To be honest, when I first put on the Naked Running Vest it felt a bit ‘strange’, like putting on a female running top. Not there is anything wrong with a female running top, other than most of the time men don’t wear them :).
But I fell in love quickly for the simple reason that it performed as promoted:
Keeping your gear close and secure around your body, no matter if you are bouncing down hill.
The Naked Running Vest easily stores the basic trailrun gear you need for a long day on the trails (see photos in this blog and a small You Tube video):
Two front pockets for two softflasks, emergency blanket, first aid and whistle.
Two side pockets for energy bars and a hook to secure your car/home key (worst nightmare is to return to your car/home tired & dirty and than realise you lost your key!).
One large back pocket to store foul weather jacket and trousers.
The stretch pockets will allow you to take even more. And if you combine the Naked Running Vest with the Naked Running Band you can add even more storage room for softflasks, clothing and running poles for example.
Worth the price?
Is the Naked Running Vest worth $125 / £90 / €110? That is a difficult question. It is made with care and from high quality material. You probably need to invest only once for the rest of your trailrun life. There are in total 12 (!) sizes to have a perfect fit, something I have not seen with any other running vest.
The price is in the same range as other premium trailrun brands like the SALAMON S-LAB Sense 2 for £110. Off course there are also cheaper running vests available starting around £30, you can find these for example at DECATHLON. This may suit your aims, however for me the sizing, breathable material, simplicity and most of all the very secure feeling that everybody remains in the vest without any bouncing around makes it worth the once in a trailrun lifetime investment. I see it as a valuable addition to some other running vests I have and is for sure my trailrun vest of choice for a nice day on the trails – see some other reviews if you want to read more about my experiences with running vest: Trail Belts / Vests / Packs and The Naked Running Band.
You can order the Naked Running Vest online from the USA. The Naked Running Vest and Belt are also available in the UK Centurion Trailrunning shop. Unfortunately there is no real shop available in the Netherlands (yet).
What are your experiences with running vest? Feel free to leave a comment, all experiences add up to that we can make the right choice for what we a re looking for, THANKS!!
I felt very lucky because I always like to new trailrunning gear, it makes me smile like a ice-cream-aholic (which I am also!) in a all free ice-cream shop.
But the proof of the ice-cream is in the eating and for rain-gear you need
… indeed rain!
Who wants rain when running around Anglesey? Nobody I think. And for two days we were treated with great sunny weather but the last day was different! Horizontal rain from the west with no shelter for in total 54km to go along the northwest part of the Island including a climb of Holyhead mountain, it could not be better test weather.
To be honest to all you who are reading. I received the clothes from INOV-8 UK when I asked them if they wanted to support me in this trailrun. Their response was extremely generous and I really appreciate that, but it does not withhold me to be critical. I do not think INOV-8 UK expects anything else when they promote themselves as the ‘World leaders in trailrunning gear’.
So here we go … what are my thoughts after 8 hours of rain?
First the numbers and data – from the brochure.
The AT/C Stormshell Full zip:
Designed for lightweight racing and intense training runs in wet conditions – and it was wet!
Roll away hood with wired peak and single multi directional adjustment.
Packs away small into its own pocket.
Lycra bond cuffs with integrated thumb holes for when it is really cold.
Pertex Shield: a 2.5-layer waterproof fabric with 20,000 HH creates breathability.
Taped seams, full length zip opening and internal stormflap, aquaguard chest zip pocket.
175 grams (I measured 171 grams, size M).
Fulfils all the criteria when race organisers rule a waterproof jacket must be carried as part of mandatory kit.
Provides 360° reflectivity.
The AT/C Racepant:
The two layer waterproof fabric creates the same breathability as the Stormshell.
Stretches to all sides.
Soft inner for warmth and comfort.
Rolls up to a small pack using an integrated loop on the waistband.
Knee high zips for easy put on/take off.
176 grams (I measured 175 grams, size M).
I will divide my experiences in positive, negative and where I think INOV-8 could improve the product even more. As always, these observations are very much runner dependent but I hope I can describe clearly enough why I think a feature is + or -.
BLUF (Bottom Line Up front)
It does it job very well!!
It does not let rain in, lets sweat go out, light weight, small package, feels really comfortable even on bare skin and the Stormshell has a great hood.
Improvements could be an even more athletic cut and adjustable waistband of the Racepant and securing the hood cord to avoid ‘wind flapping’ of the Stormshell.
Does not let rain come in and lets sweat get out . It does what it states on the package! Maybe not a surprise but always good to know. During the day it was relatively warm, approx 13 degrees Celsius, which is not the best temperature for breathable clothing whilst you create more sweat the warmer it is. Underneath I had a long sleeve INOV-8 merino wool shirt, short tights and tubes on my calves. I also wore a buff. Enough to keep me warm and due to the breathability not got wet inside. After the whole trail I still felt warm and dry. The softness of the Racepants ensured indeed that I did not even realise I was wearing rain trousers.
