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I love many things about the vest - the light weight, the torso hugging shape, ability to micro-adjust the fitting, ample storage. But I find the side pockets awkward to access while I'm running, forcing me to really reach around to open and close them - sometimes I end up removing the vest altogether to access gear. Guy Gordon on Jan 22nd 2017
Not sure how others are using the bottle but when I first start using these bottles about 3 years ago I thought finally, a bottle that is so easy to use, especially when your racing and your tired or focussing really hard on rough terrain. The tit on the bottle is brilliant, best design ever, just bite the tit and pull it up with your teeth, squeeze the bottle and suck at the same time and drink. to close just push the tit to the side and it pops back down, or tap it with the pam of your other hand. I guess there is always personal preferences but after years of using bottles that were hard to open/close, or sometimes hurt your lips or teeth while running and drinking at the same time. The other great feature about the pack is the way the bottles on the front balance the weight in the back. I've ran 10 x 100km races with this pack and its an absolute classic Pauly on Jul 25th 2016
I have run a few marathons and as I have recently picked up trail running and am planning my first 50K in the fall, I wanted to get a vest to carry water, versus the clunky waste pack I had been using. I just tried the SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 on two separate 10 mile runs this last weekend. One was in the mountains, and the other was a road run. In both occasions, the vest worked great. It was exactly what I had been hoping for.
I have seen other comments about the water bottles and I will agree that the tips are not easy to use. However, that hasn't really inhibited me and I just screw the top off to take a drink. I plan to order the Reservoir as soon as it gets back into stock. However, in the meantime, I have just taken a third water bottle and zipped it into the rear pocket. Perfect.
I'm really anxious to see how it performs for my first 50K, but based on how easy it has fit and rode during my first two runs, I expect it will be just fine. Ray on Jun 27th 2016
The pack worked great for my hike to Half Dome in Yosemite National park. But the water bottles were a pain to drink out of. So I poured the water into bladder. Unknown on Jun 5th 2016
I actually use this pack for mountain biking, and for such a light weight rig it does a good job of carrying the essentials, even using one of the front pockets to carry my light battery for night rides. It will hold a 1.5L bladder nicely, and I like to carry an additional 500ml soft flask in the other front pocket, which gives me a 2hr range before having to refill. The feature that sold me on this pack vs. getting another Salomon was the bungee strap on the back, which allows me to carry arm and knee warmers. For me the bungee strap is a must have. The one criticism I have for the pack overall is the rip-stop nylon that is used as part of the construction. That material is nearly worthless in my mind, if you get one small tear in that stuff it just falls apart. I caught it on a branch the other day and it just annihilated it.... Come on guys.... this would be a five star product if you use the taffeta material, like the limited edition Hardrocker. Do that and I'll buy another one. Blazer on Jan 14th 2016
I really like the vest, but probably would have preferred v1. The bottles are great, love the way it feels when I'm running. The problems are with the pockets on the bottom, underneath the bottles. Why would they put the openings in the back. They are hard to get to when your running. The other problem is when you add the 70 ounce hydration bladder to it, it really pulls on the chest. It becomes very unbalanced at that point. I use their now discontinued Diablo vest with the 3 liter bladder with no issues. I will use the vest, but only for shorter runs, and I have to still wear a phone arm band to find a good spot to put the phone. I was expecting a little more I guess, but still a solid vest. Russ on Nov 8th 2015
let me start by saying the vest gets 5 stars, its the bottles i have a problem with, the bottles are to hard to use while running. if the bottles were soft like camelbak podium bottles this would be a 5 star review all the way. i will be buying body bottles. added 9.15.15: Now that i have a quite a few more miles with this pack, there are a couple more things i would like to see changed on this pack. also i did buy some body bottles and love them, however i do use a bladder for most of my runs. So, the changes... first the small pockets under the bottle pockets, it would be so much easier to access them if they faced the other direction. on to the straps, it would be nice if the straps were stretchy, this would allow the vest to move with the body instead of feel constricted at times. As for inside the pack a divider would of been nice to separate gear from the bladder. The final change i would like to see is somewhere to put my sunglasses, i have used the pole loops on the back but if those small shoulder straps on the vest were stretchy it would be perfect or just make them large to slip sun glasses under. this is an ultra vest so its common to run in both the sun shine and dark. Matt on Sep 15th 2015
I really like the vest, it's light and seems to fit well. It felt pretty good while running with it but it did seem to move around some and the bottles were bouncing on my chest. With that, the next day I felt like I'd bruised my ribs. I hadn't, but it felt like I did. Maybe I need to adjust it better? I want to use this vest so I'm hoping there's a fix. Harris on Jun 30th 2015
