Dear Ultimate Direction,

On July 7, 2008, in Uncategorized, by Meghan

My name is Meghan, and I’m hugely frustrated with one of your products, the Ultimate Bottle. I have come to the conclusion that this bottle does not always have a leak-proof seal. The Ultimate Bottle may be leak-proof when it contains water and is carried at low elevation. However, I have time and again witnessed this bottle’s seal leak during large climbs at elevation, and/or if the bottle contains liquids that foam or fizz.

Here is this afternoon’s example: I carried an Ultimate Bottle full of tri-berry-flavored nuun in this waist pack while I ran at about 8000 feet elevation. When all was said and done, I drank very little of this nuun because most of it had leaked from the bottle’s seal onto my backside.

This is not an isolated occurrence. It unfortunately happens quite often. Does anyone else’s Ultimate Direction bottles leak?


14 Responses to “Dear Ultimate Direction,”

  1. Peter says:

    oh sure, the newer ones leak. They leak water at sea level even. There was a whole thread about it on the trail running board of runners world a few months back. I think an ultimate direction representative was involved and took notes. Sucks.

  2. Holly says:

    Weird, Meghan! I experienced the same thing yesterday (with the same flavour of Nuun). That is bizarre. I switched back to my cheap old bottles because I think they’re more reliable in the leak department.

  3. rick says:

    I’ve stopped using the UD bottles when they came up with the “nipple” design. All my bottles leak however Eh, I just learned to live with it. Would be bad though if my waist pack had my bottles horizontal that way.

  4. Iris says:

    Yep, most of mine leak as well. I’ve also just learned to live with it as Rick said.

  5. Hart says:

    as your nuun is disolving always make sure you burp the bladder or bottle too.

    i try to drop it in my bottles or bladder before i leave so it has time to disolve. i burp it a couple times and it’s good to go.

  6. elizabeth says:

    My Nathan bottle leaks.
    I have this Camelbak bottle,, which does not leak, but you really have to squeeze the bottle when you want a drink because the plastic is a harder material.

  7. Backofpack says:

    I have trouble with the Nathan bottles leaking. It’s the pits! I went back to some old REI plastic flasks this weekend.

  8. Sunshine Girl says:

    Worse than the leakage, the Ultimate Direction bottles make me BURP!! Braaaaaaaapp! It’s something about the bight valve, if I don’t time it just right with a squeeze and a suck, I get air. And in return…..

    Please, know bad jokes aboout squeezing and sucking and bighting. This is serious business. Uuuuurrp.

  9. JeffO says:

    The only time my UD’s leak is when they’re pressurized. Either I filled them in Denver and drove to high altitude (always habitually squeeze a little bit to allow for expansion before sealing) and forgot to give it expansion room, or I used Nuun.
    I don’t blame UD – I blame anything that creates excess gasses like effervescent Nuun. I just can’t use Nuun because the pressure isn’t practical. It’s okay if you can sit around camp with your containers fizzing until the tablets are completely dissolved, or at an aid station where you can drop a bunch into an open cooler, but not for a traveller who needs their containers sealed tight. Effervescent gas HAS to go somewhere. The concept just isn’t practical for non-stop travel.
    Still lovin’ my UD’s.

  10. Meghan says:

    Thanks for the comments, all. It seems like this problem is prevalent and not limited to just Ultimate Direction bottles.

    Peter- Thanks for visiting and your perspective. I didn’t know about the RW thread, and now I’ll go search for it. I agree, though, that is sucks. πŸ™‚

    Holly- Yes, weird! Aside from the leaky bottles, I hope you enjoyed your nuun. I love nuun, especially tri-berrry and kona cola. Today I used some old plastic bottles which I know aren’t leak-proof, and it was so much more enjoyable to only have a few drops here and there leak out.

    Rick- I don’t mind and don’t have a problem with the “nipple,” it’s the cap/bottle seal that no-worky. And, sometimes it doesn’t just drip a bit, it’s a mess. Maybe I’m being whiny, but the company advertises that the bottles are leak-proof, but as you say, old bicycle bottles are more successful in holding water. Sumthin’ ain’t right!

    Iris- Nalgene makes leak-proof, screw top bottles. They advertise themselves as such, and they get the job done nicely. Now, why can’t Ultimate Direction come up with the technology they say they have? Maybe you’re right and I should just suck it up and live with it, too. πŸ™‚

    Matt- You’re right! I have to burp my bottles as I run too because they get all shaken…

    Elizabeth- Thanks for this suggestion. I will go have a look. πŸ™‚

    Michelle- Sadly, Nathan bottles are even worse than Ultimate Direction ones. But I’m already ranting, so I’ll just stick with one rant for the week! πŸ™‚

    Leslie- I think you already developed your own joke here. I’m just going to let that one sit. πŸ˜‰ Note to self: Don’t give Leslie UD bottles for Christmas.

    JeffO- I can put 2 tabs of nuun into my one liter Nalgene, seal it up, and carry it all over Yellowstone Park, and I have no problems with it leaking. If I did that with Ultimate Direction bottles, look out! This sucks because, as I mentioned above, both companies advertise themselves as having leak-proof bottles. Grr!

    Thanks again for all your comments!


  11. Bob Gentile says:

    I drank very little of this nuun because most of it had leaked from the bottle’s seal onto my backside.
    hmmm I hope the leakage on ur backside didn’t mess with my logo–lmaoooooo

  12. JeffO says:

    Hmmm, wondering if you’re cross-threading you lids. It’s so common with all hydration systems that I practically never let aid station volunteers touch my stuff. For UD, I screw on just a little, then I smack the lid hard to set the threads properly, then tighten. It’s always 3 steps, but quick, simple, effective.
    All my brands of hydration bladders do the same, but I can’t smack them without causing a gush.
    This cross-threading problem seems to affect all soft-plastic threads. Nalgene is hard. Even though the lids are soft, having one set of threads hard minimizes the threads from getting wishy-washy.

  13. Journey to a Centum says:

    Meghan – speaking of unfortunate events check out the U-Tube vid on King Arthurs blog

    That’s tc doing a one and a half gainer off a log crossing over a stream about a zillion miles back into the cascades. Hard to see because they started running in the wee hours do it was dark.

  14. Meghan says:

    Bob- You got me on that one! Good one. πŸ˜‰

    JeffO- I’m going to try smacking my lid next time, just to see what happens.

    Eric- Aw man, I hope that guy is alright! Thanks for sharing.

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