Archive for Clothing Reviews

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Gore Running Wear Running Cap IIReview

Gore Running Wear Air Windstopper GiletReview

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Ronhill thermostretch light running gloveReview

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Brooks Nightlife Running CapReview

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Bridgedale X-Hale Speed Demon Running SocksReview

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Skins A400 Running TightsReview

Gore Running Wear Air Long Sleeve Running TopReview

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Karrimor Wind JacketReview

Nike Pro Vent Long Sleeve Tight Compression Crew NeckReview

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The North Face Hydrogen JacketReview

Day 112

Early morning run due to playing 5 aside tonight , i never push the pace on a monday i like to save my energy for the match.
miles today 3.03
miles completed 342.80
miles to go 752
shoes nike
ipod n/a

The North Face Hydrogen Jacket

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

Retailing at around £65, packing down to the size of an apple and weighing in at less than 100g, I give you the North Face Hydrogen Jacket. The jacket is constructed from Ripstop nylon with an impermeable waterproof [and allegedly breathable] coating. To the front is a full length zip, complete with luminescent pull tag and it has a single napoleon chest pocket.

First impressions are that 100g is less than I thought. It feels like it’s made of fine paper, it’s so light. Fit wise, it’s loose-ish and flaps in the breeze. As for the waterproof-ness, those of you who read my review on the GoreTex Apex cap will know my feelings on waterproof shell gear, this is no different, it’s a true boil in the bag jacket and is, as is my experience with all ‘breathable’ gear, not at all breathable in my view!

Quality wise, it’s what I’ve come to expect from TNF. Their designers are great, they think of innovative touches, like the elastic tags on this jacket so you can wrap it up. I’m always impressed with the design tweaks they get into thier products. Sadly, as is also my experience of TNF gear, their manufacturing and/or QC isn’t up to scratch. Remember those elastic tags I mentioned? One was poorly sewn in and popped out of it’s lining the first time I tried to use it. The last TNF item I bought was a hydration pack, again purchased because the design was truly miles ahead of anything else. In it’s first use, one part detached itself and the bladder in it leaked everywhere due to a lack of a rubber seal (by design). Shame my experiences have been so consistent!

Verdict: As a stuff it in the pocket just in case it rains jacket, it’s pretty good. As a windproof shell, again it’s pretty good. As a breathable jacket, it’s as good (or poor, depending on your point of view) as the next. It’s probably just as effective to buy a budget £20 nylon jacket though!

Nike Pro Vent Long Sleeve Tight Compression Crew Neck

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

I’ve had this baselayer top for a good while and have used it as a baselayer for cycling. It’s an interesting fabric. It’s supposed to aid air flow and ventilation and it’s absolutely amazing at doing so. Somehow Nike have made it feel like the fabric directs air flow onto your skin, an odd feeling the first time the wind hits it, trust me!

The fit is amazingly tight, like a compression top that’s shrunk in the wash. So much so, I actually thought I’d have to cut it off the first time I put it on. I’d advise you to go up a size from your normal purchase sizing, they really are tight as can be.

As a baselayer for cycling, this is a truly superb bit of kit. As a baselayer for running, it has one fundamental flaw. It rides up as you run. As I’m sure you can imagine, this baselayer is good on a cold day, along with another couple of layers above. Once it starts riding up though, it leaves you a little exposed around the midriff and consequently does more harm than good.

Verdict: Buy once for cycling, they’re fab. Expect it to ride up if you run in it though!


Ronhill thermostretch light running glove

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

Sporting a reflective logo on the right hand glove and costing around £8 from a range of online retailers, it’s no wonder you see the elites wear them for a few miles and drop them when they’ve finished with them! These gloves are a true bargain in the ever increasingly pricey world of running gear. Having used them for several months now, they have been good for temperatures down to around zero and are small and light enough to shove in your pockets (on the off chance it’s colder than you thought) and forget about. Available in a range of colours including a particularly fetching garish pink, favoured by Paula Radcliffe, you’re bound to find a colour to suit you.

