13 Feb 2014

Gear: Saucony Kinvara Nomad Jacket

For the last few years, I have struggled to find ways to keep warm during my bike rides throughout the winter months.  I have historically resorted to using a loose-fitting pullover wind-breaker thrown on top of a couple extra layers for warmth.  When I was biking, this was only partially an issue.  The wind resistance was never an issue because I was only clocking against myself.  What bothered me was more the noise of my jacket flapping in the wind.  This year however, as a runner, the bouncing movement of my loose-fitting jacket was just too much.  I have mostly survived by simply wearing a good base layer (top and bottom) underneath my usual shorts and dry-fit t-shirt.  But there were definitely days where I wanted an extra layer for warmth or an outer layer to keep me dry.

And let's be honest here, I live on the west coast of Canada just outside of Vancouver where it rarely dips below 0C - so I need more protection from the elements (i.e. wind and rain) than the temperature.

So I decided it was time to invest in a light running jacket.  On our way home from a trip to Seattle this past long weekend, I was determined to find one at the Seattle Premium Outlets.  I browsed through many athletic brands' stores (Under Armour, Reebok, Adidas, Puma, Nike) without success.  In all fairness, none of those brands are actually running brands even though they each do have some running apparel.  But then, I found the Saucony store.

Because my shoes are Saucony and I am often brand loyal, I was immediately optimistic.  The store did not have many to choose from, but they did have one men's running jacket: the Saucony Kinvara Nomad Jacket.  The version of the jacket I bought has been discontinued; however, I believe the only differences between this one and the new one is aesthetic (i.e. colour patterns).

The jacket has a windproof and water-resistant softshell front to block wind and rain and a mesh panel on the back for breath-ability.  It is more than just a shell and does provide some added warmth too.  It fits me perfectly in a Medium (although I usually wear a Large) and still has room for an added layer underneath if necessary.  There are some good, bright reflective strips as you can see in the pictures from the camera flash.  It will be ideal for both running and evening bike rides, keeping me warm and making me a bit more visible to passing motorists.

To test it out, I wore it out on an 8km run today during my lunch break and it was awesome.  I enjoyed the added warmth and the shelter from the wind was great.  Towards the end of my run, the sun came out and I was close to getting too warm - the point where if it is sunny and over 6C I will probably go without the jacket.  But for any temperature under 6C, especially in wind and rain, this jacket will be perfect.

Overall, I am very happy with this purchase.  Most of the running jackets I have seen are listed for over $100 and even up to $200.  This one had a sticker price of $115 with 50% off so I paid just under $60 for it.  Great value for my dollar.

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