Friday, November 05, 2021

2021 Road and Trail Run Outerwear and More Gift Guide & Mini Reviews: Gore Wear, Tracksmith, ASICS, Nike, New Balance, adidas Terrex, Backcountry, and Odlo

Article by Sam and Dominique Winebaum, Adam Glueck, Jeff Valliere and Nils Scharff

Our 2021 Holidays Outerwear Gift Guide features jackets and pants/tights from Gore Wear, ASICS, Nike, New Balance, Backcountry, Tracksmith, and Odlo to help get you and yours through dark and chilly winter miles warmly and safely. 

Please help support RTR this holiday season. RoadTrailRun may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. 

Gore-Wear Phantom Jacket ($200)

Strengths: most adaptable to varying temperatures and activities

Features: Zip off sleeves, Gore-Tex Windstopper Infinium- highly breathable totally windproof, 3 rear pockets

Best for: cycling, running, nordic skiing

Sam Winebaum: With Gore-Tex Infinium front construction the Phantom is in the Gore-Wear cycling line. It has a soft shell construction as with the Tabernash below with its fleece-like material lighter and its outer shell a bit denser. It has plenty of stretch unlike more classic Gore-Tex constructions.

It has of course a snugger cycling type fit with a drop tail and 3 pockets at the rear, one zipped. I was able to store my phone and tripod out back with no bouncing during my runs.

The Infinium membrane proved totally wind resistant and high breathable in very windy moderate temperatures during my testing with as intended moderate moisture resistance as this is a construction more about a soft stretchy feel and high output activity protection and breathability than the moisture water resistance of more classic Gore-Tex.

The fit at my usual size will allow (if snug) for a decent weight mid layer underneath.

The key feature of the Phantom are its removable sleeves. Each sleeve has 2 zippers which if you don’t want to remove the sleeves can be unzipped for ventilation. 

A bit tricky to put back on in a hurry  but conveniently labeled left or right to get started 

Remove the sleeves which have blackout reflectivity as does a wide band of Infinium backed material all around the lower hem and you have short sleeves up near the shoulders. Neat, as this allows you to wear a sleeveless base layer under the “vest” and still have some shoulder coverage or even nothing at all.

The front wind protection from the Infinium was total and the jacket has, as with all Infinium superb breathability. I was surprised that the water resistance was quite good on the front with the rear of the jacket, mostly all light fleece getting wet but nowhere absorbing much moisture.

While cycling oriented the Phantom is an excellent winter run and nordic ski  jacket with the versatility of removing the sleeves a feature. And of course you can also cycle with it as well. 

And when the weather gets dicey I reach for the Gore Wear Ultimate 2-1 Shorts (also available in black, which feature a compressive yet comfortable long liner and literally as much pocket capacity (5 mesh pockets all around the waist plus two thigh pockets on the inner liner.

Shop for the Gore Wear Phantom Jacket for men and women 

Backcountry HERE


Shop the 2021 Off-Roads Collection

Tracksmith HERE

Nike Dri-Fit Swift Running Tights ($120)

Strengths: Extremely lightweight, stretchy and very breathable leg protection

Features: 2 hip zip pockets/ small back zip pocket, reflective highlights, 75% recycled content

Best for: road running in moderately cool conditions

In quite a contrast from the more heavy duty weather resistant and winter ready choices here the Swift is a super light thin barely there run pant/tight with an easy fit. Non compressive with a loose easy fit, stretchy and very thin the Swift provides a touch of protection for those fast runs (and races) in moderately cool temperatures. 

They are highly breathable with laser cut behind the knee ventilation and  are made from at least 75% recycled polyester. 

It has two front zip pockets and a rear horizontal slot pocket to stuff a jacket (but not a phone as we found out..). Use the front pockets for the phone, there is minimal bounce. There are no cuff zips but you will be able to gently pull them off over not overly bulky run shoes.

There are heavier duty run pants and tights here and elsewhere but the Swift is the one for those speed and mild days when light weight and just barely there leg coverage is in order.

