The Top 6 Trail Running Essentials of 2012


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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 (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

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

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

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

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

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.

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