Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0

9.1 score
Runnerclick score (9.1)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0 Review Facts

Ultimate Direction is back with a new and improved version of the TO Race vest. The third iteration of the TO Race vest gives you what you loved about its predecessors but added some upgrades to make it just a little bit better. Ultimate Direction made some major upgrades to the pockets of this vest and customers just love it. The pockets are now big enough to hold several items, like protein bars or gummies, and they are also big enough to hold your cell phone (for running apps, music, GPS, etc.) or possibly a small camera. They also added convenient zippered back pockets that you can reach without taking off the vest. They upgraded the materials that the vest is made of to be more durable but still used a mesh for ventilation. The new and improved vest also brings up a lighter weight for ease when running, a better more form-fitting design for added comfort, and an upgrade to the way they size the vest. This is a great vest for those who like to wear them when out for runs, and customers fell in love with the pockets and comfort of it. It may be on the pricey end of the spectrum when it comes to similar items but runners that purchased the vest agreed that it was well worth the price they paid for it.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Pockets for phone or camera
  • Great breathability
  • Flexible
  • Lateral strap for stability
  • Comes with water bottles
  • More sizing options
  • Can experience premature wear and tear
  • Hefty price tag
  • Awkward location of front bottom pockets
  • Cannot fit a hydration bladder comfortably under it
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3 hours analyzing a total of 40 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

  • This vest is top of the market in my opinion. The bottles are great and the vest is light and breathes well.
  • I am really enjoying this vest. It works perfect and I really have no complaints. I recommend it to my fellow runners.
  • This is a lightweight and functional vest. I love the multiple pocket options and it looks great, for a hydration vest. This is a marathon vest for sure.
  • This vest does not bounce too much or become uncomfortable after long runs, which I do often. It is very light and has the perfect pocket space. The bottles collapse well and don't taste funny. The zipper in the back keeps things secure. Love it!
  • Exceptionally light and comfortable. They are winners with the collapsible bottles. Plenty of space in all the pockets for all sorts of stuff.
  • This vest is very well designed. The bottles didn’t bounce all over the place. I have tried many different designs and this one is pure delight. I am able to fit everything I need for my hours of running and boy do I run. I do marathons distance on the trails here alone. This vest is life!
  • I am larger on the runner scale but the small vest fit perfect. They have a perfect amount of storage and the water bottles are a perfect size and amount. It is well designed all over. It doesn't poke or bounce or rub. I would definitely suggest it to any runner that doesn't like wearing camel backs.
  • The soft bottles really work well with this design. They do not bounce all over the place and slosh around. This is a well thought out and designed vest.
  • The pockets on this thing are in the perfect spots. The vest is comfortable and very light. The vest is simple to use and carries just the right amount of stuff without it bouncing all over the place. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • This is a great vest for a minimalist. It has just enough space for the necessities. The bottles are soft and not invasive to the run. The vest stays in place. The vest itself runs large so get a smaller size I would say.
  • This has all the right stuff for a long distance runner. I am loving the bottles that came with it and the vest weighs down great. I highly recommend this vest! Really well made vest.
  • This has all the right stuff for a long distance runner. I am loving the bottles that came with it and the vest weighs down great. I highly recommend this vest! Really well-made vest.
  • This is not a disappointment! This vest is so light and comfortable. It has just the right amount of space for the stuff you need to go the distance. It is soft and comfortable and most of all, it stays in place. Do not stick heavier stuff in the front upper pockets, they will rub.
  • The only problem is the neck is high and pulls a bit. However, it is a really well-designed vest. The rear pocket is very accessible and the bottles are so great.
  • This vest is very light. It adjusts easily and carries exactly what I need without being bulky. The mesh is very soft. This vest is better than the one I had before, the AK 2.0. The neck doesn't chafe like the other vest. I wish the side straps stretched a bit, this would help with the mild bottle bounce I feel.
  • Super pocket placement and very lightweight.
  • This vest has minimal bunce and the pockets are very accessible. The inside is soft and the bottles are great as you can squish the extra air out as you drink.
  • I run Ultramarathons and have multiple vests. This vest does not allow room for any other jackets or covers. It does not allow room for a small jacket. It poked into the backside of my ribs when you put stuff in the stretchy pockets the flasks push upward and move too much. One of the bottles is already leaking after a few weeks. These have a hazard with the pole system. Don't fall, you might die.
  • The vest is great but not durable the elastic straps on the front pockets are breaking already and not holding in like they are supposed to. It has only been a month.
  • The bottle, as you drink from them, collapse and the pockets allow space for the bottles to bounce around. Annoying! One pocket is too small for even my keys, not sure why it is there. It is really expensive for a vest as well.
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 40 reviews we found in total, 4% were negative, and 96% were positive.


