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Renowned runners design Ultimate Direction hydration vests

by Alicia MacLeay
July 19, 2012

Renowned distance runners Scott Jurek, Anton Krupicka, and Peter Bakwin know a few things about hydrating on the go. Between them they've won the toughest ultramarathons, repeatedly, and set numerous race course and trail speed records. For Spring 2013, Ultimate Direction turned to the trio to design three Signature Series running vests for wearable hydration.

The Signature Series vests share common features, like front-mounted water bottle holsters, organizational pockets, and a small backpack for essentials. All are made of Cuben Fiber, which has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any fabric, and claim zero bounce. However, each vest was designed for a specific running use based on that athlete's experience, style, and insights.

AK Race Vest

Anton Krupicka, an advocate for the minimalist running movement, brought a “less is more” philosophy to the design table to create the Race Vest. Weighing in at 5.5 ounces, Ultimate Direction says Krupicka's Race Vest is "the lightest wearable hydration system ever made."

Check out Krupicka talking about the design process in the video at right.

  • Scott Jurek's Ultra Vest
    Weight: 5.5 oz (8 oz with bottles)
  • Volume: 4.5 L total
  • MSRP: $90 
  • Available: January 2013

SJ Ultra Vest

Scott Jurek, one of the most dominant ultramarathon runners in the world, knows what’s needed to run 100-plus miles. The man who won Western States a record seven straight times, designed the Ultra Vest, a 7-ounce hydration system for a full day outdoors.

  • Weight: 7 oz (9.5 oz with bottles)
  • Volume: 9.2 L total
  • MSRP: $120 
  • Available: November 2012

PB Adventure Vest

Peter Bakwin's Adventure Vest

Peter Bakwin has climbed Aconcagua (23,834') in a day, run across Germany and France, and set speed records on the 220-mile John Muir Trail. His Adventure Vest carries everything from an ice axe and trekking poles to an extra layer and personal locator beacon. Ultimate Direction calls it "the pack that can do anything" for hiking, running, and climbing.

  • Weight: 12 oz (14.5 oz with bottles)
  • Volume: 12 L total
  • MSRP: $150 
  • Available: January, 2013

“Ultimate Direction invented the entire concept of hydration packs back in 1985,” said Buzz Burrell, Brand Manager for Ultimate Direction. “Since then, the sport has grown and changed incredibly, but hydration systems have hardly changed at all. Bringing in three of the most talented, experienced, and recognizable runners in the world has allowed us to create an entirely new category of hydration packs.”