Sunday, November 19, 2023

Soar Running X Trail Round Up Review: Trail Rain Jacket, Trail Top, Trail Shorts

Article by Sam Winebaum

SOAR Trail Top ($200), Trail Shorts ($185), Trail Rain Jacket ($330)

SOAR is a London based run brand whose singlets were the goto for several of RoadTrailRun’s marathoners this year for their supreme comfort. The care Soar takes in selecting the very best technical textiles, meticulous design and subtle classy colors has the brand standing out at the high end of run apparel so I was eager to put three pieces from their Trail collection to the test while Matt in Scotland tested road focused apparel (RTR Review)

And it is no accident as the founder Tim Soar is also the designer of every piece and personally tests multiple iterations starting with fit designs then moving to the fabrics (see his video presentations below).  

Focused on fit, comfort, temperature and moisture regulation in all conditions, I can say the three products they sent us for review do just that. While at the very high end of run apparel pricing and beautifully crafted, two out of three clearly are worth their price of admission while the  third, the Trail Shorts  in my view need some storage tuning to make them more trail appropriate.

For sizing context, I am 5’9” (176cm)  and weigh 163 lbs (74 kg) and have  a 32” ( 82cm) waist. All samples were in my usual medium, except for the Trail Top which at my request came large.

Soar Running Trail Rain Jacket ($330)

Best for: Trail and road running in foul and windy weather.


  • full on wet and windy conditions, protection on the run and while hiking, yet highly breathable. 

  • ultra race water resistant /breathability requirements compliant. 

  • super hood.

  • incredibly light and packable for a full on 3 layer shell. 

  • Made in Portugal, always a sign of the highest quality in run apparel


  • no pockets but also fewer places for water to get in. 

  • A bit short in length for rain purposes. 

  • high pricing


Real simple here. A super high performance 3 layer Airlight  fabricwith a highly decent 20,000mm waterproof rating and an off the charts 50,000 g/m2 breathability rating.  All seams are taped and sealed,

This combination  of stats is ideal for hours in bad weather on the move. I have used the 30,000/ 30,000 Ultimate Direction Ultra v2 (RTR Review) jacket and while any jacket will eventually wet through, the higher yet breathability as here has already proven itself for me in moderate temperatures.

The Rain Jacket has a simple pullover anorak/smock construction with 2 angled zippers at the upper chest. All seams are taped.

Zip them down and tuck the flap inside and you get yet more breathability. Beyond that, there are no zip pockets or full front zipper to leak. Total protection. 

There is a small of the back stretch pocket to stuff the jacket in, and it stuffs in easily, unlike many ultra light shells. That is the pocket’s only purpose although you might also stuff a hat and gloves back there reaching under the back  I wish it was a vertical pocket 

with more closure to increase its utility.

At 5.6 oz / 159g in my size medium it is very light and stuffs easily into that rear inside mesh  It is considerably lighter than my Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket v2 at 6.34 oz /180 g. To note the Ultra Jacket has a somewhat longer roomier fit and a full zipper.



The fit is true to size at a medium and accommodates a mid layer underneath. I would say the fit is semi fitted with a bit less room than one might find in a hiking anorak/jacket but after all this is a run shell. 

The length is a bit short for a full rain shell but does have an elastic rear cuff to help hold it down. 

The hood has a stretch border and stays put even when the 2 front zippers are down. 


I tested in moderate rain, fairly strong coastal winds with temps around 48F / 10C during a tempo run. Under the jacket,  I had Soar’s Trail Top, s short sleeve mesh top.  During the  66 minute tempo run I was always comfortable and never chilled. I did unzip the two angled zippers when the wind was at my back. Done the run, while the outer fabric had started to soak through I was surprisingly dry underneath with the Trail Top hardly even damp, it transmitted and absorbed very little moisture. I was surprised!

I do wish for a slightly longer length and for the inner pocket to be fully closable to provide some storage in addition to being the jacket’s stuff sack.

Priced up there at $330, if total foul weather protection in a very light, highly breathable jacket is what you are seeking, the Trail Rain Jacket is outstanding in its protection and comfort for trail, road and mountain adventures 

Soar Running Trail Top ($200)

Designed for wearing a hydration pack yet at the same time to maximize breathability, moisture transfer and comfort   the Trail Top hsa durable, anti-abrasion, pilling resistant upper chest and shoulders made of 90 denier French Woven Air fabric. The lower front and back, abdomen, and sleeves are made of a lighter, ultra-breathable 3D woven 70 denier fabric.I particularly liked the open sleeves, no cycling top snugness here as often found in Euro style zip tops.

