Scott Jurek has put his input into the Ultimate Direction line of products. Up for review are the Jurek Grip, Jurek Endure, and the SJ Ultra Vest.
I love the simple design – no extra stuff, just a strap to hold the bottle. It reminds me of my “duct-tape” version. The Grip comes with the traditional 20 fluid oz bottle with the Kicker Valve. The strap is completely breathable with the hex mesh, as well as, being durable and lightweight. The bands that hold the bottle have silicone that grips the bottle creating a non-slip secure connection. The Grip can also be used on other bottles.
The Grip is great for those runs when you just want to hold the water bottle without all the extra material and/or pockets. It is very comfortable and adjustable to all hand sizes. I love the lightweight and simples design.
- Capacity – 20 oz with Kicker Valve
- Reflective and breathable material
- Adjustable fits all sizes
- Weighs 3.35 oz (grip & empty water bottle)
Sometimes you don’t want to hold anything in your hands. The Endure holds two 10 fluid oz bottles – also compatible with other similar shaped bottles (e.g., Amphipod, Nathan, & Camelbak). The bottle carriers and front movable zippered pocket are stiffened with lightweight foam giving it structure for easy access to your running essentials. I love the silnylon material giving the Endure an ultra lightweight feel. The front movable zippered pocket is sweat resistant. The Endure also has a ¾ inch waist webbing with a rear stretch panel pocket. I personally like the addition of the movable race bib clips on the belt. I don’t like putting my race number on the leg of my nice running shorts only to have them have holes at the end of the race from the pins – someone should design a clear plastic or thin mesh pocket for race bib numbers built into the shorts (seems like a good DIY project).
The Endure are for those days when you either don’t want to carry anything in your hands, or carry a little extra without using a hydration pack. The bottles did not bounce and the adjustable belt was secure on all my runs. You can cut off the extra material from the adjustable waist strap once you get the adjustment to your liking. The Endure is a great piece of gear for your collection.
- Two 10 oz bottles
- Bottle holsters are stiffened with lightweight foam for quick access
- Front pocket is sweat resistant and moveable, with foam backing
- 3/4 in. waist webbing with stretch panel
- Movable Race Bib clips
- Adjustable buckle fits all sizes
- Weighs 6.30 oz (with bottles) and 3.65 oz (waist pack only )
The SJ Ultra Vest has 9.2 liters of storage capacity in a super lightweight package. It comes in at 8.2 ounces (233 grams) – without the two 20 fluid oz bottles. What makes the vest super lightweight and strong is the use of Cuben Fiber. Cuben Fiber is lightweight, highly durable, and is 50-70% lighter than Kevlar, four times stronger than Kevlar, and allows flex without losing strength. It is also less than half the weight of silnylon, has low specific gravity (floats on water), high chemical resistance, excellent UV resistance and is 100% waterproof. The vest is structured with the Hex Mesh allowing it to breathe while providing durability and anti-moisture absorbing properties in a lightweight package. All the pockets are constructed of a stretchy material that expands with your increased loads while keeping smaller loads from bouncing around when running. Watch out for the sizing. The Ultra Vest is based on chest sizing so measure accordingly.
The Ultra worked very well on long runs when you need more carrying capacity. I used a 1 Liter bladder tucked in the pack with the two 20 oz. bottles in the front. There was minimal bouncing when fully loaded. I had one issue when the pack was not fully loaded with gear and/or running essentials while using the two 20 oz bottles in the front. There was a lot of bouncing around due to the weight not being balanced, that is, front load versus back load. The bouncing subsided after each bottle had about 10 oz of fluid. I like to vary the use of the 20 oz and 10 oz bottles – sometimes I hold a 20 oz bottle while carrying 10 oz bottles upfront. I also like using the bottle holder pockets to hold more running essentials (e.g., PB&J or bananas). Overall, my experience with the Ultra was great, just watch out for how you load the pack and get the correct sizing.
- Volume Capacity: 47 in3 / 9.2L
- Fluid Capacity: 2 x 20 oz bottles (included) or 70 oz reservoir (not included)
- Weight: 8.2 oz / 233 g (without bottles)
- Height: 12 in / 30 cm
- Width: 9 in / 23 cm
- Depth: 2.5 in / 6 cm
Sizing At Chest (Unisex)
- SM: 25 – 31 in / 63.5 – 78.7 cm
- MD: 31 – 38 in / 78.7 – 96.5 cm
- LG: 38 – 43 in / 96.5 – 109.2 cm
- Measure wearing the clothes you intend to wear
- A vest full of gear will fit smaller