Gear for the Canadian Winter

This season I’ve gotten the chance to test out some Mountain Hardwear gear. Winters in Ontario can get pretty frigid with the wind chill and high humidity, keeping warm and dry make for better long runs in the crisp trails.

Winter running is one of my favourite things. The pristine and sparkling trails make me feel alive and renewed. But it’s not always perfect. I feel the damp cold and have struggled with finding gear that will help me stay out there longer and at the right temperature. Recently I’ve been training for my first winter ultra and have been really putting some new gear to the test in all sorts of conditions.

The Integral Pro Long Sleeve Hoodie has been great at keeping me warm and dry. It’s a Merino Wool blend with polypropylene. When choosing the right layers for the cold, I found it can be tricky to find that balance to avoid overheating and sweating which leads to a continuous chilly feeling. It’s super lightweight so using this alone or as a layer doesn’t make you feel overly bulky and restricting. It washes well and has those handy thumb loops, but my favourite extra feature is the tiny key pocket and I’ve always been a big fan of hoodies just in case the wind picks up.

The Effusion Power Tight has been working well in the cold temperatures. In the fall I had reached out to the community seeking recommendations on a good winter running tight. I was keen to try this tight out after reading some positive posts. In the past I’ve struggled with two things in a winter running tight, wind blocker and knee movement. I’m impressed with where the wind blocker has been mapped out on this tight in combination with stretch fabrics. While I’ve found this in some other tights, this one has the most freedom of movement while still having the wind blocker in the best spots. The other really cool feature is the clamshell knee design allowing complete knee movement. It features my favourite little key pocket and reflective prints for night running, which is important if you’re like me and most weekdays during this season it’s dark by the time you get out of the office for your much anticipated evening run!

 ~Kelly Ann Wald is a trail runner from Barrie, Ontario and was the 2013 The North Face Canadian Trail Ambassador for Ontario

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