I loved that the Adventure Vesta has so many pouches and pockets at the front so you can store stuff that’s very easily accessible. For example, on long days out on the trail, I need to have easy access to 3 things, namely my cell phone, tissues, and lip balm. It was easy to find a place to put these where I also didn’t have to fumble around reaching for them.
The pack can be adjusted in many small ways, which is terrific to find a good fit. I especially liked that you can adjust the placement of the chest straps, but also tighten the shoulder straps at the lower back.
While the Adventure Vesta is nearly perfect in all ways, I just wasn’t crazy about the water bottle system. When full, the water bottles sit nicely in the bottle pouches, with their spouts extending just above the fabric. Though you can (and actually need to) tighten the pouch opening to hold down the water bottles, as they are slowly emptied during the run, there’s no option to keep the spout above the pouch line. What you’re left with is a water bottle that slowly starts collapsing downward as it is emptied, eventually sitting at the very bottom in the pouch, scrunched up into a little ball. I found this a bit frustrating as I kept having to dig down into the pouch and pull up the spout just to drink some water. The Adventure Vesta accompanied me on a 12-hour ultra marathon this summer and it’s the small things that start nagging you after several hours into a long race or training day. My solution to this was to stop at every water stop and keep filling up the water bottles as often as possible so they would stay above the fabric line. When the bottles were half emptied (or rather, half full!), the hard plastic rim at the top of the bottles would sit on the apex of my chest (aka, right on my breasts), which felt a bit uncomfortable for me especially when I ran and the bottles would knock around a bit. I should say, though, that this wasn’t a problem for me when I used the pack for hiking and the speed was heavily reduced. At any rate, I would love to see Ultimate Direction make a change to the next generation of the Adventure Vesta to solve this issue. Ultimately you can do it yourself by avoiding the water bottles all together and just using a water bladder instead.
The Adventure Vesta comes in two sizes: xs/sm and m/l. With clothes on, the small should fit somebody with a chest size of 26-38 inches (66-97 cm) while the larger size should fit somebody between 32-41 inches (81-104 cm). Keep in mind that when the pack is full, it fits more snug. I used the size m/l and felt that it fit me really well. As a basis for comparison: I usually wear a size small in tops. When I used the Adventure Vesta for running, I did have to tighten the chest straps as tight as they could go. Somebody with a smaller upper body than me would find it hard to get a snug fit with the m/l. Although I have a feeling the xs/sm would have worked for me as well, as a hiking pack the larger size is probably more comfortable.