Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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Nathan wearing Nathan
Nathan Sports has been in the market for over 40 years. They are most well-known for their hydration tools and safety gear, ranging from vests to handhelds to headlamps and other wearable lights and reflective elements. They've also steadily become known for apparel, producing thoughtful clothing designs that aim to not only provide comfort, but often also utility. In this review, the team tackles a few new items in the Nathan Sports lineup in the dead of winter.

Nathan Sports Running Apparel Review
By Chief Editor Matt Klein and Senior Contributor Nathan Brown

Puffer Coat
Price: $200 (currently 50% off for $100) at Nathan Sports
Material: 100% recycled polyester exterior, 95% polyester/5% feather insulation
Purpose: Casual wear

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: Living in Wisconsin, it is always nice to have options for coats depending on how cold it gets. One of the benefits of (some) puffer coats is that they are light weight but usually do a nice job of holding in heat. That's the case for the Nathan Puffer Coat. I've appreciated a slightly more sophisticated look for a coat that I wear to work in colder weather situations. I have to walk about a half mile to get from my car to my office, and I've been using this coat for any situation from a 30 degree day to the days where it is below 0 F (-17 C). The one downfall for the very cold days is the lack of a hood, but I just make sure to bring my hat along. The windproof nature of the coat is really helpful and the thicker insulation helps as well. I've noticed that I do end up sweating a bit during my walk to work when it is on the warmer side (20 F (- 7 C and up). However, another bonus of this puffer coat is that it is easily machine washable and can be tumble dried as well. I've put this coat through the wash and it has maintained its shaping and insulation just fine.

Lots of positive things to say for casual use, but I likely won't use this for other excursions like sledding with my kids as the material is a bit thin and I'd be worried about wear and tear. In terms of fit, it is on the "fitted" side. If you want something that you can layer on top of multiple other layers, it wouldn't be a bad idea to size up. However, it has almost a tailored fit feel and has just the right length in the torso and sleeves.

Positives: Good for cold days, nice aesthetic for going to work, good fit for more of a tailored feel, machine washable, windproof
Negatives: No hood (personal preference), get sweaty/smelly on more mild days

HyperNight Reflective Convertible Mitt
$25 at Nathan Sports

Material: 88% polyester, 12% Spandex Pro stretch

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: A good mitt can make or break you when it gets really cold. For my winter running I often am using layers of hand coverings. I typically have a thin inner layer and then an outer mitten that I put over the thin glove. What I like in general about mittens is that your hand shares a single "environment" and therefore the heat can be shared between fingers (vs being independent in a glove). Therefore I was curious to try a convertible mitt that had both built-in. I have to say this mitt fell a bit short. The mitt is comfortable and works fine for temperatures above 15-20 F (-7 C). However, what I think is really valuable in a mitt is windproofing, and that is not found here. The windproofing locks in the heat generated by your hands, but the materials here allow wind to cut through the gloves, limiting any insulation in colder temperatures. Therefore on really cold days I still need to add a layer on top of this mitt. Additionally, I find that when I take the mitt part off, it flops around and can feel annoying as it bounces off the back of my hand with every stride. The best parts of this convertible mitt are the comfort of the material and the reflective features. I'd just love to see some windproofing to make more utility of the mitt portion and also a way to have the mitt be secured if taken off the fingers.

Positives: Comfortable material, reflective features, fine for "warmer" winter days
Negatives: Flopping mitt, no windproofing, limited utility for cold days

Stealth Jacket
Price: $90 at Nathan Sports
Material: 100% Nylon
Purpose: Versatile windbreaker

Matt Klein, Chief Editor: Growing up in the Northwest, having a variety of jackets was key for whatever weather came your way. The Nathan Stealth Jacket fits into the super light windbreaker category of jacket. The nylon material is extremely light and provides a surprising amount of protection from the elements. It is water resistant, but not waterproof, making it best for drizzle and light rain. The hood is especially helpful for this and stays secure whether on or off your head. Heavier rain can soak the material, but fortunately, it dries incredibly quickly. I tested this in both mountain weather and SoCal city environments. It works best in temperatures between 40-60 degrees. Above that it can get a little warm and below too cold. There is a great of ventilation, with large open flaps at the rear that help keep the jacket from getting too warm. However, it still provides enough protection from higher winds.

The fit is true to size for me. I normally wear a men's small in shirt and a medium in jacket. I found this to fit true to size in my normal men's medium. There is decent length in the arms, although I (with my long arms) felt it was just a hair short when using the thumb holes. The torso part has plenty of length, although my only issue with this jacket was that it oddly bunches up near the lower abdomen/crotch area. This was not an issue that I felt during the run, but did look a little odd when I was standing around pre/post-run. Outside of that, the Nathan Stealth Jacket is an excellent piece of apparel that lives up to its name. It is incredibly light and will make you forget it is there. It will work best during the winter and transitional seasons in warmer climates (like Southern California) and provides protection from wind, mist and lighter rain.

Positives: Extremely lightweight, secure, easily packable, reflective elements, water resistant.
Negatives: Bunches up around lower abdomen/crotch, limited utility for colder weather

Nathan Pinnacle 4L Hydration Vest 
Shop: $180 at Running Warehouse
Purpose: Hydration for the long run

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: The Pinnacle hydration vest series from Nathan is their lightweight and race-day-ready vest system, having options for 4 and 12 liters. I’ve found the 4L system to be a really nice asset for my longer runs. It comes with 2, 20oz soft flasks and has space for an additional bladder in the back. There is ample storage for other items like fuel and gloves/hats. I appreciate the security of the vest and had no issues with shifting, rubbing, or hot spots. Without a bladder, it weighs 6.1 oz, keeping it very light and good for a variety of runs. It does cost $180, making it significantly more than other vests like Nathan’s QuickStart 3.0. However, vests like that are heavier and have fewer features, so it will depend on your goals. 

Positives: Lightweight, secure, ample storage and quality soft flasks
Negatives: Cost


Guide to Summer Running Shorts
Mizuno Alpha Eco Apparel
Mizuno Breath Thermo Collection
Path Projects Apparel
Run Commute Apparel
Saysky Apparel Review
Tracksmith Apparel

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These apparel items were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Nathan Sports for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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