Bryce Thatcher, owner and founder of UltrAspire, has been known throughout his career to push the boundaries of hydration carrying options. What is feasible in a race vest? How can gear go unnoticed until needed to aid athletes in achieving their goals? These questions and curiosities have led to many introductions in the hydration category over the last 35 years. More recently, UltrAspire introduced their Momentum 2.0 race vest which has set a precedent for hydration carry options in the back. In conceptualizing this product, there were many revisions and iterations that came before the finished vest that you see now. Here is a look into that process.

The bottle in the back option on the Momentum was first considered while intending to remove friction and pressure off of the soft tissue areas of the chest and place that capacity on a more natural load bearing area, the hips. The battle with this of course was access and efficiency. As concepts continued on the first iteration of the Momentum race vest, it was a hit among those who preferred waist packs to vests and those who were open to exploring a bottle-in-the-back option. The pack quickly rose to the top sellers list in the UltrAspire catalog and picked up some great press within the running community. As time went on, Bryce was making note of athletes feedback and personal use experience which resulted in the ground work for the significantly improved Momentum 2.0 race vest.

UltrAspire headquarters sample room

The question on the table was how to create a viable bottle-in-the-back option that allowed for access among those who weren’t particularly flexible. The answer.. the Fluidic Holster System. While the original Momentum bottle holsters were in a fixed position, it could be challenging for some to replace the bottles once accessed. In the Momentum 2.0, the Fluidic Holsters allowed the bottle to drop an additional 4 inches making the angle of access and reholster a very simple and efficient arm movement that required essentially no additional flexibility. In the image below, you can see the initial notes that aided in the holsters transformation.

Fluidic Holster early concepts and notes

An early round of samples allowed UltrAspire HQ and members of the athlete team to take the concept into their environments for aggressive real-world testing. It was found that for the magnet closures to function effectively and keep the bottle stable both in and out, it needed to be a very particular magnet strength used for the closure, too weak would launch the bottle and too strong would make replacing the bottle difficult. Through hundreds of miles of testing, updates to the closure and rail system took place across multiple iterations. The image below illustrates the final product revisions that took place to ensure holster functionality was to standard.

Initial Momentum 2.0 material concepts and drawings

The end result of over a year of testing, revision, and updates placed the Momentum 2.0 at initial line showings and was received incredibly well. Shattering prebooking and launch sales records positioned the Momentum 2.0 as one of the most successful race vest options in the history of UltrAspire.

Bryce Thatcher in-depth on the Momentum 2.0 race vest
The Momentum 2.0 was voted Best in Gear 2021 for the race vest category

The original Momentum’s accessible rear water bottle pockets were very popular among our athletes. The Momentum 2.0’s Fluidic holsters have taken this feature to the next level. These new pockets are more intuitive and easier to access due to the inclusion of a magnetic closure and rail-like system. This design makes it easy for you to reach back behind your hip and grab or stow a bottle while on the go. This minimalist 6 liter vest has been outfitted with UltrAcool Light Mesh which provides a very breathable and lightweight feel and increases pack durability. An upgraded shoulder pocket has been added allowing you to carry any size cell phone. Shock cord has been added to both front strap pockets increasing versatility among what gear or bottles you choose to carry. The main compartment has been modified to a quick stash style which allows for easier access on the go as well as increased capacity. The Momentum 2.0 is Z-pole compatible.

View Momentum 2.0 race vest