Sponsored by our partner, CRAFT Sportswear
Winter is coming—and a smart Spartan is a prepared Spartan. Training and exercise has drastically pivoted in our new-normal pandemic. (Read: closed gyms and postponed races are pushing people outdoors to work up a sweat in new ways.) No problem, when it’s 75-degrees and sunny, and you’re loaded up on warm-weather workout gear to beat UV rays.
But with daylight decreasing and temps dropping, it’s crucial to ensure you have proper gear so you can get outside. (Sure, busting out indoor HIIT workouts like there’s no tomorrow is a solid plan. But, chances are, it’ll get old fast, and the last thing you want is to fall off the fitness bandwagon because it’s cold out.) The good news? There’s nothing like a snow-packed trail run, spicy fat-tire bike ride or lung-pumping snowshoe to reinvigorate your spirits. Trust us. Simply grab your RD Pros, hit the single track, and stay consistent to launch you fit and flourishing into 2021.
Here are our favorite sweat-wicking, thermoregulated jackets, hoodies and baselayers to stay warm, well ventilated and comfortable when you hack it in chilly weather. Because ditching your workout for couch time is always a slippery slope. No excuses.
Best Cold-Weather Training Baselayers, Hoodies and Jackets for Winter
For the Ladies
1. SubZ Body Warmer
For those blue-bird trail days where a full jacket isn’t necessary, turn to the SubZ Body Warmer vest. Heat-bonded quilting and light padding provide extra warmth for your core as you move, and brushed jersey at the nape and lower back protect your skin from precipitation or wind. It’s lightweight, durable and 100% layerable, making this the ultimate go-to piece for just about any kind of winter workout.
2. Active Intensity LS Top
Layer up in chilly temps with this lightweight, form fitted master in temperature control. Its next-to-skin fit provides a soft, yet durable baselayer for all-things outdoor workouts. A seamless design cuts chafing out of the equation and allows for optimal freedom of movement, making your trail runs and backcountry hiking sessions more comfortable than ever. Plus, it’s versatile as a standalone layer on warmer days, or underneath a jacket on colder days.
3. Urban Run Hydro Jacket
Remember your Spartan motto: no excuses, baby—even when it’s pouring rain or dumping snowflakes. Enter, the Urban Run Hydro Jacket. It’s our ultimate answer to cold-weather running in just about any conditions. Wind and waterproof fabric protect you from the elements, and laser-cut ventilation make moisture wicking a breeze. A water-resistant welded chest pocket is the perfect place to stash a key or credit cards, and cuffs secure at the wrist for blustery days.
4. Polar Midlayer Jacket
With the pandemic putting a damper on gym schedules, you need cold-weather layers that’ll support your outdoor workouts so you can sweat longer and go harder. The Polar Midlayer Jacket is no exception—ultra-soft light padding provides extra warmth in biting temps, and ample pockets make for easy storage. Thanks to its thoughtful design and feminine fit, the Polar Mid stands alone as a do-everything trail jacket, or fits snuggly under a heavier layer for more brutal alpine days.
5. Down Jacket
We saved the crème de la crème for last, because yes, being cold in winter sucks, but it’s no excuse not to get moving outdoors. So, we’ve got you covered for any bad weather headed your way. Snuggle up in this insanely cozy quilted Down Jacket with an extra-high collar and broad hood that shelters your neck and ears from the elements. Stash your essentials in the zippered side pockets and cinch the elastic strings at your wrists and waist tight to block the wind. Boom.
For the Guys
1. Hybrid Vest
You know those days where a little extra warmth for your core makes the difference between a good workout and a great workout? Well, consider this that game changer. The Hybrid Vest uses dual fabric in layered polyester with down padding to give an extra boost of insulation, but keeps it all to your core so you can crush hard, arms free. Its high neck shelters your nape from the elements and two zippered side pockets make it the perfect midlayer on warmer, blue sky days when you’re running around town.
2. Active Intensity LS Top
When we’re talking baselayers, you want a second-skin fit that moves with your body, not against it. Not to mention, sweat-wicking control so you can stay well ventilated without overheating during tough workouts. The Active Intensity LS Top does it all. A seamless design ensures underarm chafing won’t happen, and its soft polyester-polymide blend fits close to your body for extreme temperature management, so you don’t have to worry about anything but crushing the miles.
3. Warm Train Jacket
If you’re the kind of guy who likes to mix up your workouts, from road cycling to mountain biking and from trail running to urban fartleks, this is your go-to. The Warm Train Jacket is built specifically for all weather, all workouts, with water-and-wind proofing at the forefront. Its polyester outer withstands light rain and dry snow, and a lined brushed jersey interior holds next-to-skin warmth so you can power through like a pro. Reflective details on the front and back make dusk workouts safer, and two zippered side pockets provide ample storage for keys and phones making this the epic transition piece from trail to street.
4. Rain Jacket
Take your outdoor training next level with this lightweight Rain Jacket that’s both wind and waterproof, through and through. Providing ample protection from precipitation, you’re sure to stay dry, while its mesh lining vents sweat and moisture away from your body so you don’t overheat. Plus, a removable hood makes this double down as a wind jacket wearable on sunny, gusty days, and a rain jacket to shield you from downpours as you battle the elements. No reason not to get out there.
5. Down Jacket
Every dude needs a down jacket. This one just takes it up a notch. Its warm, quilted lining and feathers keep warm air in, cold air out, and a high collar and large hood protect your head from slanting snow in backcountry adventures. Elastic drawstring cuff closures at the wrists and waist allow you to cinch it tight for extra warmth. And its padding makes you feel like you’re wrapped up in a cozy blanket, while fitting like an athlete’s jacket should: comfortable, and forgiving, around the shoulders for optimal freedom of movement. No bulkiness here.
Editor’s Note: CRAFT is a Swedish company, and its gear tends to fit long and lean. (Some say that’s what makes them fast!) If you’re between sizes, we recommend sizing up to ensure the proper fit.