Friday, 31st March 2023
Article Image

Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta review

by editor
Monday 8th August 2016
Finding the perfect backpack for big races is a tricky business at the best of times. It has to fit you like a glove, it has to have enough space to fit all the mandatory kit specified by the event, it has to have zero chafing potential and there must be no jiggling. If you’re a woman, with obvious anatomical differences to men, it can be even more difficult. 
Ultimate Direction recognised this problem and came up with the Jenny range for women, so called because it was designed by Jenny Jurek with input from other female runners. I tried out the Adventure Vesta, which is the bigger sister of the Ultra Vesta, with an 11 litre capacity, rather than 7 litres. 
If you’re a tiny human like me you’ll be pleased to hear that all the straps are adjustable down to a very small size. The best thing is that there’s a strap around the bottom of the pack, which is on velcro adjusters, that can be used to make the whole pack snugger. This made a big difference to the fit for me.
The first time I used the pack I found the soft bottles on the front quite jiggly but I found that by underfilling them a little and pulling the cord on the bottle holders really tight jiggling is minimised. They also don’t leak, which is more that can be said for a lot of soft bottles. 


There’s one big main compartment on the back, which unzips on two sides who you can get stuff in and out really easily (unlike, say the Salomon pack where there’s just one narrow opening). It’s deceptively spacious and there’s also another big zip pocket behind it for a bladder (but it’s also perfect for maps) and two small zip pockets big enough for compass, first aid kit etc. To give you an idea of how much kit you can get into the Adventure Vesta I used it for the Lakeland 50 where the mandatory kit was: 
First aid kit (back small zip pocket)
Full waterproof body cover, top and bottom (main compartment)
Spare base layer top and bottom (main compartment)
Head torch / spare batteries (main compartment)
Mobile phone (main compartment)
Whistle (there’s one on the pack)
Hat and gloves (main compartment)
Emergency foil blanket or bivi bag (main compartment)
Emergency food equivalent to 400kcal (main compartment)
Map (in the pocket designed for the water bladder)
Road book (ditto)
Compass (small zip pocket at the back)
Plastic cup (ditto)
There are also two zip pockets at the side, which are perfect for bars and gels as you can get into them really easily while running. It’s a bit of a shame that these aren’t big enough for a phone but you can’t have it all. 
The pack is made of very stretchy material so you can just stuff it all in. Because it’s quite compact but stretchy it’s also happy enough with just the minimum of kit in - waterproof jacket, phone - and it doesn’t jiggle around. 
I’ve used this pack on lots of long runs and on one 12 hour run and it fits like a glove and, importantly, it doesn’t chafe (none of those hickey-like neck marks that are hard to explain at work on a Monday morning). It’s perfect for longer races or days out in the hills when you need to take a fair bit of kit with you, comfortably, without fear of jiggle or chafe. 

Price: £120
UK stockist: Beta Climbing Designs

Related Articles

Article Image
Ultimate Direction Jenny Clutch reviewJanette Cross tries out the new handheld bottle in the UD Jenny collection
Article Image
Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta reviewDesigned for women, by women - the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta
Article Image
It's simple - but how do you take on wat...Run247 contributor looks at some options on how to carry your water supply in ul...
Article Image
Ultimate Direction - the next generation...Product feature: The Signature Series - hydration solutions to maximize perform...
Article Image
New Ultimate Direction packs on testWe try out the new generation of Ultimate Direction packs
Article Image
La Sportiva Trail Running DayEvent news: The Climbers Shop, in association with La Sportiva will be hosting a...

Post A Comment

TereréJordan Blood