Shop for Nike Dri-Fit Swift Run Tights for men and women

Running Warehouse HERE

Amazon HERE

Backcountry Tabernash Gore-Tex Infinium Anorak ($190) and Jogger Pants ($180)

Strengths: Warmest and most generous fit for layers. 

Features: Gore-Tex Windstopper Infinium- highly breathable totally windproof soft and stretchy, plentiful pockets, many reflective highlights

Best for: hiking, nordic skiing, running, spring ski touring, around town, walking the dog

Sam and Dominique Winebaum: Given the now chillier conditions, Dominique and I  were able to test the Backcountry Tabernash Anorak and Jogger Pants. Emerging a few years ago in gloves we are now seeing Infinium in apparel. I think it is the near ideal material for a cool colder weather high output run, nordic ski, or cycle apparel and in the Tabernash it does not disappoint. 

The anorak has front, shoulder, and first half of sleeves panels of Gore-Tex Infinium which is a highly wind resistant, highly breathable membrane. It has a lighter than the usual Gore water resistance so it is clearly not “waterproof” and we found only moderately water resistant.  Winter cold and wind is the environment for Tabernash as sweaty equals chilled and cold most of all. 

The fit of the anorak is generous and stretchy with a brimmed hood that can be snuggly cinched,a giant double zipper kangaroo pocket with a doubling of fleece for hand warming, rear zip pocket, reflective highlights, laser cut panels at the armpits, and a hem drawcord.   

The pants have their Infinium across the entire front with the back soft highly breathable very light fleece like material. 

The Jogger is a classic nordic ski pant construction with front wind resistance and rear breathability. The pants include short back of the cuff zippers so they can cover boots.

The main fabric of both is  somewhere between soft shell jacket and mid layer weight pieces is a soft thin, stretchy  fleece-like feeling material with a smooth outer face.  

As a “jogger” style pant they have a stretch waistband and drawcord all around (but with fly in the men's), stretch cuffs (with short zippers), articulated knees, reflective highlights, and a roomy more pants than tights like fit.

We have run both pieces in temps just at 50F and still been comfortable. Both have extensive reflective highlights front and back for night activity safety. 

We can’t wait to run, nordic ski and hike these in colder conditions where the combination of generous fit, adequate warmth, breathability and wind resistance should be near ideal.

RTR Review

Shop for the Backcountry Tabernash Anorak and Jogger Pants at Backcountry HERE

New Balance TCS New York City Marathon PMV Shutter Speed Jacket ($235)

Strengths: Most reflective and most weather resistant

Features:  Iridescent constantly changing with light conditions, safety and looks. Weather resistant (wind and moisture) breathable membrane.

Best for: Night activities and foul weather: running, nordic skiing, around town, dog walks

Dominique: The PMV Shutter Speed is a technical jacket designed for running -  and other outdoor activities - with an outer shell that is both wind resistant and iridescent and that acts like a membrane to shield you against the elements, wind and cold, and make you visible in the dark when light, i.e., headlights and even the sun are directed at you.  

I was literally blown away (no pun intended) by the sleekness of the jacket, luxurious feel inside and out, attractive design, innovative features, functionality, comfort, and protection. This is not your basic windproof running jacket, but a high-end technical heavier weight jacket with a price tag, which is also a bit weighty, but equipped with a removable hood to lighten the jacket. It is also a commemorative jacket for the 50th NYC marathon featuring an attractive logo on the right shoulder.  Sam and I ran the 17th edition..

Sam: Striking in its constantly changing iridescent fabric, heavy duty and full featured the Shutter Speed is for those days when the weather is raw, the light fading or gone into night, and the miles long. 

As Dominique says it is not the usual "windbreaker". It has a considerable heft reminding me of the Tracksmith NDO Jacket (RTR Review) of last year.  It has a highly protective shell and a set of features (hood, velcro cuff, outer see-through touch screen phone pocket, length, and rear venting) that had me running in comfort into the stout winds and rain of a Nor’Easter during my testing.

