Ultimate Direction AK Mountain Vest 3.0 Review

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Ultimate Direction AK Mountain Vest 3.0 Review

As with most pieces of trail running kit, finding the right pack for your mountain adventures is an exercise in trial and error – a potentially expensive one. But once you find that one piece that just works on all levels you can actually hear the choir break out into a chorus of hallelujah 🙂

 

This is what happened for me with the Ultimate Direction Anton Krupicka Mountain Vest 3.0

 

Admittedly, I’m a major fan of Anton Krupicka. The dude is just so cool!

 

Although he hasn’t been racing that much recently, his days are spent on long missions in the mountains and the new pack design reflects this.

 

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With an 11L capacity it’s big enough to swallow all your kit (and some) which is perfect for those longer days in the mountains. But, what I found to be the real winner is that all of this space is very accessible while the pack is on your back. Mesh pockets supported by bungee cord to tie them down just enough while still allowing you to reach back and grab whatever you need – whether it be extra layers or in my case a GoPro on an extender pole which I had with me on Ultra-trail Cape Town.

 

Here are my thoughts about the Ultimate Direction Anton Krupicka Mountain Vest 3.0:

 

 

What worked

  • Adjustable sternum and lat straps help dial in the right fit to keep the pack snug while you run
  • The two 500ml soft bottles are sufficient for long runs and their wider neck make it easy to refill at streams or on race day

 

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  • One of the few packs that has proper waterproofing to protect your kit even when it rains
  • So many pockets that are easy to reach to stash things in that you may start taking a few unnecessary items to the mountain – okay fine I’ll leave my hand cream at home next time 🙂

 

What needs work

  • Condensation forms on the inside of the waterproof pockets on a long day in the mountains – the curse of virtually every waterproofed item out there. Not a major problem, and it won’t mess with you kit, but worth mentioning nonetheless
  • Like all high-end packs, it comes with a hefty price tag of R2900 which is on the upper end of the market for similar packs. However, it is the only one with actual waterproofing, but I still wish packs in general weren’t so pricey 🙁

 

The verdict

I’ve put this vest through months of testing and it is LEGIT! It is versatile, fits comfortably, is easily adjustable and has become a key part of adding confidence to my runs in the mountains.

 

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The bottom-line is that it’s one of the best pieces of equipment I’ve ever used. It just fits my style right now so perfectly and I definitely recommend it. For those who’ve been sitting on the fence about investing in a new pack here’s one that is just…well…awesome.

 

If I’ve left out anything in particular that you think is a critical feature/experience that you’ve had with the Ultimate Direction Anton Krupicka Mountain Vest 3.0, please feel free to comment below.

 

– Peace

 

Get the Ultimate Direction Anton Krupicka Mountain Vest 3.0 and other awesome running gear at the RUN store. Check them out on social media here: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

 

Fareed

fareed@leavethecouch.com
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