The Top 6 Trail Running Essentials of 2012

Arc'teryx Motus Crew

Arc’teryx’s featherweight and silky-smooth synthetic Motus Crew shirt has understated reflective accents on the chest and sleeves. Odor-fighting silver-ion treatment ups the price, but your spouse will appreciate the results.

SmartWool PhD Running Ultra Light Minis

SmartWool PhD Running Ultra Light Minis
PhD Running Ultra Light Minis (Photo: Courtesy of SmartWool)

After six months of steady field testing, SmartWool’s ankle-height PhD Running Ultra Light Minis have yet to stretch out or pill. If there’s a better pair of three-season running socks, we haven’t found them.

Pearl Izumi Fly Barrier WXB

Gear_Pearl-Izumi-Fly-Barrier-WXB-Jacket_featured 1

Thanks to a mix of soft-shell fabrics and subtle venting on the chest and back, Pearl Izumi’s form-fitting, waterproof Fly Barrier WXB jacket is one of the most breathable foul-weather running shells we’ve ever tested.

Saucony Speed Run

Gear_Saucony-Speed-Run-cap_featured 1

Saucony’s Speed Run cap is essentially all mesh, making it one of the lightest and most breathable running hats we’ve worn. The easy-to-adjust-on-the-fly elastic cinch cord in the back is a nice touch.

Suunto Ambit

Gear_Suunto_Ambit_Black_Expedition_front_white_featured 1

It’s not small or cheap, but Suunto’s Ambit, its first integrated heart-rate-monitor-and-GPS-enabled watch, is a seriously cool tool. Testers especially loved the altimeter and thermometer functions and extra-long battery life (up to 100 hours).

Patagonia Strider

Gear_Patagonia-strider-shorts_featured 1

Patagonia’s wispy Strider shorts are supportive without being restrictive, while the five-inch inseam offers plenty of coverage without getting in the way of your gait.

Salomon XT Skin Pro 3 Set

Gear_Salomon-SKIN_PRO_3_SET_S_Green_Trail_Running_hi_73959_featured 1

Salomon’s impressively light (just 11.6 ounces) three-liter XT Skin Pro 3 Set hydration pack has a low-profile design that keeps its 1.5-liter reservoir close to your body, preventing excessive sloshing.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Trail RunningBase LayerSocksHard ShellHatsGPS DevicesSport WatchesPantsHydration Packs
More Gear