Terra Nova's Ultra 1 is the most incredible waist bottle pack I've ever seen or used. Why? It weighs in at just 1 ounce/30 grams and is easily trimmed down to 26 grams (.95 ounces). To put that in perspective, the next lightest single bottle pack in my gear collection is a simple Nathan pack that weights in at 5.40 ounces/154 grams. In other words, the Ultra 1 has been and continues to be my race day bottle pack.
- Bryon Powell, Publisher of iRunFar.com
What is the Ultra 1? A single-bottle pack made out of a crazy-light material called "Ultra." Thin strips of Ultra hug your hips before transitioning into a 3/4-inch front strap. There's a small, rear key pocket (you're brave if you use it as such) that holds up to 3 energy gels.
Is the Ultra 1 the most comfortable pack you'll ever use? Heck no! There are plenty of comfortable single bottle packs out there. This is a light-as-possible, no-frills, race-day pack. If ounces and grams matter to you, this is your pack. How best to use the Ultra 1? As with most bottle packs, the Ultra 1 takes some adjusting to get the fit right and eliminate bounce. I find that keeping the pack low and tight is key. When I first put the pack on I'll often tighten it, then take it off to shorten the strap another inch or two, then reattach it below the points of my hips. If, after a few hours, I've found it's ridden up above the points of my hips, I unclip it for a second and reattach it lower. After many hours, I do get a bit sore on the front of each hip, but the minimal weight of the pack and its limited contents prevent this from being too much of a bother. For me, the weight savings are worth the trade off in comfort on race day.
Will this pack last forever? No, but after several years of intermittent use I've had not issues. If you want to prolong the Ultra 1's life, use it a few times it to see if it works for you and then save it for race days. Or, if you're like me, you will use this incredible product as often as you want and enjoy carrying one less weighty item. If you need a little extra storage space for this or other packs, I highly recommend Terra Nova's Zip Pockets that come as a pair and weigh a scant half ounce (13 grams) each.