They Say

  • Ultimate Z-TECH® Training Jacket
  • Lightweight comfort fit with maximum protection
  • Quick drying
  • Reflecting inset material panels with anti-UV
  • Detachable waterproof hood with shockcord adjusters
  • Full front waterproof zip fastening
  • 2 mesh lined waterproof zip closing side pockets
  • Waterproof zip fastening chest pockets
  • Easy open Spiro zip pullers
  • Side ventilation pockets with mesh lining
  • Adjustable tear release cuff adjusters
  • Adjustable shockcord hem
  • Zip fastening back pocket
  • Waterproof 5,000mm
  • Breathable 5000g
  • Windproof
  • Also available in Ladies

We Say – First impressions were that this jacket felt pretty heavy, and I thought, well, it’s definitely a training jacket rather than a jacket you might compete in. The fact that it felt really substantial though inspired me to wear it out running with only a Spiro running top on underneath, even though we were into December and the wind was howling.

I was impressed during that first run. The jacket had to deal with high winds (my 7km running route was along a sea wall that was raised, so I had a 20mph wind coming unhindered off the exposed, flat marsh on my left and the sea on my right) but I didn’t feel cold at all, even though I guess the temperature was around the 5c mark. I could also run easily – there is plenty of movement in the jacket’s shoulders and chest area – and when I did start to sweat the jacket didn’t collect any moisture in it’s cuffs, which running jackets often do.

It felt good, very unrestricted, to run without a mid layer on. Generally I do wear a fleecy mid layer now we’re into winter, but with this jacket I reckon that’ll be unnecessary down to around the 1 or 2 degree mark.

The material doesn’t rustle, the back pocket is handy for keys (it closes tight and is quite small so they don’t jangle about) and the heavy feel that the jacket has when you’ve got it in your hands didn’t effect me whilst running. I like that the hood can detach easily – it’s attached with poppers – as I’ve found with past jackets that it’s pretty annoying to be running and have a hood flapping around behind you when it’s unneeded.

The hi-viz panels on the shoulders and back are well placed; always in view however you run, so you can run with a little more confidence on these darker evenings.

Spiro say it’s waterproof to 5,000mm. Bearing in mind that for a tent to be considered waterproof it only has to resist to the 1,500mm mark, this jacket should keep you dry in all but the very fiercest storms and be as suitable for canoeing and perhaps sailing as it is for running (the movement in the shoulders would allow you to paddle easily too). To test the waterproof-ness I wore it out for a walk in a heavy storm – I was out for an hour, long enough for my windproof gloves to get soaked through, and my socks to get wet through my supposedly waterproof boots – but once I returned home I found my fleece underneath was totally dry. Also, during the walk there was a pretty fierce headwind (about 35mph in places) and the hood stayed in place during this time without being overly tight.

I never needed to undo the ventilation zips on my first run but on my second run I found I had to. It was a 2 hour run, in heavy rain, and I was wearing thermal underwear under this jacket and my Spiro running pants. After about half an hour I found myself getting hot. I was a little worried that I’d have to regulate temperature by undoing the front zip, which I didn’t want to do, as I said, it was raining hard, but then I remembered the ventilation zips. I undid them and the effect was immediate. Partly this was due to the cross wind, I got a fresh blast straight away into my right side and this freshened up all of my body. After that I had 90 minutes left to run and I found that I was comfortable all the way, with the zips kept down. I wasn’t going a fast pace either, only about 11 or 12km per hour, so my heat wasn’t down to the effort I was putting in, more to the clothes I was wearing I reckon. An added bonus; near the end of the run the rain eased off so I could run without the hood. I had found the hood to be well designed during the run. For 10km I was face on to a fierce headwind but the hood only blew off twice. Also, it didn’t make that much noise either, the wind didn’t buffet it around much. And perhaps because of it’s heavyweight material, when I took it down it didn’t flap around as I ran, which happens often with the lightweight jackets.

Once home I hung the jacket up. It was totally dry on the inside but soaked outside. It took about 5 hours to drip dry totally, which is pretty regular for running jackets in my experience.

So, the jacket looks like it’s a good all rounder. Well suited for running but with plenty of space to wear a fleece underneath if it gets REALLY cold, and it’s great for hiking too since it’s so waterproof and fitted with plenty of largish pockets for carrying the stuff you need on trail, like snacks, keys and a small camera.

Recently I’ve been training in Canada in minus 20 conditions and it’s been brilliant. I wear 2 or 3 tops underneath and I’m warm for an hour or more. For the price, this jacket is excellent value.

If you’d like to check the jacket out, see http://www.spiroactivewear.com/product.php?prod=S173M

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