Ultimate Direction Apparel Review

Ultimate Direction Apparel Review

Recently I tried some Ultimate Direction Apparel. I knew Ultimate Direction from their hydration line, so I was excited to try some gear. I am always looking for good running gear.

Ultimate Direction Apparel Review

About Ultimate Direction:

Ultimate Direction was created by outdoor enthusiasts who invented the hydration pack in 1985. For 30 years, they have redefined the industry through product designs that improve performance and enjoyment for self-propelled adventurers of all levels. They work directly with athletes to test and develop products. I love this. There are so many reasons and different needs with apparel and hydration.

About Ultimate Direction Apparel:

In 2019, Ultimate Direction Apparel was born. They launched Hydro Carry apparel that securely built water bottle storage into their design, providing a more comfortable way to carry the essentials. In 2021, they launched men’s and women’s specific designs and have only improved from there.

My Experience with Ultimate Direction Apparel:

Women’s Ventro Jacket:

Price: $199.99


  • Shell: 100% polyester
  • Liner: Perforated polyester woven

According to Ultimate Direction, the Ultimate Direction Ventro Jacket is designed to have the highest warmth-to-breathability ratio using award-winning Clo Eco Vivo insulation- a breathable liner and perforated materials in high-sweat areas. It also has built-in and stowable Flip Mitts.

me running

What makes the Ultimate Direction Ventro Jacket Different than “other jackets”?

  • Breathable insulation, liner, and face fabric are designed to increase breathability by 30% without sacrificing warmth.
  • Made with 90% recycled fibers
  • Perforated back panel and underarm panels provide ventilation but also has wind protection.
  • Stowable Flip Mitts™ to protect hands

This all sounds great, but do we need another $200 jacket? Is Ultimate Direction Apparel that good? The answer is Ultimate Direction Ventro Jacket is one of the warmest and most breathable jackets I own. I was shocked at how wonderful it was. I first used it on a trip to Mammoth Lakes and kept warm the entire time. As someone who hates being cold, it performed well in temperatures to the single digits. I am a big fan and have used it for running, hiking, nordic skiing, and just living life. I appreciate how breathable it is and how it can protect in windy conditions.

Sizing: I am 5’8 and weigh 130 pounds, and the size small fits well. I’ve found the Ultimate Direction Apparel to fit true to size.

Ultimate Direction Apparel Review

Hydro Tight:

Price: $129

Materials: 85% poly, 15% spandex 315g knit

The Hydro Tight is designed as one of the Ultimate Direction Apparel key pieces and to be the “comfort of a compression tight with the storage or a running belt.” It uses patent-pending built-in storage for water bottles and essentials, but the water bottles never bounce. To be honest, I was unsure if this would “actually work” and if the water bottles would stay put. At first, I found the Hydro Tight super challenging to even put on!

Ultimate Direction Apparel Review

What makes Ultimate Direction Hydro Tights Different?

  • Water bottles fit into secure bottle pockets for bounce-free storage and won’t ride up.
  • Includes two 300 bottles for a total capacity of 600ml
  • Center back pocket fits extra items such as keys, phone, gels
  • Two thigh pockets capable of holding up to an iPhone 11
  • Hidden, waist adjuster and two-way stretch mesh provide stability and comfort

So does it work? Do the water bottles stay put in the Ultimate Direction Hydro Tight? 

I’m happy to report I’ve run several times in the Ultimate Direction Hydro Tight with no bounce issue. I like that I can go hands-free without worrying about having hydration. It’s probably one of my pairs of running and hiking pants that I own. Plus, the fabric is breathable. It makes a good hiking pant or a good winter running tight.

$129 is neither the most expensive nor inexpensive quality pants. In fact, many brands of regular compression legging start at $99, so an extra $30 to hold all of your gear is not bad.

Sizing: I am 5’8, weigh 130 pounds, and wear a small size. I running pants I wear between a size XS and small and found the small in Ultimate Direction Apparel to be a better fit where I could cinch down the pants, so nothing moved around. I found the Hydro Pants difficult to put on, but I realized it was a lot easier if you took out the water bottles beforehand.

Using the water bottles: The bottles sit nicely in the pants and don’t move at all. They are easy to grab and tuck back in. As mentioned, I found the pants challenging to put on, but once I removed the bottles and tried again, they were much easier. Ultimate Direction is known for its hydration, and its bottles are easy to carry and use while running.

Ultimate Direction Apparel Review

Ultimate Direction Apparel Conclusion:

While Ultimate Direction Apparel is not the cheapest product out there, I can say it’s extremely high quality, and everything works as intended. The jacket is definitely one of my favorite pieces of new running gear I’ve tried to date. The Ultimate Direction Hydro Pant is equally awesome and would be a staple for me if I was frequently training for long-distance events. I use them a lot for hiking.

You can purchase Ultimate Direction Apparel here and see all Gear Review here.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Ultimate Direction Apparel?

What is your favorite way to hold hydration?