The Claim: Arc’teryx says this midweight top and bottom takes the thinking out of cold weather running. The fabric technology, Gore Windstopper, uses a light inner membrane designed to stay breathable while resisting windy, cool, and damp conditions.
Field Test: Winter running in the mountains is gear intensive. Outer layers must be light, water resistant, and moisture-wicking; warm for the first mile, but breathable as you heat up. A mid-November storm made for ideal testing conditions. It was snowing with the temperature lingering in the 30s when I took off from the bottom of Vail Mountain. I ran intervals, so several minutes of uphill sprinting followed by a couple minutes rest. I heat up quickly, but I stayed dry and comfortable with a light, sweat-wicking layer under the jacket, and bare legs beneath the tights. Both top and bottom leave room for a layer, and the loose ankle on the tights fits over shoes. After intervals, I trotted back through fresh snow, now mostly packed down. I kept my car key securely in one of the two side hip pockets; an angled rear pocket kept my phone in place, attached to my headphones through a convenient media port. The details keep accessories within reach, but this kit stands out because of its truly moisture-and wind-resistant, lightweight, quick-drying fabric. The stretch makes it easy to move, and the jacket’s full front zip, with chin guard and wind flap, kept my cheeks, chin, and nose protected.
Why It’s Timeless: Sweating hard in snow and freezing temps doesn’t work if you’re wet. This kit excels in temperature regulation for long or short winter endurance sessions. $225 (jacket) and $149 (pants); arcteryx.com —Kim Fuller