ON THE TRAILS
1 – Ultimate direction PB adventure vest 2.0 – £110
This vest is my go to whenever I going out running on the trails or on long runs where I need some fluids. I drink a lot when I am running so I would probably be one of those people who wear a hydration vest at the 5K park run. I have tired various hydration packs and vests always finding them to feel like your are wearing a backpack or something obtrusive. This race vest sits super close to the body like a second skin and doesn’t bounce around. I did try two sizes the slightly larger let me experience what a large breasted lady with no support bra would feel like when running, the water bottle flapped and bounced around uncontrollably. I would suggest trying it out in store before buying on the internet – especially if your going to be running big miles with it, make sure its right.
Spec wise – it has everything you could wish for and more. I keep finding little hidden pockets all over the pack. Just when I am thinking in my head “wouldn’t it be great if there was a pocket…..” I am then stopped mid thought as the bag already has it. I use the two water bottles up front, which allow me to monitor my fluid levels and for quick re fills at aid stations. It can hold a hydration pack if you really need it, all the pockets are really adaptable and can hold a wide range of gear and nutrition. Some packs you need to fill up to make them feel comfortable this pack empty or full fits perfect (when you get the right size).
I struggled to find fault with the pack, the only downside and it is very personal one the two pockets just above the water bottles are slightly too small – I quite like those pockets and I struggle to fit my GPS navigation and phone in them. That’s just me trying to find fault in a vest that is pretty flawless. For more spec head over to their website.
2 – SAXX Kinetic underwear – $35
Now for all you runners if we take blisters, black toe nails, pulled muscles, vomiting, nausea, ligament damage and chaffing the number one discomfort from this list in chaffing. That torturous feeling when the bits downstairs are chaffing and the sweat is slowly trickling into the raw open skin, it is horrendous. I used to be a bit of a rogue when it came to kit selection, I would go pretty basic and just wing it. I got introduced to SAXX underwear by a friend and they have been incredible, I used to surfer terribly with chaffing and no amount of Vaseline, Sudocrem or mayonnaise would help.
Straight from their website sums it up nicely – With a supportive fit and all-around moisture-wicking performance, Kinetic is built for high-output activities like marathon training sessions or blistering hot backcountry runs. Made from stretch micromesh fabric for quick-drying performance and support.
They will even go as far to say that if you are not happy with the comfort of the pants you can return in 30 days, I wouldn’t like to be the person dealing with the returns.
An outstanding product that has helped me out massively. They have a wide range of other leisure wear pants, sports shorts and compression which I am keen to try out. With a nice pouch to hold your junk in they are perfect for running as there is no unnecessary movement.
3. Suunto Ambit 3 Peak – £270
Suunto v Garmin
The two main contenders in the running and outdoor world when it comes to GPS watch’s. You can read endless reviews with arguments for and against each watch. I have fleeted between Garmin and Suunto but for the last year I have been with Suunto and the delicious Ambit 3 peak.
It has been exceptional from start to finish, the ease of use and all the functions has been perfect for everything I would ever need. I bought the Garmin Fenix 2 and just had endless problems with it, it would reset itself during runs, turn itself off when I would clock a transition in a triathlon it was just too un reliable. On the flip side the Ambit 3 has never let me down and this has filled me with confidence when out on long runs, with the famous saying “if its not on Strava it didn’t count” ringing in my ears I can relax and enjoy my runs knowing that the data will be there to nerd over when I get home.
I tend to use a very select few features as I do triathlon, running and hiking. The data fields show everything that you would ever need and much more, the Ambit 3 peak is built for the outdoors person in mind. A massive 200 hour battery life and amazing GPS response and accuracy. A main feature I have found very impressive is the route navigation. Pair the watch with your laptop and Movescount app, you can then sync pre planned routes and follow very easily on your watch. If you want a bit of adventure and want to go off the beaten track then use a feature called TrackBack. You set your start point head out on a mission not worrying where you are going, when you are ready to navigate back you set your way point and you follow your track back to where you started. A really helpful feature if tracking back through bad conditions.
Overall this watch is everything that I could ask for, im sure there are a whole host of features that I don’t use. Connecting this watch to your Movescount app is slick through bluetooth and lets me have a real nerd off with my mates. As time progresses im sure I will start using more of the features but at the minute I am happy with a watch that delivers high detailed data every time I go out.
4 – Injinji socks – £15-20
The aim of most pieces of kit is to make your time as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Foot care is an absolute must when running; if you have sore feet then running will become miserable. I have been very fortunate to find these socks early on, another recommendation from a friend who insisted on me getting some of these delicious foot gloves. There is a certain skill to getting them on, but once your in you can say goodbye to any rubbing.
Working with the anatomy of your foot and separating all your ties the socks allow your toes to naturally align and splay vital for when out running.
Overall a top quality sock that provides a great barrier between you and your shoes. The only downside is the initial frustration of getting them on, but once you’re in welcome to your little slice of foot heaven pie.
5 – Saucony Peregrine 7 – £120
I have never deviated from the Peregrine model ever since I got my first pair 3 years ago. I have only had 3 pairs in total and that’s saying something one of two things – I don’t run enough to wear them out or they are built to last. I will go with the later! I have used them on all sorts of terrain and they have always stepped up to the mark. Rocky terrain to road running they are light and minimal for a trail shoe.
These shoes come into their element when they are out on the trails with the PWRTRAC outsole there is so much grip. My journey with the Peregrine model has been pretty smooth there has been various complaints about a hard heel cap that rubs but I have had no issues. The top section of the shoe on previous models has been made out of a softer less durable material, which got pretty battered; they have now updated this with a much tougher material that can really take some heavy wear.
The shoe is slightly bulkier than the previous Peregrine but that hasn’t got in my way. Overall an absolute delight with still a very minimal running profile that suits me perfectly.