Hydration Vests For Every Adventure

For all those running enthusiasts and adventure seekers, we’ve designed the best hydration vests and gear to give you the support you need when hitting the outdoor trails. Our vests are designed to be secure and comfortable, allowing you to carry all of your trail running essentials in one place.

Whether you are just getting your athletic game started, or you’re an expert who spends hours training, we’re sure to have the perfect gear for you. This article covers everything you need to know when choosing a hydration vest for your next adventure, along with the top benefits of using one when you take to the trails.


What Are Hydration Vests?

Hydration vests – or running vests, are extremely lightweight backpacks designed explicitly for athletes who take to the trails on hiking or running outdoor adventures. They are sometimes called hydration packs or running vests. These vests can conveniently carry all you need. They can hold water to keep you hydrated on your journey, along with anything else you may need such as extra food, extra clothes, first aid necessities, or your cell phone and battery pack. It is more efficient than a normal backpack, and will evenly distribute the weight and hold your items securely to give you the most comfortable fit.

Who Should Wear Hydration Vests?

The short answer is; anybody can wear hydration vests, and our Ultimate Direction design team has created a variety of styles and sizes to accommodate different body types. However, people who are running in the backcountry, or going on overnight trail runs will benefit the most from running vests, as they will need to take more supplies with them. If you are serious about trail running, then a hydration vest is an essential piece of equipment for you.

Top Benefits Of Hydration Vests

You may find yourself wondering whether hydration vests are worth it? Why not read through this quick list of pros to see just how beneficial a hydration vest can be. It can help increase your performance, and boost your stamina by ensuring you’re always fully supplied. Here are 5 benefits of using hydration vests:

1. You have a sufficient water supply

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things an athlete can do. When trail running or hiking, it’s easy to quickly become dehydrated and this can lead to disastrous effects, especially when you are in a rural environment without sufficient drinking water nearby. If you don’t drink water regularly on your run or hike it can also have a huge impact on your performance. Ultimate Direction hydration vests come in a range of sizes with storage space for water bottles and reservoirs (depending on the design), giving you the hydration you need during your run. Staying hydrated during high performance can also shorten your recovery time. During trail races, some athletes fill up on water at home, whilst others choose to run light and fill up at water stations along the trail. Be sure to research your options before heading out to make sure you always carry enough fluids with you, and only fill up with safe drinking water.


2. It can help you keep up your energy levels

If you’re experienced with long-distance running and trails you’ll know the importance of keeping up your energy levels at all times, and this means bringing along the right, high-protein, high-energy snacks to refuel on your adventure. Hydration vests allow you to comfortably store high-energy foods for when it’s needed. It also gives you a place to keep your litter, ensuring no plastic and wrappers are left behind which could cause environmental damage.

3. It’s better for your body

When compared to other backpacks, good-quality hydration packs are a cut above the rest. A hydration vest is designed to fit your body and distribute weight in the best way possible. The best place to load and carry supplies is on your upper torso as you won’t have any interference on areas that move a lot when you’re running or walking. A traditional backpack is much bigger and tends to weigh down on your shoulders or bounce around, causing pain and irritation after a while. Running vests are designed for ultimate comfort and protection, so you won’t strain your muscles in any unnecessary way.

4. You will always be prepared

Preparation is key when you are battling tough terrain or heading out into the wilderness far from home. With hydration vests, you can ensure you are always prepared for a range of difficult situations. You’ll be able to carry a raincoat, or extra layer if the weather turns bad. You can keep a camera or device on you to take memorable photos, and be prepared to capture beautiful sunsets and scenery.

5. It gives you added safety

When running and hiking, injuries are not uncommon, and you can often be left stranded or in a difficult situation. Having a hydration pack allows you to carry essential medical supplies and a first aid kit that could be an important asset in these unwanted situations. Overall, having a hydration vest will make sure you are as prepared as can be and have made the best choices for a safe and successful experience.


How To Choose A Hydration Vest

We are here to help guide you through the steps of finding an excellent hydration vest that suits your needs. Whether you’re on the search for your first-ever hydration vest, or you require an upgrade, we hope these tips will help you make the right choice.

1. Decide on the capacity

Hydration vests come in a range of sizes and capacities. Ensure the one you choose has enough space to carry everything you need. Capacity is measured in litres, and usually, runners need a two-litre capacity vest for runs that last one or two hours. For longer runs of about three to six hours, most athletes choose a larger vest with a six-litre capacity.

For very short distances, some runners may not need a hydration vest and may prefer to carry a handheld water bottle or a smaller running belt. If your runs and hikes vary in time drastically, it may be beneficial to invest in more than one size hydration vest. Many serious athletes prefer to keep a smaller one for shorter distances, and a larger capacity vest for long expeditions. However, everybody has individual needs, so decide on what you prefer to carry with you and find a hydration pack that fits it all in effectively.

2. Make sure you get a vest that has the right fit

Choosing a vest that fits you correctly is extremely important to get the best use out of your hydration pack. A hydration vest should have a snug fit, but be wary of one that is too tight as it could end up chafing and causing irritation. A vest that is too large or too loose will bounce around when you are running and hiking, and this will also cause painful chafing. Here are some great ways to make sure you find the best fit:

  • Take a close look at the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines: Most companies and brands will have detailed sizing guidelines on their websites, and it’s always a great idea to compare your measurements before purchasing anything. You can find our Ultimate Direction size guide on our website.
  • Leave some space to make adjustments: It is best to always try a vest on before purchasing it online. When doing so, check the adjustable straps available and leave a bit of room to make the pack a bit bigger. Once you fill it up with all your essentials, you may need a bit of extra space to get that perfect fit.
  • Choose a vest suited to a woman's body if needed: Choosing a women's hydration vest can be beneficial, as they are often cut to have narrower shoulders and more space in the bust.


3. Decide on a bottle or reservoir vest

When choosing your hydration vest, it is important to consider how you want to carry your water. Most running vests can carry water in two ways; water bottles which are usually stored on the front, or a water reservoir that fits into a pocket on the back. The option you choose is completely up to your preference.

Some athletes will prefer water bottles to reduce the added weight at the back, whilst others prefer the convenience of the water reservoir, where you can sip from a tube whilst running. Choosing hydration vests that prioritise your preferred method of storing fluids will allow you to get the most out of them. Most running vests from Ultimate Direction give you the option to use both methods when you require extra water for long distances.


Recommended Water Dosage For Trail Runners And Athletes

Staying adequately hydrated is an important part of everybody’s daily routine, and doesn’t only apply to athletes. Hydration is linked to your performance and your body’s ability to function properly, so being dehydrated immediately has an impact on your ability to perform any daily tasks. Dehydration can lead to feelings of tiredness, dizziness, and headaches and can be bad for your kidneys.

To reach your goals and perform as efficiently as possible, you need to keep up a good hydration routine and stick to it when you train. When you are only training with short runs and walks of about 30 minutes to 45 minutes, then you are usually okay with replenishing your fluids and electrolytes after your workout. Although, being conscious of the heat, and running in the sun in high temperatures will mean you need more fluids than you usually would.

Running for longer periods of 45 minutes or more means you should be drinking water while you are running or hiking. Making use of a hydration vest makes this simple and convenient, and keeps you well-hydrated at all times.

Hydration Vests From Ultimate Direction

Ultimate Direction offers a large variety of hydration vests and running gear for every adventure. We cater for everyone from trail running beginners to the most experienced athletes. Our hydration vests are designed with unique features that allow you to choose a product best suited to your running needs. Our vests prioritise comfort and come with the most convenient features. Whether you are trail running, hiking, or looking for a race vest, we have an option for you.

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