Verdict: If you’re after a budget pair of gloves that you won’t cry about losing, get them. They work, they’re a good fit and best of all, they’re pretty cheap!


Gore Running Wear Air Long Sleeve Running Top

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

I’ve picked up a couple of these over the last few months. One yellow, one orange. They’re a mix of fairly standard running wear type microfibre, a quick drying fabric, which is coupled with bands of lightweight mesh in the side panels. All of the seams are in the right places and it’s a really lightweight top. I wear them in combination with one or two baselayers or t-shirts on colder days, they’re just enough to keep your arms nicely warm, without being too hot.

The yellow one has been worn on nearly every cold run I’ve done for weeks now so it’s been through the wash several times a week. It dries really quick and doesn’t look to be worn or faded at all so far. Looks like it’ll last and last. This is what I’ve come to expect from Gore Running Wear though and I’d be disappointed. By anything less.

It’s a loose fit garment. That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s not a fabulous shapely fit like many of the Gore Running ‘performance’ range, but for something to throw on for a cold run, this isn’t at all a problem. In fact, if anything, it’s just a bit more versatile as a layering garment to my mind.

Verdict: If you can grab them for less than £20, you’ve got a good quality and very versatile top for cheap money. Well worth a look. Wiggle stock lots of Gore Running Gear, have a look here.


Skins A400 Running Tights

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

Skins compression wear has always intrigued me. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, premium price running gear. It also claims to be very scientifically designed to get the best of an athlete. Being neither at my best, nor an athlete 😉 I’ll find it hard to refute these claims, but I’ve tested them anyway. Here’s my notes…

Firstly, they’re tight! I know they’re compression wear and so they should be, but they really can be a challenge to squeeze into! I’m not a fatty, but according to their comprehensive size chart (based on BMI rather than standard girth type measures) I’m in a standard small. They fit. They do indeed cover everything. They’re tights, so they reveal much in the way of bulges. They’re also, in my view and probably that of anyone running behind me, a bit low at the back, and gradually get lower as I’m running. I suspect I should have accepted I’m on the border between a small and medium and should have plumped for the medium instead.

Quality is well up to the price tag. They do compress everything and have a reassuring fit profile. I’m no athlete as I mentioned, but they feel good as a compression tight. I rather like the yellow band and branding on them and would say they’re worth a go for winter runs and keeping warm. I generally wear them underneath a light pair of tracksuit bottoms when it’s really cold. I’d recommend you try them on for size though as they are a tight fit and let’s face it, at £70 you’re unlikely to want to get it wrong. There are plenty of other cheaper options out there, but they are very good quality. That’s the choice you need to make on this one!

Verdict: good quality but premium price. Go for them if you can afford them or grab them in a sale for bargain prices.

Bridgedale X-Hale Speed Demon Running Socks

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

I’m not one to lay down £12 on a pair of socks without thinking ‘have I finally lost it?’. The speed demon sock seemed to make sense though. It’s a lightweight sock material with added fuzzy padding around the forefoot and heel areas. Have a look at the picture, it logical and makes sense. And you know what else? It works! Damian can wax lyrical about how his three for a fiver sports socks work, but these are fabulous. I ran a marathon and had *one single blister* the size of a 5p piece. They are light enough to breathe well, yet padded where they need to be. I have 3 pairs and they’ve probably all done 300-400 miles so far in all weathers and all temperatures, from -7 degrees to 28.

Verdict: Aside from looking more grey than white nowadays, they seem to have plenty of life left in them and I wholeheartedly recommend them!


Gore Running Wear Air Windstopper Gilet

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

This is a truly expensive item when you look at how much material you actually get for £60! It’s as light as a feather, and probably competes well with Saffron, gram for gram 😉

The Gilet has a single zip up pocket to the rear and some reflective piping to the front chest and a reflective Windstopper logo to the rear.

As is usual and expected from Gore, it’s very well made and the zippers and seams are all strong.

