Best Autumn / Winter Running Gear Review

| Gear | Running Gear | 01/11/2012 05:30am
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We test some of the best autumn-winter running kit to keep you adding up the miles this triathlon off-season.


For triathletes in less temperate climates, winter running is a real challenge against the elements. If you’re going to keep training through the coldest months of the year, you need clothing that’s comfortable and warm. That’s why we’ve tested a selection of jackets and jerseys to insulate you against the icy air without you getting too hot under the collar. These mid-layers and outer shells don’t have to be bought together but are designed to work as a set against the winter. Weeks of cold, early mornings and dark evenings provided the testing ground for these garments. Facing frost, wind and horizontal rain, we sweated buckets to test their breathability, protection and comfort to provide you with a real-world verdict.

Find more group tests from Triathlon Plus in our other best triathlon gear reviews.

 

Adidas Response 3-Stripes LS Half-Zip Tee & Windbreaker

Adidas Response 3-Stripes LS Half-Zip Tee & Windbreaker
£40 | £40
www.adidas.co.uk; www.adidas.com

This pairing from the brand that sponsors the Brownlees is a basic but comfy option for chilly, rather than freezing, mornings. The Response 3-Stripes top has a slim rather than fitted cut and is very breathable thanks to Adidas’s tried and tested ClimaLite fabric. Extra ventilation comes via the 15cm zip, which you’ll probably want to keep down as it tends to rub on the neck when fully fastened. The Response 3-Stripes Windbreaker jacket might be a bargain option, but with tiny holes perforating half the back it lets heat escape well. Despite being light, the jacket coped well in blustery conditions and lets you get on with your session without fuss. The lack of reflectors and black colour could limit your nocturnal running routes though. As a combination, the top and jacket work well to keep things comfortable without overheating too much as long as the weather doesn’t turn foul.

Verdict
A great basic set that performs well together in chilly weather.

TOP

Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

JACKET
Performance 3/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Top Value Award

 

Brooks Equilibrium LS & The Essential Run Jacket II

Brooks Equilibrium LS & The Essential Run Jacket II
£27 | £55
www.brooksrunning.co.uk; www.brooksrunning.com

Brooks’s Equilibrium LS is a simple, thin, lightweight running top that’s silky, stretchy and feels comfortable as soon as it’s pulled on. The lack of a zip went unnoticed, as despite staying comfortably warm, breathability was excellent. The reflective detail is also welcome for running in darker winter conditions. The Essential Run Jacket II features a soft collar and covered zip at the neck for comfort. There’s also an internal pocket for your phone or MP3 player and an elastic loop to hold a headphones cable. The jacket is impervious to wind and showers but warms up quickly and doesn’t breathe brilliantly. It’s also quite heavy and, with the zip done up, dances around annoyingly at anything faster than a light trot. Undo the zip a little and the collar flaps irritatingly. It’s also clumsier than some others to tie around the waist once you’re warmed up, making it best suited to longer, slower runs in the cold.

Verdict
A great top that’s more suited to a lighter jacket for most winter weather.

TOP
Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

JACKET
Performance 2/5
Value 4/5
Overall 3/5

 

Nike Women’s Relay Short Sleeve & Women’s Vapor Jacket

Nike Women’s Relay Short Sleeve & Women’s Vapor Jacket
£22 | £65
www.nike.com

The Relay top is made from Nike’s Dri-Fit fabric and has a casual design for those more conscious of their appearance when not racing with fellow Lycra-clad competitors. The top’s material is kind on the skin, but the sleeves are cut just under the armpits and our tester found they rubbed uncomfortably, especially on longer runs. Despite having short sleeves, the top is actually quite warm (probably as it’s not the most breathable) but it doesn’t get uncomfortably sweaty. It also works well with Nike’s excellent Vapor jacket, which features a slim, female-specific cut, a smooth neckline and soft, wrist-hugging cuffs that make it really comfortable. Mesh sides and underarms mean it’s breathable, so you’ll only get wet if the heavens decide to open. The bright colours and large arm reflectors offer great visibility while the two front pockets and detachable hood make it a practical choice too.

Verdict
A great jacket that would be better paired to a purer running top underneath.

TOP
Performance 2/5
Value 4/5
Overall 3/5

JACKET
Performance 4/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

 

 

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  • Ashmei Ultimate Softshell Jacket and Winter Tights Review
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  • Winter Running: Conquer The Cold

Posted on Thursday, November 1st, 2012 at 5:30 am under Gear, Running Gear. You can subscribe to comments. Comments are closed.

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