Hydration Vest For Trail Running And Hiking

Whether you’re a veteran or merely a newcomer to the trail running and hiking scene, you’re bound to want to acquire a hydration vest on your fitness journey. Hydration vests (also known as running vests or packs) are a popular choice among runners for carrying their water and other essentials during trail runs or races.

These specialised vests are designed to help runners stay hydrated and nourished while on the go, and offer a convenient and practical alternative to traditional water bottles or backpacks. For all of your trail running and hiking essentials, Ultimate Direction has your back. We supply innovative gear and apparel to help you make the most of your next outdoor adventure.


Why Do Trail Runners Use Hydration Vests?

There are many reasons why trail runners rely on a hydration vest. One of the primary benefits is convenience. With a hydration vest, runners can carry their water and other gear with them while keeping their hands and pockets free. This can be especially useful for longer trail runs or races when carrying a water bottle or backpack might be cumbersome or uncomfortable.

In addition to convenience, hydration vests are also specifically designed to help runners stay hydrated. Most vests have a built-in water bladder or multiple water bottle holders, allowing runners to easily access hydration throughout their run. This is especially important for preventing dehydration, which can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and other unpleasant side effects.

Nutrition is another important factor for runners, and many hydration vests have pockets or compartments for carrying energy gels, electrolyte tablets, or other forms of fuel. This can be especially useful during long runs or races when it is important to maintain energy levels and avoid bonking.

Another advantage of hydration vests is their ability to protect against the elements. Some vests have built-in rain covers or are made from waterproof materials, making them a good choice for runners who need to carry their gear in wet or inclement weather.

Finally, hydration vests allow runners to distribute the weight of their gear across their upper body, rather than carrying everything in a single backpack or waist pack. This can help reduce strain on the lower back and shoulders, making it more comfortable to carry all of your essentials during a long run or race.

Overall, hydration vests are a popular and practical choice for runners looking to stay hydrated, nourished, and comfortable during their runs. With a variety of styles and features available, there is a hydration vest to suit the needs of every runner. Whether you are training for a marathon or just enjoy going for a leisurely run, a hydration vest can help you stay fuelled and hydrated while on the go.

Hydration Vest: Ultimate Direction

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to shopping for hydration vests. Ultimate Direction provides a host of hydration vests for you to consider, each with a unique set of features designed just right for hiking and trail running. To find out more about Ultimate Direction’s best hydration vests, take a look at this quick breakdown of some of our popular gear below:

Race Vest / Vesta 6

If you’re looking for lightweight and highly breathable hydration vests, look no further than the Race Vest 6. This vest is optimised to help wearers reach new personal bests and is made with featherlight materials.

The hydration vest’s vest-fit technology is entirely customizable and includes an ultra-durable Comfort Cinch 3.0. You can also count on its protective mesh panels to prevent any uncomfortable chafing while you're out on the trail. The Race Vesta 6 (women’s specific fit) is also particularly well-suited to people with smaller frames, as it offers a more tailored fit thanks to the narrow cut in the shoulder straps.

You can store your mobile phone in the front chest pocket on the hydration vest, where you can zip it up safely in a water-resistant pocket. For those of us who like to go running and hiking around waterfalls and in rainy conditions, this is the perfect added feature. The vest is also made to wrap completely around the body for a snug fit, so you know you’ll always be comfortable when you go running and hiking.

The Race Vest 6 comes with all the bungee loops and hooks you need to carry around gear, which can be attached at the front or back of the vest. The Race Vest comes with two 500ml soft flasks and can accommodate a 2-litre bladder.



Trail Vest

The Ultimate Direction Trail Vest is a high-quality and comfortable option for runners. It is made with plush materials that fit close to the body, ensuring comfort on mountain trails or in the forest. The hydration vest also has a fully adjustable comfort glide fit system, which allows the wearer to customise the fit of the vest to their body and reduce any chafing or discomfort.

Like many hydration vests, the Trail Vest has a 1.5-litre water reservoir and additional water bottle pockets to keep the wearer hydrated during runs and races. It also has a large back pocket that can hold a 2-litre reservoir, front bottle pockets, a secure front mesh pocket for a phone, a rear mesh stash pocket, and an easy-access main pocket with quick auto closure.

