Sunday, April 07, 2013

Spring Running Favorites: Patagonia Strider PRO Shorts, NorthFace Better than Naked Jacket

With spring trying to arrive I have been enjoying 2 very well designed running items from Patagonia and the NorthFace.

Patagonia Strider PRO Shorts
I like the Strider PRO alot because for the first time I have found a short with decent sized pockets which actually work, no bounce and secure. The Strider has 2 decent size hip pockets: the yellow stretch fabric covers the pockets and is tied into the waistband.  There is also a zip pocket on the rear.  I run with an iPhone 5 in a baggie for Strava... and for pictures along the way. By placing decent size pockets on the hips and making them snug and secure Patagonia is the first to really solve the "pocket problem".
Patagonia Strider PRO shorts 

I have even been able to stick a full Salomon 8oz Soft Flask in the other pocket or you can put at least 4 gels in either pocket. Note with the Salomon Soft Flasks once you have had a decent drink, no matter the pocket, they tend to flop around so I hold them in my hand after starting one.

The waist band is snug and substantial  but unfortunately has a continuous pull cord so no way to synch a bit tighter and keep it that way when pockets are really full: phone and Flask.

The material is a combination of very soft, smooth polyester fabric on the front and back and mesh on the sides. The inseam is 5", a great compromise length. A very functional, breathable and comfortable short indeed. $55 retail.

NorthFace Better than Naked Jacket

The $130 Better than Naked is one fabulous running jacket. Very light at 6.35 oz. Made of a non plasticky, smooth yet textured and stretchy fabric it not only blocks wind but its breathability is outstanding The FlashDry treatment really seems to work as I have never sweated through the jacket. I tend to run hot and this jacket really bridges the gap between wind protection and a sauna, wet feeling in variable conditions.
North Face Better than Naked Jacket

Hard to see in the picture but the sleeves running from just in front of the elbows, up under the arms and then down the back in a strip are a more mesh like version of the rest of the fabric. The wrists are also made of the mesh material and can be rolled up a ways. There is laser perforation venting at the top of the back.  I have not yet run with it in rainy conditions but expect it will provide decent protection but really should be considered a wind shell.

I wear a medium and have put a heavy weight mid layer underneath without feeling constricted due to the stretch nature of the fabric. The pocket is decent sized and accommodates an iPhone 5 without bouncing even when the jacket is partially unzipped.

Disclosure: I purchased both items.

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