December 17, 2010

Champion's Cold Weather Gear

My training has always slowed down during the winter as generally I go indoors and hit the treadmill. While the fact that I keep up the cardio is good, the fact that it's mostly on the treadmill is bad. When it comes to running outdoors after a lot of time inside it's not always easy to keep myself motivated. If you stop on the treadmill you fall and it hurts. Outdoors it's much easier to cut the run short.

I decided this year would be different and I would keep training outdoors. I knew with the appropriate clothing I could easily run in the cold while staying comfortable but wasn't sure where to start. I got a hold of Champion and found out they have some great cold weather gear to keep me comfy.

With cold weather running and cycling clothing the priorities are minimal bulk, comfortable warmth (without being hot), and moisture-wicking. I was fortunate to try out two items that fit the bill. I have worn these for winter cycling, completing a 5K and snowshoeing. They're versatile and a great buy!

Double Dry® Ultimate Quarter-Zip Women's Top 
The first thing that surprised me about this top is how soft it is, it doesn't have a scratchy tag, and the seams are minimalistic (read: non-chafing). It is so comfy I have fallen asleep in it a few times. Functionally, it wicks moisture well while maintaining a low profile. The quarter-zip neck allows you to control the ventilation a bit and even when fully zipped it's comfortable. You don't feel like you're being strangled and the zipper is guarded by fabric, so no rubbing on your neck and chin. Of course my favorite feature is the thumbholes. I don't always run with gloves on so in winter I like extra long sleeves that shield my hands a bit. The thumbholes keep them in place. Another nice feature is bit of reflective element to the top. It's not an obnoxious design, just a smart addition in the right spots. 

Double Dry® Ultimate Women's Running Tights
I never thought I would be comfortable in running tights. I was pleasantly surprised by this pair. They're easy to get on thanks to a generous ankle zipper. They're a great length, a little long my short frame but didn't leave me with a ton of excess fabric. The waist tie is easy to use and conceals well. There is also a nice slim pocket with hidden exterior-access with a zipper. I never care for the interior pocket for keys, I always feel like any onlookers would think I was playing with my undies rather than trying to get my key out. While these tights are light weight and a thin, soft material they're also warm enough for winter sports.

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