Review of the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 5.0

Review of the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 5.0

Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 5.0

Listed Weight:

180 g (6.3 oz), Shop-Scaled Weight 7.0 (without bottles), 10.3 (with bottles)



Storage Breakdown:

12 Pockets:

  • Rear: 5
    • Two top drop-in with space for up to a 4L bladder
    • One full rear outer
    • Two side access
  • Late / Side: 2 Full
  • Front: 5
    • One upper front water resistant
    • Two main bottle front
    • Two front lower nutrition


  • 2-point Hook and Loop Sternum adjustability,
  • Front stretch pockets large enough for large cell-phones
  • Comfort Cinch 2.0 size adjustment side / rear straps
  • Sculpted shoulders to evenly distribute weight
  • Water resistant pocket on left shoulder for tablets, GoPro Batteries, etc..


  • Two 500ml (17 oz) Body Bottle II’s
  • Rear capacity for up to 4L bladder (though not form fitted or synch strapped). Bladder pass-throughs on both sides with elastic for either bladder hose or bottle valve extenders)

Poles: Front lateral elastic cords which unsnap to seat laterally

Price: $140

Wear-Test and Review By: Sheena Heise

I was really excited to try this vest, two of my running buddies really like their UD vests and this had all the features I was after (front/back hydrations options, lots of secure storage, multiple points to adjust the fit). I took this vest out 2 times but unfortunately, I could never get a good snug fit, there was a lot of gapping on the front straps and the back road up really high on my neck. I do wonder if sizing down would help? Though I am pretty consistently a size small.

I also wasn’t a fan of the flask tops; you have to pull out and turn the bite valve before you can get water out. For me it was complicated and if you are running and drinking the last thing I want while straining your neck while in a multi-step process just to get a sip. The flasks were easy to fill and slide into their pockets with the quick pull of a small bungee.

Otherwise this vest had all the storage and secure pockets you desire front and back. The bag material is durable and lightweight.

Wear-Test and Review By: Nichole Cappadora

This vest comes with bottles but also has the option for bladder use. I used a 2L bladder, which was WAY too small for the vest, it was sliding all over the place. It also seemed to be a bit large for me, even with me tightening it all the way, which left long straps that I tucked and tied to stay out the way. I liked that it had so many options to adjust the chest strap position. However, it’s not a strap that can be slid up and down, so it’s not easily done while running.

The storage pockets were great, especially when not using the bottles. I wasn’t able to easily reach the back zipper pockets while running, but for stashing food, or something not needed often, it was great.

Overall, the vest was comfortable, I think if I had a smaller size and larger bladder, it would’ve been better. There’s a lot of storage for longer training or unsupportive runs.


  • Lots of Storage
  • Secure Pockets (front and back)
  • Multiple points to adjust fit check size chart for measurements
  • Small weather resistant pocket on shoulder strap
  • Corded elastic for gear and compression
  • Holds up to 3L reservoir for long efforts


  • Hydration Flasks were difficult to drink from
  • Shallow pockets for hydration flasks leave them hanging out top (although cords present to keep them in)
  • 2L or smaller bladders, if used for hydration, slosh without bladder compression in rear compartment
  • Some difficulty dialing in fit, particularly changes on the move


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