For months now, I’ve been trying to find the perfect solution to my hydration needs when out on long runs, or on runs where water is not accessible. My product of choice has always been anything made by Ultimate Direction, from their hand-held bottle carries, to their backpack hydration systems. I’ve had great success with all of them, and will continue to use them; however, I have found my favorite Ultimate Direction product by far, the Access Gel waistpack.
Please check out the Ultimate Direction website for their vast array of product offerings and product descriptions: www.ultimatedirection.com.
When I first received my Access Gel waistpack, I was hesitant to try it due to the sheer size of the pack. I thought it was big with it provided 26 oz. bottle with the Kicker Valve (please see my review on the Ultimate Direction bottle with the kicker valve here: https://running4themasses.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/ultimate-direction-fastdraw-plus-review/
My hesitation turned into a myth. This waistpack, in my opinion, might just be the best one on the market, period!!!
Again, the waistpack comes complete with the 26 oz. bottle, housed in a very accessible holder section on the waistpack itself. Also, provided with the Access Gel is just that, a 4 oz. gel flask, also easily accessible on the waistpack by its own individual holder section. The waistpack itself, is a one-size-fits-all, and is easily adjustable to fit anyone. The storage section of the Access Gel waistpack is incredibly roomy, fitting in all cell phones or MP3 devices, as well as I.D. cards and keys. Spacious in terms of what it can carry.
Check out the Ultimate Direction website for more information and pictures of the Access Gel here: http://www.ultimatedirection.com/p-549-access-gel.aspx?category=waist-packs
On my run with the Access Gel, it was incredible. The Access Gel fit snug right at the small of my back, and to my surprise, did not bounce one bit with the 26 oz. bottle full with water, and the storage area carrying a set of keys and my iPhone. The pack didn’t move. I was shocked and amazed. It made my run only get better and better as it progressed. It was so comfortable, that after a short time, I forgot I was even wearing the Access Gel waistpack.
It was time to hydrate!! It was so simple. The bottle on the Access Gel sits in it housing very snug, yet not so intrusive that you can’t get the bottle in and out while on the move. At the top of the bottle section, Ultimate Direction has provided a small bungee cord that is sewn into the lumbar section of the waistpack (that sits on the small of your back), and this bungee cord lassoes around the bottle top to hold it in place while running. At the bottom of the holder section, Ultimate Directions has provided a velcro section that is adjustable to whatever size bottle you wish to use, making the bottle bottom sit snug in that holder section.
While running, it is so easy to just reach back with one hand, unhook the bottle from the bungee and the holder, get a drink, and put it back into the section with no wasted movement. It was effortless while on the run, and I literally did all of this with one arm/hand. It didn’t hamper my pace, the pack didn’t bog me down with extra weight, and it might have been one of the most enjoyable runs I’ve had it a long time. The storage portion of the pack itself was also very easy to access with a quick zip, grab what was needed, and the same for putting things back, all while on the run.
My run itself was not long enough that I needed to carry extra gel with me; however, I’ve used the Ultimate Direction gel flask before, and it works great like all their other products. I’ve always mixed my gel with a little water in the flask, and it makes it so much easier to my palate while on the run, and it is not messy in any way like taking the gel packets with you, plus, there is no trash to deal with. On the Access Gel, it will be a breeze to re-energize with gel as the holder of the waistpack allows you to get instant access to the gel flask with a quick pull of the flask from its holder, and a quick pushing it back in place.
As usual, I was completely impressed with the workmanship of the Ultimate Direction Access Gel. Their products are second to none, and I’m proud to endorse their products and make them my choice for my hydration needs in my training regiment and race outings.
I want to thank UD for their great service and support, and I look forward to doing more with them in the near future.
Thanks for your time and reading of this review!!!!