Athleta Field Report: Uncovering the Sneaky Performance in Our Cold-Weather Running Gear
Athleta Field Report puts our technology and innovations to the test in the real world. Pro snowboarder Caley Vanular takes some of our cold-weather running gear on a downtown Portland run.
For off-season cross-training when I’m not snowboarding, I use running as a way to keep my cardio and body in shape. For those of you that run, you know you have to be ready for anything. That includes temperature shifts, extreme weather conditions, oncoming traffic, uphill climbs—and of course your gear. Pants that fall down or a zipper that rattles with every step is not something you want to deal with mid-run. To combat this, I grabbed the Neothermal Top and Alpha Slice Vest from Athleta for an early-morning test run through downtown Portland.
Neothermal Top: For a Brisk Morning Run That’s No Sweat at All
It takes about 10-15 minutes before my body really starts warming up—and when it does, I quickly go from comfortable to unpleasantly hot. The Regul8 technology in the midweight Neothermal Top did a good job of keeping me warm and cozy for my cold start, but also managed to keep me cool and dry as I ramped up and the temperatures outside started to rise.
Once I got over the Willamette River, I knew I had reached the five-mile mark. This is when I usually start to feel my arms rub uncomfortably against my sides, but I realized this top does not have any seams. It’s just one piece of smooth, super-soft fabric all the way around, which was extremely comfortable as the day progressed. Another awesome feature was the fitted style, which helped to prevent the top from riding up. One of my major workout pet peeves.
I love to sweat, but regardless of how good it can feel, you don’t always look or smell so great after. The body odor and red face can have you dodging people on the way home. I didn’t feel that way with this top. The fabric contains natural silver salts for antimicrobial protection, which means I don’t have to stress if I stop at Heart Roasters for coffee on the way home or forget to throw it in the wash after my run.
Polartec Alpha Slice Vest: The Perfect Outdoor Run Vest to Ward Off the Chill
The morning was a bit foggy and drizzly but not freezing, so I opted for the Polartec Alpha Slice Vest instead of a jacket to keep my core warm and insulated. It was still a bit dark out at the start, and the gray reflective panels in the front and back ensured I was noticeable to cars and cyclists.
I loved the functionality of this vest. It’s lower-profile and sleeker than puffy down vests, while blocking the wind and chill unlike fleece vests. I also appreciated the attention to details, including the zipper garage and back pocket that’s just big enough to hold all my necessities or a water bottle so I can go hands-free on long runs or bike rides.
“I loved the functionality of this vest. It’s lower-profile and sleeker than puffy down vests, while blocking the wind and chill unlike fleece vests.”
It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but I think a lot of running has to do more with your state of mind than body. If you are uncomfortable or not in the right state of mind, it can send you right back to where you started… bed. Get the right gear to keep your mind on track and focus on conquering that last mile to meet your goals. All you have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. No sweat.