This vest has a plethora of uses and many runners and hikers love it. This is a lightweight, comfortable vest that can be worn while running, hiking, or biking. Runners love this vest because of just how lightweight it is and it does not slow them down when on the go. The mesh material that makes up a majority of the vest also helps the vest breathe and keeps the runner cool. One of the biggest selling points of this and the thing customers love the most is the many pockets located throughout the front and back of the vest. The pockets are big enough to fit a cell phone or possibly a small camera, you will have a place to store drinks, because hydration is important, and still have room for other things like protein bars or gummies. The Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0 is really an all-around good vest for anyone who is out on a run.


The vest is extremely breathable, being made up of mostly mesh material that is open and airy. The upper part of the back of the vest is made up of breathable mesh to help with added ventilation and to help cut down on the weight of the already super lightweight vest. The openness of this vest is optimal when running, especially on hot days or long runs, because it is going to help keep you from overheating. The mesh will allow airflow to keep you cool and keeps your sweat from building up under the vest and becoming extremely uncomfortable.


Consumers agree that this is an exceptionally comfortable vest, especially for long runs on warm days. The lightweight mesh keeps you cool and does not slow you down. Customers have reported wearing this out for a run without a shirt under it and had no problem at all with chafing or discomfort from it. One downfall that wearers have mentioned, however, is that the bottom front pockets that are used for carrying your water bottles are located a bit low and can be uncomfortable and a little awkward while carrying water in them out on a run. A suggested solution to this is to use the pockets on the lower back of the vest to carry your water bottles instead as they are in a perfect location for easy access.


One of the best upgrades to the Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0 from its predecessor is the fact that you can now choose from three different sizes, as opposed to the two choices they offered previously. When purchasing this vest you can choose a size small, medium, or large to find one that is going to best fit you. In addition to the sizing of the vest itself, there are side straps that are adjustable to make the vest fit more comfortably and accurately. The adjustable straps are nice because it will allow the vest to actually feel like a vest when you are wearing it as opposed to a backpack.

When measuring for the vest make sure to measure yourself at the bottom of your ribs, preferably wearing clothes similar to what you will be running in. It is important to check out the sizing chart when determining your size because you will want one that is going to fit you comfortably. According to the manufacturer, if you measure the bottom of your rib cage, you will need a small for 61-97 cm, medium if you are 79-107 cm, and you will need a large if you measure in at 91-127 cm.


The Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0 is an all-around good vest and can hold up fairly well to the elements. Many customers love the vest and have not had any durability issues. That being said, there are some customers that reported the vest has had some problems with premature wear and tear. Because the back of the vest is made up of a lightweight mesh material that is meant to keep the vest light and airy, it can become the victim of damage. The material is rather strong and it is meant to stretch and pull, but this doesn't always prevent the wear and tear.

It is important to note that not all customers have had this durability problem with the vest, but it is something you might want to keep in mind when purchasing the vest. Some customers have bought the vest and put it through rigorous training routines without even the smallest tears appearing.

