Ultimate Direction Highline ReviewAugust 1, 2012
A durable hydration pack with 5L of storage and a 2.8L reservoir designed for trail running or light hiking.
- Ability to carry plenty of water (2.8 liters plus two bottles)
- Storage pockets on hipbelt and shoulder straps
- Backpanel provides solid ventilation
- Difficult to access hydration pocket
- Relatively heavy
A versatile pack with a host of features that will appeal to both trail runners and hikers alike. A bit heavier than similar packs from competitors but an integrated ventilation system and plenty of storage options make this a good option for those looking for a pack that can handle multiple roles.
The Highline has plenty of easy-access storage, a great fit, good ventilation and durable construction. It comfortably carries 96 ounces of water in the included hydration bladder and another 40 in twin water bottles stored in side holsters, while convenient hip and shoulder pockets keep important items very close at hand.
The design of the Highline is excellent as well, giving it a compact shape that conforms to the body without restricting motion. But Ultimate Design made the curious decision of integrating the hydration sleeve inside a zippered pocket located behind the backpanel. Getting the water bladder in and out of that sleeve can be frustrating at times due to this awkward placement and tight fit, although it did become easier with practice.
A bit heavy
The Highline also happens to be a bit on the heavy side when compared to similar options from the competition, but much of that can be attributed to the thicker fabrics used in construction and the ventilation panel that runs along the back. Most other packs in this category don’t offer those same features and while it makes it an overall better pack, this isn’t the ultralight option that some runners are looking for.