Running is a relatively simple sport to start with, and it still remains fairly simple if you are running purely for the pure enjoyment, too keep fit & healthy or lose a bit of weight but as you start to focus on certain elements as in my case, ultra running, then you start to need specialised equipment. A running pack being one of these things. There are so many on the markets different sizes offering all different types of functionality; pockets, straps, whistles, bungee cords, bottle holders, camelbaks ….. The list goes on. I have found the UD ultra vesta to be a perfect fit for me on runs for anything up to the 100km/100mile range. It is a pack that has been designed by women (Jenny Jurek to be precise) for women and for me it delivers the goods.
First and foremost it is comfortable and when you are running for longer than a couple of hours this is very important. I’ve had bags that have caused chafing within the first hour and the last thing you want/need is to have an extra source of discomfort. I’ve worn this bag through the summer in vest tops with lots of skin exposed and have not had any issues of chafing. The bag is adjustable under the arms down the side of the body and also has adjustable chest straps that not only tighten/loosen but they can also be slid up or down to allow for your cleavage to fit, appropriately. The bag sits high up on your back in between your shoulder blades and I don’t even feel it on. It comes with 2 small bottles for the front bottle pockets which are ideal for winter running when you are not drinking as much, but I did find these too small for summer or if you drink a lot. I ended up using shop bought sports water bottles in some races, and Nuun bottles fit in there as well. At the bottle pocket there is a whistle as well, handy for mandatory kit races or simply to get the attention of people you are running with. Under these there is a zip pocket on one side ideal for your phone/camera/money and a gel or 2 and another Velcro tab pocket on the other side which I can manage to squeeze 2 bars and 2 gels into. The back consists of 2 larger zip access pockets that go the length of the bag on top of each other, opening on alternate sides, I find these useful for my clothing bits and pieces along with any extra food or kit I am taking along. The space isn’t huge, with a 4L capacity, but it all depends on what you need out on your run. There is also a top small zip pocket with, wait for it, a spare hairband! Most definitely designed for us ladies. A good little sized pocket, again could fit your camera/phone, I tend to use it to stash my keys, first aid kit and head torch. There are bungy cords on the back of the bag as well, which I have found useful to stuff my jacket in to save any faffing on those days when it is on and off a few times.
It looks great too, I personally love the colour of a deep purple with pink edging, but it would be great to have this available in a few colour choices for those that don’t like girlie colours and also for the men. My husband was struggling to find a bag for himself and was considering using this one but he just couldn’t handle the colours for himself. I have had lots of people approach me when out running to ask what it is as it looks so good and looks very comfortable on as well. If you are after a comfortable, smallish running pack that doesn’t cost the earth, then give this one a try, retailing at £84.99 from My Race Kit it signifies good value for money. I’ve been using mine for about a year now, it’s been through some wild weather and been through the wash a number of times and yet it still looks and feels as good as new.