Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 Review

The Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 is a lightweight vest designed and endorsed by famous ultramarathoner Scott Jurek. Running, or racing vests as they are also called are an absolute lifesaver for runners or hikers. They give you a convenient way to have plenty of pockets and storage to keep everything close to hand. The best use of these pockets is being able to stay hydrated and snack without having to stop running. The better vests, like this one from UD are incredibly comfortable. You will hardly notice you’re wearing it, it’s lightweight, and pretty durable too.

Setup and Design FeaturesUltimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 Review

The vest comes with the two bottles that hold 20 oz of water. However, it doesn’t come with the hydration bladder that you may have seen it pictured with or people using. This is normal, most vests don’t come with a bladder but they usually have a pocket designed to hold one. Without any bottles attached and nothing in the pockets the vest weighs a super-light 11 oz, so you can see why I say it’s barely noticeable when you’re wearing it.

There are a massive 8 pockets positioned all over the vest. It’s tempting to start carrying more things with all this space, but keeping weight to a minimum should be your main concern. Although it’s entirely up to you what you carry, so I won’t tell you what to pack. There’s more than enough pockets for snacks, water, some first aid stuff, your MP3 player, and whatever else you like close to hand.

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As you would expect from a running vest, the Ultimate Direction is made from strong, lightweight materials. It secures nice and snug to your body, there is no movement while running if you secure it properly. It’s designed for the more serious and seasoned runners, it’s built for the long-haul. There is breathable mesh around the shoulders and across the chest. Reinforced stitching all round, and pull-cords and buckles to keep the bottle secure and the vest tightened up.

Comparison Information

If you look at this vest next another popular model, the Salomon S-Lab Advanced Skin Racing Vest, it’s a lighter and smaller vest. It’s more suited to the longer runners who like to travel as light as possible. The Salomon does have larger pockets, but you’re adding more weight so it’s a trade-off between storage, or size and weight,


  • Lots of pockets and storage
  • Lightweight design
  • Breathable material and easy to wash
  • Two water bottles included


  • Pockets are very small
  • Bladder not included

Insider TipsUltimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 Bottles

Although you are spoilt for choice with 8 pockets to store all of your items, the pockets are all very small. In fact, you can’t fit a standard sized smartphone in any of the pockets. See as smartphones are pretty essential to most people while running this has caused a minor problem for some owners. I’ve seen modifications and velcro straps being added to solve this problem, I’m sure you’re resourceful enough to find a way.

Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 Summary

This is clearly one of the best running vests on the market. It’s not just a marketing ploy or putting a name to a product either. I’ve done my research and Scott Jurek really is behind the design of this vest. That’s some seriously good authority in the ultramarathon world and enough for me to put my trust in this product.


The Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 has to be in consideration if you’re looking to purchase a running vest. You can have your snacks, drinks, and other items secured close to hand, it’s lightweight, affordable, and best of all pretty stylish.

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