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I have worked with several hydration vests for ultras over the past 3 years. Each one missing/needing/lacking something that would be helpful. I got on the UD site trying to find the Jenny vest again. I had used it - really liked it, even though it's a little short of the capacity I was after. And I'm a size Large/38D -- those vests, while cut for woman and not always cut for well-endowed women. The pop-up assistant on the UD site asked if they could help me. I actually engaged with her and told her EXACTLY what I wanted in use/size -- and what some of the other issues were that I was trying to solve. She's actually the one who directed me to look at the Hardrocker Vest. Trekking poles, water bladder, pockets, adjust-ability... All of the things I want and need for an ultra vest. I've taken it out on a rainy/cold run and hot run - and it's magic. No bounding, no chafing, fits well - I had an easy time adjusting it on my own while I was wearing it. :) Works for everything I want and need at this point. Super happy with the look, feel, weight, quality. I loved my Jenny pack, but this one is even better for what I have discovered I want and need as a runner. I have not run with bottles in the front - I prefer to use a bladder, but if you are a woman, busty -- the water bottle holder up front might be awkward if you really use them for bottles. Unknown on May 5th 2017
This vest is well-made, and incredibly functional, with so many thoughtful features. And the value is excellent.
SO WHY DID UD HAVE TO RUIN THIS VEST WITH HARD PLASTIC INSERTS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FRONT WATER BOTTLE POCKETS?!?
Having a hard piece of plastic digging into my ribs, with the full weight of a loaded water bottle helping press them down, left my ribs tender and bruised after just a 16 mile training run. How this is supposed to work for 100 is beyond me. And as far as I can tell, these inserts are non-removable, and serve no meaningful function.
I find it utterly ridiculous that these were designed in, and am gobsmacked that they passed any sort of pre-marketing test review. So, I guess I'm going to have to cut open a $130 vest with an exacto knife...? Very strange. IW on Apr 6th 2017
The best thing ever, the Vest is light, comfortable,lots of pockets, lots of room and the material dry faster in case it rains (I live in Oregon) or sweat to much. My first run was 17 miles all trail and never bother me at all, I bike a lot too and I can use it for mountain biking for sure since it has a lot of room for water and clothes.
The only bad thing : I wished I bought it sooner... Unknown on Dec 27th 2016
After just around 5k miles it was time to retire my AK 2.0 vest. After reading the stellar reviews I took the plunge for the Hard Rock vest. First it's fits very well, I wear a S/M in the AK vest and the Hard Rock M fit perfectly. I did not the a lot of the fabric area seemed to be made of a material that did not seem like it would breath to well, but very sturdy non the less. The vest fits the hard kicker valve bottles fine. It does ride different on the torso, the hard bottle rest in a slightly different spot, so that getting used to it few days will apply again. I've worn the vest on two run so far the first a short 2 hour run. Right of the bat I noticed the vest doesn't breath near as well as the AK vest did at all, this could be a major factor for those who live in humid environments. The vest was very comfortable, and side pockets were accessible while on the go. The next day I took it out for a 4 hour run with soft flask and a bladder. I did not notice any real difference in breath-ability in the back of the pack with the bladder in place. The age old problem with soft flask still is present, they sink into the pockets as the fluid level decreases. The only thing that keeps me from giving this vest five stars is the breath-ability of the some of the fabrics. I do agree with a prior reviewer on ditching the key holder, for a more robust design. I also agree with incorporating a whistle into the design of the clasp for the sternum strap. All in all this is a fantastic vest, just be warned if you live in very humid areas and your looking to replace an AK vest. A TO vest may be a better option. With that said I look forward to using this vest, I love the extra pockets up front, and the option of running hydration lines down and around vs up and over. Quality of build is just what I gave come to expect from UD Unknown on Oct 8th 2016
I have the original AK and SJ vest but wanted to have my poles in front. It was a great investment and the vest was awesome around Mont Blanc. In addition to having the ability to put my poles away for descents, the vest had plenty of room for the required gear at UTMB. Nick on Sep 17th 2016
I own the Ak2.0 and it still holds since I only use it for my long runs and trail race. Otherwise the 'Simple Hydration' bottle is the best.
I venture to ultra this year and needed a bigger pack, so i was thinking of getting the new SJ3.0 but when I saw the Hardrock Edition boy Im sold!
