With the INFINIUM branding, Gore moves past its venerable waterproof roots. The most ubiquitous name in outdoor materials technology made the Breeze INFINIUM Shirt for running. This is our first look.
W.L. Gore is an enormous technology brand. Beyond its ubiquitous GORE-TEX, renowned worldwide for waterproofing laminates, it makes everything from heart valve implants to Glide dental floss.
But last year, it announced the INFINIUM branding of non-waterproof technical products for outdoor apparel. This includes such longstanding products such as Windstopper and new, non-waterproof layers for lifestyle consumers. And now, the confusing (to us) new moniker launches its first foray into fibers with INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology.
In short: This T-shirt comprises 90 percent polyester and 10 percent ePTFE fibers. These are the same materials the brand uses to make GORE-TEX laminate fabric, but it’s not waterproof. Read on for details.
INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology
We received an INFINIUM Performance Fiber technology running shirt back in April. In the heat and humidity of central Texas, we’ve been testing the only sample available at the time.
The brand chose a single jersey knit made with a blended polyester-ePTFE fabric to represent its INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology. ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), discovered by Gore in 1969, is waterproof and breathable. It’s used in the new INFINIUM fabric to provide the following claimed characteristics:
Holds less moisture and dries faster than 100-percent polyester fabrics of the same weight
The yarn is strong, allowing lighter-weight fabrics
High air permeability
Maintains softness and low cling to reduce chafing
Now you can get your hands on GORE-TEX INFINIUM 'climate science' inside The North Face's stretch performance glove. The catch: Unlike the brand's mainstay products, this fabric is not waterproof. Read more…
INFINIUM T-Shirt First Impressions
The INFINIUM Performance Technology running shirt Gore provided has a generic look and weighs a verified 3.8 ounces for a men’s medium. Closer inspection reveals a very sheer and open structure with the ePTFE visible as white yarns (the ePTFE can’t be dyed like polyester). The shirt isn’t remarkably lightweight compared to my other synthetic running shirts, but it does have a much softer feel than most.
Central Texas harbors high heat and humidity in late spring and early summer compared to other areas of the country. This makes the area ideal proving grounds for garments intended to avoid moisture absorption and foster air permeability. The GORE-TEX INFINIUM Performance Fiber technology did deliver in these two areas, but not noticeably better than other high-performance fabrics.
But the fabric does excel in two other areas: the feel and low cling. Even when sweating profusely, the INFINIUM fabric didn’t feel sticky or cling to my skin, preserving its softness. Other fabrics can attach themselves to skin under extremely sweaty conditions, creating an irritating, clammy feel.
The fabric also proved to be admirably resistant to odor buildup.
Under Armour just released GORE-TEX INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology in its Breeze running tops for men and women as an exclusive soft launch. The breeze running top costs $55.
At the time of publication, only the women’s is available. But the Breeze GORE-TEX INFINIUM running top will also be available for men.
Board shorts, books, and a donkey?! Chris McDougall reshaped modern running, but what’s in his gear stash may be the most impressive.
Author Christopher McDougall loves talking about gear. And it makes sense. McDougall has built a career writing about all things obscure in sport.
In 2009, he brought ultrarunning into the mainstream with his wildly popular novel “Born to Run.” Then he dove into the world of human potential and incredible feats of athleticism in “Natural Born Heroes.” And his upcoming book will include, among other things, burro racing.
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McDougall logs a lot of miles, and his gear needs to hold up under pressure. Whether that’s pressure from a 200-pound guy pounding out 20-mile runs or the pressure that comes from needing a tool to actually work to fix a donkey’s saddle in the middle of the wilderness, McDougall makes the perfect test subject for any adventure gear.
So what’s he loving lately? Here are some choice picks from running royalty’s gear kit.
“Male running shorts are, across the board, garbage,” McDougall says. “The waistbands are stretchy, you cant secure anything, the pockets are useless, and the leg holes are freaking huge.” Enter board shorts — thanks to his wife’s Hawaiian upbringing. “Board shorts are designed to stay up even in crazy surf, and the pockets are designed so stuff won’t come out in the water.”
The material is also sturdier while being stretchy enough for a surfer to have full range of motion. Plus, the material is quick to dry. And unlike men’s running shorts, which can be in either super-boring or garish colors, there are tons of options when it comes to picking a style that suits your running personality. And the length of the shorts means you won’t end up feeling self-conscious stopping at the cafe post-run. His preferred pick is board shorts from RVCA.
