Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest 4.0 Review

8.3
8.3 score
[Editors rating (8.3)] = Runnerclick score (8.3)/10

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Editor rating: 8.3 / 10
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Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest 4.0 Review Review Facts
Watch Video Review
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3EGeagKA3I

Ultimate Direction is known for creating high-quality apparel and equipment for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Their hydration vests have garnered a great deal of attention in particular, and this is especially the case for their Ultra Vest 4.0. In fact, Ultra Runner Magazine has even awarded it the best in its category for its lightweight yet highly efficient design.

Two of the brand’s Body Bottle 500s are readily stored in the middle front pouches, letting buyers know that they will have easy access to water. Several other storage pouches are also included in the front for everything from snacks and supplements to trekking poles when they’re not in use. And a large back zippered compartment provides enough room for either a change of clothes or even a drinking reservoir if the buyer prefers.

This vest is made up of four different fabrics for lightweight wear that’s equal parts breathable, weather-resistant, and durable. All of these features combined make hiking, trailing, and even mountain biking a lot easier.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

-Surprisingly lightweight

-Comfortable wear

-Plenty of storage

-Three different sizes

-Unisex sizing

-Highly versatile

Cons

-Not for certain body types

-Some pockets are hard to reach

Use
Use

Use

The Ultra Vest 4.0 is designed especially for use during trail running, hiking, and even mountain biking. Its multiple storage pouches allow those who are traveling for long distances in the outdoors to have easy access to anything that they would need while on the go. And it is lightweight and breathable fabrics help them feel completely comfortable in all types of weather.

According to the Ultimate Direction website, this vest is constructed from four primary fabrics that ensure lightness, breathable comfort, and long-lasting durability. The 4-way stretch woven mesh also enables greater storage, while the nylon ripstop and two different types of mono mesh allow the vest to be truly weather resistant. All of them are aided even further by sturdy zippered compartments and the brand’s comfort-cinch technology.

Reviewers state that they have worn this vest multiple times while hiking, biking, or training for races across mountainous terrains and through forest trails. They are able to stay reasonably comfortable and prepared whether they run through the hot sun or heavy rain or snowstorms. And while some wish that they could adjust it to be more form-fitting, others appreciate the fact that they can have layers under it whenever they’re moving through cooler temperatures.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Ultra Vest 4.0 is constructed from four different types of fabric to ensure equal parts durability and breathability. While its back storage compartment is made with rip-stop nylon, as this is where it has to be the sturdiest, every other section is made with one of three mesh fabrics for proper ventilation.

It’s the two different types of mono mesh that really seem to make the most difference when it comes to this vest’s overall wear. Micromono mesh constructs the sides and uses a monofilament for ventilation without absorbing any moisture, and 150G Flex mono mesh makes up the front and back and features a knit structure for a sense of softness. Furthermore, the 4-way stretch woven mesh ensures that breathability is uninterrupted even where storage pockets are placed and filled.

Buyers appreciate that they can comfortably wear this vest during warmer weather and intense outdoor activities, as they’re still being afforded the proper amount of airflow. And added properties such as the monofilament along most of the vest and the polyurethane coating at the back mean that the also won’t have to worry about sweaty garments or water-damaged equipment.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Most reviewers seem to be reasonably happy when it comes to the Ultra Vest 4.0’s overall level of comfort. It utilizes Micro Monomesh and 150G Flex Mono Mesh for increased breathability and lightness without absorbing any moisture. A 4-Way Stretch Woven Mesh strengthens the weight ratio and adds durability and efficiency to the front pockets, while the 30D Coated Nylon Ripstop provides resistance against all types of harsh weather.

Whether the buyer is wearing this vest in hot temperatures or heavy storms, they’ll continue to feel reasonably comfortable. And all of the lightweight fabrics also prevent possible fatigue or aches as they wear this vest during long-distance trail runs or hiking treks. Its average weight range is listed at 10.72 oz. to 7.27 oz., depending on whether or not they include the body bottles, which is no different than that of a regular running shoe.

However, buyers have very mixed opinions when it comes to this vest’s overall fit. The comfort cinch technology definitely helps out a lot, but some wish that it was more adjustable and could be more form-fitting. On the other hand, some like the extra room as it means that they can layer underneath it during the colder months.
Size
Size

Size

Buyers are very pleased to know that the Ultra Vest 4.0 is offered in small, medium, and large unisex sizes. A size small can fit a waste between 23 and 32 inches, a medium fits between 30 and 39 inches, and a large is designed for a 37 to a 46-inch waist. Its overall size is also completely adjustable, thanks to a comfort cinch that’s located at the back and can be tightened from both sides.

This vest can easily hold just over ten liters, and it weighs 10.72 oz. with the two-body bottles and 7.27 oz. without them. Either way, it stays within the same range as an average running shoe so that buyers can move around freely without it feeling too cumbersome. And no matter which sizing they choose, they’re still guaranteed plenty of storage for their outdoor necessities.