The color is badass! Pockets are wonderful! The fit is great! Im a 5'5 and 65kg small guy. No chaffing! (I have chaffing problem in the neck area with the AK, with HR it sits way comfortably on the shoulder). I have the original bottle that comes with AK, didn't like em so i purchased the flask, great exchange!
Awesome product! Awesome company! Thanks UD! Ririe on Aug 29th 2016
The 2016 Hardrocker replaced my 2012 SJ Ultra vest and is a real improvement.
First, the CELL PHONE POCKET right up front is awesome. Perhaps Scott Jurek's long arms could successfully fish a cell phone out of the wing pockets of the SJ ultra but for me it hurt my shoulders to contort like that and I had to completely stop moving to do it. The Hardrocker cell phone pocket fits my Droid Razor perfectly and I can quickly and easily get at it when I want to take a picture or whatever. The EXTRA STORAGE is great for long training runs with no aid or support. I can get more GU's and drink mix in this pack than the SJ Ultra and it has more storage in the back that is easier to access. The compression strap functions better and its design makes more sense for stowing a wind breaker etc. And it's truly BLADDER COMPATIBLE where the SJ ultra was not. My SJ vest blew out on the corners where the bladder's top slider closure made contact. This vest fits the bladder better and is also way easier to load the bladder into. I also like that the fasteners for trekking poles are removable. I don't use trekkers and I remove these to make the pack less "busy" and to lighten this up best I can. I also love the black color as it is unique and looks tough - almost like some military tactical gear.
I do find the fit is different than the SJ in that I am running with the chest straps quite a bit looser and the bottles sitting further to the outside of my ribs. When I ran with it set up tighter like the SJ I found the bottles bruised my ribs and the cell phone rubbed my neck. But it is adjustable and dialing in the fit seemed to work for me.
Suggestions to UD- drop the whistle and instead use the quick clip style whistle often used in ski packs on the chest strap. Also, drop the key chain as it looks flimsy and adds weight. Instead use a simple sewn in loop of cord that you can girth hitch your key to. This is common in Patagonia boar shorts and is brilliantly simple, cheap and fail proof. Final suggestion - please give us soft bottles that are a full 20 oz. All the soft bottles have lost volume and we need as much water on hand as possible. I'm still running hard bottles for this reason alone. @tenfootstorm Sean W. on Aug 24th 2016
This pack has loads of room for what you would need for a ultra-race. I chose to run with a water reservoir, its an easy drop in great space, one thing was missed! the Velcro strap that holds the bladder had two of the same fabric hook fasteners on both sides? rather than the standard (fabric hook and loop fasteners) so the Velcro wouldn't stick.
NoStick Velco on Aug 16th 2016
Since this is my first pack of this style, I'm a little green. The Hardrocker is a great pack. Everything is very accessible, and fits pretty well. No one person shape is the same, so I realize you can't fit everyone perfectly. With only 2 runs with the pack, I wish the front sat lower in front -- I'm 5'9" & 150#s, and wish it rested (& stayed) at the bottom of my ribs. The only other thing I wish was different is the side velcro pockets. They're a little tough to get into, and maybe with a little more use, I will figure out the best way. They would probably be better if zippered. Pack has great space for about anything! I carried 2 body bottles, 6 gels, 3 meal packs, S6 smart phone, a headlamp, small knife, GoPro, and chapstick in front with a little more space to go. In back, 70oz bladder, small first aid kit, travel size paper towels, space blanket, matches, bug spray, hand sanitizer, hat, meal bar..., also with a little room left. I'd recommend it over the other signature series available. Nice pack U.D.!!!! TrailWx on Aug 10th 2016
Easily the best upgrades I've ever seen on a pack. Having room for the stiff plastic bottles up front and an assortment of larger front access pockets make this pack a well needed replacement for my older UD pack. The large zippered pocket up top left allows me to barely fit my larger phone, but is very roomy for an assortment of uses. The materials are slightly less breathable than my original pack but the comfort of a higher resting pack allows plenty of airflow around the body to help keep cool in hotter runs. PJ on Aug 1st 2016
I've long avoided running with packs because I could never find one that didn't become the focus of my run. Every other pack I've tried bounced, jiggled, or otherwise acted in a distracting manner. This pack has been perfect. I was able to dial in the fit to the point that I just don't think about the vest during the run. Even with a 1.5 L bladder, this pack didn't bounce and was simply perfect. Both on the trail and run-commuting to work, this is exactly what I've been looking for. Ample storage for necessities, jacket, extra shirt, bottles, food, even change for the ferry ride :) This pack is awesome. Blair on Jul 29th 2016
