Trail running can be an amazing experience unlike any other with its dizzying heights and unforgettable vistas. Of course you can hit the dirt in your road gear, but avid trail runners will tell you that the experience is better when you’re prepared with gear developed specifically for trail conditions: unexpected, dynamic weather and uneven terrain. The right gear is essential for a safe and satisfying experience; preparation is your best defense against the unexpected!
Part one of a three-part series, our sponsors at Racing the Planet polled some of their trail running community for essential trail gear, and here’s what they pegged for body and compression wear. (Part two and three will cover shoes, socks, accessories, hydration packs and drop bags!)
This a simple, incredibly light wind jacket that packs small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, or in the small pocket of your hydration pack. Great for staying protected in moderate or inclement wind when you hit those summits, most likely you’ll encounter both.
A commonly reported pain point when it comes to rain gear is the rustling, swishing sound that comes along with the fabric. Not with this jacket. Designed for rain and colder conditions, this jacket has all the benefits of smock construction but with a relaxed fit for ultimate breathability and freedom of movement.
You pretend not to notice when your clothes stink even when they’re clean, but it’s a little more difficult for your running buddy to ignore it (we’ve all been there). This jersey is made of bamboo fiber which means it has natural antibacterial characteristics, which means anti-stink - major bonus. It also possesses excellent cooling characteristics, flat seams to stop chafing and two side pockets for sustenance.
This is a cool shirt, literally. Inspired by the desert fox with its reflective heat-shielding fur, this shirt is choc full of fancy technology, and actually able to reflect radiated heat with its revolutionary material that disperses heat and distributes evaporation.
Whoa! This top has built in kinesio-taping to create an exoskeletal support system. Targeting trapezius muscles and the scapular bones of the upper back, it promotes improved posture and more controlled movements in the arms and shoulders. Ventilation panels allow for hot air to escape and cool air to circulate in. Can we wear this to work too?
Comfort, style, functionality - a tough find, but these shorts have it all. Light and comfortable, these shorts feature a non-chafing, sweat-wicking liner brief and stretchy panels as to not limit your range of motion as you’re leaping over streams and dodging fallen branches.
These stabilizing shorts support the hips, back and lower abdominals for a balanced core, as well as providing compression to the hip flexors, hamstrings and quads to help you navigate uneven terrain.
Compression improves blood and oxygen circulation to combat fatigue and strains/sprains while supporting key muscles and joints for added stability on long trail runs. And if you’re already nursing an injury, compression pants can be worn during light activity to help you recover faster.