These features make the Ultimate Direction Trail Vest a durable and practical choice for runners who need to carry their gear with them while running. The various pockets and compartments provide ample storage space for essentials such as water, energy gels, and other supplies, and the adjustable fit ensures that the vest stays in place and is comfortable to wear. Overall, this is a top-quality running vest that is well worth considering for runners of all levels.

Do Professional Trail Runners Wear Hydration Vests?

Professional trail runners and dedicated athletes may choose to wear hydration vests or other types of hydration packs while training or competing in long distance races. These types of packs allow runners to carry water, sports drinks, and other supplies such as snacks, first aid supplies, and phones with them during the race, which can be helpful for staying hydrated, fuelled, and prepared for emergencies.

Some professional trail runners may prefer hydration vests because they are lightweight and provide a more secure and comfortable fit than other types of hydration packs. However, it is ultimately up to the individual runner to decide what type of hydration equipment is best for their needs and preferences.

How To Drink Water From A Hydration Vest

If you’ve never owned hydration vests before, you may need some guidance on how to drink from one. While most of our running vests at Ultimate Direction sport pockets for water bottles, the Trail Vest comes equipped with a water reservoir. We’ve outlined the steps below so you can act like a pro on your next trail run or hike. To drink water from a hydration vest reservoir, follow these steps:


  • Find the hydration bladder within the vest. It is usually located in the back of the vest, inside a pocket or compartment.
  • Locate the mouthpiece or hose attached to the bladder. This is usually located on one shoulder strap of the vest, near the chest.
  • Turn the valve on the hose to the "on" position. Some hydration vests have a bite valve on the end of the hose that you need to bite down on to open the flow of water. Others may have a switch or lever that you need to flip or slide to open the valve.
  • Bring the mouthpiece or hose to your mouth and drink from it as you would from a water bottle.
  • When you are finished drinking, turn the valve to the "off" position to close the flow of water.


To prevent the water from sloshing around in the reservoir/bladder while walking and running, take the following steps:


  • Fill the bladder with as much water as needed and seal it
  • Turn the bladder upside down and suck on the bite valve until all the air is sucked out of the bladder
  • Place the bladder back into the vest compartment

It is important to make sure that the hydration bladder is properly secured inside the vest and the mouthpiece or hose is easily accessible while you are wearing the vest. You should also check the water level regularly to make sure you have enough water to last throughout your activity.

Hydration Vest: Final Thoughts

Hopefully you have a good idea of which hydration vests will work for you. Now that you know more about this nifty piece of gear, keep reading for more useful information and facts about hydration vests.

Hydration vests are not just for running - they can also be used for cycling, hiking, and other outdoor activities where you need to carry water and stay hydrated. Some hydration vests are designed to carry other gear as well, such as snacks, a phone, first aid kit, clothing, headlamps and trekking poles. Some hydration vests have a built-in filter system, which allows you to fill the reservoir with water from a natural source and filter out any impurities.

This can be useful in situations where you don't have access to clean drinking water. It's important to properly care for your hydration vest by cleaning it regularly. Most vests come with instructions on how to clean and maintain them. The size and fit of a hydration vest is important for comfort and stability while wearing it. It's a good idea to try on a few different vests to find the one that fits you best.

How To Choose The Best Hydration Vest For You

When choosing among the plethora of hydration vests on the market, here are a few things to consider to help you find the perfect vest.

Capacity: Make a note of how much water and gear you will need to carry for your hike or run, based on the distance you’re likely to travel. Some vests have larger pockets and more storage space than others.

Fit and breathability: Look for a vest that fits well and is comfortable to wear. It should be snug but not too tight, and it should not bounce or chafe while you're moving. It should also be made from a breathable fabric so you stay comfortable on your run or hike.

Features: Some vests have additional pockets or compartments for storing snacks, a phone, or other gear. Decide which features are most important to you and look for a vest that has them.

Brand: Look for a reputable brand that has a good reputation for quality products. It's also a good idea to read reviews from other users to get an idea of the pros and cons of different models.

Ultimate Direction is a great choice when it comes to choosing reliable running vests and other trail running gear. We strive to provide the best-of-the-best trail running equipment so that you can enjoy your next outdoor adventure the right way.


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