Sara Aranda is a professional gear tester for Outdoor Prolink and BivyTales.com. Sara is a climber, trail runner, traveller and writer. She currently lives, plays and works in Yosemite with her husband.
Outdoor Research Performance Trucker – Run
This trucker cap is the most lightweight (3.5oz) and breathable of the Outdoor Research Performance Trucker line, built with cubic mesh, a Cool & Dry headband, and reflective hints. Other features include a perforated back panel, water-resistance, a curved brim, and the ability to float. Crafted from 100% polyester this hat puts cotton hats to shame. From trail runs, casual hikes, or a sunny foot-commute, my husband has officially claimed the hat as his – which is amazing because he has never been one to like hats until now.
“It not only keeps the sun and hair out of my eyes, it doesn’t trap sweat, and thusly irritate my scalp, like most hats do,” he happily exclaimed after one of his runs; and appropriately so, OR writes, “It’s hard to imagine training for the Leadville 100 in a vintage John Deere trucker hat, so we built this[.]”
With the runner in mind, comfort and breathability are what make the hat a new favorite of ours. “When I get into the groove of a run, I honestly forget it’s even there,” my husband adds. Because of its cubic mesh, there’s also a noticeable sense of warmth on colder days, which acts an an insulator yet still keeps you from overheating once you sweat. Sizing wise, it is a one-size fits all with adjustable snaps, but I do feel that it fits my husband better than me. The hat also comes in black with white mesh.
- Polyester dries quickly and is easy to clean
- Relatively durable construction
- Reflective logo
- Headband is white and shows dirt/sweat easily
- A stitch came undone where the adjustable snap attaches to the cap; might suggest reinforcement
Overall I think OR really thought this piece through. There’s definitely a fashion-sense with the trucker and frankly people like that, at least we do. But more than mere fashion, this trucker has complete functionality with the endurance athlete in mind.
Outdoor Research Women’s Gauge S/S Tee
This tech shirt is made for anything and everything hot and sweaty, from calisthenics in the gym to a sunny venture into the hills. “This shirt is so good at cooling you down when you’re running hard,” OR writes, “we’re warning people to not wear them as a base layer.”
From their Mountain Training line of apparel, this lightweight, streamlined tee was designed with “evaporative heat loss to help regulate your core temps.” I have found that there definitely is a strange sense of cooling that happens when you start to sweat and you’re cruising along on a run or pedaling hard in a spin class. It feels like gentle air-conditioning. I tend to de-clothe when things get sweaty and I will admit that I have an aversion to sweaty t-shirt armpits. But honestly, sometimes I don’t necessarily want to have to delayer to my sports bra for the sake of cooling down and avoiding uncomfortable pits. This tee solves that problem for me – it offers comfortable coverage over the shoulders and chest from too much sun exposure, yet keeps me cool enough to not want to rip it off and toss it in a stream.
The fit is casual and designed to not cling to your skin, which helps the Polartec Delta technology work. I would say that the tee is true to size in regards to intended fit – I tested the Small. The tee comes in three colors: desert sunrise pink/red, oasis blue, pewter gray with blue stitching. Other neat features of the Gauge is its fabric blend (polyester, lyocell, spandex), UPF 15, and movement-mirroring stretch. Since it was crafted with the runner in mind, there is also reflective trim and OR logo, which is honestly a nice and much appreciated touch.
- Cooling ability
- Anti Odor
- Movement-Mirroring Stretch
- Aesthetically fashionable
- Relatively low durability – fabric snags easily
Overall I’m really impressed with the Gauge. I’ve tried other synthetic shirts in the past for running, but they’re usually cheap and start to smell after one run. I’ve worn this tee for every sweaty endeavor this past month and it hasn’t failed the smell test yet – will it ever? Which makes it an easy go-to when throwing off work clothes and donning a shirt to cram in adventure before sunset.