What does McDougall pack in his shorts pockets now that he has plenty of storage? Leatherman’s most compact, ultralight multitool. It comes with a combo knife, bit driver, pliers, and, of course, a bottle opener. “You can do quick equipment repair, and once it’s on your waistband, you won’t even feel it,” he promises.
“You can’t own enough Buffs,” says McDougall. “When I leave the house, I pat myself down for two things: my Leatherman and my Buff. I need both of them.” His No. 1 usage is sweat control for his forehead, as well as head sun protection. “If you’re out and stuck and it’s blazing hot, you want your head covered.”
In the winter, a Buff an earwarmer. In a pinch, it can be a bandage. “I gave mine to a guy who crashed in a race and scuffed up his knee. He covered it with the Buff and finished it up with no problem.” For a cheap piece of gear, it’s incredibly versatile.
You can’t interview McDougall without asking the question: Do you run barefoot? It’s hard to believe, but he almost didn’t include the chapter on running shoes and the whole concept of barefoot shoes in “Born to Run.” Luckily he did, because it really stuck with readers and arguably led to the huge increase in popularity in shoes like Vibram’s minimalist five-finger shoes. “The [Vibram] five-fingers are amazing, with the one caveat that they’re hard to get on and off,” he says. “I think they look cool, too!”
For the crowd who prefers a more low-key approach to a minimal shoe rather than going full-on barefoot, McDougall loves his old pair of New Balance 10v4 trail runners. They’re low-profile but look more like standard sneakers. And they’re a good entry point to the barefoot lifestyle versus diving straight into Vibrams.
If you want to take barefoot running to the next level, Luna Sandals are the answer. “Born to Run” readers will likely remember Barefoot Ted. A major barefoot devotee, Ted went on to create Luna Sandals. McDougall’s current favorite pair is the Oso. “Ninety-nine runs out of 100, I wear these now,” McDougall says. “Once you have your toes free, you never want to go back.”
These toe socks are McDougall’s pick for winter weather when he wants to stick with his sandals but there’s snow on the ground. “These are the only socks that I’ll wear when I run,” he says. Made with merino wool, the Injinji socks work with regular sneakers, and they’re ideal for if you’re blister-prone, you use shoes like five-fingers, or you run in sandals. (Style points are not being calculated here.)
You would assume that someone like McDougall would have a super-fancy set of travel gear, but he actually prefers the simplicity of a basic duffel. “I get lured by fancier stuff, but the simple nylon duffels by REI that are simple enough to just carry the stuff I need is great,” says McDougall. “They have a side pocket; they’re collapsible so you can fit one inside the other,” he adds. “They’re usually perfect for whatever I need.”
“They started this company by designing stuff for people who might actually get lost on a mountain,” McDougall says. “Their backpacks are super light and amazing. I rely on them and have them in both sizes that they offer because they’re so well-made. They also have the only waistband hydration pack that I’ve ever found that I like.”
“I like offbeat adventure books,” McDougall admits. “I loved ‘The Horse Boy: A Father’s Quest to Heal His Son,’ where this kid’s dad realizes that his son responds well to horses, and they go to Mongolia to investigate that. I’m also into surfing since Barefoot Ted keeps talking about ‘being in the curl.’”
Burro Saddle & Halter
McDougall’s upcoming book promises to be another inspiring read. And this time it might inspire you to get outside — and get a donkey to race. That’s right, he’s into burro racing now (which he briefly mentions in “Born to Run”), and his new favorite piece of gear is his custom-made saddle. Donkey halters are hard to come by, he adds. “Halters are tricky — you end up with a pony halter a lot of the time because donkeys’ heads are oddly shaped,” he says.
Pro tip: With the halter, you always want to have a bit more rope than you think you’ll need. McDougall runs with a 12-foot rope, even though he only uses around 4 feet of it. And go for a natural fiber that feels good on your hand (not nylon). His pack saddle is designed to carry equipment, not a human. And in burro racing, you’re required to have a saddle on your donkey.
“You want it to be as light as possible, but also secure and sturdy. It’s like trying to find a perfect bicycle!” he says. “We found a company called Bantam Saddles that custom designs saddles based on the custom dimensions of your animal.”
With billions of routes logged and trillions of GPS points, Strava owns the largest library of outdoor activities in the world. Here’s how it can help you.
Two months ago, my truck broke down and was stuck in the shop for 3 weeks, leaving me stranded in Salt Lake City. With work projects and travel logistics pressing, the stress began piling up. So I needed to blow off steam.