The hood is really good!
With just one draw-cord at the back you adjust the whole hood easily around your head.
When needed you can fully secure your face when running head-on into the wind and horizontal rain. The full zip can be opened and secured just below the chin with a button, good when running with the wind in your back or uphill when you tend to sweat more.
The design of the Racepant is straight forward, basic and does the job. The zips are indeed long enough to easily put them on and off with your shoes on. There are no zip pockets or anything else.
Both Stormshell and Racepant indeed pack very small and fit easily with all your other stuff in your trailvest.
button just below top
Knee high zips
Good face closure
One draw cord
Not really. To be honest I do not have negative issues with both Stormshell and Racepants. They perform as promoted by INOV-8 and what I ‘hoped’ when, unfortunately, I needed to use them fora whole day.
No negative features but I have some possible improvements to make the Stormshell and Racepant even better, or if you wish to balance your decision what you may like to wear yourself in the end.
The AT/C Stormshell Full zip:
The single draw-cord at the back of the hood works really well. However, when running into the wind the cord itself begins to ‘tick’ on your head. Not very hard, but like a metronome following your running pace. This can become annoying after a while. I think it is not that difficult to add a small securing ‘band’ which stop this.
Inform the customer that when the jacket gets wet it turns from the original colour (for me green) into a greenish / black. It is as if the jackets opens it pours to let the sweat out but at the same time showing the colour of your shirt underneath (in my case black). It does not inflict the utility of the jacket at all but when I noticed it at first I was a bit surprised.
The AT/C Racepant:
With my length of 1.81m size MEDIUM was good for the length of my legs. However the waist was too wide. Although there is stretch in the waistband for me I needed to fold the top of the Racepant into the top of my short tight in order not to have it slowly ‘sink’ down. I think it would be easy to add a small draw-cord to make the size of the waistband adjustable, especially with most runners probably have a smaller than usual waist size.
Although the cut is already ‘athletic’ I would prefer an even more tighter cut. When I was running full in the wind I still felt as if the pants ‘flapped’ around a bit more than needed.
I hope this review helps you to decide if the AT/C Stormshell and Racepant are what you are looking for. I am completely satisfied and will take them with me whenever I think the weather may turn sour or when it is part of the mandatory kit list during an organised trailrun.
The three day round Isle of Anglesey Ring of Fire trailrun was a great experience and ticked many boxes!
√ 135 miles / 216 kilometres / 4000 m+ beautiful and continuously changing scenery (90% through AONB):
Day one: rugged coastline with steep gullies.
Day two: more gentle farmland, villages, sandy beaches and forest
Day three: stunning rough rocky coastline with gorse and heather ending in a climb of Holyhead towards the finish.
√ My longest overall distance in three consecutive days and my first 100+ km day distance.
√ Sunshine, nice and warm on day one and two – horizontal rain and wind on day three.
√ Very relaxed and friendly organisation plus a super personal support team!
To be honest I was a bit frightened when I realised in full that I had entered a three day trailrun covering 216km with a 104km on day two. Maybe I need to read the fine-print earlier before entering,, just like reading the operator manual before trying to use something. However, I was directly inspired by the name ‘Ring of Fire’ – that caused positive goosebumps! – the place; the Isle of Anglesey, the most northwestern point of Wales, and the whole idea of circumnavigating the island in three days (that is where islands are for, just like there are mountains in order to climb them).
Anyway, so there I went, supported by my whole family, camping at a lovely small, still Wifi free campsite Pen-y-Bont, which I could use for a toilet break at day three because the trail passes the campsite near Four Mile Bridge.
The start was on Friday 1st September at 13.00 from Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, all very relaxed, with 119 people of which 87 had signed up for the full circle and the others for only the ‘Firelighter‘ (great name), i.e. the one day trail option. I wanted to keep a slower than normal trailrunning pace in order to save my self for day two and three. A multistage trailrun is very much about balancing your energy and recuperate ASAP. I only partly achieved this I think, still feeling full of energy, enjoying the great coastal scenery and joining two other runners who had a nice pace we trailed and chatted along. The finish was at Amlwch (a more Welsh is probably not possible), 58km and 6.16 hours later. I felt rather tired, more than I wanted, and quickly changed focus to recuperation.
