Sunday, 4 September 2011

Gear thoughts for winter

So I'm arriving at a dilemma.
We're coming into autumn, and then into winter, living in the Peak district and running a lot is going to be quite amusing. I have plenty of walking kit and warm stuff for slow moving activities, and a good lot of kit for mountainous activities.
Not a whole lot of gear for the fast paced running that I'm planning on doing. As long as the weather stays nice, it will be fine. However, as soon as it gets nasty and claggy, things could well get interesting. I'm certainly not going to sit at home sipping cups of tea just because it happens to be a bit wet outside.

However. Neither do I particularly want Hypothermia.
At present my base layers are fine, I have no issue with them, except that they may even be too warm. A couple of long sleeved t-shirts might come in handy.

Waterproof top- needs to be incredibly breathable, and water proof.
Pertex works to a point, and my Montane velo H2O jacket has been brilliant for the past couple of years. The delamination is really starting to spread across the jacket. Its good to a point, but it just isn't breathable in the slightest. I want something a little more heavy duty and much much more breathable.
I appear to have a couple of choices.

OMM Cypher smock. Which seems pretty good. eVent fabric, breathes really well, very weatherproof, not a "rustley" fabric, close cut, very lightweight and generally an excellent choice.
I did see a relatively recent review of it which seemed to indicate that it melted when worn with a rucksac, in much the same way as my Montane featherlite.
Hmmm. I don't particularly want a jacket that melts on me when I run, especially if I'm paying more than £100 for it.

Montane Spektr smock- again eVent fabric, a close cut and hyperlightweight mountain running jacket, with a design that means there are no zips. Rolls up small, seems to be pretty good, though its a bit of a leap to get a jacket with no zip as the ventilation which you might end up needing might not be so good. The hood doesn't have a peak, but its designed to be used with a hat. Interesting.

Rab demand pull on. Again, eVent, a smock, and well designed. Cheaper than the other two, but more designed for mountainous use rather than high paced running, or so I am led to believe. Still, it looks like quite a contender. The hood is apparently pretty good too.
They all pack away ridiculously small, all breathe very well, and all have a look in. Anyone have any strong thoughts for or against any, or have experience with them melting when used with rucksacks? That would be very annoying indeed.

Waterproof trousers- this is an interesting one- I was looking at the Montane featherlite pants, just as something to keep in the pack- but I actually want something that is going to be waterproof when I put it on, not just a windproof. I'm not looking for something that will get me through a kit check, I want something that is going to work for me on the hill.
The OMM Kamelika pants look pretty good- softshell, apparently very runnable in, waterproof and stretchy.
I'm pretty sure that Montane are releasing the Minumus pant early next year, or maybe even this year. I've heard excellent things about the Minimus Jacket, and Im pretty sure that the pants will be just as good. Not sure how nice they will be to run in, but we shall have to see.
Other than that I'm a bit stuck on the gear front. Really, I don't expect to be running in them, they'll be there for emergency only. Lynne has a pair of Paclite pants that would work up to a point, but they are a tad bulky for the current bum bag.
Maybe I need to re think the pants.

Bumbag, 2 litre Inov8 one seems to be going well, but I really miss the water when Im out for a longer run. The 3 litre one might work quite well as it has a waterbottle integral to the design. More gear space, more water. Could be good.
The OMM 4litre bumbag is also tempting, but maybe I should just stick with the 5litre osprey talon that I reviewed here. (apart from the minor fact that it is also Lynnes...)

I run in shorts all the time, and in winter adventure races in the past have used CWX tights. Those, and salomon x-trail tights, which are 3/4 length ones. Both pairs I have are old and another winter is, I suspect, going to see the end of them. I've tried a pair of Montane Mountain Fury tights and they just don't fit in the slightest. I seem to be the wrong proportions for them to stay up as I run, they just fall down, which is really annoying as they seem to be pretty well made.
I might have to look into 2CXU, which seem to be the triathletes brand of choice. As long as they stay up, I don't really care.
(Might need to get some new shorts too. White for preference, and just above knee length!)

Shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes. X-talons? might be a bit cold, but very light and awesomely sticky. Mudclaw 333? Crazy good grip, though I have heard stories of studs coming off- not sure if that particular problem has been fixed yet. O-rocs- originally an orienteering shoe, but has retractable steel studs, might be good on ice... though according to Baba, not so great at contouring.
Anyone know if Inov8 have fixed the mudclaw problem? Montrail no longer do the highlander, and the sportiva ones look pretty tame.
The only other one that I might think about is the new Salomon fellcross, but at £120, thats quite an outlay. If Im shrewd I might even get 2 pairs of old season inov8s for that, which would mean dry shoes on each outing...

Ah, gear decisions. I tell you what, I'm glad Im not a serious mountainbiker or I'd be paralysed by the sheer amount of possible kit I could buy, let alone by the amount of kit in the house, I'd never leave the house for fear I've taken the wrong tyre/ wheels/ bike/ etc. At least with running I just pick up my gear and go.

So. Anyone have any thoughts on the gear? Any experiences? Or better suggestions or ideas? Even better, anyone got some they can lend me, I promise not to break it, just try it and see if I like it...


  1. Re things melting: Surely, the issue here is the fabric? If one eVent jacket is prone to melting, I'd think they all are. Which is a shame, because they sound brilliant.

  2. Hi Tim
    The Demand is a worth a look. Good fabric, well cut and a great hood. Even though event is considered the most breathable fabric, like all waterproofs it struggles to cope with condensation.

    Unless the weather was horrendous I would generally use a windproof.

    I lost a couple of studs on a pair of Mudclaw 270s but 2 pairs on I have had no trouble.

    I look forward to your reviews of whatever you chose.


  3. Lucy- thats what I was thinking... if all eVent melts, thats a bad thing. However, the one I melted was made of pertex, and I haven't had an eVent jacket, so am intrigued by the fabric.

    Also had a look at the OMM Kamelaika Jacket today- its softshell and made with Gelanots fabric, stretchy and seemingly waterproof and breathable. Didnt seem to pack down too small though. I need to find somewhere that does all the jackets and try them all out together... though thats probably never going to happen...

  4. zepr - talk to me about softshell gloves? (walking in Austria next week, and the weather looks like it's going to be... interesting)