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Reviewing UltrAspire: Element Waist Pack and Momentum 2.0 Vest
By Bach Pham

UltrAspire is a unique company that focuses on hydration tools, belts, lighting, and tools for athletes to perform their best. Founded by Bryce Thatcher, his interest in athlete tools started at an early age back in 1979 when he decided to take it on himself to sew his own pack for his hydration needs. This interest became the innovative space that is UltrAspire, where many industry innovations all runners have today spawned from experimental work out of Thatcher's team. Today we're taking a look at two of their latest products, the Element Waist Pack and Momentum Vest.

Element Waist Pack
Price: $32.95

Bach Pham, Content Manager: I'm not at all a stranger to UltrAspire. I've used their original fitted waist belt for over three years and loved how it tightly sat to my body and contained my phone and keys with a very easy-access top pocket. Knowing how much I loved that, I was excited to try the Element to see what modern changes this model had.

The Element Waist Pack comes with three main pockets: a spacious middle pocket which fits just about any sized phone or one of the brand's 500ml soft flask, another zippered pocket to the left which is perfect for keys and a card, and an open mesh pocket which fits gels.

The whole thing uses a hook system to wear - different from the fitted which you wear from the ground up like pants. The first thing I noticed with the Element is that this is a big pack. Completely opened, it just covers my front side from waist to over belly which is a very different sensation. If you are looking for a belt that fits the largest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc, this is the pack for you. Due to it being a larger pocket, when just carrying a couple of items it is quite a lot of space for the phone to flop around. I ultimately had to fold the band over on the run which greatly improved things, but isn't necessarily ideal either. For faster efforts this was sometimes noticeable. Tightening it down helps, but it would realistically not be my choice for a faster race day like a 5-10k. What it is good for, however, is long mileage where you also want to carry a 500ml flask. The flask fits well in the belt with a phone included and provides those seeking modest hydration an alternative to a race vest. I found it best to turn the belt so the hydration sits behind on the run, leaving your body a bit more freedom. This also reduced bouncing just filling it to capacity.

I found the Element to be very breathable. The phone pocket has some sweat proof lining that helped keep my phone dry during the hot summer running. It also became very comfortable over my runs (tested over nearly two months) to the point where I forgot I had the belt on after coming home and doing errands. 

The Element Waist Pack stands out as a unique belt that has greater capacity than any belt I've tried prior for runners who want a nice long run belt with hydration, good storage, and a fairly affordable price point compared to a race vest.

Pros: Ample storage for a 500ml bottle, phone, gels, and more. Comfortable fit
Cons: Large size causes some bounce and requires some unique adjustments

Shop: $32.95 at Running Warehouse

UltrAspire Momentum 2.0 Hydration Vest
Price: $94.95

Bach Pham, Content Manager: The UltrAspire Momentum 2.0 Hydration Vest is a lightweight running vest built to take up to four (four!) 550 ml soft flasks on the run (the flasks are sold separately, though you can use your own as well OR visit directly the UltrAspire site for a combo pack with two flasks). There are all sort of interesting pockets in the vest. There are two front flasks pockets along with two in the back. Above the right flask pocket is a magnetic pocket perfect for keys and small objects. There's also a mesh pocket that is good for gels on the left hand side. All of the hydration pockets are very easy to access on the run. The soft flasks from UltrAspire are quite large, but easy to drink out of and put away while moving.

The vest itself uses two bungie cords to strap across the chest. They are very easy to adjust to your liking, whether you want a tighter fit for race day or looser fit for easy long runs. There is a great deal of open mesh all-around which made it feel very breathable. The vest itself is quite light and doesn't feel like it weighs you down. I had no issues on my two long runs in the vest and other shorter efforts.

The hydration pockets feature two standard pockets in the front and two holster pockets on the back. The back pockets were my preferred hydration pockets, allowing the bottles to sit away from your body and give you some freedom of movement. They can be tricky to access, taking a bit of practice, but once I got used to it I really preferred it over the front pockets - which were fine and secure, but removed my all-important phone pocket. If you have a mini iPhone or small phone, the upper pocket may be enough to suit your needs, but for a regular iPhone or larger, if you want quick access you really need one of the large front pockets, which means moving hydration back.

Alternatively, behind the best is a zipper pocket that fits a regular iPhone. If you aren't someone who needs access to their phone on the run but wants it, the back pocket is likely fine, but it is very hard to reach otherwise. I also had to lower sensitivity so my back wouldn't turn the phone on and mess with the volume function. My favorite set-up was putting hydration in the back pockets with the iPhone in one of the large front pockets.

Overall, if you want a light, breathable vest with the ability to carry a large quantity of hydration (up to 2000+ ml), this is a killer option to consider. I liked that it didn't have a lot of bells and whistles, or long cords that got in the way like some vests I've tested before.

Pros: Great hydration pockets and good breathability for long efforts in the heat
Cons: A unique ask, but would love to have more detailed instructions on how UltrAspire organized the pack and examples of usage for consumers. Seeing different configurations would be helpful to better understanding the design elements and how to maximize its use

Shop: $94.95 at Running Warehouse



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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Ultraspire for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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