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Sizing At Chest (Women's):
I don't generally write reviews, but as I spent hours and hours trawling the internet and then further hours once I had made my decision to buy the ultra vesta, which size to get, (I got the M/L in the end - I am 5'6", 38" chest and 27" waist, slim built but surprisingly the bottom strap on the vest is at it's widest point!!) Would have liked the two straps to be more elasticated, at times I feel constricted in the rib area and as I said it is extended to as far as it will go although the top strap I have plenty of extra left over.
So onto the body bottles. Love them, so much more practical than hard bottles, no sloshing noise, but.....if I mount them as shown on the video so that the hard see through plastic top of the bottle is outside the pocket, when running fast the bottles come out, and if I put the hard plastic tops inside the pocket, when you drink from them and they are no longer full they slide down into the pockets, making access less easy. Slightly disappointing with these two issues as I really want to like this jacket... Jane on Feb 13th 2017
Nice pack, but very small capacity. Good for races where you need to carry a jacket and a few odds and ends, but not very versatile. Most times I need a pack are for longer runs. I'd recommend the Adventure Vesta if you're planning to only get one pack. Unknown on Jan 4th 2017
Just got my Ultra Vesta in the mail a few days ago and took it out for a 10 mile run the next day. Overall I really liked it. It took me a few miles to get the straps adjusted correctly, but once everything was tightened they way it should have been I didn't have any issues. It was rubbing one side of my neck for the first half of the run (easily solved by pulling the collar of my shirt between the shoulder strap and my neck) and the rubbing stopped once the water bottles weren't so full. Looking forward to seeing how it goes next time since all of the straps will now be adjusted from the get-go. Unknown on Sep 5th 2016
It's light, harmless and accessible. You can put a 3lt bag in the back side. The only complain that I have it's that the empty soft bottles can fail easily from the pockets, I lost one of them running. More than that it's great for long distance races and ultra marathons. I would like to have included the water reservoir with this hydration pack, not to purchase it separately. I had the mule camelbak previously and it chafed my skin, this product doesn't. David Enciso on Aug 4th 2016
This purchase was not made lightly. I look, shop, review, google, compare...and hesitate.
I am a newer-ish runner, having consistently run for less than a year. For the past few months, I have relied on a hand-held water bottle and hated it, even on short runs. Add to that a running belt to hold everything I needed, and I felt loaded down.
As I am starting to run longer distances (and it is hot and humid no matter what time of day I am out right now), I really needed something that gave me more fluids and more space to hold keys, phone, fuel, etc.
I was hesitant to spend the $ for this, and I do not currently have the bladder for the back. But I was sold on the soft water bottles in the front, and the reviews that said "no chafing."
I went on an 10 mile run, in a tank top, to see just what I thought. I did have to stop a few times to tweak everything. And at one point, the chew top on one of the bottles fell off, causing a gush of water everywhere (it took me a second to figure out what happened- not really sure still, but I did find it and was able to put it back on.) I was pleasantly surprised that I did not chafe anywhere- although it was rubbing a little on my neck, but once I drank some water, the weight shifted a bit- so now I will just be sure not to fill the bottles all the way, or continue working on fitting the vest so it sits better on my body.)
I am 5'3", about 145. I purchased the M/L size and the front straps are pulled as tight as possible. However, I don't think the XS/S would have given enough room, especially when it gets a bit colder and I add a layer or 2. Even 10 miles and sweating, this was breathable, light, and felt like next to nothing. It does take some time/adjustment to get used to the front bottles, but it was super convenient and hands-free felt very- well, freeing.
Since I have only used this one time and do not have the back bladder, I don't want to give a full 5 stars- however, if I purchase that at some point or when I have worn it several times, I would love to come back and update this review! InTheRealm on Aug 2nd 2016
I have finally found a pack for trail running/racing that has exactly what I need. It is lightweight and breathable so it doesn't feel hot on my back when it is warm out. Just the right amount of storage and fits perfectly to the contour of my body. It is an amazing pack and I have tried just about everything out there! trailgirl on Jul 31st 2016
I'm just starting to do trail runs longer than an hour, so I wanted to start carrying water. I had a really nice waist belt but it always rode up and couldn't carry everything I wanted to have handy. I was skeptical about whether I could tolerate a vest - I perspire a LOT when exercising and I didn't think I would like having so much of my upper body covered. My concern was unfounded - after a 7 mile inaugural run in this UD Ultra Vesta, I'm a running vest convert. The vest was snug but I didn't feel that it was holding in my body heat. No more running with a bouncy waist belt for me! I'm 5'11" and 145 lbs, with a 36A bust/chest, and the M/L fits me perfectly.
One possible reason my running experience was so good is the weight of the vest. The Ultra Vesta weighs only 7 ounces. I also ordered the Nathan Women's Intensity and its weight is almost double that of the UD Ultra Vesta (13 oz for the Nathan).