There are definitely some more durable parts of the vest though. The pockets, as they are made with a more durable material, do last longer which is great because you will not have to worry about losing their contents while running a race or on a trail. The water bottles that come with the vest are also are extremely durable. They are made from a very strong TPU that allows the water bottle to become collapsible, but still, withstand even the biggest stressors while out on the run.


When purchasing the Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0 you are buying more than just a running vest. You will also receive 2 water bottles that fit perfectly into the front lower pockets of the vest to help you stay hydrated while on the run. The two collapsible bottles hold 0.5 Liters and shrink down to almost nothing when empty. The bottles are made of a soft TPU material, which simply means it is made of a material that is highly elastic and offers good durability, which is good because you would not want your water bottle to break halfway through a run and not only lose your water but have to finish your race soaking wet.

There are no other accessories that come with the vest when you purchase it, but there are other accessories available for use with the vest that can come in handy when on the run or out on a trail. The vest comes equipped with holders for trekking poles, so if those are something you need or want you can easily carry them on your person with the convenient holder.


Customers love the style and look of this vest. Of course, style is not the most important aspect of a running vest when looking to invest in one, but it is always an added bonus. This vest is both stylish and efficient, which is a perfect combination. The Ultimate Direction TO 3.0 was designed to be a simple, yet efficient vest and it definitely lives up to that design.

The vest rides high on the runner so it does not interfere with your stride while running. There are zipped back pockets on the bottom of the back of the vest for easy access, and who does not love additional pockets? The vest also features a number of pockets on the front in varying sizes for extra convenience and additional storage while on the go. It uses two fully adjustable straps at the sternum and two wide straps at the sides to adapt it to all sizes and to keep it from sliding around or bouncing while wearing it.

The look of the vest is very simple. The majority of the back is a white mesh material with blue and black pockets located at the bottom with the words 'Ultimate Direction' located in the middle of the pockets. The front of the vest uses the same color scheme, with the pockets being black and blue with the rest of the mesh vest being white. It is a plain and simple design, but it gets the job done.


The cost of this vest comes in on the high end of the market. The MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) of the Ultimate Direction To Race Vest 3.0 is $109.95 but as is with almost everything else you may buy online, you can usually find it cheaper, on sale somewhere, which is always nice. Customers who have purchased this product were overall satisfied with their purchase and some said they would recommend this vest to family and friends. Other runners, who have not purchased this vest, commented that they would love to give it a try, as it has many features they would love in a running vest, but they could not justify paying full retail for the vest. It will definitely be an investment, especially because it rings up for over a hundred dollars, but if you are in the market for something like this, this is a vest you might want to consider.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

-Lightweight T-hook sternum straps that are adjustable for a better fit
-Pockets that can fit a cell phone or small camera
-The upper part of the back is open mesh for maximum breathability and minimum weight
-Unique holders built in for trekking poles
-Flexible and soft knit mono-mesh harness
-Two layered pockets for a lot of storage
-Lateral straps for added stability and a more customized fit
-Comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large)
-Includes 2 collapsible water bottles
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a simple and efficient hydration running vest then you came to the right place. The Ultimate Direction TO Race Vest 3.0 is the perfect vest for those who are looking for something that they can take with them on race day. The convenient pockets and additional collapsable water bottles will help you stay hydrated while on the run without the inconvenience of having to actually carry a water bottle. The vest comes with a plethora of pockets which people love. The pockets are perfect for carrying a cell phone for your music, GPS, and/or running apps. You can carry your trail mixes, protein bars, or any other snack you would want with you to keep your energy up. The open back design helps keep the weight down so it does not hold you back, and it also allows for superior ventilation to keep you cool while running. The vest is better than its past iterations due to the fact that you can now choose from three different sizes, instead of the past two, to make sure you get something that is going to fit perfectly. No one wants a vest that is going to bounce and slide around when they are out and about. Even though some customers have reported some issues with it not lasting as long as they would have liked, many others sing its praises and love the vest. It really is an all-around good hydration running vest.