Alarm at 0440, children still asleep in the caravan, I quickly get dressed and jump in the car. While my spouse Lonneke races over the Island I eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. A ‘pacer’ guides us at 0600 through sleepy Amlwch back to the Isle of Angelsey Coastal Path. The path is well sign posted and combined with a GPS-track on my watch I hardly needed the printed maps during the three days,
other than to see where the next Check Point is or Honesty Book (in order to proof you have reached an outpost you need to tear a page out of book – all ‘love stories’). These points became my motivational focus points. I counted the kilometres to the next ‘food point’ where I could enjoy with heart delight from many different bars, sometimes soup or coffee and on day three a breakfast bun made at the coffee shop of the parents of one of the organisers at Rhosneigr, Sandy’s Bistro (great place!). It is funny how you can motivate yourself with a wine-gum every kilometre, or chocolate bar when only 30 kilometres to go.
Day two showed another side of the Island: more gentle, more rural and near the end some larger dune and forest areas. Again sunny and warm, I enjoyed the views at a definitely slower pace than day one, trying to keep an average of 7.5 km/hour.
Other motivators this day are certainly my family who show up at unexpected places. With the GPS tracker they can easily follow my progress, find a good spot for a cheer, a cappuccino (mjam!) or big piece of brownie (double mjam!!).
Just before real darkness kicks in I luckily reach the finish at Aberffraw, 104km and 14.40 hours later. We quickly go back to the caravan to go through the same recuperation schedule which worked fine the first night. The good thing about the long distance and slow pace is that you can eat solid food much easier so I am able to keep eating and drinking (using electrolyte tablets to ensure enough mineral intake) to keep a relative steady energy load in my body.
Day three, again alarm at 0440, but what is that? Rain and wind, a completely different world today with horizontal rain from the west. So no cover from the land side with the trail following the western part of the island. Following the coast I sometime go head-on into the wind and rain. Luckily it is not too cold, 13-15 degrees Celsius so I dress in a long-sleeve merino undershirt, buff, short tights, tubes and my rain running gear which I got from INOV-8 to test (I will write a review later). I hoped that the weather maybe would not let me to test it :), but the weather gods decided differently, so it became a worthwhile test for 54km and 8 hours.
The atrocious weather made the rough coastline even more dramatic and after a (even) slower start than yesterday I got into a rhythm and actually enjoyed the rain, wind and views. Big swells let wave surfers do their tricks in some stunning bays.
I found out these days that I preform best at these long distances by continuous running (or maybe a better word for it: shuffling) at a slow speed of 7 – 8 km / hours.
Other runners have different methods I observe, for example changing regularly between walking and running. Almost all of us decide for a swift (ahum) walk when going uphill. In the end you keep the same runners in view almost the whole day.
Towards the finish, after the climb upto Holyhead it even dried up a bit. Under the tones of Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash (the link will bring you to the original soundtrack – for every finisher they started the song again, it is engraved in my memory now, with very good memories). I crossed with my biggest smile ever the finish, full circle back to where I started three days ago. Writing this I am still smiling, feeling lucky, proud and privileged that I was able to join and finish … with great help of all the supporters, the organisation led by ‘Bing’ and ‘Q’and most of all my ‘private’ support team … THANKS!!!
On day one 87 persons started with the Ring of Fire, on day three 51 finished.
I ended 11th overall and 9th men.
First runner finished in 23.15 hours, the last just within 40 hours (total cut-off time was 40.5 hours), first female became 5th in 26.37 hours.
Day one: 58km, 6.16 hours, average 6.31 min/km.
Day two: 104km, 14.40 hours, average 8.27, overall average 7.43 min/km.
Day three: 54km, 8.09 hours, average 9.06, overall average 8.04 min/km.
My average speed was slowly rising every day, and showed that especially day one I went a ‘little’ too fast to be able to keep a steady average over three days.
I ran day one and two on my INOV-8 Trailroc 285 which did well of the winding, sometimes rocky but also dune sand trails. Most part of the trail was relatively hard ground so I enjoyed the cushioning and flexibility.
On day three I ran on my INOV-8 Roclite 305, more to have a different shoe and therefore slightly different use of leg and feet muscles than anything else. In the end I appreciated the more sturdiness of the Roclite 305 when battling into the wind and rain.
Born in Switzerland
– Compressport Trailrunning Review –
I felt really lucky and privileged this year in April to dress myself in a new set of Compressport Trailrunning clothes. I always really enjoy new trailrunning clothes as others may be thrilled buying a new dress, or the latest jeans. And just as with new jeans, you start to appreciate them more and more when time progresses. It is now August and some 2000 trailkilometers later, time for a review …
Are the ”Born in Switzerland” compression clothes as good as Compressport states?
P.S. The links will bring you to the Compressport website to find out more technical details. My review focuses on my practical experiences of these technical details, did they work for me, do they actually add positively to my trailrunning?
If you are looking for Trailrunning compression clothing I think you will not find any better than from Compressport.
It is not cheap but you get your money’s worth of very high quality clothing packed with a lot of technology and nice features.
