There’s no escaping the price of the R7 from Gore but, sometimes, you get what you pay for and there’s no denying this is a quality garment. The lightweight, breathable fabric heightens the versatility and we’ve happily used this for long runs in late summer, autumn and winter with a base layer below. The sleeves hold their position when rolled up, and the barely-there collar and internal seams add to the long-distance comfort. Unlike their bike jacket
on page p53, Gore’s R7 has been designed specifically for backpack use, with strap-friendly features including protective chevrons on the shoulders and optimised underarm seam placements away from where the straps sit. The blue fabric does show up sweat patches a touch, but there are reflective details on every side.
Verdict: a mighty price tag, but lean, lightweight and ultra running-friendly 87%
Buy from www.gorewear.com
Barring their continually peeling logos, top Scandis Odlo have one of the best review score averages in recent times on these pages, from running jerseys to bike jackets and base layers (their Active Spine is one of our products of 2019). Yet the Seamless Element is something of an oddity, feeling like a base and single layer hybrid but remaining a jack of all trades but master of none. The sleek athletic fit feels too tight for standlone use (and we’re unconvinced of the aesthetics for an outer layer), while it sits just too loose on the skin to be truly effective as a sweat-wicking base layer and lacks any posture-enhancing benefits. The 29% nylon means it isn’t the quickest to dry, but it’s soft on the skin, a sensation helped by the titular seamless construction.
Verdict:a single and base layer hybrid that doesn’t quite convince as either 69%
Buy from www.runnerinn.com
Proviz have long impressed our review team with their reflective but often affordable cycling garments, and we can recommend their £85 PixElite running jacket. The performance of the Reflect360 is adequate enough, with the 100% polyester construction lacking some of the impressive venting and breathability of the Gore and Huub contenders, and also some of the form fitting (due to the lack of elastane) and sweat disguising. The price is the lowest here, but where the top outdoes the competition is with its reflective trim and logos, which genuinely illuminate when faced with car headlights on night runs. Although we’ve probably forever numbed its brightness by wearing this at the 10-miler Sodbury Slog mud run (much recommended for 2020).
Verdict: adequate enough running top but worth considering for the visibility 82%
Buy from www.provizsports.com
Huub DS Training Long Sleeve
Huub tout this as a base or training layer, and while we think it’s too loose to be effective as the former, for the latter it’s a brilliant option for off-season running. The 88% polyester/12% elastane mix feels smooth on the skin, as do the irritation-free flatlock seams, and the cut is unrestrictive. The big sell for us (apart from the signature of Ironman legend Dave Scott on the sleeve, of course) are the mesh panels under the arms and down the spine, which neatly add ventilation to the already breathable fabric. Having used it for a couple of off-seasons, we can vouch for its durability as well. We like the understated visuals, which don’t illuminate sweat patches, and the top also offers some (admittedly limited compared to the Proviz) reflective details.
Verdict: our pick for winter running and with venting for uptempo sessions 90%
Buy from www.tredz.co.uk
MORE WINTER RUN KIT AND ADVICE