Don’t wait until temps climb before churning across, around and above your favorite terrain, from street to dotted line on a topo map. Active Junky’s ahead of the pack with these three as we started evaluating them as the snow was still flying. Time to fly.
Eddie Bauer Movement Jacket: Performance beyond the logo
This brand’s not known for rippin’, running or getting dirty on the trail. Movement goes crazy with high-end features, a solid build and nearly ridiculous price to train and travel in cooler weather. Active Junky testers liked the profile and volume of the jacket as Movement fits most bodies without getting tight or sloppy. Mixing 88% polyester with 12% Spandex, the piece was surprisingly breathable while repelling chilly Rocky Mountain breezes.
Tester Comments: If you’re ready to wear clothing for performance and value rather than purely logo status, here’s the one to run. Paired with the matching pants, the 4-way stretch and DWR finish on Movement let me run – and reflect on the summit – with confidence. Solid abrasion resistance, too, in rocks and brush.
Best For: All-around training, trail running and shoulder-season bike commuting
The North Face’s Men’s Better Than Naked Singlet: Eyes on the prize
Endurance running continues to dominate, with higher and tougher courses now in the sights of more outdoor athletes. Active Junky advances this component in the Better Than Naked line for noteworthy FlashDry technology to accelerate drying time. Stitch-free seams make all the difference, particularly when running with a hydration pack. Body mapped and inconsequential in weight, Singlet is number one for easy wearing, durability across frequent washings and a summit-seeking fit.
Tester Comments: Dump your performance tees that came with entries in race events. This one from TNF is what aspiring or accomplished runners need – no more, no less. Considering its utility, the under-$50 price is super reasonable.
Best For: Training and racing
Topo Athletic Magnifly: Freakish speed for about $100
While not as light as some competitive models at 8.8oz, Magnifly’s engineered for extended, fast miles. Active Junky was drawn to the shoe’s profile, with 25mm x 20mm total stack high and a 5mm drop. The build is solid including a 4.5mm rubber outsole, 5mm footbed and 15.5mm heel. Topo likes plush in front (meaning a roomy toe box) and a more conforming waist. Control is solid and outsole life is acceptable while shock absorption is meaningful. Active Junky remains a fan of Topo’s tongue designs along with stay-tied lacing systems. The end result for many runners will be more flow in their gait without feeling sloppy.
Tester Comments: This brand deserves more attention after they started out with a short-lived, split-toe design. Happy to run them at this price, I appreciate the aegis microbe shield inside to minimize smell. Breathability is good in this durable, dry-conditions model.
Best For: Building base mileage in drier conditions