This spring(2013) the Scott Jurek Signature Series from Ultimate Direction will expand its offerings beyond the wildly popular SJ Ultra Vest. Reviewed here are 3 of those items:
The SJ Grip
The SJ Essential Waist Pack
The SJ Endure Waist Pack
It’s difficult to wax too eloquently about a simple handheld water bottle but this SJ Series bottle comes with a strap that I think will eliminate the issue of strap loosening as you run, forcing you to either grip the bottle tightly or constantly re-tighten the strap. It accomplishes this with an adjustable Velcro strap that pulls down over a plastic piece near the bottle’s neck. Once adjusted to your hand, the only way I can see it slipping is the Velcro wearing out, which shouldn’t happen for a long time. Plus, the strap has Jurek’s signature on it, which might make it worth some extra greenbacks down the road. The bottle has the standard UD pull-and-tilt bite valve on the cap. Some people love that, some people don’t. That’s your call!
The SJ Essential is a bare bones waist pack that rides well and is hardly noticeable even when loaded with a digital camera and a fistful of gels. The pack has 2 zippered pockets, one sweat-proof, just big enough to carry a smartphone or digital camera, and whatever other “essentials” you may be bringing along such as gels, bars, TP, etc. There are also 2 very small, Velcro-closure pockets, once again one being sweatproof, just big enough for keys or electrolyte caps or a couple of gels. With the Essential and a couple of hand-helds I’m good for 3 or 4 hours in cool conditions.
The SJ Endure is a slight step up from the Essential in terms of storage capacity. There is a single sweat-proof zippered pocket the same size as the pockets on the Essential, plus a Velcro-closure pocket in the back that sits nestled between dual 8 oz water bottle holders. A bungee pull-cord on the back provides a place to cinch down a light wind shell or shirt. This is a great waist pack for those who need a little extra water than what they can carry with 2 handhelds but who don’t necessarily like the feel of the weight of 40+ oz of water cinched down around their waist.