Saturday, October 27, 2018

2018-2019 Winter Run and Nordic Ski Pants Round Up: Nike, On Running, Craft, Daehlie

Article by Sam Winebaum
I prefer run pants to tights for winter running. With a background in Nordic skiing, I have always felt the classic nordic ski pant, with its windproof front, very breathable back and looser fit than tights kept me warmer, cooler, and less bound up. All the selections below are run pants, two from primarily run brands (Nike and ON) and two from brands with origins in nordic skiing (Dahlie and Craft). All are superb with differing ideal temperature ranges and uses. I  typically wear a size medium, have a 32"/ 83 cm waist and am 5'10"/ 177 cm tall.

The Warmer Weather Speedster and Race Pant 
Nike Swift Run Pant ($120)



The Swift is said by Running Warehouse to be Galen Rupp's warm up pant. I like the way Galen thinks! The area above the knee is a very light soft stretch fabric with plenty of room and if wet less stick. Laser cut holes behind the knees ventilate. Below the knees is a snugger jersey fabric, no bagging for a sleek look. 2 deep reflectively trimmed front and deep zip pockets and a small rear sweat proof rear pocket provide plenty of carry for a phone, gels, gloves and a hat. Other reflective hits will keep you highly visible, There are no ankle zippers here. Also available in women's style.
Ideal Uses: Temperatures between 30 and 55 F ( -1 to 13 C) including in breezy or damp weather. I would wear them for winter racing in temperatures between 35 F and 25 F.

Shop Running Warehouse for Nike Swift Run Pants Men's HERE Women's HERE

The Lightweight All Arounder
On Running Pants ($170)

I have had my ON pants for 2 years now and they have been a go to for training and even for my Boston Qualifier this spring in the low 30's with wind where it was perfect. A very light and soft windproof Japanese tent like ripstop layer backed by a very fine soft mesh lining is above the knees in front with a jersey fabric in back.
The knees are articulated both front and back for ventilation and movement and is a big part of their utility in a wide range of temperatures as there is no interference with stride on the run and they vent very well. Below the knees is a soft stretchy jersey fabric. The short zippers are just that short and gusseted. The ON has extensively blackout reflectivity, a deep front zipper pocket and a front open pocket. Also available in women's style.
Ideal Uses: Temperatures between 20 F and 50 F (-6 C to 10 C) plus including windy conditions without additional base layers. They can get a bit clammy and cold when soaked by rain in colder temperatures. Running and nordic skiing.

Shop Running Warehouse USA for ON Running Pants Men's HERE 

A Full Featured Great Value
Craft Men's Essential Winter Training Pants ($100)
The bargain of the group the Craft Essential does not skimp on essential features. Craft has a long heritage in Nordic ski racing and training apparel and more recently has launched warmer weather run apparel. The entire front to the knees of the Essential is a windproof fabric with an inner mesh liner, with the back a soft breathable brushed fabric which is a bit heavier and warmer than the ON's.
Below the knees the windproof with mesh fabric continues front and back making them a bit less breathable there than the ON in that area. The Essential has a front articulated knee for ventilation and movement and plenty of reflectivity.  Where does it skimp? The single hip side zip pocket is small, a phone won't fit. The ankle zippers are also short. You will not get these on or off easily without taking off your shoes, Slightly warmer than the ON it is a good winter training option at a great price.
Ideal Uses: 15 F to 45 F (-9 to 7 C) with wind. Running, nordic skiing, snowshoeing.

For Multiple High Output Activities in Serious Winter Weather
Daehlie Wool Pants ($195)

The pure nordic ski pant of the bunch the Wool Pant is a warmth masterpiece. Bjorn Daehlie until the last Olympics was the winningest athlete in Winter Olympics history  and one of the top two or three VO2max every measured and nordic skiing was his game. Since his retirement this Norwegian legend he has built his brand into one of top few Nordic apparel brands, outfitting many national and Olympic teams. Daehlie knows winter and high output activities in all seasons and the gear required.

The Wool Pant is beautifully and ruggedly crafted and has a full windproof front with a thin laminated wool lining.
The rear top is also the same windproof water resistant fabric which is treated with a fluorine free Bionic Finish Eco DWR. Below and behind the knees we have stretch wool jersey for warmth and enhanced movement. There is no articulated knee here. I ran them on a 50 F day and found my shins got damp but surprisingly the top areas were extremely breathable and comfortable. There is a single deep zip pocket.
The leg zippers extend to the knees and are rugged with the lower cuff back by a durable sticky band all of this to better survive the wear and tear of boots.
My sample was a large whereas I usually take a medium and was a bit long and baggy at the cuff, again this extra room and length great for nordic and other winter shoes. Also available in women's style.
Ideal Uses 0 F (-17 C)) with a thin base layer such as Daehlie Airnet Wool, review soon, to 40 F (- 4 C) in all conditions. Nordic skiing, running, snowshoeing, hiking, and spring Alpine skiing.

Shop REI for Men's and Women's Daehile Wool Pants HERE 

Some products reviewed in this article were provided at no cost, some were personal purchases. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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1 comment:

Xavier said...

I recently purchased a pair of under armour running pants for around $40, they're water repellent and windproof
with an excellent fit. My only run with them so far has been in Reykjavik, Iceland in breezy and super chilly 40 degree farenheit weather, I was very impressed! Would highly recommend.