I needed a new long-distance pack and decided on the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30. I like my other packs, but I wanted something I could use on long hikes. I have several packs, but nothing that can bring enough supplies for a 10-hour walk. To my surprise, the package arrived the day before my 18.5-mile hike up San Gorgonio.
I am no stranger to Ultimate Direction and have reviewed a few different pieces:
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 for apparel and hydration.
About the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 Pack:
What makes the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 different? It’s actually women’s specific. It’s designed so you can move fast throughout the back trails but it is designed to fit like a vest, and you can store water bottles and distribute weight in the back.
Features of the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30:
- The largest front storage area can be used for food, water, maps
- Roll-top closure expands or compresses
- Large external stretch mesh
- Large padded back piece
- Removable and height-adjustable T-hook waistbelt
- Large exterior stretch mesh pockets for quick access
- Monrovia Mesh is strong but durable
- Two large side pockets for larger water bottles
Very few, if any, brands make women’s specific packs. Hopefully, it becomes more prevalent because men and women’s bodies are different! We know that women’s distinctive running shoes are becoming “a thing.”
The Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 has the standard pockets that I appreciate from Ultimate Direction. There is a front chest area where you can add bottles, a large breast pocket for a phone, and the bigger entire back of the pack to store everything else. Additional bags are spread throughout the pack so you can compartmentalize your food, drinks, maps, and whatever else you need.
I was surprised it didn’t come with a bladder to hold water. It seemed like it should come with something…anything…bottles or flasks that fit right in. They are easy to purchase, but they did feel missing. Especially because many people might just choose a different brand to use in their Ultimate Direction pack.
Easily missed, the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 has a large mesh area on the back that is great for storing layers or things you want to dry out. When hiking up Mount San Gorgonio, I saw temperatures between 21-70, so it was nice to be able to stuff layers in it when they weren’t needed.
The Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 is made from durable and water-repellent material. Ultimate Direction Fastpacks, in general, are known for dry bag approaches. While they will not stay scorched in torrential downpours for hours, they will stay dryer longer. The straps also allow you to synch it down to just a 12L bag.
Two rubberized and waterproofing pockets are also perfect for keeping things that need to stay dry, like electrical items.
There are also daisy chain loops which means you can attach more bags or other things to the outside if you need more.
Finally, there is a large padded back piece. I found this kept the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 comfortable, but it did get hot quickly. I was glad it was there to keep me comfortable. Just something to be mindful of, if you sweat.
The fit of the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 is probably one of the most important parts of the pack. Plus, the women’s specific component is what really sets the pack apart from other packs.
What exactly makes the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 a women’s specific fit? The back “footprint” is narrower and has an upside-down pyramid shape. The straps are much smaller than other Fastpack bags. I do wish they were wider or more secure. They are fine, and I don’t worry about them moving or not keeping the pack in place, but they just feel too thin.
There are two sizes: s/m and l. I found the small to fit fine. I do wish the straps were slightly larger, but other than that, it fits well. Moving around in the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 feels fine, and I can comfortably hike quickly. I think it’s a little too big for what I usually run in, but that’s fine. I likely don’t need that big of a pack for running.
It’s pretty inexpensive as far as large packs go. I still find it strange that it’s missing a bladder or anything to hold water.
Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 Conclusion:
This is the first of hopefully many different female packs out there. While I believe a few things could be fixed, including broader and more sturdy straps, the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30 is a great pack, and I’ll continue to use it for my longest hikes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Ultimate Direction Fastpackher 30?
What is your favorite hiking pack?