Wednesday 19 June 2013

Thoosa Gear Review - Update

You may remember that we discovered Thoosa running gear last November, after meeting the company founder at the Broadway Tower Marathon.  She kindly provided a pair of ¾ length tights, a t-shirt, a skort and a long-sleeved top for Nic to test on the trails.  After months of wear, here's an update on how it's gone.

I’ve worn all the gear now, some more than others during the winter and long, cold spring.  The weather has been so poor, I haven’t had much opportunity to wear the summer gear yet.  However, the ¾ length tights and the long-sleeved top have been well worn!  Here are some of my conclusions:
Thoosa gear is in general really good quality.  The fabrics feel soft and hang well.  The colours are attractive and the cut is flattering.  I am a UK size 8, pretty short at 5ft tall and I do have curves.  I feel good in Thoosa clothing - it seems like a great deal of thought has gone into designing this range of clothing, which is great because running gear should look good as well as function perfectly.
My favourite item is the ¾ length tights – the Swifts.  I have worn them over and over again, clocking up at least 300 miles in them.  Most recently, I wore them for about 16-17 hours of a 24 hour trail running endurance event and like all the best pieces of running apparel, they didn’t cause me any problems whatsoever.  They are incredibly comfy yet supportive.  They have a fairly high waist and a wide waist band, so they never cut in and they never chafe.  The high waist is also flattering on me, as it doesn’t cut into my belly and show off my spare tyre too badly – always a bonus!!  One of the other fabulous features is the spacious pocket in the back of the tights – it is big enough to fit an average smartphone, which is great if you like listening to music or podcasts on your phone while on the move.  This was a particularly good thing for me during the wee small hours of my recent overnight race, allowing me to distract myself from the pain by listening to podcasts, without needing to carry anything extra to house my phone.  I’ve worn the Swifts with a waist-pack, again with no ill-effects.  And despite many, many hours of muddy running and the following washes they are showing very little sign of wear.  In short, they are a fantastic piece of kit.

After 16 hours in the Swift 3/4 Tights and 11 in the Chill top, no hint of  discomfort.

I’ve worn my Chill Half Zip long-sleeved top nearly as much as my capris this winter/spring!  It is made with bamboo, so it is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear.  It is pretty windproof, but I haven’t often over-heated in it.  It has long cuffs which you can also use to stick your fingers in instead of wearing gloves, which is pretty convenient on a chilly day.  Again, the pockets are great – it has two large pockets on the sides, which are the perfect size for a smartphone.  Last weekend, during Endure 24, I stopped to take a break at about 1am, as I was very tired.  After about 20 minutes of sitting still, I was freezing, so pulled on my Thoosa top.  A short run later, I was snug and warm again, but not over-heated, and the top didn’t come off until the finish eleven hours later, after the morning dawned cool and breezy.

I love the look of the City skort.  Being short, I often find that shorts, skorts and capris look silly on me as the length just isn’t right.  This skort is a lovely fit on me though.  The fabric feels really high quality – the shorts are light-weight, soft and snug-fitting, and the skirt feels heavier and hangs beautifully.

UPDATE: July 2013
I've finally found some hot and humid weather to give my skort a proper test.  I’ve never been able to wear a skort for a long period of time without suffering from chafed thighs, so I needed to see if this would be any different.  The shorts part certainly seems slightly longer than other skorts I’ve worn.  After a 2.5 hour trail run that had me dripping with sweat and a tough 10K road race in mist and drizzle, I'm pretty confident that the City skort won't leave me walking like John Wayne.  The skirt's light fabric didn't hold much moisture, and the shorts are just long enough to protect without ruining the nice appearance.  

Happy on trails

Failing to get a decent action still, Kurt decided to capture some video of me running in the City Skort and Swift Zip Tee.

I was really attracted to this tee because it has a collar.  I often run with a backpack, so a collar provides neck protection.  Not enough tee-shirts have collars, in my opinion!  I’ve worn the tee a few times, with and without a backpack, and like the rest of the range, it is well-fitting and comfortable.

Out for 4 hours of hilly pack training in  the Swift Zip Tee

It is very light-weight so I think it is great even in hot weather.  Now, if Thoosa can make a sleeveless version I'll be even happier.  My only criticism of this piece is that it does tend to crinkle after washing so doesn’t look as good as the other gear straight from the drawer.  I don’t intend to start ironing my running gear!

All in all, my Thoosa gear is what I wear over and over again, as not many other pieces of running clothing I own can match it for comfort and look.

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