Buyers’ Guide: Running Jackets & Gilets
Buying Running Jackets & Running Gilets
The majority of runners tend to run in all four seasons, and when running in more inclement conditions, require something that offers protection against the elements.
One of the biggest enemies to the runners, is wind. Apart from the extra energy required when running into the wind, wind takes heat and moisture away from the body which leads to cooling of the body. Although in some circumstances this can be beneficial, in others, the rate at which the body is cooled can be too dramatic leading to severe discomfort for the runner. During high aerobic activity in wind, the body needs to find a way of releasing heat and moisture at an acceptable rate.
The simplest solution to most, is through the use of a windproof running jacket or smock. Manufactured from a lightweight highly breathable polyester or nylon, the garment will allow heat to move away from the body through the process of convection whilst the highly breathable qualities of the fabric, allow the moisture to evaporate and pass harmlessly through the fabric. Wearing such a garment significantly reduces the wind chill effect experienced when just wearing a base layer or tech t.
Looking at fabrics in greater detail, there are two ways of wind proofing the fabric: Through barrier (coated) technology and through the density of the weave. Although barrier technology offers a windproof and more often than not waterproof solution, unfortunately, it severely inhibits the MVTR. (Moisture vapour transmission rate.) The inhibition of the MVTR ultimately leads to a build-up of moisture (perspiration) on the inside of the garment which accordingly leads to an uncomfortable environment which is prone to overheating. However, through the use of a densely-woven fabric which has been coated with a super DWR (durable water repellent treatment,) it is possible to achieve a suitable compromise between breathability and water resistancy. Using such a fabric allows the garment to breathe whilst the DWR treatment provides a degree of water resistancy. Note that the Time to Run Zephyr Windproof Running Jacket uses a windproof fabric which has had a super DWR applied which just allows the water to roll off. Note though that as the fabric is not waterproof and the seams have not been taped, it cannot be categorised as water proof, only wind proof.
In addition to the use of a performance fabric, it’s important that all garments the following:
Lockdown zips. No annoying movement from the zip puller allows you to concentrate on your workout.
At least one pocket, to stash an energy bar in, or maybe a key or two. Fortunately our bestselling Zephyr Running Jacket for Men and Zephyr Running Jacket for Ladies, comes with four handy pockets.
Reflective trim, okay you may not want to light up like the proverbial Christmas tree but some reflectivity is essential.
A draw cord to allow you to either maximise heat retention or ventilation as you choose. On our Zephyr Jacket, the draw cord is sewn into the waist pocket so that it cannot get snagged on low lying branches. Importantly so as well, it’s manufactured in such a way that it can be adjusted with one hand whilst on the move.
Going back to the issue of reflectivity, over the years we’ve received many requests to product a truly reflective garment and are pleased to offer both the Men’s Pace Spirit Reflective Running Jacket and also the Ladies Pace Spirit Reflective Running Jacket. Each garment comes with a discreet pocket, rollaway hood and an unsurpassed level of reflectivity. Note that although we could make the garment 100% reflective, to do so, would effectively render the garment unbreathable. Think boil in the bag and that’s the result of offering a fully reflective garment. Instead, we use a highly water resistant polyester on the area below the arms and chest, and on the rear, we’ve punched the fabric out so that we can maximise breathability. All in all we think that we’ve struck the right balance.
Windproof Running Gilets
One of the perennial problems facing runners in years gone by, was the choice faced on those days when it was too warm for a full on jacket and a little too cold/windy to get by with a traditional long sleeved technical running t shirt.
Fortunately, the solution is here in the shape of either the Zephyr Running Gilet for Men that comes complete with all of the features of the jacket, but obviously without the arms. Ideal for three season running great additions to the runners' wardrobe.Offering the perfect solution for those requiring the ultimate in reflectivity, we can offer the Men's Pace Spirit Reflective Running Gilet and the ever popular Ladies Pace Spirit Reflective Running Gilet.
Finally but not least, there are times when high visibility running is essential and the need is for a lightweight option. The Time to Run High Visibility Running Gilet ticks all the boxes. Stripped down for simplicity, the gilet offers a wind resistant option superior panels of reflectivity that offer 360 degree visibility.