overall i am very happy with this vest. i was a little hesitant to buy a hydration vest, after my experiences trying to run with non-running related hydration packs. the UD vest weighs almost nothing. when i put it on for the first time i could tell this was going to be great. the vest sits really high on my back and does not even approach the lower back. the bottles are very high up front as well. it feels kind of weird at first to have the bottles in-your-face like that but i quickly got used to it. the bottles themselves, are just ok. i feel like i have to work really hard just to get water out of them. i am used to the camelbak bottles which are much easier to squeeze. i tried the body bottles that some people mentioned on this review ... but i hate the way they release water as well. it seems you have to squeeze them really hard and bite down with your teeth. the less water in the bottle, the more difficult this procedure becomes. most of the pockets are very conveniently located throughout. the only thing i really dislike about this pack is the so called smart phone pocket. this pocket is poorly sized. my iphone 5 only sits 3/4 of the way inside. not only does that feel unsafe to me, but the pocket is also located on the curve of the strap (right at the collar bone. this is quite annoying. also the pocket hits the water bottle, which kind of keeps the phone from sitting all the way down. having the phone partially exposed right under my face allowed sweat to pour down into the phone causing it to malfunction. from now on i have to keep my phone in another pocket, which is kind of a drag because i like to take pictures along the way. more like 3.5 stars Thanks leo on Jun 29th 2015
I'm very pleased with purchasing the SJ Ultra Vest 2.0. I've searched around several different brands and this vest had everything I was looking for, I'm very sastified. I will be hiking up Mt Fuji this weekend and this vest is perfect for me going on that type of hike, I also plan on using it for a full Marathon in October. This vest can accommodate several different needs during a long or short distance trip, it's great. Only wish it would come in different colors but I'm already in the process of ordering a another product. Thanks. Tyrone on Aug 19th 2014
Finally a Perfect Product! "For the record I have only ever run with hip belts which have had their limitations especially on longer runs with regard to carrying enough equipment, food and hydration. The SJ Ulta Vest met all the additional requirements I was looking for in the hydration vest option. the ability to carry bottles (filled with race fuel) is key and the addition of an optional bladder (filled with water) is great. there are honestly plenty of pockets without the bag becoming cluttered...very cleverly laid out and clearly a lot of consideration has gone into the positioning of storage options. I was also really surprised how light this vest is. My first run with the SJ Vest 2.0 was a 34km Trail Run and to my amazement I did not have a headache afterwards!....testimony to a good fit and weight distribution. the Vest was also not saturated with sweat i.e. essentially the same dry weight before the run as afterwards! The only modification I have made is to replace the Plastic Bottles with the NEW UD Body Bottle....very comfortable against your body! Useful Tip....if you haven't figured it out yet?? To reinsert the body bottle back into the pocket once it loses its form as it starts to empty is to simply just to blow it up like a balloon. Fantastic Running Partner." Pros: Attractive, Comfortable, High Quality, Adjustable, Lightweight, Versatile, Good Fit Tristan on Aug 19th 2014
This is a great pack for longer runs and races. I have used it for unsupported runs lasting up to ~27 hours. It is also light enough that it does not feel excessive to wear for shorter outings, making it very versatile. The overall fit and feel of the vest is very good, and it will not chafe or bounce once you have made the necessary adjustments. It does seem to take some experimenting to get the fit perfect for each person, so expect to spend at least a little initial time to get everything setup properly. In terms of storage capacity, I have carried two long sleeve shirts, jacket, tights, two headlamps, warm hat, and a days worth of food in the larger rear compartments. When not using a bladder, these items are separated into three separate compartments, which makes keeping things organized easy. The additional storage in the side pockets, and in the front allows for carrying other items (keys, phone, additional food items, etc.). Overall, I feel like this is plenty of storage for daylong outings. Nick on Aug 10th 2014
Wore for my first 100 Mile, the Black Hills 100. and it worked great. One bottle for Electrolyt and calories and the other for water. Much easier on my upper body than camelbak. Reason don't give it 4 stars is due to the bottle shaking up front...Really nothing you can do about. Just something to get used to on runs.I did purchase a bladder for it that I have yet to use. Johnathan on Jul 18th 2014
Absolutely thrilled with the SJ Ultra Vest 2.0. Easily adjusts to fit me perfectly. Plenty of storage... It seems every time I think "I wish there's a pocket right here" I find there is! I'm certain I haven't found all of them. I'm new to having the bottles up front but it was easy to get used to in a few miles and so much easier than a bladder. I did switch out the kicker caps for my regular old school type, they fit the 20 oz bottles. I may put a kicker back on one to get used to them over time. Overall I'm a very happy runner with the SJ Ultra Vest 2.0. Great work UD! Michael on Jul 16th 2014
I am 5'11 and 170. I got the large and it fits awesome. I found the adjustment straps to adjust very easily on the go. I like to adjust a little between ascents and descents. The bottles held great in the front pockets. However, I could not stand to listen to the water jostling around in the bottles. So I bought two body bottles (soft flask) when I bought the vest. They are so much better. There is little to no air when you use them, so sloshing is next to none. They also compress down to almost nothing when empty. I just wish those soft flasks where about 3-4 oz. larger. I carry an extra bottle in the back and and holds great. Highly recommend this vest w/the flasks. Keep up the awesome work UD!!!! The only reason I gave a 4 instead of a 5 is I would like to see the vest come with the soft flasks. Ben on May 31st 2014