I've been using the SJ 2.0 for long training runs and solo 100s. I needed something with more carrying capacity for those times when you gotto have rain gear, layers, headlamp, etc. and the ability of carrying poles up front so I don't have to stop and take off the vest to remove or strap up the poles. The HardRocker features work great and blows away my SJ 2.0 not that it was bad-loved it. The pockets and features are easily accessible while on the run. I can access the side pockets whereas on the SJ I couldn't. Very secure, great fit and quality construction. I like the lower bottle holders. A plus-it comes in black. Looks bad ass. You won't be disappointed. Unknown on Jul 27th 2016
Arrived quickly, faster than quoted. Its my first UD pack, and its been worth the wait!!! Every part of this vest is about function. Huge bottle pockets up front, with useful smaller pouches up front for gels and small items. Under arm pouches are easy to get to, and offer more cargo space for all the essentials. Fantastic amount of back compartment space for a lite jacket, hat, headlamp, etc. A super awesome web helps clutch whatever else you might need. Throw in a few perfectly positioned loops for trekkin poles, and Im pretty stoked. I use a 1.5L bladder (Hydrapak) and it fits super cozy. I prefer to run the tube over the shoulder ( a la continental soldier) and it sits across the chest without any interference to the front pockets and pouches. Ive used a few other brands, and found good specifics for all(Saloman, Orange Mud, and Nathan), but none of them put the whole package together as well as this HardRocker does. Not even close!! The price tag is cheaper (by quite a bit) as well, and offers way more bang for your buck. Im so thrilled to be part of the UD family!!! Chris Agen, San Diego, CA USA on Jul 27th 2016
I ran with the original SJ (v.1) running vest from 2013 until it wore out this year. Having registered for my first 100 miler -- Leadville 100, I needed a new vest. I got the email advertisement for the new Hardrock Wild & Tough vest just in time to make this my selection and resolve the debate between the PB 3.0 or the PB 2.0. I just spent a week in Leadville training for the 100 miler in August. After a week of running the Leadville trails and climbing two 14ers, I could not be more pleased with this Hardrock vest. This is sort of an expanded and upgraded model of the old SJ. The back pockets are great and the top loading zipper is much easier to get the water bladder in and refill when necessarily without taking the whole bladder out of the pack. The water hose has a good exit over the shoulder strap and fits comfortably across the chest. The under arm zipper and velcro pockets are reachable and with only mild contortion (I could hardly manage to use them when wearing the vest on the original SJ). The best features are the front pockets. The two front water bottle holders worked fine for both hard or soft bottles. There is a shoulder burrito pocket just big enough to secure an iPhone 5 (minimalist case). Then 2 other mesh pockets and a small flap pocket just the right size for electrolyte caps or other supplements. I used a 10 x 14 inch camp towel secured to the outer mesh pocket of the burrito-phone pocket and it worked great for wiping the sweat when needed and then just stuffing it back in. Last, but not least, the front loading Z-poles holders work great and make it much more practical to carry poles and use them when needed. Overall, the vest was very comfortable, hardly noticeable even when fully loaded. The materials and stitching are vastly improved over the SJ (v.1). I don't anticipate ever needing to replace or purchase another vest for the next 10 years. I couldn't be any happier with this vest -- not to mention it looks cool. Eddy Ruble on Jul 25th 2016
When I saw the Hardrocker vest two weeks ago I knew it was time to upgrade my original Scott Jurek vest. I was one of the first to get my hands on that so I have been using it for years now. I was really into the looks of the Hardrock vest and definitely liked the configuration of the pockets, holders, pouches, etc.
I ordered it immediately and it arrived the day HR100 began. Coincidence....I think not! I took it out on Sunday for a quick 10 miles in the mountains of Pennsylvsnia and was blown away. This is a serious update to my old vest - which I LOVED! The fit and feel of the Hardrocker is unmatched. I only wish I had loaded it up for a longer run. But for the quicky I did, everything was right where I like it. Easy access to everything I did take and plenty of room for more. I also went with hydro flasks for the first time and really enjoyed using them with this pack.
But it - you'll love it. I'll be using this for years to come!! Matthew Houseknecht on Jul 19th 2016