Dominique: The fit is perfect and true to size.  The jacket is akin to a “blouson,” especially the women’s version, with roughly five inches of wide elastic (two inches high) at the bottom of each side panel. This allows for some extra stretching around the hips and creates a snugger fit as well. In daylight, the wind resistant and iridescent technology woven into the fabric create a glossy look and luxurious feel which is very attractive. In short, it does not call attention as day-glow colored apparel does. 

In the dark, when exposed to luminosity, the jacket exhibits a rainbowlike array of colors with a shiny glow.  Even in daylight the color array is activated yet in more subtle tones. The Shutter Speed jacket is bound to turn heads as it keeps you warm and safe in the dark!   

RTR Review

The TCS New York Marathon Shutter Speed Jacket is Available from New Balance HERE

Tracksmith Running Off-Roads Hybrid Jacket ($198)

Strengths: subtle classy styling, not over snug stretch fit, thin but with breathability and a solid  touch of warmth, multi activity and use versatility

Features: inner thin looped wool bonded lining, 3XDry Schoeller for moisture evaporation and repellency, 2 zip pockets, thumb holes,

Best for: trail and road running, nordic skiing and hiking, casual wear

Sam: The Off-Roads Hybrid Jacket is a highly sophisticated yet understated  soft shell type jacket (smooth outer surface, raised looped wool inner surface for warmth and moisture wicking)  that is nearly long sleeve shirt weight yet packed with “unseen” tech.  The nylon wool blend shell is treated with Schoeller 3XDry which is dirt and water repellent on the outside and distributes moisture on the inside for quick drying and evaporation on the inside. 

It is lined with a very thin looped wool for a touch of insulation and stand off (effective) with the front inner looped wool slightly more substantial than the back. The underside of the sleeves have stretch fabric but otherwise the entire jacket has the looped wool. The Hybrid Jacket is warmer than its thin construction would indicate.   

On top of Mount Mott in New Hampshire. The Tracksmith Travel Pants ($168) with their stretchy, soft, water repellant construction were ideal on the hike in the low 40's and can easily  immediately go to a "fancy" dinner after or of course travel!

As always with Tracksmith,we have solid stout zippers including on the two deep front pockets which on the inside of the jacket become drop in pouches for gloves and hats. No hood here and also strangely no reflectivity. 

Shown with Off-Roads Shorts and Merino Tencel Off-Roads Short Sleeve

The fit is true to size with plenty of stretch and a fit that neatly bridges fitted and more relaxed. 

Sally shows the women’s version in small. 

She is 5’2” and says she could have gone XS.


Lighter in weight than the Infinium jackets here with less wind resistance but a touch more warmth for its weight, the Off-Roads Jacket is an ideal faster cool days companion for trail and road and for sure before and after its impeccable styling will go anywhere,

Mammut Rime Light In Flex Vest ($179)

Strengths: Extremely light, high output focused insulation, wind resistant, highly breathable, stretchy

Features: Pertex Quantam Air (breathable and wind resistant outer shell), Ajungilak® oti stretch insulation (light, quick drying, elastic), 4 way stretch side panels, 2 deep zip pockets into which the vest can be stored.

Best for: hiking and climbing, ski touring, running, after workouts, travel and all day.

The Rime Light In Flex Vest is well named. Thin, warm, and very elastic for an insulated vest it is extremely light and an ideal light insulation over or under just about anything. 

The combination of air permeable yet wind resistant Quantum Air outer shell, and very light yet elastic insulation and overall stretch makes it extremely comfortable and functional for all kinds of activities

The fit is true to size quite long with full coverage and with the stretch accommodating movement and layers. 

I have worn it after workouts (not cold enough yet for during), around the house, and out and about.

It stuffs into its pocket so it's ideal for in the pack at the summit and for travel. 

