I’ve mentioned a few times lately how our coastal California autumn frequently blesses us with 75-degree days when the rest of the country is in the midst of ice storms or cold spells or the unfairly harsh weather that has decimated the East Coast. It’s really a wonderful thing … unless you happen to have some cold weather gear that you’re supposed to be testing.
Fortunately, our warm days are preceded by fairly cold (by California standards, anyway) mornings – and since I’m primarily a pre-dawn runner, I’ve been able to put some cold weather apparel through the paces over the past few weeks. Today’s post features two tops that I’ve worn in temps from mid-30s to mid-40s, and in a few weeks I’ll review some pants that I’ll be using as our mornings drop closer to (and perhaps even below) freezing.
All of said products are from GoLite, who as you may recall completely revamped their business model this year, giving up traditional marketing strategies and distribution channels in favor of offering products directly to consumers at steeply discounted prices on their website. What they save in advertising costs and retail fees they pass along to you, and I can’t think of an outdoor gear company who offers a better value proposition across the board than GoLite.
Case in point are today’s products – the Vista Ridge long sleeve top and Vermilion Thermal full-zip jacket. Both are great for cool autumn trail running, and both are super-affordable from the GoLite website.
The Vista Ridge Top is designed as a crossover for trail running or hiking, with simple styling and a relaxed fit through the torso that is comfortable under a shell or as a stand-alone layer. It’s made of 100% recycled polyester, and is fairly lightweight at 6.0 oz (160g).
|GoLite Vista Ridge running shirt|
In my testing I had two minor gripes; the main one was some mild itching from the fairly large tag on the interior torso seam. The rest of the garment has flatlock stitching for minimal irritation, so I wish GoLite had made this a completely tagless shirt so I wouldn’t have to cut the interior tags.
|The offensive tags and giant logo|
My other issue is a subjective one, and also an avoidable one if you’re purchasing for yourself. I’m not a fan of huge logos across the chest, which is something GoLite does with select styles and colors. The Vista Ridge shirt is available in four colors, and only one – the one I received for testing, of course – has the large logo. The other colors have much more subtle logos, which is more my style.
From a moisture wicking and temperature regulation standpoint, the Vista Ridge performed as well as most high-end offerings in this category – but for the price, you can probably buy two or three of these for the cost of one competitor’s shirt. It retails for $25 from the GoLite website.
My first go-to item from the various products I’m testing this fall is GoLite’s Vermillion jacket, which I have a hard time determining whether to use as a running jacket or casual "lounging around the house" comfortwear. It’s a midweight layer at 13 oz (360g), and the brushed fleece interior is extremely soft against the skin. (And no itchy tags to bother me, either.)
|GoLite Vermilion Thermal jacket|
Like the Vista Ridge shirt, the Vermilion jacket is made extensively with post-consumer materials – in this case, 78% recycled polyester fabric. The remaining 22% features Cocona Minerale, a fabric derived from coconut fibers that has outstanding natural moisture wicking and odor-resistant properties.
I tested the odor-resistance during a 6-day stretch where I ran in the jacket every day without washing it in between. With most moisture-wicking apparel, I’d be holding my nose by the third or fourth day – but with the Vermilion jacket, it smelled pretty much the same after the sixth run as it did before the first.
Thermal regulation is pretty strong with the Vermilion as well – with a short sleeve tech shirt and this jacket, I’m good to go for temps approaching freezing. It’s a jacket you can use for a late-afternoon trail run, and keep it on to run errands after the sun has gone down. And like the shirt, it’s very competitively priced compared to other jackets, thanks to a GoLite price strategy that allows them to sell it at 60% below retail.
GoLite’s Vermilion Thermal jacket is available in three color schemes, and retails for $48 from the GoLite website.
*Products provided by GoLite. Affiliate sales support Running and Rambling.
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