 It is designed with a center seam across the body allowing  different top and bottom shaping which includes darts at the back. All seams are carefully placed  and the hem taped to reduce chafing. It was thoroughly tested and iterated for 18 months by its designer. Watch the Tim Soar’ Designer’s Nofes video below which are amazing in their detail and care taken with the design.


When I requested the sample I told SOAR i prefer a looser, less snug fit in tops and especially in zip Euro style tops. Instead of my usual medium they sent a large and I am glad they did!

The Top drapes easily and due to the fabrics never having a sticky cling even during 2 runs in unseasonably warm 80 F / 26 C temps. I am sure the medium would have worked equally as well if you prefer a snugger fit. 


While styled differently as a  zip top and I prefer the S/Lab Speed T’s styling,  the Trail Top is slightly more breathable while equally as quick drying and more comfortable on the skin while on its own, in cooler temps, the Salomon is tighter woven and bit more lightly protective for running, hiking and trekking.

Performance is in a few words: Stunning, airy highly breathable, never clinging, easy to wear on the run. It even performed fantastically as a layer under the Trail Rain Jacket staying dry enough during my run in the run.  It’s my favorite piece of the three here. The only barrier is its pricing but you get what you pay for here! Made in Portugal.

Soar Trail Shorts ($180 €195 £140)

The Soar Trail Shorts are a 2-1 style with lightly compressive mid thigh tight and a short 2.5 inseam shell with a deep deep split. It features multiple gel storage locations including 4 loops up front and two rear drop in pockets that will hold at least 2 gels each as well as a side not quite center back zip pocket.. The waistband is  soft and comfortable.

While leg movement is incredibly easy given the deep split, the 2.5” inseam split is very short and not my style accentuated in my sample by the green over black combination.  I would prefer a somewhat longer outer shell. It would not add to weight and wouldn’t affect performance.

The available black shell with green tights is for my tastes a better color combination as it accentuated the short outer shell shorts less..


The rear has 2 drop in pockets that will hold at least 2 gels each. Behind those pockets is a zip pocket which can hold a phone, sort of if you don't have a max size phone and you don’t plan on easily grabbing the phone. My phone is an iPhone 15 Pro in an Otter Box case, so nothing max in size as shown below.

Strangely, the pocket only extends to the center orange stitching shown above and not all the way through. A better approach would be to make this space continuous with vertical separation stitching stopping higher up and with stretch mesh ‘bag” below. That way the zip storage could be more versatile  Further, I find the zipper too short for the current small right compartment to easily get at my phone. A longer back compartment would help with that issue.


Storage, colors, and outer shell length aside ,the fabrics performance here is incredible, as with all the other Soar here. The compressive liner is silky smooth, chafe free and surprisingly compressive for such a light material. Soar says it is lightly compressive. I would say it is a bit more than that on the compression scale.

Moisture management and rapid dry is top notch As far as the storage, I would prefer a full stretch waistband, 360 degree around the was it for more size item versatile and greater capacity approach (gloves, hat, maybe a light shell or small flask). With those changes it could be worth its $180 price tag. Made in Portugal.


If I had to pick among these three beautiful run pieces it would be the Trail Top closely followed by the Trail RainJacket. The shorts need some storage tuning.

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 although there is no such affiliate relationship with Soar These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Anonymous said...

Nope. Can't wait for this type of crap to be rejected from the market for good.

Andrew Knox said...

@anon - what, you mean high quality fabrics, well engineered gear that’s sustainably made? They’re well known here in the UK for their road running gear (I own one singlet which is unlike any other singlet I’ve worn) but am curious to see how they fare moving into trail.

GFoley said...

@anon Woah! There is space for us all, friend. Prices are definitely high, so I would pick wisely with Soar. Their merino/silk blend baselayer is the most durable top I own, that and my Soar split shorts are about to embark on their 4th consecutive winter with me, and still going strong. They are the both the best designed, highest quality and most durable items I own, which justifies their price tag for me.

That said some of the prices are too high for me and don't offer the necessary durability either. They do offer semi-regular sample sales if you're in London though, and then you can pick stuff up for next to nowt.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the solid review. Just a heads up I picked up the Trail Jacket and it’s made in China not Portugal. Soar website also says Portugal but product shows China.

Sam Editor said...

Thanks! Will correct! Sam, Editor