Amy’s a bit of a minimalist who likes an outfit that works for her regular long trail runs as much as it does for yoga, workouts and coffee shops. She put the Patagonia Women’s Trail Running Range to the test in all of the above scenarios and more. Here’s how it went!
Springtime is the best. As winter has passed and spring has sprung, the longer days and warmer weather means the motivation levels to get out on the trails are high. Along with most of Canberra, I leave the semi-hibernation of winter to get back outdoors with the light mornings and evenings. My passion is trail running, but I also love my yoga practice and Crossfit-style strength training. This means my go-to clothes are those that are comfortable across a variety of situations.
This made the opportunity to test out the latest trail running gear designed with all-day comfort in mind very exciting! Patagonia is known for its history in climbing and surfing and is now building a strong reputation in trail running. My expectations were high, and I’m stoked to say they were met.
What makes clothing enjoyable is different for everyone. I’ll be sharing my perspective on Patagonia’s clothes by discussing my thoughts on the fit/comfort of each item, the aesthetic appeal and the technical functionality. I will touch on durability (only briefly as this is not a long term test) and price. These features are particularly important to me because if it doesn’t fit well, look good and do its job then what’s the point?!
Patagonia Women’s Centred Crops
Due to Canberra’s climate I primarily train in crops or full tights whilst running, doing yoga, going on day hikes and well, let’s be honest, they are so good that I pretty much live in them. While running it’s so important to have a good, flattering fit and proper function since crops/tights are the second most important item of running clothing (running bra first, obviously).
These crops look awesome, and they feel good too — there must be some kind of magical insulation in them as they are quite warm when I’m not up to much, yet comfortably breathable when training. I am more than happy rocking them all day everyday to and from work, cafes and on the trail in spring and autumn, though they probably would be a bit hot in the height of summer or in hotter climates.
The Patagonia Women’s Centred Crops are quite different to my other pairs and it took me a little while to decide whether or not I liked the cut. The bottom of the crop sits at the lower limit of the calf, somewhere between a 7/8th and a below-the-knee crop. The waistband was a little odd, not high enough to be high-waisted, but not low enough to be comfortably on my hips. The height wasn’t quite right for me, but I do appreciate the internal little pocket — just big enough for a credit card and set of keys.
I did a 23km trail run race just after receiving these crops, they were supportive, didn’t ride up or down and felt like durable fabric so I wasn’t concerned about them tearing on rocks or shrubs. The material breathed well — although they are a bit heavier and it was a hot day, I was comfortable and didn’t get noticeably heavier throughout the run with sweating. I’ve also tested them out in the gym and can attest that they handle squats without going see-through!
In the weeks of running, yoga, gym, hiking and general everyday wear I’ve put in so far I’ve got no concerns about durability, with no fading or wearing, even in the higher stress areas. At $99 they are a competitive price for a quality tight. Made with 85% recycled plastic they get a big tick for low environmental impact, which I think is really impressive for such a comfortable and well-designed set of crops.
Women’s Nine Trails Tank
I was really pleased with the beautiful soft fabric and cool, easy colour of this singlet. When I first tried it I could have sworn it was cotton, with that slightly hardier woven feel and warmth. When I got the blood pumping running around the mountains it breathed really well for its weight and the design was comfortable and flattering.
I’ve worn this tank trail running, rock climbing and to yoga. The dropped tail and pleated back is a nice touch for the aesthetics and increased the comfort in the clothing when moving through a full range of motion in whatever activity.
I have really enjoyed the versatility of the Patagonia Nine Trails Tank — Patagonia have done a great job of creating a tank which looks good and still feels great hanging at the café or going for an outdoor adventure. It costs $50, which is more than I would usually spend on a singlet, but the versatility, comfort and resilience justify the higher price tag.
Women’s Airshed Pullover
In the mountains or during spring or autumn, having a high quality lightweight jacket that removes wind chill and keeps you dry with a passing shower is an absolute must. The Patagonia Women’s Airshed Pullover is incredibly light and able to pack down super tiny into its own pocket, making it a pretty handy piece of kit.
The Airshed pullover is stretchy and light and with water repelling nylon ripstop fabric, it was breathable and just the right temperature on the move when it was cool. The fit was really comfortable, with the half elastic cuffs, elastic tail and chest length zip adding well designed technical features while looking good.
It was perfect for trail running at this time of year, both in cool valleys and alongside the river, but equally up on ridges where it was a bit more exposed to the wind. I also used this over the Nine Trails Tank when I was cycling to work on a cool morning, just to take the edge off the wind.
I am pretty minimalist when it comes to my clothing — with my previous running jacket of choice being heavier but fully windproof and waterproof. I appreciated the low weight and how small the Airshed packed down, especially on cool spring mornings or when heading into the hills for a run during good weather.
The breadth of features on the Patagonia Women’s Airshed Pullover makes it a good all-rounder but unfortunately it’s not sufficiently tech to qualify for ‘mandatory gear requirements’ for most trail running races. Coming in at $170 it is definitely a great shoulder season piece of kit for cooler climates, or just generally for having with you when in the mountains in good weather in case things change.
Patagonia have exceeded my expectations with these 3 items in terms of style, comfort, tech functions and features, solid environmental and ethical considerations and fit for purpose. The Women’s Centred Crops, the Nine Trails Tank and the Airshed Pullover have all been a treat to test out.
More sweet running gear ideas…