But with little beta for local adventure, what was I to do? I opened up the Strava Global Heatmap and within seconds found a nearby route to run.
'Hottest' Places to Play: Strava Launches Global Activity Heatmap
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Piloted in 2014, Heatmap received a major overhaul in 2017 after high demand from Strava users. The idea behind the map is simple: It aggregates activities from Strava and highlights them on a map. Not only does this visualization prove stunningly beautiful, but it’s also extremely useful for folks like you and me.
Here’s how you can make the most of this awesome Strava feature.
What Is the Strava Global Heatmap?
The data set behind Heatmap reflects the last 2 years of activity across the globe. And it is massive!
Strava Heatmap also uncovers ‘dead’ areas. Pictured here: North Korea
Heatmap accounts for about 20 billion km (12.5 billion miles) of travel from 100,000 years’ worth of recorded movement. It logged some 1 billion individual public activities.
And it continues to grow.
These activities include everything from marathons to summiting Everest to skiing in Aspen. The platform allows you to select from dozens of options, including kiteboarding, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and more.
In its first few years of existence, Heatmap collated all activities into one map and highlighted routes by popularity. This simple design worked especially well for road runners and cyclists because Strava was saturated by these two activities. But initially, Heatmap wasn’t great for everyone else. Strava began to see requests on its support pages and social media for other sports. And the brand recognized it needed to update.
Burning Man Festival
How to Use Strava Heatmap
As an early adopter, I found some utility in the first release, using it primarily for road running. The interface is simple and interactive — things Strava thankfully left unchanged — meaning I could simply load the webpage, access my location, and use the visualization to quickly identify routes.
While in Salt Lake City, I often run the trails above the city, but I couldn’t get there without a car. Heatmap’s “hot spots” pointed me to a river trail just a few blocks away that even my local friends didn’t know about.
Strava Heatmap of popular ski routes in Salt Lake City
Still, Strava acknowledged it wasn’t using its extensive data set to its full potential. The new map needed to delineate sport types so that less popular activities wouldn’t get blurred out by the popularity of running and biking.
For users like me, this means the imagery I’m seeing is up to date and useful. Instead of a running a trail that was popular 5 years ago but washed out by a flood last spring, I know I can trust what I’m seeing in Heatmap to be recent data.
New Interface: Strava Heatmap
The interface now allows users to easily change the Heatmap color, opacity, activity type, and background layer to make easier route finding and discovery easier
The most important update is the ability to toggle activity type. You can select between biking, running, paddling, and skiing.
Strava Heatmap shows Mount Bachelor in winter
Highlighting the frequency of an activity can help locate lesser-known trails and paddle put-ins. And the Global Heatmap also allows users to load multiple activities on a singular map and differentiate activities by color.
My general preference is to turn the opacity down and select just the activity I’m interested in, then search for routes that have been run a few times but aren’t overly popular. Not only does this give user-generated beta on hot spots, but it also uncovers some hidden gems if you want solitude on the trails.
Not only has Heatmap unlocked locations for more activities, but it may also help create safer commutes. This year, data collected with Heatmap also rolled into Strava’s new tool, Route Builder. This helps users find the best routes near them.
Route Builder overlays recorded activities onto street edges and preferentially selects routes that others have run or ridden. Unlike many other apps that rely on things like denoted bike paths or singular data sources, Strava can leverage the underlying dataset backing Heatmap to show users a safe, more efficient way around cities and trails.
In Sweden, the Kungsleden (aka King’s Trail or King of Trails) normally takes 25 days to complete. Emelie Forsberg finished it in an astonishing 4 days and 21 hours.
The trail winds 280 miles through spectacular Lapland. Set on July 7, 2018, and verified by FastestKnownTime.com, Forsberg set the supported record at 4 days, 21 hours, 45 minutes, 28 seconds.
The above video by Salomon TV highlights Forsberg‘s historic undertaking.
Longs Peak Triathlon: Watch Anton Krupicka and Stefan Griebel's Epic FKT
They bike, run, and climb — then retrace their steps. If you haven't seen endurance athletes Krupicka and Griebel set the fastest known time (FKT) for Longs Peak Triathlon, it's worth watching. Read more…
Organizers have canceled the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, one of the most storied ultramarathons in the world, due to historic snow conditions in the Colorado high country.
For ultramarathon runners, few race entries are more coveted than a bib for the Hardrock 100. Not only is it spectacularly beautiful, but it’s also brutally hard. The specs from the race tell a gnarly story.
