"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ultimate Direction Fast Draw Plus Review

The following review was originally submitted to the June 2012 Red9Runners News Letter.

The hot humid days of a midwest summer have arrived making hydration more important now than at any other time of year.  As the mercury rises runners use every trick in the book to take in fluids while out in the heat.  Some stage water at strategic locations, others carry a hydration bladder on their backs, and some even carry a regular plastic bottle full of water with them.  There are many solutions but the important thing is to find a solution that works for you.

I dare you to find a better handheld.

For the past 5years the solution that has worked for me is the Fastdraw Plus handheld from Ultimate Direction.  I have been so happy with this handheld that I have never felt the need to use anything different.   I did have a handheld made by another company before the Fastdraw but it leaked and the valve was not easy to use.  On a recommendation from another runner I tried the Fastdraw and have never looked back.

The Fastdraw is a 20oz 100% BPA free bottle that comes with a Kicker valve and a hand strap with a small pouch.  The bottle itself is semi-transparent allowing the user to keep track of how much liquid is left in the bottle.  The hand strap is useful to help prevent fatigue when carrying a handheld and the pouch has enough room to carry a gel, ID, and a car key.  It will carry what you need for a medium distance run.  The hand strap and pouch are easily removed when they inevitably get gross, and can be washed with the rest of your running gear.  

ProTip: For days it is really hot fill the bottle a quarter to a third full and put it in the freezer the night before then top it off before you go for a run. 

The feature that makes the Fastdraw stand out from other handheld bottles is the kicker valve.  The valve is a soft silicone rubber bite valve that is simple to use and does not leak whether it is in the open or closed position.  Using the Kicker valve is easy, simply extend the valve to its open position bite down on it and squeeze the bottle.  The water or your liquid of choice really flows well, keeping you hydrated without missing a step.

If you are looking for a way to stay hydrated while on the run give the Fastdraw plus from Ultimate Direction a try.  Many people have told me that they cannot carry a handheld when they run, and at first I felt the same.  It was surprising how quickly it became second nature.  Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.  Like I said before I’ve been using these bottles for five years, and they have performed exactly as they should, truly the Ipod of water bottles.

ProTip: Invest in a baby bottle brush to clean the bottle and the valve,  and don’t forget to rinse the bottle after each use.

*I have no financial interest in UD and was not asked to do this review. Furthermore I was not sent a free sample to review. That being said If the good people at UD were to feel like sending me a little something as a thank you for writing this review like a free sample to give away I  wouldn't turn it down.

Storage for keys, a gel, or maybe both.


  1. I'm pretty happy with my simple plastic water bottle, but if I ever move up to a handheld, you've got me convinced!

    1. I hope you are recycling those bottles.