Friday, May 6, 2016

Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 3.0 review

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Ready for a great wilderness adventure with PB Adventure Vest 3.0: packed with 2L drinks, Clif bars and other foods, jacket and other clothes, Z-poles and other gear it feels very comfortable.

The Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 3.0 I had ordered from UK arrived. It wasn't love at first sight, as this new pack was quite a different than my worn-out PB Adventure Vest 2.0 - with only one bottle holster, where am I going to practically place my hydration in this weird asymmetric design? One option would be a bladder in the back of the pack, but I haven't used any of those in years.

The Z-pole holders in front are great for situations like this when you suddenly need to attach your poles to the pack and free your hands for something else before continuing with the poles again.

Actually I soon realised that this new updated Vest has plenty of carrying capacity for the most challenging mountain ultra trails - 16L volume instead of the old 11L can make a difference in longer endeavours. Once I replaced my old bottles with new soft flasks, I found it easy to stuff several of them in various zippered or open mesh pockets all over the vest. Good news for my running companions: No More Sloshing! And I really liked the new design: one favorite detail is the long blue elastic cord that can be attached to small plastic hooks in many ways to hold bulky stuff in big mesh pockets.

Oops snow ahead - no probs, the poles come out quickly without wasting time to take the pack off my back.

Most importantly, I had been looking for a comfortable lightweight running vest with easy Z-pole attachments on it. Just a couple simple elastic loops in the front on both sides achieve this wonderfully. The new 412g vest is slightly lighter than the previous 454g model. And I found the new sizing Medium fits me better than the previous size M. To be honest, I prefer a loose fit and just figured out with 3.0 Vest there are those hidden lateral fitting straps on both sides and the sternum straps can be vertically adjusted as well - so I could have done more precise adjustments with 2.0 Vest all this time - live and learn! :)

The vest has proved to be super comfy and well-fitting for me in all terrain and weather.

The vest came with one small-ish 420ml UD Body Bottle. That's fine and thanks a lot. The only mistake I made was that I forgot to order a couple of bigger 500ml UD Body Bottles as well. Because the earlier vest came with two full bottles, I probably thought this would be the deal again. The local stores seem to sell Salomon Soft Flasks only, which in my opinion suck (pun intended) in comparison. So keep this in mind when ordering your PB 3.0 vests, which is most likely the best one out there today - unless you like UD AK 3.0 Mountain Vest better, which is the same vol as PB Vest 2.0 and has two bottle holsters in the front. All UD 3.0-series Vests are quite expensive, especially when counting the cost of delivery and extra soft bottles, but probably worth it in the end. After seriously considering AK 3.0 Vest I decided to get PB 3.0 Vest: it has more volume and is not that much heavier. This adventure vest is always packed full of possibilities.

He loved Big Brother.

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