The race is 100 miles long. It has a cumulative vertical gain of 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent. Its total elevation change is 66,100 feet. Racers run at an average elevation of about 11,000 feet.
Oh, and the high point is 14,048 feet.
But for 2019, conditions are just too harsh for runners to attempt the event. A massive snowpack and many avalanches have left the route in rough shape. Given the difficulty avalanche debris and snow poses for runners, organizers canceled the event.
Hardrock 100 Canceled
Hosting the race in the current conditions could also have detrimental effects on the land, organizers said.
“Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations, and uncertain conditions on more than 40 percent of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled,” race organizers said in a press release. “This decision, while difficult, adheres to the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run’s overall commitment to land stewardship and the safety of the Hardrock community.”
“After an extensive process, it became clear that the uncertainty associated with the condition of the course and the issues that the uncertainty caused among our organizational components meant we could not organize and administer a safe and meaningful 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run that was consistent with the standards and values Hardrock has become known for,” said Run Director Dale Garland. “While snow and snow water equivalent levels looked to be dropping to manageable levels, other issues such as unprecedented avalanche debris, unstable snow bridges, and high water levels all contributed to us reaching the tough final decision that we did.”
A post shared by Hardrock100 (@hardrock100run) on Jun 10, 2019 at 5:36am PDT
Hazardous Conditions Force 2019 Hardrock 100 Cancellation
The Hardrock 100 is a very difficult race to enter. Runners must meet prerequisites by completing other tough races. They also must enter a lottery to earn an entry, and the race is limited to 145 people. However, the organization is working to give entrants into this year’s event fair alternatives.
According to a press release GearJunkie received today:
All runners who are entered in the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run as of June 10, 2019 will have the option of either rolling over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run or withdrawing their entry slot and receiving a full refund of their entry fee. Entrants must notify the Run Director, Dale Garland, by email (email@example.com) by July 12, 2019 if they wish to withdraw; otherwise they
will be considered to have elected to roll over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.
Any withdrawals after July 12, 2019 will receive the usual 50 percent refund of their entry fee. The wait lists, as they stand on June 10, 2019 will also roll over to 2020 and any entry slots that open up will be filled from them. There will not be a lottery for the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run, and no additional applications will be taken. Runners will not be required to do another qualifier to run the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.
Service requirements already satisfied for the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run will apply to the 2020 run. Those individuals who have not yet completed their Service Requirement must do so before July 1, 2020, and we must receive their Service Agreement Form before July 6, 2020, or they will be removed from the entrant list. The waits lists will be purged of any runners who have not yet turned in their Service Requirement Form on July 6, 2020. The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run understands that many people already have their plans finalized. With that in mind, the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run is looking at alternative activities to undertake for those individuals who are still planning to be in Silverton in July. Both the Hardrock Hundred website and our social media channels will be updated accordingly as those activities become finalized.
They bike, run, and climb — then retrace their steps. If you haven’t seen endurance athletes Krupicka and Griebel set the fastest known time (FKT) for the Longs Peak Triathlon, it’s worth watching.
Climbing Colorado’s 14,259-foot Longs Peak is an adventure in its own right. But it’s an entirely different pursuit to tackle a legendary FKT route in the unsupported, underground Longs Peak Triathlon. The three-part scramble includes 79 miles of biking, 14 miles of running, and an ascent of the notorious Casual Route on the Diamond of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Back in 2016, La Sportiva athlete Krupicka and Griebel completed it in a speedy 9 hours, 6 minutes. Who knows? This may be the year someone breaks the record.
Pro Training Tips for Trail Running on Tricky Terrain
Anton Krupicka, one of the best mountain runners in the business, tells us how he runs on technical, rocky, and gnarly trails. Follow these tips to improve your trail-running game. Read more…
This post is sponsored by La Sportiva. Shop La Sportiva running and climbing shoes here.
The Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set is a remarkably comfortable vest that carries plenty of gear for long ultramarathons. I carried it through the Leadville 100 for this review.
Trail runners often need to carry a considerable amount of gear on long outings. Running in the mountains of Colorado, I carry at minimum a light running jacket, Buff, gloves, water, phone, and snacks on every trail run over about 6 miles.
To carry this gear, I need a comfortable running vest, and as of spring 2019, Salomon makes my favorite model you can buy right now.
Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set Review
Of all the gear I test at GearJunkie, friends ask about running vests a lot, with the most common question being, “Which one should I buy?” And it makes sense — running vests are personal. It’s also hard to predict how they’ll feel after many miles while standing in the aisles of your favorite retailer. Here, I’ll break down my impressions of the Salomon Skin 12 Set to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Comfort: This is my top consideration in a running vest, and it’s where the Advanced Skin 12 Set excels. The vest rides almost unnoticed, hugging my back, shoulders, and chest. It does not bounce, even when loaded with a full pack of gear, water, and food. As the headline notes, I ran the Leadville 100 in it with zero chafe. I can’t ask for much more.
Gear Accessibility: A good vest should allow you to access your critical gear very quickly, and the Skin 12 Set works well in this regard. Large pockets on the shoulder straps easily carry a smartphone, gels, other food, and even a small jacket or headlamp. It puts the critical items at your fingertips so you don’t need to stop to remove the pack. Larger items can ride in the back for access at aid stations or while walking on the trail.
Simplicity: I need a pack that is easy to operate when my brain is in autopilot 70 miles into a run, and the Skin 12 Set is very simple to put on, take off, and fill with water.
Hydration: For me, getting water into my mouth is a primary job of the pack. This one is sold with soft plastic flasks. I don’t really like them, so I don’t use them. Fortunately though, this vest is compatible with the brand’s hydration bladders, which I already own. I dropped mine in and routed the hose, so I was able to get the hydration solution I prefer.
I entirely realize this sounds counterintuitive to being my favorite vest. But for me, when running hundreds of miles, making a small alteration like this is totally reasonable. The hydration reservoir adds $35 to the investment. Mine has lasted for about six years now, so it might be time for a new one.
A Note On Durability: I’ve run at least 150 miles so far in this vest and have had zero problems, but I do want to note that some other customer reviews have called out durability problems. Mine has been fine, but it’s worth considering that this pack uses lightweight materials and some users have reported broken buckles or torn mesh.
Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set: Design
For those wanting more details, Salomon designed this pack for runners who need a decent amount of gear but also require comfort for moving fast. It has one large internal pocket with a bladder hanging system compatible with a 1.5L bladder (not included). The shoulder straps each have three open pockets and one zippered pocket. Most of them are large enough to hold a cell phone or even a light jacket. They will hold everything you need for instant access.
The inside of the vest is arguably the most important. It’s what touches your skin and shirt, and it’s what makes it comfortable. The Salomon uses a very open mesh that breathes well. On hot days, my back will get sweaty under the vest, but to me it’s pretty reasonable to expect that the gear in the back will contribute to some back sweat building up. Overall, it’s a nice light, breathable vest that doesn’t bounce or jostle while you run.
A few other details: It includes a safety blanket and an emergency whistle. It has reflective details and is PVC free.
From my personal experience with quite a few vests, Salmon’s Skin 12 Set hits my sweet spot. And while I’m sure there are dozens of other good models on the market (just check the starting line of any trail run), I’m very happy with this one at the moment. If you’re in the market for a running vest that can carry everything you’ll need for an aided 100-mile run, the Advanced Skin 12 Set is a great choice.
The author with parents at the end of the Leadville 100, Salomon Adv Skin 12 Set in place.
Anton Krupicka, one of the best mountain runners in the business, tells us how he runs on technical, rocky, and gnarly trails. Follow these tips to improve your trail-running game.
For Boulder, Colorado-based trail runner Anton Krupicka, training in the hills is a ritual. The mountains sit triangularly in his backyard. And regularly running up and down rocks, roots, and gnarly Colorado trails has paid off for Krupicka.
The Nebraska-bred collegiate cross-country runner won the 2006 Leadville Trail 100 Run, finishing with the then-second-fastest time on the books. And at 23 he won the iconic ultrarunning race just 3 weeks after his first-ever 50-mile run. It was an astounding ultrarunning debut, and many trail-running accolades and personal epiphanies have followed in the last decade.
But for Krupicka, the “daily discipline” of running for over 20 years has kept him balanced. He still moves lightly, diligently, and intelligently, even on the trickiest of terrain. He shared exactly how he does this in these pro training tips for trail running.
Trail-Running Training Pro Tips
1. Increase Foot-Strike Cadence
When negotiating technical trails with uncertain footing, a shorter (and quicker) stride is always better. This quicker cadence ensures that you’re committing less weight to potentially unstable foot plants. It also makes it easier to quickly readjust your momentum and center of gravity on technical terrain.
2. Hike Rather Than Run
Don’t be afraid to hike! Sometimes it’s simply more efficient than running. The calculus is different for everyone. But once a trail reaches a particular steepness, hiking is more efficient than running for a given speed. I have experienced countless instances in both races and training runs where I’m hiking at the same speed behind someone who is stubbornly trying to continue running.
