Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Skins Plus Tech Vest review

    In our many discussions about running gear, Mrs Fish and I have often said that Skins needed something to mix and match their excellent A400 and A200 compression ranges with.
    It could have been something as simple as a cap or running shirt. People like to match up their go to gear and support a favourite brand, so when the new Skins Essentials and Skins Plus range was launched we were super excited.
    After checking out the new range on the Skins site I quickly hit the buy button on the $69 Skins Plus Men’s Tech Vest and the Skins Essential Macro Short Sleeve Shirt. 
Skins Plus Tech Vest

    Ever since I got drenched in the Elite Barrier Vest, I’ve been back on the hunt for the perfect running jacket. Our brothers in the US of A get the full sleeve version, but with the Skins A400 Arm Compressors I’ve been happy to mix it up with the vest (the running and cycling jackets are now available). The arm compressors are provide a little rain protection, are great in the cold, and can be quickly rolled down if you get too warm. Having said that, I hope that Skins Australia is able to extend our range soon.
     The Tech Vest is exactly as what the Skins site describes. First of all it is light, very light. When you slip it on you barely notice it’s there. Being of a slim build, the athletic cut fits well across the shoulders and chest and tapers to the waist nicely. On me the arm holes are possibly a little big, but they allow your full range of movement. The elastic toggles in the hem at the waist allow you to draw the vest in tight to keep it in place during your run. 

The length is just long enough to provide a little ‘modesty’ where you might feel you need it, and it keeps the full length of your torso dry in the wet. It has a full length zip that allows you to zip right up and under your chin. The two pockets are also very handy for keeping your keys close at hand, or a little bit of cash or gels etc. I wouldn’t use it for my phone as I hate the feeling of it jiggling around.
Good coverage, bright!
     The same glass beading that is used in the A400 tights is integrated into the logos and seems, and they work amazingly in low light and dark conditions. Again, I’ve full confidence wearing it along the trail at night or when running roadside. And being black, it accessorises very nicely with any coloured running shirt, or as a casual vest in mild to cool conditions.
     So how does it work as a vest that has been designed to work with the 2015 compression range and complete your sports performance kit?
     It works very very well. As we’ve moved from late summer into autumn and the early stages of winter I’ve been able to run in the Skins Plus Tech Vest in temperatures ranging from a mild 12-13 degrees afternoon run, to a very chilly 2-3 degree morning run. In the warmer weather it has breathed very well. When you get warm, simply adjust the zipper to change your comfort levels.

    More importantly, in the cold it is also very effective. Our autumn evenings often have a slight breeze, and the Tech Vest materials do a great job of keeping out the breeze. In the morning as you run through the fog and mist just pull up the zipper and your core is kept dry and warm. I can confidently head out with a long sleeve or compression top and know that this is all I’ll need. On the most extreme 2 degree morning that I’ve had so far, I wore a long sleeve top, gloves and the Tech Vest and I had no issues with the cold. In fact, I came home with a slight sweat after an EZ run!
With the hood
     So how does it work in the rain? As touted, the Tech Vest is lightweight and breathes very well. It also keeps you dry. I’ve finally been able to run in it, through light showers to moderate rain. In both conditions I came home dry, with the only moisture under the vest coming from my own perspiration. In my review so far, I’ve not mentioned the hood, something my barrier vest did not have. The hood is of the same light material, and rolls up nicely when not needed. It is also toggled, so you can draw it in tight against the wind and rain. For me, it works best with a running cap or under my head torch on early morning or twilight runs. Yes the cap keeps my face dry, but the hood also keeps my ears dry and warm, as well as my neck. Without a headband or the peak of a cap, it either closes in around my face too much or is too loose. A minor quirk but one that is easy to fix.

    In conclusion, the Skins Plus Men’s Tech Vest fits well, keeps you warm yet allows you to breathe, keeps you dry and it looks pretty sweet.

    Happy running once more, 

Great casual wear too!

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