Pair the vest with the Zinal Pants from Mammut. This rugged hiking, travel, and cool to cold  running pant is made of a rugged, stretch thin  softshell material that is quite windproof and warm but never overwhelmingly so in warmer temparatures.  It has a total of 5 zip pockets as well as cuff zips. It has been my go to for 3 years for many activities when there is chill in the air, trade shows due to the pockets, travel, and daily use.

Shop for Rime Light In Flex Vests & Jackets for men and women 

Backcountry (some styles on sale) HERE

Moosejaw  (some styles on sale)  HERE

Mammut HERE

ASICS Fujitrail Jacket ($170/170€) & Fujitrail Shorts ($75 / 70€)

Strengths: Extremely light, highly breathable, amazing adjustable hood, fit allows for free movement

Features: 3D-Body-Motion-Fit, 3 way adjustable hood, packable, 1 front pocket, durable and water repellent fabric, windproof

Best for: trail and road running

Nils Scharff: The Fujitrail Jacket and Shorts are some fine pieces of (trail-) running equipment. The Fujitrail Jacket is a very light and breathable windbreaker jacket which comes in a stunning sunflower yellow. It is water repellent (not waterproof) but can for sure withstand some rain drops. 

The fit is on the more relaxed side which allows you to wear it over your hydration vest. I was able to try that for a 50k race and it worked pretty well. Yet without the vest the fit of the jacket is fine and not too bulky. 

I’m 1,88m tall and quite lean and my men’s medium fits just well with a shirt or long sleeve beneath. 

Under the armpits ASICS implemented a stretchy material which breathes even more than the rest of the jacket and allows for great movement. 

On the back of the jacket are some laser cutouts which provide even better breathability. The hood is 3x adjustable, fits well and once adjusted follows every movement of the head. It even has a little hood rain shield for better protection which is especially handy for glasses wearers like me. 

A big enough chest pocket and some reflective details complete this fine piece of gear. The only downside I can see is the price tag of 170€ which is on the higher side for a windbreaker. But other than that it’s the best running windbreaker I’ve worn so far and I can highly recommend it for this fall and winter season!

Make it an outfit! 

ASICS Fujitrail Shorts ($75 / 70€)

Strengths: amazing pockets - 4x quick-access for gels 1x sweat resistant zipper, breathable, soft and comfortable, great fit

Features: Sweat repellent fabric, odor-control technology, 4 quick-access pockets, 1 zipper pocket (sweat resistant), 3D-Body-Motion-Fit

Best for: trail- and road running

The complementing ASICS Fujitrail Shorts are a double layer 2-1 trail running shorts. The yellow inner layer is essentially a tights made of quite stretchy, mesh-type material. It fits well and caused no chafing or discomfort during my runs. The outer layer has some stretch to it as well. The material is perforated and therefore allows for great breathability. The length isn’t mentioned anywhere on the product or the website, but I guess it is a usual 5” inseam. Both legs are slotted for maybe 3-4 cm which allows for great movement without being a split shorts. Thanks to it pull drawstring you don’t even have to tie the Fujitrail Shorts.

Around the waist there are 4 mesh type fast access pockets for gels or gloves - 2 on each side. In the back there’s an additional zip-pocket which is sweat resistant and therefore perfect for your phone or some money. This pocket sits very close to the body which allows me to carry my iPhone without any bumping and therefore with comfort. As with the Fujitral Jacket the Shorts is also a great piece of apparel. You can feel that real trail runners put some thought into it.

Shop for ASICS Fuji Trail Jacket and Shorts & Entire Collection at ASICS HERE

Odlo Zeroweight Pro Warm Reflect Jacket ($190)


Odlo Zeroweight Pro Warm Reflect Jacket ($190)

Strengths: versatile with a safety component, windproof and warm yet all seasons breathable. 

Features: extensive reflective highlights, pockets: 2 zip plus inner phone, watch window

Best for: running, hiking, nordic skiing, night activities 

Adam Glueck: I’ve had Zeroweight Pro Warm Reflect Jacket jacket for all of this year and then some and have found it to be a fantastic layer for fall, winter, and spring.  This past summer it was one of my most-worn layers while running and backpacking through Iceland.  

