To wrap up our series on the best products of the 2010 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, we’ll take a look at apparel. (We’ve already looked at true gear and shoes.) Our look at the best and brightest upcoming trail running clothes features jackets, technical baselayers, socks, compression garments, gloves, and components/features.
Technical jackets have been around for awhile, so it’s hard for a manufacturer to come up with something completely new. That said, we were really impressed at the small refinements companies are making to run-worthy jackets. Here are some of the highlights.
Salomon Shift Midlayer Hoody ($110)
The North Face Stormy Trail + Momentum Ninja Full
The North Face‘s Stormy Trail is a hoodless waterproof jacket. The jacket’s waterproof membrane and taped seams keep you dry from the outside, while front and rear shoulder venting as well as membrane improvements keep you drier on the inside. The North Face claims that the fabric is 25% more breathable than its previous jackets.
Another cool jacket from The North Face is the Momentum Ninja Full. As the name would suggest, this jacket features a “ninja hood” that covers the neck, mouth, and most of the face. Yes, you can still wear this on the run as the jacket has a mouth vent.
GoLite Dakota Windshirt ($80)
New Balance NBx Wind Blocker Jacket ($130)
Moeben Tech Wear
A few years ago Moeben catapulted arm sleeves into the consciousness of American trail runners. Now, Moeben is launching a full line of technical athletic clothing under the banner of Tech Wear. There will be both a line of UV 50 sun protection clothing and an eco-friendly line that uses recycled poly, organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo. When all is said and done, Moeben will be making run and bike shorts, mini-dresses, shirts, tank tops, capris, full-length pants and leg sleeves in addition to its flagship arm sleeves. The line will be available from both Roadrunner Sports and ZombieRunner. We should also point out that Moeben will be donating a portion of its revenue on all sales from February 1 through April 30 to Doctors Without Borders’ relief effort in Haiti.
SmartWool PhD Graduated Compression Socks ($38-40)
Drymax Socks ($16 for the Hot Weather sock and ~$26 for the Maximum Protection Trail)
Over the past few years, the trail running community and the ultrarunning community, in particular, have gotten to know and love Drymax socks.
Drymax will also be adding a Maximum Protection Trail Running sock (right) that combines the best attributes of its Trail Running and Maximum Protection models. This new sock will add the water repelling PTFE (think Teflon) repelling properties of the Maximum Protection sock to the protective aspects of the Trail Running sock.
Both the revised Hot Weather Running sock Maximum Protection Trail Running sock will be released in early spring 2010. However, Andy Jones-Wilkins and Jamie Donaldson were already ready sporting the Maximum Protection Trail Running socks at last weekend’s Ghost Town 38.5 mile trail race.
Salomon Exo Calf ($60)
Long available in Europe, we’ve been reassured that Salomon will finally be bringing the Exo Calf – the company’s compression leg sleeve – Stateside in February 2010. If you read Bryon’s recap of his run at the 2009 Leadville 100 or account of Kilian Jornet’s record-breaking run of the Tahoe Rim Trail, you’ve already seen Salomon’s Exo Calf on iRunFar.
Saucony Compression Suit ($200ish)
We ain’t got no details or images for Saucony‘s forthcoming full-body compression suit. This suit is meant for recovery and can be slept in. Sounds like something that will make the stage race circuit once released.
Mountain Hardwear Momentum Running Glove ($35)
We weren’t going to include the following tidbits, but they represent ideas that could lead to some of the coolest stuff over the next few years. We won’t dwell on them, but wanted to put them on your radar screen.
Polartec Power Shield Pro
Power Shield Pro is the latest innovation from the purveyors of warmth over at Polartec. Power Shield Pro is a highly-water resistant, breathable fabric aimed at very active users, such as trail runners. The fabric will be featured in the sweet Kishtwar jacket The North Face introduced at OR and will undoubtedly be featured in many products in the near future. We look forward to putting Power Shield Pro products to the test. In the mean time, check out a short video and other reviews found on the Polartec blog, Just a Zipper.
GoLite Shoulder Reinforcement
We saw GoLite incorporate shoulder reinforcement in its forthcoming Wind River Softshell. We’d love for GoLite or another manufacture to introduce a hint of reinforcement in the shoulders of an ultralight shirt.
Kid’s Zipper from The North Face
The North Face is introducing an oddly noteworthy zipper in its new, ultra-cute (we swear, it was) kids wear. What’s neat about the zipper is that it can be started when the skinny part of the zipperhead is at a higher than usual angle to the zipperhead. We nod in agreement that this would be useful to parents trying to put a fleece jacket on a squirming 2 year old. We think it would be darn near as useful when a trail runner tries to zip his or her rainshell when a 40 degree downpour hits in the pitch dark at my 80 of a 100 miler.
So what do you think of some of these new products? Think you’ll try any when they are released? If you want to know more details about any of the products mentioned above, please ask. We’ll do our best to get you more information.