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Friday, August 3, 2007

Product Review: Ultimate Direction FastDraw


The summer heat is increasing the need to bring along water or a sports drink when you are exercising outdoors. If you are going to be exercising for an hour or less, plain water is what your body needs. If you are outside for longer than 1 hour, consider the use of a sports drink to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates. Either way, you are going to need something in which to carry your fluids. You can certainly carry a bottle of water, but for me, the FastDraw is a cheap option that lets me carry my water without tiring out my hands from gripping the bottle.

I've owned all types of hydration systems: hydration pack systems (camelbaks), fanny pack/bottle holder systems, and hand held bottle straps, like the FastDraw. Depending on how much water I need to carry, I go with the FastDraw as a first choice, and if I need to carry more water, I'll add a fanny pack that can hold an additional bottle. I like the convenience of having the bottle in my hand, and I tend to drink more because of it. When I finish the bottle in the hand strap, I switch it out with the bottle in my fanny pack. Works great for me.

Things I like about the FastDraw:

  • The water bottle that comes with the FastDraw has a cool "kicker" valve that is very easy to open and close.
  • Most standard size water bottles fit the strap.
  • If you trip and fall, not that I ever do or anything, a hand held water bottle can protect your hands and wrists. You might destroy the bottle (see below), but that's a much easier problem to solve than fixing a broken hand or wrist.

Think I don't like about the FastDraw:

  • The bottle that I got with the FastDraw started to leak so badly between the bottle and the cap that I had to toss it. Granted, I took a nasty spill out on the trail and mashed it on a big rock, but I expected it to still be usable. It wasn't. Maybe I'm asking too much.
  • The version that I own only has a very small pouch. I wish I had sprung for one of the versions with more space to put things. I would like to have enough room to put a gel and maybe a tiny first aid kit. As it stands, I can only put in a key, which is not quite big enough.

Despite the fact that I'm a bit irked about the bottle leaking, I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I looked at all other options and I still feel it was the best choice for "on the move" hydration.