Gear Guy

Which shell will keep me dry and warm, without overheating, for winter running?

I've just started running again after a long lay off, and I don't want to lose momentum over the winter. What's the best shell I can get to keep me dry and warm without blowing the thermostat? KT London, England

What you want is something light, breathable, and water-resistant without being waterproof (I assume you are prudent enough not to run in a downpour).

Pearl Izumi’s Infinity Jacket ($79) fits that description perfectly. It’s made of Pearl Izumi’s Zephrr fabric that is mostly polyester, a material that is naturally water-resistant and also breathes well. It’s just about windproof, is very light, and has stretch fabric through the shoulders for more comfort. I wear the biking equivalent on a regular basis, and it’s great.

Another excellent piece is the Adidas Supernova ($99), which uses Gore Windstopper. Windstopper is a highly breathable material that has perhaps a touch more water-resistance than the Pearl Izumi jacket. It’s a little heavier, too, but still a great piece of running apparel. It’s trimly cut and has a pocket for an iPod.

Layer either over a lightweight base, such as Icebreaker’s Atlas Half Zip ($65), and you’ve got a great set of cool-weather gear.

I don’t like shells over my legs; I always prefer some sort of tight or legging. If it’s damp out, your legs don’t mind as much as your torso, anyway. Nike’s Pro Winter Tight ($50) is a top-notch mid-weight tight that will keep you comfortable.

Have a great winter of running!

The 2008-09 Winter Outside Buyer’s Guide is on newsstands now. Look for it online soon so you can get prepped for gift-giving season—even if everything you pick is for yourself!

Filed To: Running, Snow Sports, Midweight

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