Even though most reviewers seem to be happy with this feature, there are some who are on the smaller side that has complained about its overall fit. Even when it’s cinched in all the way, they feel that it could be taken in just a little bit more. This, in turn, results in the vest feeling too bouncy as they move around.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Despite its lightweight build and use of mostly mesh fabrics, online reviews state that the Ultra Vest 4.0 is actually a very durable piece of equipment. Although considering all of the environments that it’s intended to be used in, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. All of its mesh materials are tightly knitted to ensure that it doesn’t wear or tear while still allowing plenty of stretch and ventilation, and some are specially engineered to repel moisture.

All of this is especially apparent with the vest’s front pockets, which are made from 4-way stretch woven mesh. This not only enables better weight distribution but also provides a greater stretch for more efficient storage that won’t cause damage. In addition, its back compartment makes use of both a rip-stop pattern and a polyurethane coating for even greater sturdiness and weather resistance.

As a result of its overall construction, this vest is able to withstand a fair amount of equipment and necessities packed into it. It also stays perfectly sturdy against frequent wear and uses in rough and rugged terrains, and its water resistance means that both it and the buyer’s possessions won’t sustain any type of water damage.
Accessories
Accessories

Accessories

As is expected of all hydration vests and packs, the Ultra Vest 4.0 comes readily equipped with plenty of accessories to aid the buyer during different forms of outdoor recreation. The most notable, of course, is the pair of Body Bottle 500s that are placed into the middle front pouches for easy access to a drink of water. Each one can hold up to 16 oz. and are extremely easy to refill whenever the need arises.

Several other storage pouches are fixed at the front for easy access to anything else that they will need during a run or hike. Smaller compartments at the top can carry supplements, and another is in the middle for snacks. A larger zippered pouch is at the bottom right side for a phone or camera, and a trekking pole holder is on either side for quick storage when they don’t have to be used.

The back storage compartment is large enough that buyers could remove the body bottles and use either a 50 oz. or 70 oz. reservoir, both of which are sold separately on the Ultimate Direction website. It also features comfort cinch technology, which starts off at the middle of the back, works its way inside, and can be adjusted by pulling the cord from both sides at the bottom.
Style
Style

Style

The Ultra Vest 4.0 is very similar in design to Ultimate Direction’s other vests, especially the Adventure and Race models. Although some product pictures might make it appear to be bigger, it only goes down to the bottom of the ribcage so it can be efficient without feeling overwhelming. This also makes the amount of storage that it offers, as well as its relatively lightweight build, that much more impressive.

The comfort cinch technology is clearly showcased across the large zippered back compartment, as is the brand’s name in white and blue lettering. This design allows the buyer to include a drinking reservoir if they prefer, which makes things more convenient while cycling. Two Body Bottle 500s are pre-placed into the middle front pouches, which also showcase the brand logo, on either side of the chest.

While some hydration packs and vests come in several different color options, this one is only available in Ultimate Direction’s Signature Blue. Buyers don’t seem to mind this though, at least according to the reviews, as it’s not only a very appealing color but it also doesn’t take away from the vest’s overall performance.
Price
Price

Price

The Ultra Vest 4.0 is listed at $130 on the Ultimate Direction website and at other outdoor retailers such as REI, Jack Rabbit, Running Warehouse, and BackCountry. This pricing is technically considered mid-range for hydration vests, yet it’s noticeably less expensive than most other models that are sold at these outlets. However, lower prices can still be found at Amazon and eBay and on discount sites such as Camp Saver.

Given how well this vest has been received, based on its reviews and ratings, it’s clear that most buyers are getting their money’s worth every time they use it. It provides breathable comfort, surprisingly lightweight wear, and plenty of storage that allows the wearer to take water, snacks, supplements, and any tools or gadgets that they would need during a long trail run.

There are some buyers who wished that it included more storage or felt that other designs were simply at a better value, yet this seems to be more of a matter of personal preference than overall performance.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

-Sizes small, medium, and large
-Comfort cinch technology
-Mesh and nylon fabrics
-Extensive front storage
-Trekking pole holder
-Two Body Bottle 500s
-Only in Signature Blue
-$130 price tag
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Those who frequently hike or trail run for long distances should absolutely consider purchasing Ultimate Direction's Ultra Vest 4.0 for their activities. It's an easy and surprisingly comfortable way to have easy access to anything that they would need without bringing along a full backpack. It provides that same amount of incredible storage without feeling heavy or cumbersome at any point.

It comes readily equipped with two refillable bottles that are stored in the front. Multiple storage pouches are included for snacks, supplements, mobile devices, hiking equipment, and even a drinking reservoir if the buyer prefers to use it. Best of all, its various lightweight fabrics are able to provide equal parts breathability, durability, and water resistance.

Of course, as with any product on the market, there are still some drawbacks that buyers should consider before making a purchase. Its fit might not be right for everyone, and some storage pouches can be difficult to reach. Even so, neither of these have stopped this vest from earning the praise that it's been given across the board, from the average buyer to the critics at UltraRunning Magazine.