Performance wise, if mileage is an indicator of how much I rate an item, this one scores very high. It’s absolutely ideal for keeping the wind off your body on a windy day. It also keeps the rain off when it’s light. And, best of all, keeps you quite warm when it’s cold outside. As gear goes, it very versatile and I’ve probably worn this more often than anything else in the 1095miles wardrobe!

Now I’m sure many of you will look at the price of this item and think, no way, it cannot be worth it. Trust me, it is. I wear it so often it’s become the first thing I grab before I run. It’s also one of only two items I would shed a tear over if I lost it (the other being my Gore Running Wear Running Cap II).

Verdict: Go and buy one. Now. In fact, trawl eBay and find a s/h one for cheap. It’ll be the best investment you make.


Gore Running Wear Apex Gore-Tex Waterproof Cap

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

First impressions are that this cap is right on the limit of resting on the ears, with my small head. If you have a very small head, steer clear, it’ll rub and annoy/hurt. Beyond that, it appears well made, with a stiff peak, reflective piping and reflective branding too. It also, sadly, seems a very plasticky and crunchy material. I guess that’s what I should expect for a Gore-Tex item, but out of the packet I knew it’d be a hot one to run in.

On a suitably wet day, it got it’s first test. Now, I’m not a great believer in breathable waterproofs. In my quite extensive experience of both outdoor gear and cycling kit, you have two choices; buy waterproof ‘breathable’ gear and stay dry from rain and boil in the bag, or buy not very waterproof shell type gear and get damp after a short while. Neither is ideal. Neither is really preferable to me. I picked this cap up as it was in the sale at TGStore and I figured it was worth a punt.

The bottom line? I hate to say it, but it ain’t worth the cost. I’m an absolute lover of all things Gore Bike and Gore Run and utterly swear by the stuff, to the point where I just sort of know it’ll be better to pay 50% more for the Gore version, it’ll be worth it. In this case, and for the very first time, it isn’t. It actually hurts me, honestly, to say that!

It behaves as expected. It’s totally waterproof and also hot and sweaty. What it also is though is horrendously expensive at an RRP of £30.

Verdict: If it were me, I’d plump for the Brooks Nightlife (see other reviews) for likely a little over 1/3rd the price if you shop around.
And avoid heavy downpours 😉

Brooks Nightlife Running Cap

Ratings
Overall
Ease of use
Value for money

The Brooks Nightlife range of running specific gear are heavily emblazoned with incredibly effective reflective bands. The cap also claims to be resistant to rain, which it appears to be, looking at the material. Most of the range is available in a choice of either yellow, pink or green with large areas of reflective stripes. The Nightlife running cap also sports a red flashing LED in the back, situated in the middle of the headband adjuster. Initially I thought how can it be washed? We all know you need to wash a running cap regularly, let’s face it, it’s one of the sweatiest bits of kit by the end of a run. Luckily the LED gubbins are removable so washing is just as straightforward as with any other cap once you’ve done this.

Fit wise, I’d say it’s on the larger side, but still fits my small (in motorcycle helmet terms) head ok. It’s just about ok in the resting on the ears stakes, but my current favourite, the Gore Running Cap II is smaller and so preferable fit wise.

As an allegedly weatherproof cap, it’s actually not too hot and sweaty as some can be. It certainly doesn’t breathe anywhere near as well as the summer type caps, but you wouldn’t really expect it to.

Longevity looks ok, however I’ve probably washed mine no more than 10 or so times and the reflective edging on the peak is already starting to show serious wear and loss of silvery bits. In many ways, this should probably be expected. I’m fairly lazy and just chuck all of my running gear straight in the wash in sweaty lump. This is therefore probably more my washing technique than the cap itself.

Retail price point is around £16 but I picked one up for £11 delivered not so long ago.

Verdict: At this price point, it’s a strongly recommended addition to the night runners wardrobe, with the benefit of massive areas of reflective material and an (albeit geeky gadget style) LED to add a little more visibility on those dark evenings.