Have you ever found that one piece of apparel that just works perfectly and you look forward to wearing every time? If so, then this review will be right up your alley. We had a chance to review some of the pieces from the Saucony late winter collection and while the entire lineup is aesthetically on point, there was one simple piece of gear I fell in love with. More on that as we move through the lineup.
We had a chance to look at two different jackets from the Saucony lineup and you’ll see at the top I referred to this as a late winter lineup and as we all know in the Pacific Northwest, this means light wind and rain protection. It also means warmth, breathability and adaptability. What I mean by this is something you can wear for an early morning run that starts off cold, is probably interrupted by moments of rain, and will still handle temperature increases of up to 5 to 10 degrees within an hour. Now these two jackets are very similar in appearance, but do offer slight variations in function.
The first one we reviewed is the Razor and its definitely the warmer of the two. It’s made for your early morning or evening runs when the temperatures are still a little low and you might face some pretty solid rain. The jacket is bright in that it’s all yellow and the material is thick enough to repel most levels of wind and rain. It is hoodless, but I prefer to wear a hat or beanie normally anyways, so this isn’t a big sticking point for me. The zippers are all windproof and this works very well as I tried this on some very windy days. From a temperature control perspective, the jacket provides a solid level of warmth pretty much anytime the temps are in the mid 30s to upper 40s, it really depends on your layering style. For example, if you wore a long sleeve under it and the temperature was anywhere near the upper 40s you’d probably run a little warm. That being said, that’s the perfect combination for those mid to high 30s. The jacket does have a number of that slits on the back side, which helps increase airflow, but you definitely get some level of heat buildup under the arms and on the chest. The jacket is true to size as far as I can tell, maybe running a little big, but I would say that if it was about perfect for me. A medium was pretty much exactly where I would want a medium to fit me. The sleeves are gusseted and the waist had a slight taper. All in all the jacket works great during in-climate weather and hit our temperature lows very well. The cut and overall style of the jacket is pretty strong and its definitely high-viz. You can find it for $120 online in both black and yellow versions.
Sonic Reflex Jacket
The next jacket is the Sonic Reflect hits exactly where the first leaves off. This model is much lighter, more breathable, and functional and will work from the low 40s all the way into the mid/high 50s depending on how cold you run. It is much lighter than the Razor and while it doesn’t stop as much water as the first, it definitely handles 90% of what you’ll experience out there. The zippers are wind resistant and it has the same wrist gussets and waist taper. It is also hoodless, but that leads well into our next product. Of the two jackets, this was far and away my favorite simply because it looks killer. I love the aesthetic of it, the fit and cut are definitely flattering and honestly it just feels good when running. You get a lot of comments on it whether you wear it running or just out and about. You can find it for about $115 online. This pairs really well with Saucony RunDry tights.
This is the big one for me. I honestly don’t really know what people think when I wear it, and I don’t particularly care. This is basically the perfect running beanie for me I’m not sure how else to say it. I’ve even worn this on warmer days to kick off my run because the fit is great, has a lot of function within it, and it provides that level of warmth for those initial few miles as your body warms up. The exterior of the hat is a black waterproof material they call FlexShell and the interior is a felt in that the same high-viz yellow color as the Razor. The liner is very thin fleece, and while it holds a decent amount of warmth, it is definitely not overwhelming. The nice part of the hat is that it has drop-down ear and neck flaps that can be folded up as you start to warm up, but it also provides both functional and stylistic elements to the hat. When I first tried it on my initial emotion was that it was too big and then I realized it’s meant to be like that. It’s definitely a little baggy on your head, but this works truly well as it keeps airflow to a maximum. The fit is also really solid on my head and that I don’t get home with a big red line across my forehead. It will run you $38.00 direct from Saucony.
So finishing off the entire grouping are the Nomad Gloves and these are pretty simple in most ways, but they also really make the outfit. They are definitely not overpowering in terms of the amount of warmth they provide and they are also constructed of the same waterproof Flexshell material as the hat, so they don’t ever feel too wet during a run. The large gloves fit my hands very well, normally I find gloves are always about a size too small, but you always want to try these on first to make sure as it is case-by-case. The only real feature on the gloves are a small magnetic connector between the two gloves which keeps them held together. I could never find a use for this, but pretty cool nonetheless. They are $30.00 direct and come in black, pink, and yellow.
One more item I forgot to mention the always forgot socks. Saucony makes a number of running socks just like all brands do, but we were most impressed with their over the calf, compression style socks that they sent to us to test. Most of the time we look to the traditional compression companies to produce quality hosiery, but in this case Suacony has done a good job producing a very lightweight over the calf compression sock. I would actually love to see their no-shows and lower socks switch to the same material and styling as these. They come in white and black and are $25.00.
I started off by saying there was that one piece of gear in this lineup and for me the hat was the stand out. That being said the Sonic Reflex Jacket combination was probably something I got the most comments on. It definitely represents a alternative aesthetic coming from a seasoned running company and really implies a more modern look in the styling is coming and we are loving it. I find it’s a jacket you can wear outside of your run or just out and about and it still looks good. Overall, all of the gear functioned exactly as advertised and I honestly think the aesthetic changes are a game changer for Saucony.