Like a Glove: Eddie Bauer Run Gear Review

Everyone owns a little bit of Eddie Bauer. A shirt, winter jacket, or a pair of gloves in the hall closet. For me, there's a duffle bag that's been all over the world and a pair of gloves that are guaranteed for warmth. Eddie Bauer is known for quality and durability, but they've never been a place I'd shop for my run gear...until now.

Eddie Bauer is now marketing their First Ascent line for running.  Many of the qualities I would expect are found in three products I recently tested. Being based in Colorado and entering the cold part of the season, there are many long runs ahead as I start training in December for my fifth Boston Marathon in April. I have a love-hate relationship with the elements. A light rain is nice on a warm day, but a downpour in a race is not fun. Light snowfall can be a religious experience, but sub-zero temperatures combined with wind will tempt your faith.

I tried out three products in the Eddie Bauer line. A 1/4-zip pullover shirt, Hangfire Pro Hooded Jacket, and Men's Touchscreen FluxPro Gloves.

Pullover Shirt

The Ascent 1/4-zip pullover shirt as they say, "fits like a glove." I normally wear a large-sized shirt in a dress shirt, but when I'm running, I don't like a fit too tight, or too "blousy" either. Too tight combined with the wrong seam can literally rub you the wrong way over a twenty mile training run
1/4-zip pullover shirt
or race. No pun intended, this has an "athletic fit" and was extremely comfortable. Eddie Bauer states, "Next-to-skin crew features exclusive FreeHeat™ Pro polyester/spandex. The cutting-edge fabric actively generates additional heat when worn against the skin by harnessing kinetic ultraviolet energy." Silky smooth, this is one comfortable long-sleeve shirt that will get a lot of miles this winter.

Additionally, the shirt features

FREEDRY™ ADVANCED MOISTURE MANAGEMENT. Wicks moisture. Dries faster.
MODIFIED RAGLAN SLEEVES. Excellent range of motion
STRATEGICALLY PLACED SEAMS. Prevent chafing when layering or running long

And two of my favorite features in a winter long-sleeve shirt; thumb holes and a mock-turtleneck zipper to keep the neck warm.

Hangfire Pro Hooded Jacket

I wrote a post awhile back called the "Sore Nipple Calculator." In that post, I summarized what type of clothing I'd need based on the weather forecast for the run. I have gone "long" in Colorado in blinding snow and single digit temperatures. When it gets that cold, you need a good shell jacket.
Hangfire jacket, 2014 Boston Marathon Cap, Fluxpro gloves, Adidas Energy Boost, and Oakley Sunglasses.

The Hangfire jacket sports many of the same features as the 1/4-zip pullover; soft, breathable fabric with extra attention to detail on seams, a drawstring hood that works, thumb holes, and an iPod eyelet inside the chest pocket. Additionally, the jacket boasts;

Ultralight Flexion four-way stretch performance shell of nylon/spandex/polyester offers superior flexibility and breathability, and is wind- and water-resistant. StormRepel® durable water-repellent (DWR) finish beads water so it doesn't soak into the fabric. Streamlined design eliminates bulk while allowing full range of motion.

Depending on the weather, I will opt for race hat, light wool cap, or heavy wool for my head. When weather turns during a run, it's nice to have a jacket with the hood to add a few more degrees of warmth, or to protect the head when precipitation starts to fall.

Men's Touchscreen FluxPro Gloves

Back to my point of the "Sore Nipple Calculator," I currently have various weights of gloves I use depending on how cold it is outside. The Eddie Bauer Men's Touchscreen FluxPro Gloves are crazy comfortable and feature a fully-conductive palm fabric that has a grip you would expect on a pair of NFL receiver gloves. Taking the above picture in Roxborough State Park in Denver, the snow was falling lightly and temperatures dipped to 14 degrees. The touchscreen gloves actually worked when navigating my phone to capture the pictures--many gloves boast this claim, but these worked with the phone without having to remove them.

As I write this post, the trees outside my window have turned crimson red and and golden and have started to Fall. Temperatures are in the teens and expected to go lower. The mornings are getting cold, but I've got a few more tricks in my bag to keep me warm on my way to the Boston Marathon.

Note: The products above were provided for review. There's no compensation for this post other than the words above. As always, I will tell you whether I like the product or not. In this case, very impressed. If you doubt this disclaimer, you clearly didn't read my review of Nike's latest Gyakusou.

Comments

  1. Running Through A Chicago WinterNovember 15, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Hi - just curious what you think of the FreeHeat Pro shirt now? Does it actually live up to it's claim that it reflects your own body heat back and keeps you warmer than, say, a smart wool or poly version? Their catalog says, "the thermal science utilizes ceramic particles in extruded yarns that spark molecular vibration when exposed to sunlight." [sidenote: this is a bottom layer, so its not intended to be exposed to sunlight] Continuing: "The result is increased warmth when worn against the skin and a fabric that active generates additional heat by harnessing kinetic energy at the molecular level." That kind of sounds like a lot of Science Jargon. But I'm curious to hear from someone who has actually tested it - did it work? Thanks!

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    1. Sorry for the delay. Great question. It was low teens when I test drove their gear, but quite honestly, I'd need to have similar runs of length over two days with essentially the same weather to give a scientific response. My miles will start building with my Boston plan with plenty of cold weather so I'll have a better guage in a month or so with more miles in wearing the gear. In terms of your bottom layer comment, at certain cold-weather temps, I would merely run with the long sleeve v-neck. Colder runs may require the outer shell with the same technology. In both cases, wicking comes into play, and the fabric seems to perform well there.

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