Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Janji Compass Singlet & Bolivia Short Review: The Coolest Patterns You've Ever Seen - For a Cause!

Article by Michael Ellenberger. 

Disclosure: I ran with Mike and Dave, the co-founders of Janji, at Wash U., but I purchased this kit with my own money. I hadn’t planned on a review, but I’ve gotten several compliments on the singlet-short combo already, and decided to write it up and spread the word.
The universal faces of running.


Janji is a running apparel company based in Boston, Massachusetts. While they make the usual gauntlet of running gear – shorts, shirts, jackets, hats, etc. – they do so with a twist: 5% of the sale of each piece goes to help fund clean water projects in various countries. Many of their products or designs are country-specific, such that the design is taken from or inspired by the country, and the proceeds in turn go back to an effort in that specific nation. The fit and finish of each product is top-notch (no different from your average Nike or LuLu Lemon apparel), but the designs tend to be more inspired – and more fun.
Guaranteed to stand out at races.

For this kit specifically, Janji went to Bolivia for inspiration: "Las caras de carrera" means "faces of the race" - the design highlights the shared emotions we all go through while racing, and in life — joy, suffering, ritual, drama, exhaustion, seriousness and silliness — with a strong Bolvian graphic influence. They were designed, in collaboration with Janji, by Bolivian artist Claudia Gorena. Read more about the Bolivia collection is available here
Which face is 'need to find the porta potty'?'

Reviewed here are the Janji Compass Singlet (in the Las Caras de Carrera pattern, $48) and the Bolivia 3" Split Short (also in Las Caras de Carrera print, $52). 

Compass Singlet

The tag denotes the country which the proceeds benefit - in this case, "Run for Bolivia."
The Compass Singlet is one of the most unique singlets I've ever seen, but it fortunately fits like most other singlets I've ever worn: properly. It's a 100% polyester tricot material, with an airy mesh back for added heat release for those hot races. I'm reasonably picky when it comes to singlets, but this one fit my frame (69" and 130 lbs) perfectly, and there was no impediment to my arm-swing, which is basically the worst-case for a singlet. Everything was comfortable, and I didn't have any issues with chafing or rubbing. Janji suggests moving up if you're in-between two sizes.
The singlet fits true to size, and is a slimmer cut - perfect for racing or workouts.
Somehow, there are several things wrong that can go wrong in a singlet - the cut can be wide or just wrong, it can slip around your shoulders, irritate your arms or chest, it can be too long or short - but when you have one that's fit perfect, it really just becomes a simple garment: the Compass singlet is just that. There's nothing to worry about putting this on for the first time before a big workout or race.  
The Janji logo atop the back of the singlet, surrounded by a breathable mesh. 

Bolivia 3" Split Short

The Bolivia 3" Split Short is, well... just that: a 3" split short. It features the same, bright pattern as the Compass singlet, and is made of Janji's "AdventureVentRipstop Mesh," with a 3% spandex blend. The elastic waistband carries through the Caras motif. This style of short is Janji's top-seller, and for good reason: they're comfortable, breathable, and after 10 runs or so in them, they still feel good as new. It's a shame winter will cause me to cover them up!

The "Caras" waistband... spooky!
3" is a bit longer of an inseam than I usual wear - I'm a 2" to 2.5" guy, but with the split, I think these shorts will appeal to a broad audience. Janji says "these race shorts pull off an ideal combo of function and fun for high-flying strides," and I think that's right on - they're short enough that you can race in them, even in your local 5K, but long enough that you can hang around for the free beer afterwards and not feel you need to cover up.   
There's a rear pocket here as well, so you can carry GUs, keys, or whatever. It's not massive, but will comfortably fit whatever you need for a quick run. I appreciate how the Caras theme carries over onto the back as well, even if it's only the top-portion. It makes for a really sharp looking pair of shorts without being obnoxious.
The rear pocket, including a Janji-branded zipper. Sharp!

Overall Impressions

At $48 and $52 respectively, the Janji Compass Singlet and Bolivia Shorts are not cheap, but don't stop reading: here is a true case of you get what you pay for. As mentioned, 5% of your purchase price goes to fund clean, drinkable water in Bolivia. The design was created for Janji by a Bolivian artist, Claudia Gorena. Plus, the singlet and shorts are both damn comfortable, and should last you many miles (about enough to take you through each and every one of the faces depicted). I admit I was initially drawn in by the wacky pattern, but after dozens of miles, this kit is one of my favorite pieces of running gear of 2018. 

Reviewer Bio
Michael Ellenberger

Michael is a third-year law student at Northwestern University in Chicago, with an interest in patent and intellectual property law. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). Michael is a gadget and running nerd, and has pipe dreams of running the Olympics Trials marathon standard. His pre-race breakfast is, and will always be, Pop-Tarts.
The product reviewed in this article was a personal purchase. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Comments Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our 2019 Previews Page here for 2019 run shoe, apparel, and gear previews. 
Watch our YouTube Channel  here for 2019 Run Shoe Previews and Wearable Tech Reviews 
Visit our Index Page here for over 150 in depth 2017 & 2018 shoe and gear reviews
Like & Follow Road Trail Run
Facebook:roadtrailrun.com  Twitter: @roadtrailrun 
Instagram:roadtrailrun   RTR YouTube: RoadTrailRun

RoadTrailRun receives a commission for purchases through the stores below. 
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun's work. Thanks!
Men's HERE Women's  HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns


Armando said...

Thanks for the review--I will try these out. How would you compare these to the On Running singlet and shorts? They are currently my favorite--the lightest, airiest, quickest drying that I have.

Michael said...

Haven't tried the On kit. These are lighter than a Nike Miler or Tempo singlet/shorts, for reference - and fast drying, as well.