UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 Review

7.5 score
[Editors rating (7.5)] = (WalkJogRun) score (7.5)/10

Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating

Long runs are hard on the body. They burn a lot of energy, so it’s imperative that you replenish your energy stores and stay hydrated. In addition, you need to keep all your necessities with you. For instance, your phone for music or emergencies, a windbreaker in case it gets cold, etc. That’s why hydration vests have become so popular. These vests are designed for long runs, with plenty of useful pockets for all your necessities and storage for bottles or reservoirs of water. 

What stands out in the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 is its superb breathability and lightweight. In addition, its Ergofit design and MaxO2 Sternum cords take into consideration the human anatomy to ensure agility, comfort, and high performance. Its downsides are its sizing and pocket accessibility. However, for its great price, you still get a lot in return for what you pay. Read on to learn more about all the great features of the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Ergofit design
  • Bottle and reservoir
  • Excellent breathability
  • MaxO2 Sternum cords
  • Great price
  • Unisex
  • Inconvenient pockets
  • Reservoirs not included

Bottle Capacity

The two types of hydration running vests are those with bottles in the front, or with reservoirs in the rear sleeve. The benefit of bottles is that they’re quick to refill and allow you to store two different liquids (say, water and an electrolyte mix) in different bottles. The downside is that they could make annoying sloshing sounds when you’re running. They could also get punctured, so if you’re going to remote areas in the wild, you’ll want to opt for rigid bottles instead.

You can use the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 with both bottles and reservoirs, but it’s more suitable for those who prefer bottles. It comes with two UltrAflask 550mL Hybrid bottles, made with soft plastic and with a curved shape to contour the shape of your chest and ensure a comfortable fit. They have easy pull-up nozzles and can hydrate you quickly.

Reservoir Capacity

In addition to the two bottles, the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest can also hold 2L reservoirs. However, you have to purchase them separately. Their advantage is that they collapse when there’s less liquid inside, so even when you’re low on water they won’t slosh around and make distracting noises.

In addition, you can drink from them without using your hands. The reservoir goes in the rear sleeve while a tube goes over each shoulder, held in place by guide strips. If you decide to use this instead, then you can use the pockets for bottles in the front to store other things like bars to give you an energy boost.


The UltrAspire Alpha 3 vest is comfortable, but perhaps not to the extent where you could wear it without a shirt underneath. UltrAspire claims that the design prevents chafing and abrasion of clothes. All the edges have a micro-fiber polyester lining that gives a soft, plush feel.

However, the nylon mesh still feels a bit rough against the skin. Though it snug fit minimizes the friction, some friction is inevitable. During long runs, having the mesh against your skin could cause chafing. There are some good anti-chafing balms that you can use to prevent this.

But to avoid the hassle - just wear a shirt underneath your UltrAspire Alpha 3.0.


The UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest is mostly made of nylon, and because of this, it is incredibly lightweight and breathable. The back elastic mesh wicks moisture from the skin so that the sweat doesn’t stick to your back and make you uncomfortable and sticky. The fact that it doesn’t absorb the moisture renders is lightweight regardless of how much you sweat.

Reviewers say that breathability is the most outstanding feature of the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest. Even in temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it keeps you feeling as fresh as possible. Because of this, they consider it the perfect hydration vest for hot sunny days.


“ErgoFit” is a word you see more and more in the world of sports gear. Ergonomics is the science of equipment design for work to reduce fatigue and maximize performance. ErgoFit therefore means that it has an anatomical fit designed for maximum comfort and support.

Rather than having a traditional vest design, the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest has shoulder straps with an S curve. The straps stay out of the way when the arms are moving. They allow for flexible movements of the arms and minimizes the likelihood of neck and shoulder pain. In the long run (no pun intended), this small detail can save you a lot of aches.

MaxO2 Sternum

Besides breathability, another notable advantage of the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest is the MaxO2 Sternum cords. These are the cords on the back that holds the vest together. Their stretchiness allows them to fit snugly but without restricting your breathing. When you hit a hill that really gets your breathing going, the elasticity of the straps will make sure you can breathe comfortably.

The straps loop around the hooks on the other side. Some reviewers say they are easy to remove while others say that it was hard to undo. If you wear running gloves, if your hands are numb in the cold weather, or if you’re just clumsy, you might find the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0's straps inconvenient.


The many pockets of the UltrAspire Alpha 3 are not perfect but are make-doable. Among them are a magnon pocket with a magnetic closure, small pockets in the front, a zippered pocket on the left, and a stretchy mesh one on either side. In addition, the pockets intended for hydration bladders are empty if you decide to only use bottles, so they can store large things like a wind jacket. Similarly, if you use hydration bladders instead of bottles, the front pockets for bottles then become large, convenient pouches.

Theoretically, you can reach back when running to grab things from the two side pockets, but reviewers say that it’s not as convenient as it seems. One reviewer said the side pockets are hard to access when running, and that to take things out you need to stop running and interrupt your workout. Reviewers also said that the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 should have pockets to store energy bars to refuel you during your run and to store other things.


At a glance, the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest seems to be inclusive of all sizes, but in reality they may not fit well, especially for women. It comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large, all of them unisex. They are suitable for people with chest sizes ranging from 31 inches to 42 inches. Cinching it can give you a snugger, more stable fit.

However, there is no extra small. Women tend to be of small stature, so those who have a narrower frame may find the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest too loose for them. What’s more, the vest may not fit comfortably with breasts. These are the downsides that come with a unisex fit. On the bright side, there are hydration vests designed especially for women such as the Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0, which may be a better pick.


Convenience is an important quality of hydration vests. The whole point is to be able to store and access water, food, and other necessities easily when on a long run. The light weight of the UltrAspire Alpha 3 vest makes it convenient, but the inaccessibility of the pockets (as mentioned) undermines that.

When running, you’ll probably find yourself stopping to maneuver something out of a pocket, particularly the smaller side pockets. This interrupts the flow of your workout and can get frustrating. If you don’t plan on carrying small things or using the side pockets, then this isn’t much of an issue - but otherwise, seek a vest like the Camelbak Chase, which reviewers confirm has nice and accessible pockets.


The UltrAspire Alpha 3 is a pretty sweet deal. It’s one of the brand’s most affordable options when it comes to hydration packs. It’s even cheaper than some waist belts, which offer significantly less storage.

The inexpensive price makes this hydration pack great for amateur runners or runners who just want to test out a hydration vest for the first time. It’s not a huge investment, not a huge commitment, and it’s a good starting point because of that. And remember - more expensive doesn’t always mean better. Though this vest has its downsides, it also has great features for a great price.

Bottom Line

To conclude, the most notable feature of the UltrAspire Alpha 3 hydration vest is its excellent breathability and light weight. Some other great features are the Ergofit design that reduces fatigue and enhances performance and the MaxO2 Sternum cords that ensure you breathe comfortably. Its main downsides are its unisex sizing that may not fit some women and its inconvenient pockets.

Due to its water capacity, the UltrAspire Alpha 3.0 vest is suitable for long runs of up to 100 miles. The breathability makes it perfect for hot summer weather - just keep in mind that it’s recommended you still wear a shirt underneath to prevent chafing. With its low price, anybody can - and should - give this vest a try!