As always the proof is in the wearing, and that is what I did for many trail kilometres. I hope my experiences will support your decision what to obtain to enjoy the trails …they are there to enjoy and explore.
My Experiences – Detailed
To start with the most important (not really):
the gear just looks great, has a soft touch and makes you want to keep running!!
To be honest, it is not important at all for the actual running how the clothes look like but for the psychological part of running it sure is! I think most of us, at least I do, will scan how other runners are dressed when in a race or just when passing during a training. For what reason? Partly to check the competition, assuming ‘well dressed’ runners are serious runners, i.e. FAST! Partly to see if there are new ‘goodies’ around.
The compression technology for which Compressport is well known I found most useful in the short and tubes.
This performance enhancement technology works well for me. Especially the Tubesgive me good calve stability and Achilles support. Both are important for me, whilst I had some Achilles heel issues over the years and also the tendency that my calves were the first limiters during a long (marathon) race getting cramps. This is now very much reduced – for the Achilles heel also with custom-made orthotics.
The compression running short provides compression of your thighs: does it help? For this I am less sure than the tubes but it feels good and my own experience and mental proof is that I did not suffer any cramps in either calves or thighs during the strenuous six days PirineosFIT 2017 Trailweek where I ran a mountain marathon every day. The compression is stronger than for example the Raidlight Ultralight short.
The fabrics are a nice combination of:
softness, it feels pleasant to the body and does not create any irritation or chafing even after running eight hours in warm weather, sweating a lot whilst wearing a trailrunvest;
quick drying from sweat, rain or after a stream crossing – the Tubes are for example much more quickly dry than the Herzog Tubes;
breathable, especially the lower part of the shirt, the groin part of the short and the back of the Hurricane Jacket through the ‘compression mesh’. The mess width is large enough for pleasant cooling but luckily small enough not to become ‘see through’ which would be a little embarrassing for especially the short.
rubber frictions patches on the the shoulders of the shirt providing support to the trailvest;
the sweatbandof the visor cap is pleasant, keeps it in place even when in stronger winds and I like the ‘additional’ cooling for my head when compared with a normal cap;
lightness, especially the Hurricane Jacket of only 110 grams! The jacket is designed with a stretch mesh back for breath-ability and stretch so you can use it both directly over the shirt but also easily over the trailrunvest when wearing one.
The shirt has six pockets all around at the lower part. These are useful for light weight stuff like energy bars / gels but not so much for more heavy things like a mobile phone or a soft flask. The stretching mesh is just not strong enough to keep such heavier items in place when running.
The short unfortunately does not have any pockets on the sides or back although I think that would be a good place for mesh pockets for mobile phones for example (compared with for example the Raidlight Ultralight short).
Wear and Tear:
Overall the clothes still look great after several hundred of trail kilometres including several ‘stumbles’ on the rocks and interaction with bramble bushes and dozens of machine / shower washing. Only wear I experienced was loosening of the inner Compressport print in the short, maybe a wrong use of glue? However, this is not what you expect of a primary brand like Compressport.
I had some issues with the size advice from Compressport.
Based on their advice I first ordered Tubes size two because I ended up just between size one and two and followed the rule to use the larger size when in doubt. When using these size two Tubes I felt too little compression so I changed them (without any costs) to size one which fitted much better.
The size advice for the shirt also troubled me. I started with size SMALL based upon the advice of Compressport. Although this size gave me a good fit around my chest it had the tendency to creep up around my waist when running, creating a split between the short and the shirt. Although maybe good for the suntan on my stomach it did not feel very pleasant. Unfortunately also MEDIUM had the same issue so I ended up with size LARGE (without any costs). This size was long enough to stay around my waist without creating a bare skin opening with the short. Downside of this is that the upper body compression is less and more importantly that the pockets and the lower part are not stretched enough to keep heavier items in place. Something to consider when acquiring this shirt.
I think that Compressport has designed the Trail Underwear Short to be worn in combination with the Overshort. At least that is what is shown on the website. However, I found the Overshort of no added benefit to for example more quick drying of the short or to protect the groin area for any ‘see-through’. Also the Overshort had the tendency to creep up to my waist, above the waistband of the short. That did not feel very pleasant and also ‘looked’ a bit strange. I ended up not wearing the Overshort at all after the first few runs.
Other brands also offer two-layer trailrun short (like the INOV-8 Twin Short) but these are completely integrated as one piece complete with pockets etc. I am not sure why Compressport choose to split the two items.
I am really interested in your experiences of the Compressport trailrun clothing and also how it compares in your opinion with other high end trailrunning brands like INOV-8, RAIDLIGHT or for example SALAMON. Just drop an e-mail, 🙂 , CHEERS!