Gearing up for the Cold and Dark with Black Diamond Equipment


Dressing and to run in cooler weather is a little bit tricky, especially when you live in a state that receives a lot of moisture like Oregon does. Things can start out and end very chilly, but the hard work our bodies do in between can render us hot and sweaty in a hurry. Selecting layers of clothing that provide warmth without a lot of weight while wicking away moisture, is essential to keep warm and comfortable. And with extended time spent running in the dark in the cooler months (and then again when the dog days of summer force us into the twilight hours), having a light source is necessary.

Black Diamond Equipment has made a name for themselves in the skiing and rock climbing spheres, but they do have a few items ready for running usage – like the Long Sleeve Rhythm T-Shirt and Sprinter 500 headlamp.

While free of gimmicks and special features on the surface, the Rhythm T-Shirt is a comfortable, straightforward, and highly functional garment. Moisture wicking tech shirts often have a waxy feel to them, which I don’t necessarily mind in a pinch, but wearing a high quality and comfortable top on most of my runs is ideal. The fabric used to create this top (Nuyarn) is extremely lightweight, flexible, soft, and the fit is excellent. In fact, Nuyarn fabric provides 35% more stretch than standard Merino alone AND dries 5x faster. If that’s not a combo made for a runner, I don’t know what is.

Though it’s not a thick shirt, it does keep you reasonably warm. Though the style says “slim” I found there is ample room to move inside it, so don’t expect a form-fitting compression top (though I would definitely recommend sizing up – I generally wear a L, but an XL was the far superior fit). It has enough function to operate as a standalone top, but we think it hits its mark as a shirt that switches between an outer layer and also as an underlayer under a jacket in cooler conditions.

Obviously, I would be remiss to mention the price. At $110, this is definitely going to need to be an investment for your closet.

The daylight hours are getting slightly longer, little by little, but morning runs and anything after 5 PM still require a headlamp. The Sprinter by Black Diamond has been around for a few years but recently got some major upgrades and I’ve been loving wearing this on the roads, on the trails, in the snow, and around the house.

My go-to headlamp of the past few years had 450 lumens on the brightest setting, so this one outshines (pun intended!) ol’ reliable with its 500 lumens, but weighing in at just 123g is such an upgrade! The brightness is controlled with PowerTap™ Technology for quick adjustments and variable dimming. It also has a strobe mode and a red strobe in the back for visibility.

A headlamp is obviously nothing without batteries. The Sprinter 500 comes with a micro-USD rechargeable lithium-ion battery or you can use 3 AAA batteries. This is such a huge draw for overnight adventures where you might need backup batteries. On low power with the lithium-ion battery (6 lumens), the visibility distance is 6 meters with a run time of 100 hours. On max power (500 lumens), you’ll get 50 meters of visibility for 3.5 hours.

Further, the housing unit for the battery is in the back (rather than part of the light in the front) so the light itself is smaller and more comfortable on the forehead.

The strap across the top of the head is removable and everything on the entire product seems adjustable. The straps are narrow, but secure and the fabric is soft and durable with reflective strips for extra safety.

As ever in the Pacific Northwest, we need things to be water resistant and the Sprinter is IPX4-rated (i.e. protected from water in any direction).

It’s available in “Ultra Blue” or “Dark Patina” and is a great little lamp with big advantages.

Black Diamond Equipment

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Thank you to Black Diamond Equipment for providing us with some sample items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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