a Cross Country Rider
from Kamishii, Japan
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2004
Strengths: I must admit that I have been using Ultimate Directions packs for over 7 years now having gone from the waist pouch to the large packs for hiking, and several models in between. I have LOVED every pack I have bought due to their feel on the back, the way the weight is distributed and how they hold everything.
Even filled to the brim with 2L of water and tons of gear, you really don't feel the weight at all.
Weaknesses: All of my zippers on my tailwind have "gummed up", and frozen and are no longer movable. This frustrates me because otherwise the pack is fantastic.
The modifications to the valves was poor. The best valves were the old ones. The new ones that look like a snake's jaw, you need jaws of steel to bite and hold down, then suck.
Wish the tubes were a bit longer because the pack sits down at the waist and not up on the shoulders like other packs.
Ultimate is fantastic. I just wish I could get my zippers to work.
Bike Setup: aluminum, cromoly, carbon/aluminum full sus. front sus on all, moxey and thudbuster seat posts.
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2004
Strengths: The multitude of adjustments and sliding shoulder straps (excellent idea!) allows it to just fit great.
Weaknesses: Not a weakness - just observation: it's a bit big and heavy for casual 1/2 day or even full day rides - have a lighter "minimalist" pack for that. But when I need the space for extra water or clothing, it's perfect.
Expensive. But you do get what you pay for with Ultimate Direction.
I've had mine since 1996!!! I am a professional guide, and have used this on numerous LONG (100ft+) rock climbs and hundreds (yes) of hikes while guiding. I've experimented with several different bladders over the years, but the pack itself is so sweet. Rides low if you want it to. Just killer.
Did wear a hole in the bottom on it's maiden journey back in 1996, vie very sharp granite, but patched it with ThermaRest patch and it's been fine since.
It will hold to large bladders for thos LONNNG days in the desert.
a Cross Country Rider
from Scottsdale, AZ / Lenexa, KS
Date Reviewed: September 6, 2002
Strengths: I wouldn't use another hydration pack. This pack sits securely on your waist, and is stabalized by the shoulder harness, which is designed to (and does!) allow you to pivot and move as though the pack wasn't there. Rarely have I felt so passionate about the superiority of a product.
Weaknesses: I guess if I had to come up with something, I really don't like the drinking valve on my bladder. This is irrelevent, though, because my pack is over 5 years old, and they now offer a newer valve design (with which I have no experience). Absolutely no other weaknesses!
Buy an Ultimate Directions. They can be had for a lot less than I (over)paid 5 years ago, but then, they were hard to find then, too. Anyway, I really think you'll like it. It's so, so different from everything else on the market. It's built on a completely different premise. They are completely adjustable (straps, torso length, hip belt, sternum strap, etc.) and it has all the engineering of something you'd take on a backpacking trip up Everest. But it's designed for the bike commute trip you make to work. I strongly endorse it. Oh yea - the build quality on mine is great, too. I've heard they were bought by Sierra Designs, so I hope this hasn't changed.
Purchased At: Some now-defunct yuppie outdoors store
Similar Products Used: I've used a Camelbak Mule, and another, larger Camelbak (I don't recall the name). I used these offerings over 5 years ago, before buying my Ultimate Directions packs, and while Camelbak may have improved their product, it still won't compete until they *completely* redesign, such that the weight is down low, on your hips (like the Ultimate Directions), not up high, on your shoulders. Seriously, I would still use Ultimate Directions packs, even if Camelbaks (and the other brands) were free. Seriously. (And I'm not gettting paid to say this).
Bike Setup: It's a Diamondback full suspension, not that it has to do with anything.
a Cross-Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 29, 1999
Strengths: See below
Weaknesses: See below
If you (1) would rather carry weight on your hips than your shoulders (2) do all day or over-nighter rides, and (3) like to carry alot of stuff, including water- then you should look into this pack. It is a multi-purpose pack, designed primarily for the minimalist overnight packer. It is also a great all-day or overnight mountain bike hydropack. You can carry an incredible amount of water (I add a platypus for desert rides), clothing, tools, etc,. and not feel loaded down, as most of the weight is on the waist, not your shoulders. I also have a Camelback Mule, but you can't carry as much water or other stuff, and it is uncomfortably heavy on my shoulders when fully loaded. Ultimate Direction did a great job designing this..............
Not in the Face
a weekend warrior
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: February 16, 1999
I bought the Tailwind after researching several products from Blackburn, Camelbak, and Platypus. I chose the tailwind based on large storage capacity (1000 ci) and fluid capacity (2.5 L.) When I received the bag it looks more like a backpack company decided to add hydration rather than a hydration company adding storage. The result is a bag that has a great padded waist belt that supports all of the weight, and a hydration bag with a large opening but not the hassle of a zip-loc style top. The feeder tube and valve are huge compared to most others and it has a lifetime warranty with great turn around time. I am very pleased with this bag and recommend it to anyone looking for a bag with lots of rooms yet feels like only a small waist pack when wearing.
Anyone else try it yet? This stuff is really good, sort of like Heed but with electrolytes. Really cool that it is made right here in Durango, CO. :thumbsup:
Even cooler to see that Jeff is now sponsoring this forum. I know that Cat Morrison and Lynda Wallenfells both used the stuff to comple ... Read More »
Discovery Channel Cycling Team Disbands
By JIM VERTUNO, AP Sports Writer
Friday, August 10, 2007
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