ROARK RUN AMOK
Roark is a brand founded by two life-long adventurers whose collective experiences led them to create a collection of travel-inspired men’s apparel that can shift gears between chill and rugged as needed. Their Run Amok line is a subdivision of the parent brand that focuses on dedicated activewear which can serve multiple purposes from running to climbing to water sports.
Twice each year, Roark releases a new themed collection that represents exploration in a specific area of the world. Below, we’ve featured the Continental Divide Trail theme, with desert and mountain imagery.
The Alta Short is available in 5” or 7” inseam lengths depending on your preference; we tested the 5” version on runs up to 20 miles. The external panels are made from a lightweight comfortable polyester/nylon fabric, and a soft mesh liner makes them functional without the need to add an undergarment. The fabric blend is mildly water-resistant as well, keeping them from absorbing much moisture, but they do dry quickly when fully saturated, as we learned after multiple creek crossings.
Two small but deep stash pockets on the sides will each hold a couple of gels and are well positioned on the back of the hip. A larger zipper pocket in the rear is able to hold most standard-sized (but not plus-sized) cell phones, keys or other essentials, and one especially nice feature of this pocket is its waterproof liner, making it a great spot for items that need protection from the elements.
Mathis Pocket Short Sleeve Knit Top
The Mathis Pocket Tee stands out in a crowd or on its own. The shirt is also somewhat unusual in its use of cotton, with a fabric blend of 85% Dri-release polyester and 15% cotton blend. The cotton lends the fabric softness and is surprisingly wrinkle-free, even when pulled directly from a backpack.
The athletic cut of the Mathis shirt is slightly narrow across the shoulders and upper torso, but not enough to warrant up-sizing. One of our taller testers (6’2”, size L) noted that he really liked the long torso length of the top, stating that it is at least 1” longer than most other brands. The slender fit was also lauded for both wearing under a vest or layering.
Roark’s Run Amok Alta Shorts and Mathis Shirts are available at roark.com.
Early in 2021, Nathan launched their clothing line geared toward runners. Usually known for handheld bottles and hydration packs, Nathan is now dipping their toes into active wear.
365 Hooded Long Sleeve Tee
The 365 Hoodie Tee is perfect for staying warm at the trailhead on chilly mornings or wearing around the house post long run. The mid-weight tech fabric was a bit heavy on runs and better suited as a warmup item in our rotation. A three-paneled hood fits loose over the head and works best for casual use rather than on the run. Thumb holes are available at the end of each sleeve as well as a reflective logo on the right arm, increasing visibility.
365 Jogger Pant
The 365 Jogger is a favorite in our rotation for casual wear and during visits to the gym. Built from the same material as the 365 Hoodie, these joggers have a little stretch while remaining form-fitting. The tapered fit has a clean look but without zippers on the ankle, they did restrict us from using them as effective warm-ups at the trailhead. The joggers feature two regular pockets on the hips as well as one zippered pocket large enough to fit a cellphone.
The feature that we never knew we needed is now one that we cannot live without: the silent windbreaker. Made from 100% nylon with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, this water-resistant and windproof jacket was an essential piece for us during the beginnings of a central California rainy season. Packed down into a small pocket, this noiseless windbreaker lived in our pack (or on us) during long runs. The Stealth is lightweight and super ventilated, featuring multiple slots along the back for heat to escape. Similar to the 365 Hoodie, the Stealth comes with thumb holes for colder weather running and has a cinch-down hood for windy conditions. A small pocket on the chest is great for keys or a gel, and packs up super small for when you need it next. These items and more can be found at NathanSports.com.
JANJI AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
Janji is a Massachusetts-based company, founded in 2012, with a simple yet enormously challenging global vision: everyone should have access to clean drinking water. A percentage of Janji’s proceeds go to support non-profit agencies supporting clean water projects around the globe. In addition to this focus, they have a strong sustainability story. All of their primary fabrics are made from a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials and are Bluesign or OEKO-TEX certified.
The Groundwork Tight has multiple features that make them versatile and highly functional. The groundwork material is a tightly woven nylon/spandex blend that is breathable, durable and supportive, and the light compression of these tights are comfortable, keeping everything in place even on long runs. With six pockets, you won’t run out of storage. One tester remarked that he could leave the waist belt at home with these tights, as he was able to store a phone, keys, gloves, gels and even small items like lip balm.
Runterra Bio L/S Tee
The Runterra Bio L/S Tee is the first synthetic blended running shirt that biodegrades like a 100% cotton tee. The shirt also offers enhanced moisture and odor control, thanks to the specially formulated 37.5® polyester, and can be used as a lightweight layer on colder days. The synthetic blend top dries faster than a 100% cotton tee, and raglan sleeves mean that there are no seams to contend with on the top of the shoulder. Overall, this top is a great choice for someone looking for a layering piece that performs well and looks good.
Janji’s American Southwest Collection is available in men’s and women’s options at janji.com.
Cross-country ski legend Bjorn Daehlie started his eponymous brand in 1996 at the height of his competitive athletic career, with the goal of crafting better technical performance from his apparel than anything that was currently available. Consistent with its roots, the company was focused on cold weather activities, with an emphasis on ski apparel, before expanding their product lines to running and other athletic gear in 2016. Their mission has stayed consistent during expansion; Daehlie products are still intended to provide maximum performance benefit, and the company works closely with the Norwegian national cross-country ski team and several top Norwegian distance runners throughout their research and development process.
(*One convention to get used to when shopping for Daehle products is the noun-adjective positioning that often gets mixed in translation.)
The Pants Run is a capable, all-season choice for those seeking an alternative to tights. The fit is close to the body, especially below the knee, with a taper that’s fairly aggressive, keeping the pants snug against the lower leg. The material used in these pants has plenty of stretch to allow for natural mobility, including any pre-workout warmups.
Since the pants are not insulated, they have a wide range of use either as a base layer or by themselves during milder temps. The durable water repellent treatment was adequate enough to protect against foggy, wet conditions, but for heavy rain we’d recommend something with a little more protection. On the other end of the spectrum, the lightweight material was breathable enough for use in relatively warm conditions.
Jacket Winter Run 2.0
The Jacket Winter Run 2.0 is a highly capable cold weather running companion. Primaloft insulation panels across the chest and shoulders are very lightweight but provide a high level of warmth. Coupled with the breathable, perforated back, the jacket is able to help moderate body temps in cold conditions. Our testers did note that this jacket is best suited for colder temps and can be used well below freezing. On a trip to Lake Tahoe, one tester was able to utilize the Jacket Winter Run 2.0 during a long run in 26 degrees when paired with a wool base layer and gloves. When conditions got a bit fairer, the two-way zipper came in handy, giving testers the ability to vent from either the top or bottom of the jacket.
The lumbar pocket is sizable enough to hold a variety of items, such as lightweight gloves, hat and personal items like keys, wallet and phone. But much like the pocket on the Pants Run, it is better utilized outside of running activities due to excessive bouncing.
Daehlie Pants Run and Jacket Winter Run 2.0 are available at dahlie.com.