Cold and refreshing on a scorching desert training run? It’s not a mirage, it’s the FastDraw Extreme. The neoprene band that wraps around the bottle stops the runner’s body from warming up the liquid inside, while protecting their hands from getting ice cold.
- Improved zipper stash compartment for keys, cash or gel
- 7 cm Wide x 12 cm Tall (3 in x 5 in)
- 0.6 L (20 oz) Bottle with Kicker Valve
- Weight – 125 g (4.5 oz)
- Materials – 3D AirMesh, 210D Nylon Dobby, Nylon Mesh
- Neoprene bottle insulation wrap between bottle and hand
- Narrower tension-lock hand strap with reflective webbing
- Retail – $24
Ultimate Direction has been quickly making headway into the running market with well thought out hydration and gear carrying options.
The Fastdraw Extreme Handheld is similar to the other fastbacks by Ultimate Direction except for one key feature. The bottle sits inside a neoprene insulation wrap to keep your liquids cooler. The bottle itself is a 0.6 liter (20 ounce) bottle with Ultimate Direction’s Kicker Valve.
The bottle has little indents on the sides for better grip with your fingers. The kicker valve is a leak-proof design that pulls out when you want liquid and is recessed when you don’t. The “Kicker” part come in when you are finished drinking you just “kick” (push) the valve to the side and it will pop down into the closed position on it’s own. The handheld includes a mostly mesh pocket that is 7 cm wide x 12 cm tall (3 in x 5 in). There is a stretchy mesh hand strap with a narrow webbing strap that is adjustable for holding the bottle. This webbing strap has reflective accents to help it be seen at night or low light situations.
The Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Extreme is easy to carry. The hand strap contours to the back of my hand really well. Better than other handhelds I have tried. I like the adjustable tension strap but have not need to tension it much as the stretchy mesh keeps it tight enough that I do not need to grasp the bottle, it stays in place on it’s own. This is really nice because you can relax your hand a bit and not use any extra energy to hold the bottle.
The pocket is relatively small as you might expect on a handheld bottle. It can adequately hold a smaller phone, keys, or 2 gels depending on the sizes of each. I tend to use it for gels. The bottle itself works well, I liked the little indents in the bottle to help my fingers find a place to hold onto. The kicker valve takes a bit to get used to. I liked it for the most part but had trouble getting enough liquid out. Once I had used it a couple times I got more accustomed to it but still think it limits my drinking a little bit if I am not thinking about it. My wife used it on a recent run and was thoroughly annoyed with it. Not sure if she would give it a second chance or not. I am not completely sold on the kicker valve, time will tell.
Now the best part of this bottle is that it keeps liquids colder. Living in Central Oregon, this is an important feature for me especially in the summer. While I have not put this to the ultimate test yet, so far so good. It has worked as advertised, not warming up from my hand warmth or the air temperature. I like that I can also fill it with ice and my hand won’t freeze either. I will update this after the hot summer if anything changes.
Ultimate Direction has done a good job with this handheld. It is comfortable to run with, not too big or too small, and keeps your liquids cold. The pocket is a little small but if you are running far enough to need to carry a bunch of stuff, they make packs for that.
The kicker valve takes a bit to get used to and I cannot say I love it or hate it. You can always put another bottle in the holder if this is a deal breaker for you. Overall I think this is a solid product that will see plenty of use on shorter runs this summer. I have a couple running packs for my longer runs and will include reviews for those shortly. As always, your mileage may vary.
- Keeps liquids cold
- Small Pocket
- Kicker Valve takes time to get used to