Ultimate Direction Ventro Jacket
The Ventro jacket is a versatile lightweight piece for when the temps start to drop. The insulation, liner and face fabric are combined to make this jacket more breathable, while an innovative Clo Eco Vivo insulation combines insulation with dynamic ventilation that claims to increase breathability by 30% without affecting thermoregulation. The insulation has extensive perforations that allow moisture to escape when you sweat, or constrict and trap air to keep you warm when you need it most. Clo Eco Vivo is made of 90% recycled fibers, making it an eco-friendly material compared to traditional insulation products.
Strategically placed holes under the arms help with ventilation when your internal temperature rises, side stretch panels increase mobility and front panels provide wind resistance. We wore the jacket comfortably in temps ranging from 10-50 degrees, depending on base layers, with our anecdotal sweet spot between 20-40 degrees.
Aside from warmth, the Ventro has some great bonus features for those extra-cold runs. Stowable Flip Mitts are attached to the sleeves and stash into the top of the cuff when not in use. It still feels like a jacket sleeve and does not seem to interfere with a GPS watch. One minor drawback for this minimal bulk is that the volume of the mitts isn’t outstanding, and it’s difficult to fully extend fingers when in use. The insulated hood provides nice warmth on top, and large dual zip pockets are roomy for any extra gear needing to be carried on the run. Fit through the torso is comfortable and minimally tailored to the body, making for a sleek look without extra bulk.
Ultimate Direction Hydro Tight
The Hydro tight combines traditional lightweight compression tights with a hydration belt, and adds extra storage areas for good measure. Two 300ml Flexform II bottles are included with the pants and fit in two pockets in the back. A hidden waist strap sits fairly high, and allows you to adjust the tights as needed so the bottles do not move – it’s like a combination of drawstring and waist belt, without the bulk of a traditional hydration belt. A lightweight feel becomes almost undetectable once tightened. We found the need to adjust the belt tightness between technical and smoother terrain to secure the fit, but we were impressed with how the bottles remained stable in a variety of situations including fast pickups and steep downhills. If there’s no need for hydration, the tights can also be used without the bottles and it doesn’t impact the fit.
The general feel of the Hydro tight is comfortable with uniform compression. Poly-spandex blended fabric with two-way stretch mesh make these tights light and breathable, without noticeable restriction in range of motion and also provide great warmth. There are two large thigh pockets (large enough to hold an iPhone 12 without any bounce), which are mesh without a moisture barrier, but they are positioned on an area of the thigh that doesn’t absorb a lot of sweat. A center storage pocket in back can hold smaller items like gels, and a hidden front waistband pocket is perfect for a key.
The Ultimate Direction Ventro Jacket and Hydro Tights are available in men’s and women’s versions at www.ultimatedirection.com.
Basic summary: Two new winter pieces from Ultimate Direction designed for cold weather comfort and functionality. The Ventro Jacket is a midweight shell with stowable mitts and an insulated hood for extra warmth.
The Hydro Tight combines a compression tight with built-in waistband pockets to hold two 300ml Flexform bottles which are included, plus additional pockets to help stash gear on cold weather runs.
Specs and Features:
- Weight: 11.9 oz (men’s)/10 oz (women’s)
- Clo Eco Vivo insulation made with 90% recycled plastics
- Semi-fitted torso
- Perforated back and underarm panels
- Stowable flip mitts
- Insulated hood
- Dual hand pockets
- MSRP $200
- Weight: 7.2 oz (women’s)/9.7 oz (men’s)
- 28” inseam (unisex measurement)
- Compression fit with two-way stretch mesh
- Two rear flank pockets for Flexform bottle storage
- Two Custom Flexform II 300ml bottles included
- 2 thigh pockets large enough for iPhone 11/12
- Center back pocket for small items
- Small key pouch on inside front waistband
- Hidden waist adjustor
- MSRP $130