Ultimate Direction Hardrocker Vest Reviewed & Tested
The Ultimate Direction Hardrocker Vest was designed to sustain runners in the Hardrock 100 race set in the rugged San Juan Mountains in Colorado. This race is an ultra-marathon of 100.5 miles. It includes 33,050 feet each of climb and decent. It challenges each runner in extreme changes in altitude, steepness, and remoteness.
Runners often encounter altitude sickness throughout the course. Intended to keep runners going in strenuously high and low elevations and extremely long distances for races such as this, this vest can surely sustain any runner. Its high-tech design is extremely lightweight and fits just like any other piece of clothing. Created and tested by runners themselves, it includes pockets for GPS systems, ice axes, pole holders, headlamps, food, and other necessities. You can rely on this vest to get you where you need to go.
- Fully adjustable
- Storage on front and rear
- Quick release pole holders
- Twin ice axe loops
- Pockets large enough for GPS trackers
- A bit expensive
- Use a drybag in the main compartment since it isn’t waterproof.
There are a couple of sternum straps for fast adjustment and versatility for altering the fit throughout the day. Slide rails allow you to move the straps anywhere you want them in order to spread the weight evenly. Reviewers state it has a supreme fit and feels just like another piece of clothing.
The front of the Ultimate Direction Hardrocker Vest includes a small pocket behind the left bottle pocket intended for the UD Body Bottle 150 Gel Flasks, but it can also hold a credit card, map or another small object. Pockets over the bottles have been compartmentalized to allow for food items to be organized into types or to be portioned out. Side pockets are located under the arms for items you may only need during emergencies along the way.
The rear has a main zipper compartment and a large, stretchable mesh pocket for larger items, such as a jacket, map, headlamp or whatever larger items you may want to store. A bungee cord is stashed across the whole rear of the back pocket. It can be used for additional storage or to compress the pack when looped under the included hooks. Twin ice ax loops are attached at the base of the rear for higher altitudes. There is also reflective detailing around the vest for added safety.
Its ability to hold so much may lead some potential buyers to believe it’s bulky and awkward. But rather, it fits like another piece of clothing. Its Comfort Cinch technology helps ensure a snug, proper fit throughout use and its Power Mesh helps provide support and durability.
While it may be a bit expensive, the runner needing a vest like this should expect a higher price tag. Even though the rear main pocket may not be waterproof, any sensitive items can be placed in a dry bag and the problem is easily solved.