? And will I be able to work the zips on the waist pockets furthest to the back?

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Will I be able to access all the many pockets on the run?

The inside fabric is a transparent gauze/mesh so you can see the kit in the back compartment next to your skin. Will this be super breathable or will the holes work like the ones in an air-tex t-shirt and trap in the warmth?

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Transparent next-to-skin gauze looks breathable, will it be?

There’s a new way to adjust the fit of the pack via the blue cord and plastic. It’s called Comfort-Cinch technology and it looks genius, but will it just be a faff and will the plastic dig in?

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New adjustment system via external cord – will it be faffy or dig in?

Here’s a close up of the adjustment system from the side.

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Unique adjustment system, but is it necessary?

On first impressions, this Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta looks like it will be very comfortable with a good specific women’s fit. So on my First Run I’ll be testing this, and seeing how easy all those pockets are to access, and how comfy the new Comfort-Cinch fit-system is.

My First Run assessment will be live on Wild Ginger Films YouTube channel later today at 11:30am.

The new Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta pack comes out early-mid Feb but if you can’t wait to buy the excellent older version of this pack (it’s my third fave after my Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 3 and Raidlight Olmo 5 packs, and has awesome fabric durability) please do so by clicking on these links:

Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta / Obsidian (XS/S)

Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta / Obsidian (Medium/Large)

This means I get a few pennies at no cost to you.

How better than to show your appreciation for my independent, honest reviews? 🙂 Thank you, Claire