That said, efficient hiking takes practice. Knowing when to switch back and forth between a run and hike comes from experience and lots of miles on the trail. Based on the steepness and the technical degree of the trail, you will have to play around with transitioning. Additionally, hiking with this type of intention is a completely different neuromuscular pattern. If you don’t train it regularly, it can feel strained and awkward. But the idea is to maintain a consistent perceived effort over the course of the long climb and the entire run.
The lower stack height will put your foot closer to the ground, making you more stable and less prone to ankle rolls. Sticky rubber can inspire cat-like confidence when dancing over rocky rubble, especially when wet. And substantial lugs will provide stability in both mud and loose-over-hardpack conditions.
4. Always Anticipate Obstacles
Especially when running on flat terrain or slightly uphill, I find it easier to more efficiently maintain a running cadence and stride if I anticipate “step-ups.” I do that by planting my leading foot as close to the base of the step or obstacle as possible.
Photo: Fred Marmsater
That way, all of my energy can be used for lifting my body up onto the step rather than having to propel my bodyweight both forward and up. Over the course of a run, implementing this technique can help conserve significant amounts of energy.
This article is sponsored by La Sportiva. Shop the updated Kaptiva trail-running shoe, perfect for technical terrain, available in men’s and women’s styles.
Up the Distance: How to Break Into Ultramarathons
From learning how to trail run to standing at the start line of your first ultramarathon, this guide is your first step in a potentially life-changing experience. With the proper training, footwear, and nutrition, just about anybody can partake in ultrarunning and surprise themselves. Read more…
Although there are myriad tech shirts and shorts on the market, consumers who want to buy American-made workout clothing have very few options. But the new brand Vast Terrain is trying to change that.
A lot of consumers want to support domestic brands when it’s an option. And in many industries (like knifemaking), there are lots of good selections of USA-made and even local products.
But tech apparel is a little trickier to find, especially if you want domestic fabrics and materials, too! Enter Tampa-based Vast Terrain, a brand that gives a new, solid choice for American-made sports apparel.
Slipping on the polyester-spandex-blend Elevate Technical Tee by Vast Terrain, I let out a little, “Oh, this is nice.” The fabric feels just a little heavier than a lot of tech tees, but not too heavy for running. It’s soft against the skin and stretchy. It feels like it could come from any of several well-known apparel brands. But on the tag site are three rarely seen letters for this type of garment: U-S-A.
Time to get running — out the door I went (on several occasions over the last month).
Purposefully varying my running distance through Denver’s ever-changing spring weather, I put a lot of miles on two Vast Terrain shirts: the Elevate Technical Tee ($50) and the Ascent Long Sleeve Top ($68). I also ran in the brand’s Endurance 7” Short ($65). Plus, I used them in the gym while working on some standard after-work Olympic lifting routines.
All three products have proven excellent over several workouts and at least a couple of washes. And while it’s still early in my running season, I expect to grab these three products regularly for many outings.
It’s worth noting that they each seem well-suited to all kinds of sports. They have the details of good products, like bonded hems and flatlock stitching for chafe resistance and comfort. The poly-spandex blend also has embedded silver salts to fight odor.
And overall, they all work well. These are solid tech tees and shorts at a competitive price. But where the brand stands out is its sourcing and manufacturing — it all begins and ends in the USA.
Vast Terrain’s Ascent Long Sleeve costs $68. The graph shows exactly how.
Vast Terrain uses a tool, found on quite a few small direct-to-consumer brand websites, it calls “transparent manufacturing.” What that means is the brand points out the exact cost of each stage of design, materials, production, and shipping.
The brand’s products are certainly not cheap but do compete well with quality apparel from big brands. And given the USA manufacturing (and likely bumps in pricing on foreign goods due to recent tariff hikes), the brand should compete well.
Its factories are all based in the U.S. It makes yarn in Greensboro, N.C.; wovens in Roanoke, Va.; knits and zippers in Los Angeles; trims in Pawtucket, R.I.; and cut and sew in San Francisco.
Vast Terrain manufactures both women’s and men’s apparel. My wife did several runs in the brand’s leggings and was very pleased. She noted they stack up well with quality products from other brands.
So if you’re in the market for a pair of running shorts or a new tech tee, give this newcomer a look. Its products are spot on, and its production happens, as the name alludes, right here in the vast terrain of the USA.