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August 15, 2013 Comments (2) Gear Reviews, Training

Review: Ultimate Direction’s Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest

picture of matt williams climbing to the top of kings peak utah

Several of TAUR’s ultra running testers used and abused Ultimate Direction’s latest pack, the Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest from their new Signature Series line. This pack is built for ultra and adventure runners who need the extra space for spending hours on the trail or bushwhacking through varied terrain and temperatures.

The Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest offers a whopping 12L of packable space in the rear, bottle holsters that will carry up to 26 oz bottles up front, trekking pole and ice axe loops, and extra pockets for nutrition, electrolyte pills, cell phones, and a GPS, making this vest fully UTMB compliant or ready for an adventure as wild as your imagination.

TAUR testers really put the Ultimate Direction PB vest through it’s paces.  It was used in a 100 mile endurance race, went rim-to-rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon, and saw the top of the highest mountain in Utah.  The bomber Cuben Fiber – the same material America’s Cup sails are made from – proved to be both extremely light weight, durable and water proof.  In every aspect this vest stood up to everything our testers put it through.

We broke the vest down into several categories and asked our testers to respond via a survey.  Each category was rated from 1 to 5 with 5 being the best possible score. An overall rating will be provided at the end of the review.  We’d love to hear your personal experiences and feedback in our comments section.  Please feel free to share. 16427707

Overall Fit and Comfort: 4.0

What we liked:

“The pack is designed to be lightweight. The fabrics are strong and sturdy. The shoulder straps are wide so weight is distributed over a larger area.”

“On an 8 hour adventure run I never felt like I wanted to tear it off my back.”

Not so much:

“Due to its features and size, it is noticeably warmer than other packs on a hot day.”

Ability to Fit to the Body: 3.4

What we liked:

“Love the chest straps.  Like the easy click buckles and that you can move the straps up and down. The side, top and rear compression took some testing but once you learn what all the various pulls do you can make quick adjustments.”

“Like other Ultimate Direction equipment, the straps are easy to adjust for fit.”

Not so much:

“With the bottles full and up front I had a hard time keeping the bottom strap low – the bouncing of the bottles would gradually slide that strap up the rails. That lower strap really helps stabilize the weight of the bottles, so when it would ride up things would start to bounce even more.  At one point, about 6 to 7 hours into the run I pulled down on the strap to slide it back down and boink! the clip popped off the rail.”

*Editors Note: We talked with UD and found that the chest strap coming off of the rails is extremely rare.  As nothing actually ‘broke’, we were able to re-attach the strap without further issues. UD has committed to replacing any vests in the event this happens to other users. User Tip: When adjusting the straps down, make sure they are loose when moving and then pull them tight when they are at the desired location. 

Overall Available Space: 4.8

What we liked:
“This thing has space for days. I think I’m still finding pockets.”
“All pockets (with the obvious exception of the very rear pockets) were easily accessible while wearing the pack. Either of the two shoulder pockets easily fit my iPhone, and would be great for a GPS tracker or any other items you want close at hand.”
“Wow.  One of the best for stashing gear I have ever used.  A real camel of a pack.  Not only can it carry tons but efficiently and lightly.”
Not so much:
“I had a hard time fitting in a standard Android style smart phone into the designated phone pocket.”

PB Vest

Overall Comfort: 4.2

What we liked:
“This pack has so many storage options and lots of cinch straps, so whether it’s totally full, or just carrying a jacket, you can customize the fit so that it feels just right.”
“The best made to carry gear.  I didn’t charge down a hill with it, but could feel everything in the back settle in smoothly.”
Not so much:
“I had difficulty using the front bottle pockets. With full bottles, I experienced bouncing and sloshing across my chest. I had a problem with one zipper… it broke while trying to cram too much into the pack. I think the zippers could be beefed up a bit.”

Sizing: 4.0

What we liked:

“I think of myself as a medium person and the medium/large worked very well.”

“Sizing seemed close if not a little generous.  I’m 6’1, 190 lbs, and the medium/large seemed to fit well (I don’t wear medium in very many things).”

Not so much:
“I would like a slightly slimmer fit.”

PB Front View

Access to Pockets & Features on the Run: 4.8

What we liked:

“Amazing. Did a scavenger hunt with it on.  People found tons of accessible places to stash stuff.”

“Very each access to the pockets.  My only challenge is remembering what I put in which pocket.”

Not so much:

“Pay attention to what you put in the handy extra hip pocket that’s behind the zippered pocket – there is not a lot of padding – you will feel whatever you put in there – so plan and adjust accordingly.”

 

Overall Rating: 4.2

 

TAUR Tester Overall Comments:

“Overall this is a great all around pack, and certainly my favorite from the signature series.  With the generous space and overall accessibility, it makes a very good option for an adventure hike or run where you will want to carry AND ACCESS more stuff. “

“This pack is very well thought out and is packed with lots of features and tons of space. Pockets were easily accessible while wearing the pack.”

Suggested Improvements:

“I would love it if the back had some clip strips that go OVER the bungee wrap so I could strap even more to the back. I also wish the pack would sit a little lower on my ribs (more around my love handles) and not up so high.”

“I’d change the little pockets under the bottle holders and make them slightly bigger and rotate them for vertical access.”

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Ultimate Direction’s Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest

For a more personal review of the Ultimate Direction Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest visit Lara’s personal blog.

You can purchase your PB vest from your local retailer or directly from Ultimate Direction.

2 Responses to Review: Ultimate Direction’s Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest

  1. […] Review: Ultimate Direction's Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest |Trail … http://trailandultrarunning.com/Several of TAUR's ultra running testers used and abused Ultimate Direction's latest pack, the Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest from their new Signature Series line. This pack is built for ultra and adventure runners who need the … […]

  2. […] Review: Ultimate Direction's Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest |Trail … http://trailandultrarunning.com/Several of TAUR's ultra running testers used and abused Ultimate Direction's latest pack, the Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest from their new Signature Series line. This pack is built for ultra and adventure runners who need the … […]

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