Hot weather racing and training requires more than cold water and an extra energy gel in your pack. From causing muscle cramps to sunburns, the heat is a formidable obstacle in and of itself. We scoured our Spartan community, spoke with pro athletes and trainers, and tested out a few new products to find the very best summer OCR gear to beat the heat.
Best Summer OCR Gear
Shady Rays Titan Sunglasses
You’re going to get banged up, muddy, and if you’re real lucky maybe leave a little blood out on the course. The average sunglasses aren’t going to stand up to that abuse--and even if they do, you’ll probably be fishing them out of the mud at least once. We love Shady Rays because they offer a lifetime warranty on lost or broken sunglasses. So don’t worry about scratching your polarized lenses--Shady Rays has got you covered. Feel-good bonus: Shady Rays donates 10 free meals to fight hunger with every order, in partnership with Feeding America. The Titans are our favorite – they’ve got a shape that fits most faces, and can double duty at the bar after you’ve recovered from a brutal day of racing.
Shady Rays Titans, $55, Shop Now
Altra King MT Trail Shoes
Altra describes their new King MT trail shoe as the “King of the Mud”. After some training runs involving slick rock, deep mud, and oppressive heat, we can’t disagree. The aggressive tread helps power you over obstacles like the inverted wall, while the excellent drainage will keep your feet happy through the finish line. Like all Altras, they have a “zero drop” platform, so will need some break-in for your legs before you toe the starting line.
Camelbak Circuit Vest 500Z
Racers are often split on the topic of hydration packs. For Sprints, you might be able to rely on water stations, but for Beasts, Supers and Ultras, it’s a good idea. Camelbak’s Circuit series packs has spots to stash essentials but won’t get in the way while you crawl, hurdle, and climb your way through a race. The front pockets are perfectly sized for snacks, a pair of gloves, and a flask of electrolyte mix or gels.
Camelbak Circuit 500Z, $85, Shop Now
Gu Hydration Tabs
From mustard packets to pickle juice, homegrown electrolyte and cramp solutions are a frequent topic of conversation among this tribe. For those of you who can’t quite stomach squirting mustard into your mouth a few miles into a race, Gu’s Hydration Tabs are the best option. They boat fruity flavors like Orange and Strawberry Lemonade, a solid electrolyte balance, and they’re even Vegan approved. Throw a tab into a whiskey or vodka cocktail post-race, and hydrate while you celebrate.
Gu Hydration Tabs, $52 for 8, Shop Now
Surface Dry Touch SPF30 Sunscreen Spray
You can be fit and hydrated to the max and still get destroyed by a gnarly sunburn. Surface Dry Touch Sunscreen stands up to sweat and grime, while being free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, fragrance and parabens. It’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes, so bring on the water challenges.
Surface Dry Touch SPF30 Sunscreen Spray, $15 for 6 oz, Shop Now
Hydro Flask 18L Unbound Tote Cooler
Hydro Flask’s soft coolers are beloved for a cold beer and ice pack at the finish line (and more than a few times an icy foot bath; don’t judge). The foam insulation keeps your drinks cold in the hot car all day. The Aquaseal zipper and nylon body ensure it can take as much punishment as you do on race day.
Hydro Flask 18L Unbound Tote Cooler, $175, Shop Now