Ultimate Direction Wasp

9.1
9.1 score
[Editors rating (9.1)] = Runnerclick score (9.1)/10

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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
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Ultimate Direction Wasp Review Facts
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The Ultimate Direction Wasp is the perfect pack for extreme runners and hikers. Most packs require runners to stop and remove the pack in order to access everything they need. This pack revolutionizes storage by putting plenty of pockets on the front of the pack so food, water, snacks, gels and other necessities can be accessed without even stopping. Its functional design has the vest sit higher on users, between their shoulder blades, which helps eliminate bouncing that many packs are guilty of. Made for runners or hikers who travel upwards of 100 miles, this pack can give users peace of mind knowing that all of their needs will be met with the Ultimate Direction Wasp.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Extremely light
  • Plenty of pockets up front for easy access
  • Breathes well
  • Plenty of adjustment options for personalization
  • High quality hydration bladder
Cons
  • Open shoulder pockets don’t cinch
  • Hydrapak tube designed to go across the chest which can cause bouncing
Use
Use

Use

This is great for long-distance running and extreme hiking in the backcountry or mountains. It keeps all of your essentials forward for easy access, so users don’t have to stop in their tracks to access their pack. Snacks, gels, water, and other essential items are right at hand’s reach so you can keep moving and enjoying your run or hike.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Made from a breathable mesh, the shoulder straps allow air to flow in key contact points to help avoid overheating which can often lead to chafing. The seamless back panel reduces hot spots and improves comfort and also eliminates chafing. With less or no irritation, users can keep moving longer.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Runners and hikers alike report that it almost disappears on their bodies. The seamless back panel reduces hot spots and increases comfort thereby keeping athletes cooler longer. It sits higher than some competition, between shoulder blades, which helps reduce any bouncing that may occur. There’s no waist belt, but rather includes two sternum straps that buckle in front of your chest. This helps distribute the weight without the binding waist strap. The shoulder straps are wide-set and are constructed from breathable mesh. This further reduces hot spots on key contact points. There are reports of minor bouncing occurring which can be caused by shorter runners with shorter mid-sections. The shoulder straps don’t shorten, so the length of the straps is fixed. However, there are minimal reports of this even being an issue. The underarm straps have an elastic loop to gather the leftover strap to avoid irritation. This is a minor detail, but a very important one that most packs overlook.
Size
Size

Size

The Ultimate Direction pack is approximately 16 ounces. It comes with 540 cubic inches of storage, plus the 70oz hydration system. Even full of kit and gear, the pack spreads out the weight so that it feels lightweight at all times. It fits best on chests between 29 inches to 46 inches wide.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Nylon Taffeta exterior mixed with the Power Stretch mesh allow runners to pack it full of kit and gear without fear of the pack falling apart. With plenty of pockets and storage space, the pack is guaranteed to keep up with what users throw at it.
Accessories
Accessories

Accessories

The pack comes with a hydration bladder sleeve with the included 2L Hydrapak bladder. The bladder uses a bite valve with an on/off twist. The Hydrapak closure design doubles over and slides closed to keep the bladder leak-proof. It can be turned inside out for proper cleaning and has a wide opening for easy filling. There’s a loop at the top of the pack in the main compartment that holds up the Hydrapak so that it doesn’t fall down into the compartment.
Features
Features

Features

Small, open mesh pockets at the base of both shoulder straps offer easy-access to valuables, such as a cell phone, for runners. Larger zipper pockets at the base of the straps are large enough to hold gels, additional valuables or snacks. There are loops for a hydration hose on both shoulder straps to keep it organized. The large 8.9L main compartment can carry everything you may need for a long day, such as a jacket, snacks, extra water or other items. There is a smaller side zip pocket for quick access items, such as a map or GPS. There is a large exterior mesh open pocket on the rear of the main compartment with an elastic shock cord for added storage or to make the pack more compact if partially full or empty. Next, to the mesh pocket, there are loops for an ice ax or poles and a cinch cord, making this an excellent pack for higher elevations.
Price
Price

Price

The price is comparable to other backpacks in the same range. If you catch it on a sale it's worth the price you'll pay and then some.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

  • Forward pockets keep runners moving while still having superior access to necessities

  • Breathable mesh to allow excellent breathability and comfort

  • Seamless back panel eliminate hot spots and increase comfort

  • Two sternum straps eliminate waist straps typically found on packs

  • Sits higher between shoulder blades to eliminate bounce

  • Comes with 70oz Hydrapak hydration system

  • Power Stretch mesh and nylon keeps the pack durable on the most extreme runs and hikes


  • Bottom Line
    Bottom Line

    Bottom Line

    This is a great option for the extreme adventurer. Whether running, hiking or both, any athlete would find great features in this pack. The fact that it sits higher between the shoulder blades to avoid bounce, plus the personalization features to promote a secure fit, will ensure a comfortable wear for hours on end. There are a couple reports of the pack hitting lower on the torso, but these seem to mainly occur with shorter individuals rather than the majority of athletes. The designers truly considered issues with competing designs and aimed to improve upon them. Athletes who run upwards of 100 miles or hike difficult terrain need a pack they can rely on and that will reduce chafing and irritation. This is definitely a pack all athletes should consider.