I received my SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 on Friday. I picked up the box at the door and wondered if anything was in it, this vest is super light. I took it for a 2:15 run yesterday in the Franklin Mountains. It was a cool day but even on a hot day I don't think the vest will add much heat, it is vented in every possible place. The only time I experienced bounce was when I ran down into arroyos, but that is probably due to the fact that I bounce a bit getting over the rocks and exposed rock face. I was also concerned about sloshing and the vest becoming unbalanced. There was some sloshing noise but I didn't notice it after the first half mile its no worse then a hydration bladder, I found myself self drinking from the left side bottle and it never became noticeably unbalanced. The only other thing I carried was a small phone which didn't fit in the pocket above the water bottle but it never fell out and I will just relocate it to another larger pocket, there are a ton of them to pick from. It's a great vest and exactly what I was looking for and most of my concerns, excess heat, bounce, and getting unbalanced were not an issue. David on Apr 5th 2014
I'm 5'10 165lbs 30-31 waist and wear a 38R jacket. I do have broad shoulders and an athletic build. I opted for the Large sized based on the recommendations. I would advise anyone to try it in a store if possible. I found that the Large, even when everything was cinched down to the smallest chest adjustments was just a tad loose. Luckily the new side adjustments were there and I was able to dial the fit in. I have tried the old version in a Large and it was too loose. But these new side adjustments did help a lot and made the fit snug and have very little bounce during my runs. I like to have the bottles in the front as parallel as possible, less than 6 inches apart, and maybe a 5-10 degree angle. some people wear it way too far apart and complain about not being able to access the bottom front pockets. You do have to load the pack properly to distribute the weight with full bottles in the front. but once I got everything organized as far as packing and the fit right, running with the vest was great. I could still feel some weight in the front due to the filled bottles, but it wasn't an inconvenience to my run. I did take it out for a test run on 5 miles of trail... I ran it shirtless, just wearing the vest and I did get some chafing issues on my nipples turns the end of my run. But I did run 5 miles on the road with a shirt on with no issues at all. I do love the additional pocket for the bladder and being able to run the line going from the bottom up. This is just going to be my go for when I go on my runs... just having so many pockets is a blessing. I have a Samsung Note 3 cell phone and the best place for me to put it in the vest is in the small back pocket. or one of the side pockets, but its a bit awkward, but the back is the best. using the front bottle pockets was a no go for my phone. I do wish there was a AK vest with the small side pockets in the back and the side elastic pouch on the front bottle holders... That would have been my idea vest. bryan on Mar 22nd 2014
This vest is super on storage capabilities. It would even make a great day hike pack for me! I am 5'-10", 38R sport coat, 155lbs, 32" waist pants, and run a medium in most torso sized hiking packs. I bought the medium, and it fits great with room for thicker clothing. It will also cinch down pretty snug. Yeah, the bottles slosh, but so does your handheld when you run with it?!?! It was not an issue with me. Pack rides great with little to no bounce if you load it properly. The body bottles have no noise and are super comfy with these packs. I ran a 2 hour half mary trail training run in it to test it out. I had one body bottle, one UD supplied bottle, honey stinger waffle, pocketfuel natural, and a gel on the front storage. In the back I had a Northface better than naked jacket. Pack rode awesome. Some condensation did build up in the "bladder" pocket, but you are out there running, sweating, and being great. This was not a big deal to me. This is a great pack for the super long, unsupported trail day or the 100 that is in my near future. I'll turn to the AK vest for 50k and under with a Jurek essentials belt if needed. Baker on Mar 19th 2014
The Jurek Vest has been an ideal item for me on long runs and ultras. I love using it for long training runs in the cold when I need to carry a jacket and fuel, and it was a key gear item for me in the Leadville 100 run. Travis on Mar 9th 2014
I have used the vest a few times now with mixed results in runs up to 20 miles, or about 3 hours.. My two complaints are that 1) I can't get fluid out of the two bottles that were supplied, and 2), the vest bouces considerably when the bottles are used in front, creating a very heavy vest. I have found that if carry one bottle in my hand, it is enough to reduce the bouce, even if the other bottle is full. Maybe someone can provide feedback about why my two bottles seem clogged. (UPDATE) After reading my review, a staffer from UD contacted me and gave me some tips for better usage of both the vest and bottles. Both of his tips were spot on. The vest no longer bounces, and the bottles are fully functional. (Thank you, Justin). I'll be putting it to the test again this weekend in a mostly muddy 50-miler! I read and write a lot of reviews. Very few companies pay attention to what is written in reviews of their products and services, but I appreciate that UD does! Fantastic, friendly customer service. I'll be back to this site when I need additional gear in the future. Dave on Mar 6th 2014