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Review: Ultimate Direction women’s Adventure Vesta 5.0

Written by Fiona

June 19 2023

I have been testing the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta 5.0. It is a women’s fit running pack. There is a men’s version.

Features include:

  • Upgraded sliding rail sternum straps for easy single-handed use
  • Integrated rain flysheet
  • Front pocket for the 500ml water bottle
  • Zipped front pocket
  • Comfort Cinch™ 2.0 for close fit adjustment
  • Shoulder strap shaping to promote weight distribution and comfortable fit
  • Lightweight fabric including Flex Mono Mesh, MicroMono Mesh, 20D Nylon Sil, Nylon/elastane with ripstop for durability
  • Two zipped pockets as options for a mobile phone
  • Integrated whistle for emergencies
  • Corded elastic for external gear stash and overall compression
  • Articulating PLB pockets for GPS locator devices
  • Large back pocket can hold up to a 2l bladder
  • Trekking pole attachments
  • Weight: 279g
  • Volume: 16.5l
  • Bottles: 1 Body Bottle™ II 500
  • Price: £136
  • Buy from Runners Need.

My thoughts: Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta 5.0

I was looking for a running pack that would allow me to carry enough items for a full day of running. The size of 16.5l is ideal and I like that it is still in a close-fitting vest style. The vest style keeps the weight neatly close to your back and upper shoulders, which means it doesn’t move about when running, even when filled with kit.

The chest straps are easy to clip together and they move up and down vertical rails on both sides. This makes it easy to get a good and comfortable fit.

The extra elastic straps allow you to expand or cinch the pack to fit your body and also depending on how much kit you need to carry. This means the pack stays still and compact on your back.

Another plus is that the pack has space for a large phone with easy access. I use my phone a lot on the hills for taking photos and for navigation. I like that there are two options: A zipped shoulder/chest strap pocket and another zipped pocket at the lower front. Both are large enough for my max size iPhone.

There is space for a 500ml soft flask of fluids on the front of the chest/shoulder straps. It would be good if there was another place for a soft flask at the front of the pack. I did manage to add a smaller soft flask to an open topped side pocket but it would be even better if there were two pockets specifically for 500ml soft flasks at the front of the pack.

Another way to carry fluids is by using a hydration bladder, which slots into the rear of the pack. This is fine except you then take up a bit of volume inside the pack with water.

Other pros of this pack are lots of places and pockets to stash bits and pieces. I like to have quick access to food and snacks and there are many places in the pack that are useful for this sort of smaller item.

The main zip-topped compartment is also roomy. I can fit in plenty of kit, such as a lightweight insulated jacket, a waterproof running jacket, waterproof trousers, gloves, hat, buff etc. This is a great volume for a day’s running in spring, summer and autumn.

There are two outer stuff pockets. These are made of a stretchy fabric and they allow you to stash items, such as a waterproof jacket, that you require easy access to. I like these pockets for items that you are taking on and off frequently.

There is a handy rain cover that can be tucked away internally or pulled out and wrapped over the entire pack.

The trekking pole attachments are placed at the sides of the packs, from the chest-shoulder straps and down under the arms. You need poles that fold neatly in three for this carrying position otherwise you end up with the top of the poles hitting you in the face. With the right poles, the attachment points are good.

A couple of irritations include the smaller pouch that attaches to the top of the shoulder strap. The idea is this is used for a PLB, or a tracker if your event requires that. I found the pocket annoyingly flappy and loose. In the end I removed it.

Also, the lower back area rubbed my skin when I was wearing only one lightweight layer of clothing. There is a thin mesh that covers a series of elastic straps and they rubbed my lower back. I solved this by cutting out a piece of old foam camping mat and slotting that between the mesh and rear of the pack to provide some cushioning and protection.

Overall this is a brilliant pack and very comfortable. The price tag is more than I’ve paid before for other packs but it is a well-designed and easy-to-like pack. It is a great volume and the size “s” is great for my frame. (I am usually a UK10). I’ve used the pack many times over the summer already.

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