The Girls Up Front

Bottles up front? As a women you may be thinking…..hmmm what about my girls?

Marily testing the prototype UD vest At first glance looking at the new designs of the UD hydration vests a female might raise an eyebrow as to how it will fit over one’s ta ta’s. Well, we thought the same thing and have designed it to accommodate many body types. Lots of runner gals of all shapes and sizes have tested out the new “bottles up” front design.

From a range of women (cups sizes ranging from A-D) we’ve found that the design has great comfort. As the saying goes lift and separate, the vest sits just outside the girls and a bit above them. With the multiple unisex sizing, one can choose how they want the vest to be positioned. Erin testing out the vestWhen running a women usually wears a sports bra so that “everything” is secure which helps the vest lay over the area quite nicely. Wearing a vest for anyone can be an adjustment, but the bottles up front provide easy access and us chicas are not excluded!

Marily and Erin discuss product details







Marily head up the Picture Rock Trail head to test out the vestMarily MacDonald, the Ecom Coordinator for UD has taken the vest out on several trail runs on a pretty rocky and rough trails. She found at first it was a little awkward but after a mile or so she was oblivious to the vest and grateful for the water and storage space the vest provided without the bulk. “The vest was so lightweight and sat high enough on my chest to be out of the way of my arms and it really didn’t hinder my movement a all.”

The lead designer on the packs, Erin Doubleday has added in her concerns and made each vest micro-adjustable for a custom fit; be it for a barrel chested man, a wiry ultra runner or a busty gal the vest are designed to fit an array of body types. “I prefer running with the 10oz UD bottles. I feel they fit my body much better than traditional round bottles. Ideally you balance the vest weight from front to back so carrying a flexible container of water in the back pocket means I don’t have to cary any less water than the guy next to me. This also maintains your balanced biomechanics and keep you at your same race speed.”  If you do find the bottles sloshing to much for you or the bottles not quite fitting the way you like, the narrower shaped 10oz UD bottles make for a great alternative.These bottles are narrower, a bit smaller and curved so they sit closer to the body.

Stay tuned for more updates on the product testing and the Ultra Vests!

Erin Doubleday lead UD Pack DesignerErin Doubleday: UD Designer. Colorado Native. Office Dog Sitter. Avid Runner. Climber. Artist. Lives and Breaths Gear. (cup size 34 C)




Marily MacDonald UD Ecom Web CoordinatorMarily MacDonald: UD Ecom Web Coordinator. Colorado Native. Triathlete. Horsewomen. Mtn Biker. Water Skier. Gear Tester. (cup size 36 B)

La Plata Peak via the Ellingwood Ridge

The Ellingwood Ridge, from La Plata's summit.

While the Sawatch Range in central Colorado is impressively high–it’s home to 15 peaks over 14,000′–it’s not a very technical group of mountains.  Most routes are Class 1 or 2 walk-ups, and the mountains themselves have often been accused of not really being much more than giant talus piles.  (This reputation is not without basis, but I happen to enjoy talus fields.)

One of the notable exceptions to this is the uber-classic Ellingwood Ridge (really the mountain’s northeast ridge) on La Plata Peak (14,336′). This burly sawtooth of a line looks incredible when lit up in soft evening light, but no matter what time of day it is it commands one’s attention, whether viewed from the trailhead parking lot, Independence Pass, or the crest of the NW Ridge on La Plata’s standard hiking route.

Although the guidebooks allow that most major difficulties on the line can be kept to Class 3 with some creative route-finding and some humble descents below the actual ridge, these same guidebooks also warn about just how long the ridge is (2mi), and thus, how much time it takes to summit (a lot).  Sean O’Day’s trip report from almost exactly a year ago–while completed in markedly different snow conditions (Colorado is incredibly dry this year)–cites 9hr just to make the summit!  And Sean is a strong trail/mountain runner and experienced mountaineer.

I didn’t see how that could possibly be the case, though, so only compromised my usual bare-bones approach by bringing 13oz of water and a gel…just in case (I would consume both).

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Product Testing!

Product testing is really important. This is how we make sure we create the absolute best best tools for the self-propelled person. It’s also how we have fun in the mountains with friends.

Last weekend, Peter Bakwin, Anton Krupicka and I went up to do the classic Kieners Route on Longs Peak. This involves a 5 mile trail run starting at 9,382′ and ending at the iconic Chasm Lake, where one scrambles the boulders around the lake then up to the base of Lambs Slide, a nice snow gully tucked into the shadows of the towering East Face of Longs. The juicy part of the route is the traverse across Broadway, an absolutely spectacular narrow ledge slicing across the near-vertical East Face. Kieners proper starts up from there, a 5.4 rated climbing route that culminates on the 14,255′ summit of Longs. We then would descend the Cables route (now actually called the North Face), where we would pick up the trail again.

The perfect outing to test the new Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest!

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Eat & Run: Conversation with Scott Jurek

SCOTT JUREK’S new book – Eat & Run; My Unlikely Journey To Ultramarathon Greatness was released on June 5. It immediately went to the #34 on the Amazon List and has remained in the Top 100. Scott is the best-known ultrarunner in the world, with 7 victories in a row at the Western States 100, and a 3-time winner at Greece’s 153 mile Spartathlon. He is currently designing a new style of hydration pack for Ultimate Direction.

On Sunday, we caught up with Scott in the middle of his 14 city book tour.  He gave us the up-to-date insider scoop on the tour and how he feels about the book.


Portland, OR. Jenny and I have an off-day. It’s been crazy! I’m recharging the batteries for the coming week.


We’ve had amazing turnouts – 650 came to the talk in New York City, and 300 did the Fun Run in Central Park. Boston sold out a 250 seat auditorium, 450 came in Chicago, and about 400 people for the Run.

The first day of tour we did a 50k in New York City – 50 people joined me at 5 am to circumnavigate Manhattan – I’ve always wanted to do that. One gentleman who had never run 15 miles did his first marathon that morning.

It’s been good! People are really jazzed; it’s a lot of fun.

Counterclockwise around Manhatten - Brooklyn Bridge in rearview mirror

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