I was offered the opportunity to review a product for ISIS, and I jumped on it due to the reputation ISIS has for producing quality gear, and also because of my past experience running in ISIS apparel. Isis is a company out of Boulder, Colorado that specializes in designing clothing for women with active lifestyles. The clothing line has a heavy emphasis on casual outdoor wear, including dresses, skirts, pants, and sweaters. They also carry an extensive line of outerwear with fashionable jackets and vests that span a wide range of style and function. Not surprisingly, the clothing that I found most exciting was the active wear. Isis produces clothing perfect for running, including sports bras, tanks, tops, skirts, and tights.
I received the Velocity Jacket ($149 MSRP) in the color Vixen. Out of the package, I was immediately in love with the color. I like being bright in the foggy, darker winter months, and this jacket is perfect. In addition to the fun color, the Velocity was also designed with reflective detailing in the zippers and piping throughout the jacket making winter running safe. The Velocity Jacket is advertised as a waterproof jacket by the website, and I could not wait for the chance to give it a good test run. Unfortunately, the California weather didn’t cooperate right away as we experienced more moderate, dry temperatures through October. I took several opportunities to try out the different features of the jacket while I did a rain dance.
First, I took the jacket on a fieldtrip to the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. I felt it was fitting toutilize the jacket at an event with such a large focus on women. I wore the Velocity immediately after finishing the race, while enjoying the post-race festivities. The weather was cool and wet, at only 55 degrees with thick fog. The velocity provided me with the perfect amount of warmth for the temperature, and I remained dry. I was very happy with the two zippered mesh hand pockets in the front, both for warming my hands, and for storing my iPhone. I also had ample room in the zippered back pocket to store my money and othernecessities.
The next big job for the jacket was to keep me company at the inaugural That Dam(n) Run Half Marathon in Cool, CA. It wasn’t chilly enough to race in the jacket, but the Velocity did a great job keeping me warm during my warm-up for the run. The moisture transferring technology pulled the sweat away from my skin, keeping me dry. This was important to me because in the past I have warmed up in jackets that were not made of wicking materiel, and when I removed the jacket to race, my skin was wet with sweat. Going from a warm jacket to chilly air with sweaty skin is NOT my idea of fun. Once again, the jacket was a perfect post race piece.
Finally, the rain dancing worked, and I was afforded the opportunity to really make the Velocity earn itswaterproof designation. The Sacramento area was doused with a chilly rain this week, so I took to the trails for a 3-hour jaunt. I wore the Velocity jacket over a tank, with half tights. During my run the temperature hovered around 54 degrees, and the jacket kept me warm. I am one of those perpetually cold, over-dressers who will wear one extra layer so that I don’t have to be freezing for the first mile, so the Velocity’s ability to keep me warm is a big achievement against my high standards. Throughout my run, the rain was steady, but I remained dry. I did have a little water seep in around my chest and neck area through the collar, but I would expect that, and it was minimal as the jacket wicked it away from my body quickly. The material really does keep the water out! I found the hem drawcord very convenient, particularly since this rain came with wind. I was able to quickly cinch up the bottom of the jacket with the conveniently located pocket cords. The jacket stayed nicely in place, and no water was able to find its way inside the jacket. During this longer run I also found the pockets to be convenient places to stash my energy gels, and the zipper gave me confidence that my key was safely stowed. I was easily able to unzip the jacket a little to vent when I got warm, and even quickly remove while running when I needed to.
I typically run with my Nathan hydration pack, and I was pleased to find that wearing this pack over the Velocity jacket worked really well. Even though it was rainy, I didn’t experience any chafing, and I didn’t notice any pressure points under the jacket.
Now let me share one of my favorite features: washability. I am a mom, and I am busy. I dislike high maintenance clothing with special washing and drying instructions. I was ecstatic to note that the Velocity jacket is machine washable and can be tossed in the dryer. I have washed and dried it several times, and the jacket comes out looking like new each time. For me, that’s a huge win!
If I could change one thing on the jacket, I would make the sleeves longer. I have super long arms, but I wear a size small. I often have trouble finding jackets that give me ample sleeve length, and this jacket was no different. The sleeves are long enough to reach my wrists, but don’t allow any extra room. My younger sister (who has normal-sized arms) tried the jacket on, and the sleeves were perfect on her. In conclusion, the ISIS Velocity jacket is a fun, (fully splash-tested) waterproof jacket that is a nice addition to a winter running wardrobe.
Reviewed by URP Endurance Team Member Tara Barragan
Adds guest reviewer Tyler Lopez:
A size XS would have fit better on my frame. But the S was still comfortable and I have room for layers underneath if I were to wear this cycling or running in weather under 40 degrees.
There was 1 rainstorm I wore this jacket in. It kept me dry and warm and didn’t weigh down when it got wet. The Velocity is very lightweight making it easy to stuff in a pack if needed and also has 3 (yes, THREE!) zipper pockets making it a perfect jacket when you don’t feel like carrying a pack. The colors are vibrant and have bright reflectors on all zipper lining ensuring safety (see photo). There are also draw ties in the front pockets to tighten around the waist when it is really cold or windy. The jacket does not have a hood but does zip high on the neck.
I’d recommend this jacket for wet/windy weather running under 55 degrees otherwise it would be too warm (any jacket would).