Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Tracksmith Fall 2022 Round Up Review: Wool Hat, Brighton Base Layer, Downeaster Pants, Speed Crew Socks.

Article by Sam Winebaum

Tracksmith Fall 2022 Collection

I recently received and put items from Tracksmith Fall Collection to the test just as finally we got fall weather as it’s been summer, a really extended summer weather here in New Hampshire.  

I have lived in New England, Tracksmith’s home territory most of my life and have found, especially as the weather cools, that their fall and winter apparel protects, performs, and styles beautifully in our land of highly variable, often rough weather with classic colors and designs reflecting our landscape, schools, and colleges. 

Most all Tracksmith apparel and accessories cross over to everyday use for me and are long lasting and durable making them a very good value (even with the always steep pricing). And truthfully, I also constantly get un solicited positive comments about my Tracksmith fall and winter gear from non runners about town.

To give you a sense of fit in the photos and text below,  I have a 32”-33” inch waist and am just under 5’ 10” (178 cm) tall weighing about 164 lbs (74 kg). 

Tracksmith Wool Hat ($55)

Tracksmith calls the Wool Hat a classic version of a “dad hat”. I guess so, but this baseball style hat made of dense almost felt like double sided thick recycled wool says more New England lumberjack or farmer to me. And bonus it is in my prep school colors! 

It sits high and secure, very secure yet kind of cozy on my larger size head. I took it out for a run in breezy 40 F conditions, and much as with the Downeaster Pants below, never overheated and was just warm as can be. 

All the dense wool absorbs any moisture and for sure is heat regulating, as was last year’s super thick Tracksmith Prospect Beanie. I will use the Wool Hat during and after winter runs and nordic skis and around town. For sure warm but as us not over the ears it should ventilate very well on the go on cold days.

Brighton Base Layer $88 (pomegranate)

The Brighton Base Layer is, as described, a thin base layer to be worn under an outer layer or stand alone. I think it is so stylish in my pomegranate that I will wear it standalone outside of sport, maybe even under a blazer..not that I have worn one in years!

Semi fitted, seamless, quite stretchy and decently long, it  is designed and wears so as to not be too tight. The slightly different tone Tracksmith sash across the chest is very cool.

This seamless layer is made of  52% Wool, 28% Nylon, 20% Polyester with a fabric weight of

145gsm with the Merino at 16.5g is moderately light but not as thin as some super light wool and synthetic blends which can be fragile. The fabric weight puts it for sure in the light weight side of wool or wool blends so suitable for 3 seasons running wear . The fabric has a pattern of small holes for ventilation making it mesh like (without showing) for extra ventilation

The semi fitted fabric feel on the skin has some texture and stand off, I guess the fabric folks would call it “ heathered”  so it is not a silky smooth slippery feel. The texture and mesh holes allows moisture to move through and evaporate with the fabric not sticking to the skin. Exactly what I look for in a colder seasons base layer with the weight and ventilation holes making it 3 seasons versatile, stand alone, or as things get colder under an outer jacket. 

The Brighton Collection for men and women of Merino base layers includes this Long Sleeve, Tees, Tanks, Briefs, Neck and Arm Warmers with any item for sure an appreciated stylish run and everyday useful gift.

Downeaster Pants ($148 for men and women)

Tracksmith says: In New England, “Downeast” denotes the “never-never land always east of where you are.

I’ve been there and it is a land of beautiful coastlines and rough, changeable weather. I am several hours South of Downeast which is at the far Eastern tip of Maine and into Canada but we get much of the same weather that is for sure! 

The Downeaster Pants and Downeaster Collection is focused on the versatility required for that place.  Running pant, lounging around camp and house pants, or travel pants.  It combines casual classic styling, an easy comfortable stretchy fit, and high high performance fabric into a do it all package. 

And as we are Downeast, and they are stretchy, you can easily roll them up to become “clam diggers” another staple of Maine dug up between tides in the sand. With plenty of stretch, but no bottom zippers, you can also pull them on and off over running shoes including trainers, for example before and after track workouts. 

The Pant is made of “a double knit blend of 60% Merino wool and 40% polypropylene. 

Tracksmith says that the natural properties of Merino offer warmth, breathability and odor-resistance, while polypropylene improves wicking and insulation. Polypropylene has the lowest thermal conductivity of any fiber, which means it holds onto heat the longest, it’s also hydrophobic, quickly pulling moisture (i.e. sweat) to the surface where it can evaporate, rather than be absorbed into the Merino.

Last year I tested and reviewed a similar blend in the Downeast Hoodie and the year before that in the Off Roads Crew (still my favorite TS mid layer) and it performs exactly as described with a soft feel, wide temperature comfort range and exceptional moisture wicking despite its mid layer weight. Here the fabric is a bit more heathered and textured, a bit less slick and something I like.

The Downeast Pant has two deep drop in front pockets and a small rear zip pocket.

The fit is relaxed with a soft, easy to move feel. 

A bit long for me and a bit roomy, the Downeaster is clearly not a run tights fit. On the run its drawstring comes in handy. I ran with my phone a the front pocket with no sagging or bouncing.

I took them out for a run at 40F and was just right. The easy fit was not in the way as tights can get-not a tights fan here. They were warm but didn’t overheat as air moved around inside. I am confident they will be great run pants well down into the teens Fahrenheit on windless days. After my run I just kept on going in them for the rest of the day.

The Downeaster Pant will keep you stylish, warm, dry and comfortable through a myriad of activities both sporting, everyday and relaxed "lounging". I agree, and as Tracksmith says, they are as “pragmatic” and practical as those Downeast Maine folks are. 

Tracksmith Speed Crew Socks ($25)

Leaving Downeast,  back to fast, but still with a focus on versatility, the Speed Crew Sock is a very light and thin zonally knit 5” run sock. It has a bit of heel and achilles padding, a more breathable top of foot area and a touch of compression. 

I often race in Compressport socks but here we have more conservative yet striking styling and a yet softer, lighter on the foot smooth feel. A great gift idea, they can not only be a runner’s race day sock but dare I say, in many of the colors but maybe not my white sample, a “dress up” more formal sock. 

The Tracksmith Fall Collection and all of Tracksmith's is available from TS HERE

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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Anonymous said...

Any chance you will be reviewing the Tracksmith shoes?

emf said...

With these expensive fancy running brands, it would be useful to have your takes on which pieces, if any, are more/less worth the price difference vs. more affordable gear.

the backrooms said...

If you have experience with high-end running brands, we'd appreciate your thoughts on which specific items are worth the splurge compared to more reasonably priced alternatives.