In my Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 review, I’ll share my experiences with this remarkable adventure backpack that has left a lasting impression. I’ve had the opportunity to put it through its paces in two distinct and challenging environments, and it has consistently exceeded my expectations. From the unforgiving mountainous terrain of Chamonix, France, to the rugged wilderness of Oregon’s Three Sisters, the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 has proven itself as a reliable companion. In this comprehensive review, I will delve into its features, specifications, highlight both its advantages and drawbacks, and provide you with my key takeaways from using this exceptional backpack.
- The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 combines convenience, comfort, and ample storage for adventure seekers.
- Front water bottle holders and the roll-top closure stand out as exceptional features.
- While some durability concerns exist, they don’t overshadow the pack’s overall performance and versatility.
The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 Review
The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 proved its mettle on two diverse adventures. From the mountainous landscapes of Chamonix, France, where it served as a reliable daypack for my drone and camera gear, to a fastpacking journey in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness, which even included challenging class 3 and 4 scrambles to the summit of Broken Top mountain. This versatile backpack boasts an array of impressive features. Including front water bottle holders, generously-sized side pockets, a zip-down main compartment for easy gear access, and a flexible roll-top closure that adapts to your packing needs.
Among the standout aspects were the convenience of the front water bottle holders, the cavernous storage space, and the comfort provided by the well-padded back, even under heavy loads. The roll-top closure, akin to a dry bag, was a particularly brilliant addition. Allowing the pack to expand for more capacity or compress down for security when less full. While I didn’t personally utilize the full side zipper much, it was reassuring to have as an option.
However, I did encounter a few minor drawbacks. Notably some concerns about durability following my Oregon fastpacking adventure, where I observed more wear than anticipated. Additionally, a small feature like bungee cords to secure the tops of bottles in the front pockets would have been appreciated. As they tended to bounce while running and could even fall out when empty. Nevertheless, these cons are relatively minor, and the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 remains a top-notch choice, deserving of a solid 5-star rating, especially for those seeking a versatile and capable backpack for their outdoor escapades.
Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 Features
- Front Storage: The Fastpack 40 boasts a large front storage area perfect for water bottles, your phone, maps, glasses, or snacks, ensuring quick access to essentials.
- Side Pockets: Two generously sized side pockets can accommodate larger water vessels, so you’ll never run out of hydration options on your journey.
- Unique Zip-Down Compartment: A standout feature is the zip-down main compartment that provides total access to your gear, making organization and retrieval a breeze.
- Roll-Top Closure: The roll-top closure is adaptable, allowing you to expand or compress the pack as needed to secure varying capacities.
- External Mesh Pockets: Large external stretch mesh pockets add extra convenience for quick access items.
- Comfortable Straps: Sliding rail sternum straps and a removable, height-adjustable T-hook waistbelt ensure comfort even with heavier loads.
- Easy Access Pocket: The pack includes an easy access pocket with a keyfob, keeping your small essentials safe and handy.
- Daisy Chains: Daisy chains are included for securing extra gear.
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The Fastpack comes with a generous volume of 2502 cubic inches (41.0 liters) and has dimensions measuring 19.5 inches by 11 inches by 7.75 inches (49.5 x 27.9 x 19.7 cm). It is impressively lightweight at just 1.60 pounds (0.715 kilograms). With a total of 15 exterior pockets, it offers ample storage options. It also features reflectivity for added safety and is compatible with a reservoir for hydration needs. The Fastpack accommodates a wide range of user chest sizes, with the S/M size fitting chests from 25 to 40 inches (64 – 102 cm) and the M/L size suitable for chests ranging from 30 to 48 inches (76 – 122 cm). The primary material used is 100% polyester, ensuring durability and functionality.
- Volume: 2502 in³ / 41.0L
- Dimensions: 19.5″ x 11″ x 7.75″ / 49.5 x 27.9 x 19.7 cm
- Weight: 1.60 lbs. / 0.715 kg
- No. of Exterior Pockets: 15
- Reflectivity: Yes
- Reservoir Compatible: Yes
- User Chest Size (S/M): 25 – 40″ / 64 – 102 cm
- User Chest Size (M/L): 30 – 48″ / 76 – 122 cm
- Primary/Body Material: 100% polyester
The Infiknit™ + Fastflow Fastpack boasts a back panel that merges Infiknit™ seamless harness technology with Fastflow breathability, ensuring a comfortable and chafe-free harness experience. It also offers convenient access with a full side zipper for gear retrieval from any point in the pack. Additionally, the front harness straps come equipped with pockets designed for stashing water bottles, snacks, and a phone, ensuring quick access to essential items. Furthermore, the Fastpack provides a secure trekking pole attachment system for efficient storage when not in use.
- Infiknit™ + Fastflow: The back panel combines Infiknit™ seamless harness technology with Fastflow breathability for a comfortable, anti-chafe harness.
- Full Side Zipper: Easily and quickly access gear anywhere inside the Fastpack with the full, external side zipper.
- Quick Access to Water & Nutrition: The front harness straps feature pockets for storing water bottles, snacks, and your phone for quick access to essentials.
- Trekking Pole Attachment: The Fastpack securely stores trekking poles between uses.
Pros and Cons – Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40
The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 stands out for several outstanding features. Its front water bottle holders provide convenient hydration while on the move, and its ample storage space can sometimes be almost overwhelming. The back padding remains comfortable even when the pack is fully loaded, and the versatile roll-top closure allows for expansion or compression as needed. The full-side external zipper offers easy access to the pack’s contents, a handy feature. While there were some minor downsides, such as durability concerns after a demanding wilderness adventure and a lack of bottle bungees for securing bottles in the front pockets, these drawbacks are relatively minor compared to the pack’s overall performance, making it deserving of a solid 5-star rating.
The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 left a lasting impression with its remarkable features:
- Front Water Bottle Holders: The front water bottle holders are a game-changer, making hydration on the go incredibly convenient.
- Ample Storage: The pack offers an abundance of storage space, almost to the point where you might lose track of your items.
- Comfortable Back Padding: Even when fully loaded, the back padding provides exceptional comfort.
- Versatile Roll-Top Closure: The roll-top closure, similar to a dry bag, is a brilliant addition. It allows the bag to expand for more room or compress down for security when less full.
- Full-Side Zipper: While I didn’t personally use it much, the full-side external zipper offers easy access to anything inside the pack, a handy feature to have.
Although the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 impressed me, there were a few minor downsides:
- Durability Concerns: After a fastpacking adventure in the Three Sisters wilderness of Oregon, I noticed more wear and tear than expected.
- Lack of Bottle Bungies: I wished for bungee cords to secure the tops of the bottles that go into the front pockets. They tend to bounce a bit when running, and I even had one fall out when it was empty.
Overall, the cons are relatively minor, and I wouldn’t hesitate to give this pack a solid 5-star rating.
The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40 is a formidable companion for your outdoor adventures, offering a harmonious blend of functionality, comfort, and innovation. With minor drawbacks that can be easily overlooked. This pack stands as a reliable choice for anyone seeking a versatile and capable backpack for their next adventure. Whether you’re a fastpacker, hiker, or mountaineer, the Fastpack 40 has your back.