Ultimate Direction FastDraw Plus Bottle

Overall
This bottle is not the most popular handheld for recreational runners since Nathan, Camelbak and Amphipod handhelds dominate the retail market. In fact, I would argue that it is more used by ultra runners than any other group. It is easily recognizable by the red kicker valve and this bottle for most people is a love/hate relationship.

Specs
BPA-free
20oz. /0.6L Bottle with Kicker Valve
Weight 4.0 oz
3D AirMesh, 210 D Nylon Dobby, Nylon Mesh
Sleeve with zippered pocket (mesh)

Testing
I have used the bottle in different scenarios including the BHS50 Run. The bottle is standard among the UD products and I used it in the UNO waist pack (review coming). To be honest the first time I used this bottle I hated it. I purchased the 26 oz version and used it with a handheld pouch and simply could not get it to work. I was probably being too ambitious with the larger bottle and that probably soured me on them for a while.

I eventually purchased two because I wanted something smaller than my Camelbak’s that could be more stable on the trails. Therefore, I have used this bottle mainly on trail runs. I prefer the Camelbak Handheld for road since I am not shifting and weaving as much and I carry a little bit more water and the Podium Bottle does a better job of staying colder for longer than the UD. The UD bottle is great on the trails and significantly more stable and lighter than the Camelbak. The bottle itself had indents for your fingers to more easily grip the bottle. The grip and its size allow a more balanced feel.

This bottle has been my go to when I want to conserve H2o; let me explain. The kicker valve allows you with a little practice to control how much water you take in. Other bottles tend to be one or the other. You get the benefit of one handedness and little flow control or you need two hands to operate. The kicker valve allows you a little of both worlds.

The valve also when “kicked” will not spill which is the reason I do not use the Camelbak on Trails. On trails the full Camelbak will squirt water if I grip it too tightly. I am definitely not trying to think about my hand-to-bottle pressure while jumping over rocks and avoiding missteps. I also have used this bottle in combination with a pack as a combo, charm.

Normal trial conditions mean taking in 26-28 oz of water so this bottle may stretch you if it is all you have for over an hour. That being said it is very easy to re-fill if you have a pit stop and very easy to conserve if you can delay or minimize your water consumption (not recommended but in a pinch do what you gotta do). As with most bottles doing a combo nutrition system can benefit you for longer runs, i.e. Hammer Heed or GU Brew or some other electrolyte/caloric nutrition in the first bottle then gels from the pocket after a refill will work. Pocket opens to the side so be careful your key’s don’t fall out.

Warning
The pocket does not fit your Blackberry or iPhone and if it does fit “your” phone there is not much space for anything else. If you are of the brave class who put electronics in handhelds please cover them with a zip-lock, sweat will mess with your stuff. I put three gels in the picture above and they were crammed in there.  there is also no hook for keys so careful with anything in that hand pocket.

Conclusion
Get this handheld if you are looking for a wallet friendly workhorse. This bottle is great by itself or if you are using it with a pack. If you absolutely positively must have the coldest water possible from a handheld after running roads for an hour get the Camelbak. But if you are a trail junkie get the UD, there is a reason you see Ultra runners (winners) with this tied to their hands.  The design is simple and why mess with a good thing.


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