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

Adventure Jacket
Price: $135 at Nathan Sports
Purpose: Running/Hiking/Everyday use in the elements

Bach Pham, Content Manager: This is probably the best rain jacket I have ever used. It is very comfortable and well-fitting all-around, which helps make it a more runnable. It wicks water fairly well and dries quickly. It is a warmer jacket that feels best for sub-40F temperatures while running and is fine for hiking in warmer temperatures up to mid-50s (less if you are warm-natured). The zippers are sturdy and satisfying, and interior pockets do a good job at keeping things dry. The hood is fitted and doesn't feel baggy like a lot of rain jackets I've had in the past. It fits nicely around my head. There's also some material to help the jacket cling around, helping reduce floating material if you working to rack a few miles up in the cold. I think you may want to find a thinner rain jacket for workouts, but for easy mileage this does just fine.

I've just really enjoyed the Adventure Jacket and use it on the regular, regardless of rain for simple errands. The jacket dresses well and hits all the notes I'm looking for in a Fall/Winter rain jacket. I would need to layer pretty dramatically for sub-25 in this jacket, but if your temperatures float between 25 F to 50 F during the cooler seasons, this will be more than enough to handle most days of the year for your walking and running needs. If you are an active person who wants a rain jacket to handle everything from errands to exercise, you'll want to put this on your shortlist.

Positives: Good fit all-around, wicks water well and protective in elements
Negatives: Not for absolute cold or warmer days, a bit of a sweet-spot temperature-wise for best usage

Limitless Sling Series (2-8L) 
Price: $120 at Nathan Sports
Purpose: Hydration and Pack for Longer Days

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: The sling series is a different way to carry a pack. I'm more used to the traditional hydration vest system (like the Pinnacle Series shown below). I was sent the Limitless 8L Sling and have found some areas that I really enjoy using it and others where it was not my top pick. Unlike a vest, it only goes over one shoulder but does have additional straps that help keep it secure. That was positive -- that it didn't feel loose or uncomfortable. However, when running I found the asymmetry on my shoulders to be a bit uncomfortable overall, and accessing the pack while running was not easy. I found I'd have to either stop and unhook, or try to slide the sling around, which was more of a hassle than using a vest. For that reason, I've been using this pack more often for day hikes, which it has served me very well for. It can hold a little lunch and extra water and is light and comfortable while hiking. 

Positives: Secure, good amount of room, bladder integration, good for hiking
Negatives: Difficult to access on the run, asymmetry while running is a bother

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

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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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