About Us

Our Story - UDXXX Since 1985

In 1985 Ultimate Direction invented the entire category of hydration packs. We created the first waist pack for carrying bottles, a few years later made the first pack/strap to carry a water bottle in your hand, and have made many other innovations that define what a hydration pack is today.

30 years later we remain a market leader, having created and popularized the "vest" concept for carrying water. We introduced the very first women's-specific line of hydration packs and have brought the classics of the past into the technical future with award-winning gear such as our Fastpack and Ultra Jacket.

Our products are designed by athletes for athletes, and the Jenny Collection was designed by women for women. Some of the best runners in the world thought long and hard about what works the best, and the result is absolutely great gear.

Read more on our UD Blog and follow us on Facebook and Instagram #UDHydrates

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the ultimate in high performance hydration for everyday athletes. We reengineer, reinvent, and redefine high performance hydration for everyday athletes.

Our History

It all began when UD founder, Bryce Thatcher, solved his hydration problems by taking matters into his own hands-crafting his first hydration pack on his mother’s sewing machine. Since 1986…

What People are Saying About Us

"I ran up Long’s Peak on Saturday in my old school (4+ yrs old) UD Wasp, and desperately missed the newer UD vests! The fit, the weight, the functionality were all sorely missed with my Wasp and seriously appreciated about the new pack line. You guys have done a phenomenal job, especially considering you have done this in 4 months instead of 12+ like you mentioned in your last email. Not only are the packs comfortable and well thought out, but absolutely beautiful to the eyes. I would definitely like to use one of those Ultra packs at Hardrock in less than two weeks, so let me know if any become available."

- Cheers, Eric Payne

"In terms of feedback. I think it is probably the best option for a race like Hardrock (or any other 100 for that matter). I did not have any issues at all with it, so there isn't really much I would say needs to be improved. It is very comfortable."

- Nick Pedatella (4th place, 2012 Hardrock 100)

"I took the Adventure Vest out last weekend and had a blast--the most amazing thing about the pack is that it didn't shift or bounce the entire time, no matter what I put in it. I also wore it with a tank top, which usually presents some chafing issues for me even without a pack, and I didn't have a single hot spot after a 2.5 hour run."

- Jess Portmess

"You guys hit a home run with those packs! I took the large one (PB Adventure Vest) up to RMNP yesterday and ran Mt Alice. Man, that thing is SWEET, and it's the early version!!"

- Chris Gerber

Social Responsibility

As Ultimate Direction strives for innovation and creating the best hydration products, we also strive to be socially responsible. Why? Because practicing responsible business eliminates waste, increases efficiency, enhances vendor relationships, and is the right thing to do.

Our Environment


At our offices the outdoor industry isn’t just important because it’s our job, it’s also our passion. We understand how vital it is to be kind to our environment and because of this, actively participate in recycling and composting efforts.

Conservation Alliance

The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor companies that collectively work to protect threatened wild lands and waterways for their habitat and recreational values. Since its founding in 1989, over $9.5 million has been contributed to conservation projects throughout North America. These contributions have made it possible to support the protection of our outdoors.

Eliminate Disposable Bottles

With water bottles being one of our major products we like to use what we have to hydrate. By utilizing what we produce instead of some disposable plastic bottle we are taking a stand to eliminate waste in our environment.

Our Product

BPA Free plastic

Polycarbonate, the material that has been used by many manufacturers for years to make water bottles, contains a manmade chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). It was recently discovered that BPA leaches from the plastic at levels dramatically higher than previously thought, according to Canadian Health Minister Tony Clement. BPA in humans is associated with higher levels of testosterone in men and women and has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, brain damage, and disruptions of the endocrine system. Many retailers, including Mountain Equipment co-op in Canada and REI in the U.S. have begun removing BPA water bottles from shelves. Likewise, many consumers are demanding BPA-free alternatives. Ultimate Direction has always been BPA-free and will continue to be.