I have been doing a lot more running over the past month due to the limited options currently. With more running I’ve been doing more distance and in New Mexico water becomes a bit of a concern. I used to run with a hydration belt but after an uncomfortable 8 mile run a couple weeks ago I decided I needed an upgrade. So, I did some COVID-19 influenced shopping and ordered the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 from backcountry.com. It definitely didn’t hurt when Backcountry had the Adventure Vest 4.0 on sale for $75 down from it’s regular price of $169.95.
I chose the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 because I was looking for a running vest to fit a wider range of activities. I wanted to use it for longer runs when I carry water, which for me is anything over 6 miles. But I also wanted something that would work for fast and light hikes in the summer when I don’t have to carry a lot of gear. The Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 has a total storage capacity of 16.4 liters. So it seemed like it would check all of the boxes.
Now although the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 has a capacity of 16.4L keep in mind that is counting ALL of the pockets not just the main compartment. And I should mention this thing has a LOT of pockets and by a lot I mean exactly 16 pockets or stuff locations! That literally blows my mind. The back has one main compartment that can hold a water bladder with routing for the tube but a bladder doesn’t come included. Then there are two stuff pouches on the back, a small wallet pocket, and stretchy cable system for oversized items like rain jackets. Each side has a small zippered pocket ideally meant for gels or snacks.
On the front there is the main water bottle pouch and a 500ml soft bottle comes included. On the other side is zippered pocket that can fit another bottle, not included, or a phone nicely. There are several more zippered and stuff pockets located around the front.
For stability the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 has two sternum straps that slide up and down and a stretch cord suspension system in the back that tightens down to snug the vest up. Ultimate Direction claims a weight of 302 grams for an empty vest without bottles.
Initial impressions on my first run of 10 miles with it today were pretty positive. I have to figure out how exactly I want to distribute my stuff among the myriad of pockets. However, the fit was comfortable with no rubbing or hot spots. There wasn’t much bounce at all even with water up front and the back compartments completely empty. I will post a detailed review of the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 after I get some solid time in using it for runs and hikes.