At Run Oregon Blog, we are fortunate enough to occasionally have the opportunity to test out gear or other related running items. Run Oregon Bloggers Joe Dudman and Jessica Mumme describe their experience with some new SportHill products that came hot off the press.
The first thing I noticed about the men’s SportHill Bandon running jacket was the incredibly shiny silver zipper. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything that shiny, and it really makes the jacket stand out, like brilliant chrome accents or mag wheels on a classic car.
The fabric also has a nice subtle checked pattern. My jacket is the bright green/yellow color, “Neon Green”, that has become very popular in running apparel in the last couple years. It also comes in “Ironside” (silver/gray) and “Brilliant Blue”, both also very cool.
Aesthetics aside, the Bandon jacket is very well-designed and comfortable. Intended for use in moderate weather (Zone 2, 25 to 65 degrees, in SportHill’s unique climate targeting system). It has a lining that keeps body heat in and rain out, but it breathes well and doesn’t seem to get too hot on a typical cool and drizzly fall northwest run. I prefer to run with as few layers as I can get away with, but this jacket feels light and unobtrusive, and I rarely overheated when the weather looked cool enough for an extra layer and I opted to wear it on my training runs.
The jacket is very well tailored: It fits loosely enough to not feel binding or restrictive, yet is just snug enough not to flap or move around in the wind. The fabric is subtly soft and doesn’t wrinkle, crease, or bunch up. The outer layer and the lining work well together, not sliding against each other. The neck is roomy enough to not to make you feel claustrophobic when you have the jacket zipped all the way up to the “zipper garage” (I especially like this, because most jackets I’ve owned crowd my neck and chin when fully zipped).
Other nice details include a weather flap along the zipper, reflective accents at the cuffs and at the waist, and a zippered inside breast pocket. I usually like the convenience of side pockets, which this jacket lacks, to hold my keys and wallet before and after races. But in a pure running jacket, side pockets are not crucial, and the inner pocket is nicely placed and well made, and can securely hold ID, a key, or a gel. Heavier items, like a phone or iPod, might bounce a bit, but the pocket is roomy enough to hold them too.
Overall, the construction and workmanship is excellent, with solid stitching and high quality zippers. My only real quibble is with the cuffs. Sometimes the lining sneaks out past the outer layer, something I’ve noticed with other jackets too. A simple solution in future updates would be to make the stitching a little farther back up the sleeve, creating a wider join between layers at the cuff. Other than that, the SportHill Bandon jacket would make a great addition to any runner’s wardrobe, and is ideal for wet and chilly northwest runs.
Jessica chimes in: Wow! I am so in love with the vibrant, energetic neon-like green (even yellowish in some lighting conditions) jacket. One piece of running gear I did not have was a wind-proof jacket, that also could solidly handle the rain! The Bandon Jacket is stellar at both. Windproof to 35 mph, this jacket will be excellent for running, walking, hiking and cross-country skiing and even snowshoeing! Along with a lot of other activities that get you outdoors – this jacket can take it! The material is a silky ripstop nylon with DWR, and features a comfortable liner of PolySoft™ SwiftDry™ that keeps you dry, and not sticky, when your heart rate gets up!
As Joe mentioned, the ultra bright, chrome-style zipper was the very first thing I noticed about the Bandon Jacket. It is stylish, and function – functional because it is nice and heavy-duty, and stylish because it adds a flair, in a good way, that I haven’t seen in running jackets before.
The women’s version of the Bandon Jacket is available in ‘neon green’, ‘brilliant blue’ and ‘ironside’. Sizing is XS to XL, for a current price of $89.95. The jacket runs true-to-size, not “fitted”, so no reason to size-up if you like a “roomier” fit.
The SportHill Triplex Slim running pants are another high quality addition to my collection of running garb. I have been dependent on a favorite pair of running pants from a certain Seattle-based running company since around the turn of the millennium, and have had trouble finding an adequate replacement. Other pants I’ve tried have been too baggy, too long, too snug, etc., so it’s nice to have finally found a worthy successor in the form of the Triplex Slim pants. And from an Oregon company to boot!
The Triplex Slim running pants fit me perfectly, neither too tight or too loose and flappy, and the shape is just right. The fabric is soft and unobtrusive. On a recent 37 degree morning run, they kept my legs warm, but not too hot, and they were so comfortable, if I hadn’t been thinking of what to write for this review I might have forgotten I was wearing them.
They are simple and functional, with well made zippers at the ankles, and a zippered pocket at the right rear hip. The first few times I wore them, I instinctively reached for non-existent side pockets, which I was used to with my old running pants, but I really don’t miss them. The rear pocket is roomy enough for a phone or iPod, and the contents don’t jiggle much during a run (just make sure you remove your phone from the back pocket before you get into your car, or you may find yourself butt-dialing your grandma!)
Also designed for moderate weather (Zone 2), the SportHill Triplex Slim running pants are perfect for cool northwest runs.
Jessica chimes in: Brilliantly soft with a lovely, cottony feel. The Women’s Triplex Slim Pant is superb. I especially have to give SportHill a huge shout-out for offering petite sizing, as well as regular and long lengths!
The Triplex Slim Pant is a classic, must-have in your running wardrobe. The pant features a slim, tapered fit, hitting at your natural waistline. The high performance Triplex HT™ fabric allows you to pursue your outdoor activities in style, as the pant has a slim, classic, ‘drape’, with a FitFlat drawstring waist to find your perfect fit. Ankle zippers are included, as well as reflective accents for pursuing your running in the dark.
Current sizing is XS-XL, with some sizes available in petite and long lengths. The women’s version is on sale at the time of this writing, for an excellent price of $64.95.