The Camelbak Ultra Pro vest is truly Camelbak’s first running specific vest that can compete with the industry leaders in the hydration space. With years of experience in the biking and hiking industries, Camelbak has struggled to truly develop and deliver a quality running vest. The Ultra Pro pushes Camelbak to the forefront of innovation, comfort, and durability.
Developed for longer distances, the Ultra Pro offers plenty of pockets (up front, side, and rear), lightweight materials, and a clear focus on comfort. The zip pocket in front holds a standard iPhone or Samsung phone (does not fit + sized phones), along with two smaller pockets for electrolytes or lip balm. The large front pockets hold two included Camelbak specific soft flasks. It will take a reservoir in the back (not included), but without any type of rear compression, the water in a reservoir may have a tendency to slosh around. Overall, there is plenty of room for a long, full day in the mountains.
Fit – 4.0
The Camelbak fit incredibly well on a variety of men. There are small things about this vest that appear to be standard but are actually not. The front clasps seem like an old way to make a vest, but it works really well. The straps don’t slip and are very comfortable. The vest shoulder area is also very comfortable and easy to wear.
Unfortunately, as a unisex vest, it was not made with the female body in mind. The small felt too large in the shoulder and chest area. When the vest was holding max capacity, the chest fit more comfortably but there were some definite gaps in the shoulders. One female tester noted that it didn’t affect the overall feel or movement of the vest but did cause some initial getting used to.
Performance – 4.0
The vest had easy access to the side and front pockets, allowing the necessary space to hold everything you would need to grab on the go. To access the back pocket, it does require removing the pack.
Storage Capacity – 4.0
The Camelbak Ultra Pro Vest holds a decent amount of water and supplies. This is a great race vest or one-day adventure vest. You can fit plenty of food, water, and protective clothing. One of the testers ran the Zion Traverse (~50 miles) unsupported, using this vest.
Stability – 4.0
Testers had mixed feelings in this area. Some felt that nothing bounced with the Ultra Pro vest. They did suggest you have to pull the chest straps tight, but once you do that it is very comfortable with little movement. Others noted that if it wasn’t filled to capacity, it would slosh around, even when tightened completely. The Ultra Pro only offers two adjustable front straps (no top or side adjusters), so make sure you get the right size so that you can maximize the fit.
Durability – 5.0
The vest has held up very well, even the pre-production models. With several testers using the vest heavily for over a year, there have been no notable concerns or signs of wear and tear.
Appearance – 4.0
Black isn’t our favorite vest color but offers a lot of versatility for both men and women. Testers were pleased with the design.
Overall – 4.5
We’ve used this vest for everything from 6-mile training runs to 12+ hours in the backcountry. It seems to do well with all of your needs. Our testers have tried and owned many vests from many different brands, and the Camelbak Ultra Pro is an absolute favorite.