If you’re looking to go long – marathon or further – you don’t want to go in unprepared. That’s where the Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 comes in. With two 568ml bottles and space for a bladder, the vest means your hydration needs can be covered for miles. Its 7-litre capacity and multitude of nifty pockets (two smartphone-sized pouches, four gel pouches and two valuables pockets) provide optimal space for kit – perfect for ultras, though it could work equally well for commuting.
Our tester particularly liked the wide straps, which help spread out the weight contained in the pack without digging in uncomfortably. As with other Ultimate Direction designs, the vest fits closely to the body and doesn’t bounce.
The Hex Mesh material that covers the back of the vest and shoulder straps is highly breathable and keeps you pleasantly cool, avoiding the sweat sponge effect cushioned packs can have. While the lack of bladder may be offputting to some considering the price, the pack overall has an excellent design and is a must for budding ultra runners.