I will mention that I was doubtful about how the water bottles would feel on the front of the UD vest, in the bust area. I previously tried on the UD Men's SJ Ultra Hydration 3.0 vest (sometimes men's products fit me better because I'm tall) but the water bottle tops were in exactly the wrong place. Ouch! (My husband liked the fit just fine though, and kept the vest.) The bite valves aren't too hard to press but there is no leakage. The wide bottle openings are nice - I can add ice cubes if I like. Unknown on Jul 17th 2016
I get tons of compliments on this pack and several friends asking to try it out. It works perfectly with the 50 oz reservoir. I fill my Body Bottles with Tailwind, one caffeinated and one not, and fill the reservoir with water for long runs. It's very comfortable and hold everything I need for an ultra! Unknown on Jul 8th 2016
So I had the first gen Jenny pack, bought it on day 1 of release and wore it religiously for ultras & marathons and countless training runs. I found that I outgrew the small 10oz bottles quite quickly in warmer weather and was never a fan of bladders due to not being able to see how much fluid I had left, so I tended to use a 24oz handheld instead of carrying all that extra material on my body, sortof like an extra singlet when the last thing you needed as another layer of clothing! I loved the fit, no chafe, no bounce ride for 3 seasons but for summer, it just was too much material for not a lot of hydration capacity payoff.
Well that all changed with 2.0!! The material is lighter, more airy, and stretchy for more gear. Hydration bottles are way easier(bite valve vs old pop tops) and collapse as you go for no slosh ride and capacity went to 17oz per bottle!!! YES!! Soft no chafe bindings around the edges. Mesh that doesn't cheese grate my shoulder blades or shoulder tops as I swing my arms. Waterproof front phone pocket that zips for security, plus 2 rear waterproof zip pockets for essentials. The dual zipper on the big rear pocket was so smart! I have had to dig down into the big pocket along the side of a darkened trail before with my first gen. No fun!
Overall, this is a worthwhile upgrade from version 1 if you've got it, and if you are just in the market for your first pack, this will do everything you need it to do and then some. Save your money and get the best right off the bat! Don't try a gazillion of brands like I did, then finally find UD....
Just get it already and go run! Jamie G. on Jul 6th 2016
This vest is surprisingly nice to run with. I've had it for a few months and have run over 100 miles so far. It hardly moves on your back at all thanks to the dual straps in front and the adjustable shoulder straps. It's easy to drink from the squeeze bottles on the shoulder straps as you are moving and so far they have held up to my less than delicate handling despite looking like they would easily tear or come apart. I have also used the pack with a 2 liter bladder and so long as you remove all the air from the bladder and tighten down the compression strap on the back of the pack, it stays secure and does not jostle too much. I have run with Camelbak packs with bladders that were designed for running but they swung around a lot more than the Ultra Vesta.
The front Velcro pocket is large enough to perfectly and securely fit my Samsung Galaxy 4 phone. I use the zippered front pocket for snacks and car keys. I use the main compartment on the back for the bladder and a warm layer and the open back compartment for the UD rain jacket. I haven't really found a use for the two small zippered pockets on the back though one does have a hook for securing keys which is nice.
One minor design annoyance is the toggle on the cinch strap for tightening around the squeeze bottle on the shoulder straps is on the inside of the strap so it pokes you in the chin unless you tuck it in with the bottle. If they had put the toggle on the outside of the strap then this would not have happened. Similarly, the whistle bounces up and down and bumps your chin unless you tuck it into a small fabric slot designed to hold it but from which it can easily pop out. I may just cut if off and put it in one of the back pockets.
I am 5'6" with a 36" bra size and cup size B/C. I debated between the small/medium and medium/large sizes but ended up with the larger. If you are between sizes and don't anticipate carrying much in the back of the pack then go smaller. If you anticipate carrying a jacket or a bladder in the back then go larger because the bulk in the back acts to make the pack fit more snugly (which has worked perfectly for me as I always carry at least a rain jacket).
Overall, I highly recommend this vest, as do a number of other ladies in my trail running group.
Amy P on Jun 10th 2016
This version of the Jenny Collection Ultra Vesta is a big improvement over the first-generation one. Even though I loved the original version and used it for two years, I'm grateful for these updates, which include: bigger pockets to hold soft Body Bottle 17-oz flasks (instead of 10-oz hard bottles); bigger pockets in front, including one big enough for an iPhone6; better pocket design in back, including outer mesh pocket good for stuffing in bulky, wet clothing; easier access to get the optional hydration reservoir in back in and out; great fit all over! Having soft Body Bottles (which collapse on themselves, creating more pocket space and eliminating sloshing noise) is much preferable to me than carrying handheld or having only a reservoir in back (which you can't see and hence don't know how much liquid is left). For longer self-supported outings, I use an optional 70oz reservoir in back to supplement the bottles up front; but for races with aid stations, the two bottles alone are adequate for hydration. I highly recommend this vest for women trail runners and hikers. It's perfect for racing ultras. sarahrunning on Jun 8th 2016
This vest is awesome. Many pockets for fuel and medical necessity storage. Holds a 70 OZ bladder nicely. When full weight is well distributed on shoulders. I've never had a sore back or shoulders from carrying my pack. Way more comfortable than running with a belt. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to spend 2 or more hours in the trails self supported :) Kayley on May 13th 2016
I really enjoy the running vest. My only complaint is the extra 70.00 dollar customs and duty charges that the Fed ex delivery service charged me, was not expecting this added charge. Unknown on Apr 29th 2016
I bought this pack because Sarah Lavendar Smith (http://www.therunnerstrip.com/) highly recommended it. She is awesome, so I bought one for myself. Maybe now I'll be awesome too?
