Ultimate Direction Hardrocker Vest

8.3
8.3 score
[Editors rating (9.1) + Users rating (6.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.3)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Ultimate Direction Hardrocker Vest Review Facts
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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.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Fully adjustable
  • Storage on front and rear
  • Quick release pole holders
  • Twin ice axe loops
  • Pockets large enough for GPS trackers
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • Use a drybag in the main compartment since it isn’t waterproof.
Use
Use

Use

This is an excellent vest for hitting the mountains or backcountry. It has storage for all of the necessities you may require while on the trail. It can accommodate jackets and gloves for any extreme weather, GPS or compass, food and water storage to keep you going for extended time on the go. It’s a bit extensive for the standard neighborhood or inner-city runs, but it can work for any setting.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The back and harness sections bring exceptional breathability and security due to the Hex and Power Mesh. It’s hydrophobic which prevents moisture from being absorbed into the vest. The main part of the vest is composed of 210T waterproof nylon Taffeta to help keep it dry while also staying lightweight and resistant to chafing. Even when your body temperature increases due to physical exertion, the vest stays cool and dry.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

There is minimal movement and bounce while on the move, all due to the Comfort Cinch technology: a cord system in the lower back of the pack that allows frequent adjustment while on the go. As you add or remove food, the vest can be adjusted to maintain proper tension. 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.
Size
Size

Size

Weighing less than one pound, the vest aims at staying lightweight. Dimensions: 12 inches H x 9 inches W x 5 inches D. Sizes: Small runs 23 to 33 inches; Medium runs 31 to 39 inches; Large runs 36 to 44 inches. With a fully adjustable fit, the vest can accommodate most body sizes. No complaints found regarding sizing.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Hex Mesh is composed of MonoRip Mesh which is breathable, resists stretching and is hydrophobic. This is best suited for a bounce-free load. It’s also composed of a 320g Darlington Power Mesh for increased support and durability in the harness and specific wear locations on the vest. This way, runners won’t have to worry about the vest getting stretched out over time due to heavy loads. It’s also durable enough for the rugged terrain most runners will be on.
Accessories
Accessories

Accessories

The vest includes two-500ml soft flasks, with room for 2L reservoir. The slosh-free option is more comfortable than the hard bottles tend to feel. But if you choose to keep the classic hard bottles, they’ll still fit. A safety whistle is included in case of emergencies so you can alert others.
Features
Features

Features

The zipper pockets can hold keys, food, weather accessories, or whatever other objects you may need to store for easy access. The shoulder pockets can hold a GPS system, spare batteries, extra headlamp, first-aid items or whatever else you choose. The pole holders are updated from previous models: they feature a press stud fastener so they can easily be stored behind an elastic strap and then fastened with the press stud. This allows for easy removal when needed.

The front of the 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.
Style
Style

Style

This specific vest only comes in grey and lime green, but the Ultimate Direction Jurek FKT Vest, which is a very similar vest, comes in two styles: white/green and Obsidian. Reflective material around this vest with its bright color combination ensures visibility in low light and difficult visibility settings. The vest comes with graphics along the main pocket, bottle pockets and on the side zipper pockets. 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.
Price
Price

Price

While this vest may be a bit more costly than the competition, those who need these features should expect to pay more for true comfort and dependability. The bounce-free wear, Comfort Cinch technology, and waterproof nylon, plus forward storage space mean that the vest was designed with true runners and hikers in mind. There may be more affordable options, but the design will be subpar.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

  • Waterproof Nylon which resists abrasions

  • Hex Mesh provides a bounce-free load while running

  • Power Mesh increases support and durability

  • Sliding rail sternum straps provides all-day comfort

  • Comfort Cinch technology ensures the vest can be quickly adjusted, as needed
  • Bottom Line
    Bottom Line

    Bottom Line

    This is a great purchase for those venturing out in the open country or mountains for a day. It can carry all of the necessities you may need without feeling heavy. It’s designed for extreme terrain, so it will meet any challenge a runner may throw at it. 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.