October 21, 2012 by IowaTriBob
Not wanting to give in to the cold weather just yet I decided to go shopping for some cold weather running gear. Unfortunately I had the perfect day to try my purchases out this past week as the weather in Iowa was low 40’s with a very cold rain and I was determined to run outside.
Now I’ve never been much of a cold weather person when it comes to working out and would prefer an upper 80’s to low 90’s day with mild humidity. In fact, sometimes the hotter the better as I enjoy being able to stay loose, warm, and with a good sweat going. This also means for the most part I’ve never really tried to work out during the colder Iowa months so this was definitely a new adventure for me.
From reading and viewing what others were wearing I made my list to look for:
• Base layer leggings and top
• Outer shell top for rainy and windy days just like today
• Outer shell bottom for really cold days
• Head protection
• Wool socks
For my head protection I purchased a Nike Therma-Fit beanie (which I absolutely loved during my first cold run), for my outer shell top I purchased a Koppen Men’s Rain Jacket, and for my base layer top I purchased a Reebok men’s cold weather thermal compression mock neck shirt. I decided to skip the wool socks, gloves, and bottom shell at this time as I figured I’d save those for the really cold days ahead. Besides, I figured I might be able to find something equivalent at home already.
For my base layer leggings I was undecided between a pair of Reebok men’s cold weather compression tights and Under Armour men’s Evo ColdGear compression tights, both were priced the exact same at $50 so decided to give both a try and see which ones I liked better.
• Compression fit for a snug feel and muscle support
• Plush elastic jacquard waistband is soft and works to keep the tights in place
• Gusseted fit provides a superb range of motion and the best fit
• Play Dry Technology wicks away moisture to keep you dry
• Fabric: 87% polyester, 13% spandex
• Signature Under Armour® compression fit for top performance
• Updated brushback knit fabrication traps heat for enhanced warmth
• Strategically placed windowpane mesh to ensure dryness and comfort
• Performance waistband
• Specialized fully functional ventilated fly
• Fabric: 7.1 oz. 87% polyester, 13% elastane.
When I got home I decided to give the Rebook’s a try first. Now I’ve never worn full legging tights before so there was definitely some getting used to. After I managed to get them on (which was much harder than one would think) I was extremely surprised at how comfortable and warm they felt. The compression in them wasn’t restricting and the fit around my legs and waist felt just right. The seams in the tights were positioned in the right areas along my legs so that once correctly aligned I never noticed them again.
This was my long run day and I never even thought about the Rebook tights again after putting them on, which in my opinion was a very good thing. My legs stayed warm and I didn’t feel or notice the light steady rain or wind on them.
Next I decided to try the Under Armour Evo CG Compression tights. The experience with putting them on and how they initially felt was almost identical to the Reebok tights; however this was as far as the similarities went.
During the second half of my run with the UA’s I noticed several differences. The seams in the UA tights were positioned in a fashion that I could feel them around my thighs and knees. Regardless of how I tried to shift them they would fall back into a position where they were noticeable. The seams didn’t look any different than the Reeboks but there must have been a few centimeter difference on the position as I could feel a little rub which made me paranoid about chaffing.
The second noticeable difference was the front fly section. The Rebook’s had a consistent feeling all throughout the mid-section and groin area while the UA’s “specialized fully functional ventilated fly” seemed to keep almost a saggy pocket (again it made me paranoid about chaffing). The last and probably most important difference was the warmth. For whatever reason the UA’s almost felt a little drafty at times and it seemed like when the wind blew at just the right angle I could feel a little chill in my legs.
Not wanting to discount the UA’s just yet I tried them on a short run and bike ride the next day and noticed the exact same issues as the day before.
For running I’ll definitely be using the Rebook compression tights on a regular basis and keep the UA’s as a backup or for a base layer / long john replacement during cold outdoor wear outside of my workouts.
With my new cold weather gear I hate to say I’m almost looking forward to my winter runs in the coming months.