After running fine with a Nathan women's pack for years and years, I was ready for something that didn't feel so tight around the armholes. And the thought of not having to do anything but tip my head to drink out of the front-mounted soft squeeze bottles sounded fabulously easy.
So . . . I "broke in" my new Ultra Vesta last weekend at at 55K trail race . . . it worked really well! I only used the two 17 oz front bottles (which I was pleased to find out came with the pack and did not need to be bought extra) and filled them at each aid station. Easy to do . . . they have nice wide openings. (But I was bummed that my current 70 oz. Platypus bladder was too long to fit in the back pocket.)
Drinking out of the soft water bottles on the move was a weird feeling . . . if you squeeze them, the water intake is much faster, but it feels like milking a cow. And that cow is me. Other than that, there was one major problem at the end of the race
Let me set the scene: my first ultra, the end of a long day, moving slowly (barefoot) through the sand and rocks and stickers of beautiful Monument Valley, only a few miles left . . . I take the pack off to get my wind shell, as it is getting towards sunset and chilly.
With my previous Nathan pack, there was such a thing as a definite "top" and "bottom."
Not so much with the Ultra Vesta . . . so in my tired grandma state of mind I PUT THE PACK ON UPSIDE DOWN after retrieving my jacket.
Foggy-headed and grumpy, I remember thinking, "How did the front adjustment straps get so out of whack? This thing hardly fits any more across my chest!"
But I re-adjusted the straps (which have tiny buckles that are lightweight, but sometimes hard to snap into place) and kept trudging along toward the finish line.
When I finally tilted my head to take a drink about a half hour later, I discovered that the bottle end was nowhere to be found.
I was wearing the pack upside down.
What a knucklehead :)
Oh well . . . the good news is I was able to turn the pack rightsideup and finish my first ultra feeling fabulously well-hydrated. At age 56! Woo hoo!
The "down side" (literally . . . and I hate to use that word without good cause) was that while I was trotting along oblivious to the topsy-turvy state of my hydration pack, one of the soft water bottles fell out. Lost and gone in the Arizona desert. Sigh.
I am writing this review because I came back to the UD website to purchase a replacement water bottle, only to find out they don't offer free shipping on orders under $25. And the bottle is just under $25.
If any of you UD folks are reading, and feeling merciful today, let me know if I can have free shipping because I'm old and sometimes buckle my hydration pack on upside down.
Final review points:
-- super comfortable! (I'm 5'7" and about 125 pounds and the medium size fit great)
-- lots of room for water, camera, food, foil emergency blanket/first aid (see above comments about being old)
-- really easy to drink out of
-- two 17 oz soft water bottles are included
-- it is possible to put this on upside down. So don't.
-- thinking about how ridiculous I looked running along with my hydration pack on . . . upside down. Oh well :)
Unknown on Mar 24th 2016
After wearing a Nathan vest for years, I discovered the Ultra Vest from the Jenny collection. I love the body bottles on the front as it allows me to carry water and my electrolyte instead of one or the other. I also love all of the pockets to stash stuff in and I don't feel like I have to leave anything out. I also love how it sits evenly on your back and does not move around. Very stable and doesn't bounce. I am so glad I found this pack! Kerry on Mar 21st 2016
I hadn't been able to find a pack that was comfortable on my, well, middle aged body, but this one is a champ! I know 10 mile trail run doesn't sound like much but at my age, the last thing I want is to be out there at 7 miles and run out of water in the Cali desert. Perfect water bottle position, and the adjustability is great. Finally - a real pack for real women. Unknown on Feb 29th 2016
I absolutely love this pack. The fit is incredible and it is very comfortable. I can completely forget I even have it on. I am five feet tall with a slendor build and got the XS/S size. Lots of storage with very little bulk. Pat on Feb 19th 2016
I ran 20 miles with this pack today to break it in. Normally any run more than 8 miles would make my old pack chafe me. Proud to report that I took a shower post-run without screaming (aka NO chaffing!)
The pack fit perfectly after I adjusted the straps correctly. And, unlike my old pack, the straps stayed put. (Over the course of a run my old pack would gradually loosen.)
Absolutely LOVED the position of the bottles and the fact that they are Body Bottles. I never had to take my bottles out of the pockets to drink. I just pushed the bottle a little closer to my face, tilted my head down and drank. No other bottle would allow you to do that, but because of the Body Bottle's design, you don't have to tilt it to drink. Farin on Feb 14th 2016
This pack is great! It's lightweight, comfortable. More importantly it doesn't bounce or restrict breathing, I don't know that I would wear it for cycling, but it's perfect for running! Unknown on Feb 10th 2016