Camelbak have updated there range for 2017 with the introduction of the new Ultra 10 Vest made to endure the world famous UTMB. Stated by Camelbak as vest ”Designed for self-supported runs” its a nice looking vest but how good are the upgrades?
Features (as from Camelbaks Site)
- 3D Ventilated mesh offers multi-directional air flow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability
- Secure phone pocket conveniently located for quick access and includes a zipper closure for added security
- Dual adjustable sternum straps increases stability and offer a range of adjustments for customization
- Stretch overflow pocket offers easy access to toss in a rain shell or stash extra gear
- Harness storage for all your run essentials offers organization for fuel and gear, including specially designed Quick Stow flask pockets
- Reflectivity on front and back for early morning or evening runs
The vest has been thought through well in terms of storage in side the main zipped compartment are 3 mesh pockets so that storing kit and knowing where it is will save time on a race which is something I haven’t come across on other vests. There is also a stretch pocket on the outside of the pack which is great for quickly stowing a waterproof or layers. The size is great 10 Litres without the reservoir and 9 with, you can literally fit everything in you need races in excess of 100 miles. The 6 available pockets to the front makes food, gels, compass and even your mobile phone easily accessible.
As stated in the features the 3d ventilated mesh is extremely comfortable and Breathable again something I have not come across in other vests. other good key features are the Hiking poles are to one side at the back and there is a separate zipped compartment for the newly added Crux Reservoir which is a great bit of kit in its own right. offering 20% more flow than the older Reservoir which is brilliant. The refill cap is large and easily twisted off and the added feature of the carry handle makes it easy and fast to fill.
The major con of he vest is the fit unfortunately on longer runs I found that the chest straps would slip and I would have to keep tightening them throughout the run, a quick knot soon sorted this out. Sternum straps at the side of the vest is something I wasn’t use to at all and found them to be an annoyance you see if you pack the vest full of kit and fill the reservoir once you tighten the sternum straps then either take kit out or drink the straps come loose which leads to a lot of bounce again these slip as well meaning you have to tighten them on your runs constantly. these are the only two faults to the vest that I could find but you do get use to it after a while you just have to remember to tighten the straps but I do wish they had gone with the Elasticated sides that are on many of the current vests on the market.
Camelbaks newly updated Ultra 10 vest is an extremely good piece of kit and is well thought out with the massive volume of kit that can be packed in making this vest extremely good for Longer ultra Marathons the downsides are small and can be easily resolved but you have to give it a couple of runs before you get the fit perfect. Camlebak also offers a ”Got your Back” Lifetime Guarantee which makes having any problems with the vest that was a design fault and they will replace it for you. Would I advise a friend to get one? Yes I enjoyed running in the pack once I fitted it correctly and the added pockets at the front made life a lot easier on races. RRP £100