We enlisted the help of fast female runner, and social media master Michelle Clarke from www.michelletherunner.com to test out the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest from the Jenny Collection for us. Here are her thoughts…
Running packs are the kind of things you need to do your research on before you purchase. Not everyone is built the same, each has their own unique bells and whistles, and there are really only a handful of companies that do running packs well. Ultimate Direction is one of those companies. They use great materials and always surprise me with their attention to detail.
Ultimate Direction launched their Signature Series lines with vests designed by Scott Jurek, Anton Krupicka, and Peter Bakwin – all men. As a follow up, Scott Jurek expanded his products to a collection of hydration kit. UD realized they needed a matching collection for women, and who better to design the Jurek Collection counterpart, than his counterpart – wife Jenny Jurek. Suddenly social media was buzzing and I was seeing pictures of the Jenny Collection Ultra Vesta popping up on all corners of the Internet. Jenny has worked with UD to create a running hydration gear collection designed by a woman for women. I was so excited for this pack to hit the market and couldn’t wait to check it out.
From Instagram I learned this pack came equipped with two 10 oz water bottles up front but also offers enough space in the back for a bladder.
The pack has two great small additions, a whistle (for safety) and an extra hair tie. My jewellery of choice as a runner is a selection of hair ties in case of an emergency hair tie situation. Having an extra hair tie built right into the pack was a fun and a cool addition, which proves only women know what women need.
Bringing an Iphone on your run is almost a necessity these days. Everyone knows it didn’t happen unless you Instagram it! Well the Jenny pack give you a perfectly sized pocket right in front, making sure you’ll not miss that magical run moment because you can’t get to your phone.
The best part was the quote. A small unique quote is placed inside the pack for the user to find and be inspired. Mine read: “I was passing trees and rocks like they were standing still” It lives on my mantle now and I smile every time I pass it on my way out the door for a run.
During one of my test runs, I was able to stuff a spare jacket and a dry shirt just in case I needed a change of clothes. The pack is small and compact but does have a surprising amount of space to pack your essentials.
The biggest issues I’ve had in the past with packs is bounce. Any movement with a pack can end with lots of chafing and cuts on the skin. The worst part is you don’t know where the damage has occurred until you hit the shower! Sound familiar? Fortunately this pack is well designed, with adjustable straps to ensure you get just the right fit to provide a no-bounce run and a pain free shower afterwards.
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Can you fit bigger bottles up front? It seems like a pretty big pack to only have 20oz up front. I’m just curious – I’ve never actually tried a pack like that!
Hey Jason – the front pockets are designed for the smaller 10oz flasks that it ships with It definitely won’t fit the bigger 20oz UD bottles (i tried). It will take a hydration pack in the back if you wanted more hydration capacity, otherwise I would look at one of the other UD vests.