The weight of this jacket is more than a shell and less than a parka or puffy.  You can run really fast in it, even in warmer temperatures, but it blocks wind super effectively, and can hold up to a light rain.  There are vents around the back of the jacket, as well which aid in breathability. 

At the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve, North of the Arctic Circle in Iceland

The jacket features a pattern of small reflective squares around the upper chest, upper back, and shoulders.  It also features two large pockets each of which can fix a large phone or a hat and gloves.  

The fabric is comfortable against the skin and durability has been faultless.  There’s some stretch to the fabric allowing for enough mobility for XC skiing and mountain running.  The collar also features a cool magnetic closure that can lightly hold it shut when fully zipped.  I’ve tested this jacket extensively while running, XC skiing, and cycling through all types of weather and it’s held up perfectly.  

The reflective pattern, while a pretty pattern during the day, are a legitimate safety enhancement at night, and don’t get in the way of the jacket’s performance during the day.  

On the Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains of NH

While this jacket is obviously intended for running on roads with cars when it’s dark out, I think of it more as an extra protective shell that happens to feature enhanced visibility.  

RTR Review

Shop for the Odlo Zeroweight Warm Reflect Jacket 

Backcountry HERE

REI HERE (Tights too!)

Odlo Zeroweight Dual Dry Waterproof Running Jacket ($300)

Jeff V:  Since reviewing the Zeroweight earlier in the year, it has become a staple item in my run vest, bringing it along for mountain runs where I might need a little something to block the wind or protect from a light rain shower.  Since it is so light and compressible, it is of no consequence to bring it along, so I also carry it along for town use if the sky looks iffy, for bike rides, etc….  While not a jacket for extended heavy rain and severe weather, it does a great job warding off minor to moderate quick moving rain showers, snow squalls and cuts the wind. It is about the lightest 3 layer "hard shell" available.


Shop for the Zeroweight Dual Dry Waterproof Running Jacket at Odlo HERE

Terrex Agravic Pro Trail Running Jacket ($300)

Strengths: Super light full 3 layer protection, accommodates a run vest underneath

Key Features: Waterproof, breathable, wind proof. Super light. Roomy fit for layers

Best for: Trail and road running in really foul weather. In the pack just in case.

Sam: The Pro Trail Jacket can be thought of as a hyper light hardshell. It is a 3 layer waterproof breathable, somewhat stretchy, shiny and slick fabric  construction. The face fabric is actually knitted and has some stretch as does the inner hydrophobic membrane.

It has back venting (under the gray sashes below) which also prevent water entering and which expands to allow a race vest to be worn underneath a raised inner grid for standoff from the skin, and a nice stretch hood.

A hem snap that allows you to adjust the double slider zipper as you wish. There is only one mesh pocket behind the neck which you can use to stuff the jacket in. 

By my second run I figured out you can also reach back and stuff most of the hood in the mesh pocket on the go. Neat!

The fit is roomy and long at my usual medium. Plenty of room for layers and standoff. No Euro snug cyclist fit for running here. Running in a storm I had total wind protection even running into gusts of about 40 miles per hour on the mile long home stretch as the rain really started to come down the wind just didn’t penetrate and I was never chilled yet when out of the wind the breathability of the membrane and venting works very well..  

The jacket, while soaked by the rain, absorbed very little, weighing 204g dry and 256g wet, a gain of a mere 1.8 oz. That outer hard shell just doesn’t absorb much water and neither does the inner membrane or any of the other materials including the taping of all seams. The inner raised pattern and roomy arm fit kept any stick away.

High performance super light waterproof breathable run jackets keep getting better and the Pro clearly performed better in moderately wet conditions (where I also sweat a lot) than any past jackets I have tested in such weather.

The Terrex Agravic Pro Trail Jacket for men and women is available from adidas HERE

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes others. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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