Can you believe 2019 is nearly over? What better way to round out the year by showing that trail or ultrarunner in your life some love by gifting them something from the ultrarunnerpodcast.com 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! First up, my favorite apparel available today.
The North Face Flight FUTURELIGHT™ Jacket
Simply put, this is the most breathable, fully waterproof jacket I have tested yet. With a ‘standard fit’ you can easily layer 1-2 baselayers or even a midlayer underneath. Plus, the hood is great. When it’s dumping outside or when I’m heading up high in the mountains this is the jacket I’m either wearing or packing in my vest.
GORE® R7 Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Hooded Jacket
This form-fitting jacket is windproof, and water-resistant, in all of the key areas while maintaining high breathability due to the back stretch panel. A stretchy ‘headband’ holds the hood in place perfectly. For cool, windy weather I reach for this jacket. Just be sure to size up unless you want a really close-fitting jacket.
Patagonia R1® or R2® TechFace Hoody
As nice as the the synthetic active insulated jackets or hoodies are (e.g., the Patagonia Nano Air, North Face Vertix, etc.) I find they are too warm for all but the coldest runs. Enter the Patagonia R1 or R2 TechFace Hoody. The double weave fabric is warm, yet REALLY breathable for active pursuits. Plus, it’s tough and DWR treated to repel a light mist or snowfall. The R1 was my go-to cold weather jacket last spring and this fall (with the appropriate baselayers under) while the R2 will be my go-to really cold uphill winter hoody. Note: Patagonia also makes each version in a jacket sans hood.
Pants & Tights
Icebreaker Tech Trainer Hybrid Pants
Without a doubt these are my favorite pants, period. I wear them ALL the time (see previous picture). The combination of merino wool, Pertex® Quantum Air nylon, and LYCRA® is super comfortable across a range of conditions and use cases. Not only are they a great cool to cold weather running pant but they are perhaps even better as a daily lounger, errand getter, travel pant, and baby drool soaker-upper. I LOVE these pants.
Ruhn Base Seamless Compression Pant 2.0
A really nice and comfortable cool weather tight at a great value. While the name is a little misleading as I don’t believe it has enough compression to provide much benefit the zero seam design truly does eliminate hot spots and potential chafing. Plus, the ‘tall’ waistband and ‘gear pocket’ are nice touches.
Icebreaker BODYFITZONE™ 260 Zone Leggings
All of the Icebreaker leggings or capris are great baselayers but these stand out due to the added merino mesh in areas to dump heat along with the inclusion of LYCRA® for stretch where you need it. Underneath a more weather-proof outer layer these babies will keep you nice and toasty, without being clammy, down to really frigid temps.
rabbit strong sleeves
For temps in the 40ish to 50ish where a long sleeve on its own or paired with a t-shirt underneath will suffice this long sleeve is money. The Polartec® Delta™ fabric used here is awesome and really moves moisture away quickly without feeling too clammy when saturated with sweat.
Icebreaker BODYFITZONE™ 150 Zone Long Sleeve Half Zip
Again, when it comes to Icebreaker you really can’t go wrong. However, if I could only pick one baselayer for winter it would probably be this one. Due to the 150 weight, half-zip, and form fit it can serve a variety of use cases. It’s the perfect baselayer under a warmer and/or waterproof jacket in really cold weather. It can also work on its own in 40ish to 50ish temps or when paired with a t-shirt underneath.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of these items please first check availability at your local, independently owned running specialty store. They need your business and are a great resource for the community.
If that’s not an option we would love it if you could use one of the provided links above. Thank You!
Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf
I am an avid running gear junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running, biking, skiing, or snowboarding around the local trails in the Lake Tahoe area. I also love talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company or Alpenglow Sports community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras.
Disclaimer: Some of these products were provided to URP/me for testing purposes. All words and thoughts are my own and no compensation was offered nor received.