Product review: Arc’teryx Incendo Jacket, Incendo Vest, Motus SS, Incendo Short, Accelero Cap and Aerios 7L Backpackstrong
I always wear a hat or visor when running. Without wishing to add to much detail… I sweat and I tend to sweat quite considerably. A good head product stops all that salty liquid running into the eyes and causing irritation. I typically have a preference for a Visor and I have to say that the Arv’teryx ‘Neutro‘ Visor is the best on the market for me. For testing purposes though I was using the Accelero Cap.
The cap is short brimmed and highly breathable with mesh side panels. It has the all important comfortable sweat band that caused no irritation and at the rear it has an adjustable stretch closure with a quick release buckle. Considering I was using this hat in the mountains with 30 deg temperature and I was running up a 30% incline I found the hat incredibly comfortable and cool, even with the heat absorbing black colour.
Motus SS T Shirt
The Motus SScrew neck shirt was probably the greatest revelation of all the test kit provided. We all think a shirt is a shirt and the differences between products are minimal but believe me, the Motus is a world apart. Using Phasic SL fabric this performance orientated lightweight (97g for M) running top has bi-component construction and all important flat locked seems to remove any potential irritation.
Light to wear it has a trim fit and is designed to quickly remove moisture from the skin. Running up steep gradients with a Backpack certainly helps generate some heat. I was impressed 100% at the ability of the Phasic SL fabric to not only remain comfortable when my sweat rate increased but also how quickly it dried. All in all this is a very impressive shirt and the addition of reflective strips to aid visibility this is one shirt that I will be using again and again for future runs.A streamlined, trim fitting zipper vest is a popular addition to any runners wardrobe. It provides that all important protection for the chest in cooler temperatures but also allows for the arms to be free and therefore controls temperature regulation.
This Incendo Vest is made of ultra-lightweight (95g) Luminara fabric which is 100% nylon. To the rear of the product is a 100% polyester mesh back that allows internal heat to escape from the body. It has a side (reverse) stow pocket (the vest will stow inside this) and reflective blades to increase visibly. The most important aspects of a product like this are lightweight, small pack size and ease of use. The Incendo Vest does all these things perfectly and is a great addition to any runners ‘essential’ kit list.
The Incendo Jacket uses the same fabric as the Incendo Vest but has some obvious significant differences. It has no mesh rear panel but mesh panels under the arms to provide temperature control. Obviously designed for cooler temperatures and/ or early morning/ late evening runs. It has reflective strips to increase visibility and at 119g is super light. At the top of the summit in testing it provided perfect protection from the wind and importantly it will reflect light rain. It has a trim fit and therefore when running it did not flap or move around in the wind.
It is a product that is designed to ‘fit’ the body and in doing so I suggest that you make sure that you get the correct fit. I personally found the jacket and the vest sized a little large, so, if you are around a 38″ to 40″ chest I would recommend a ‘small’. Like the Incendo Vest it has a small pocket and the jacket will stow into it. Inside the zippered pocket is a media pocket with MP3 cord passage. In use it is a pleasure to wear. Once on you don’t even know you are wearing it. Perfect. When running or racing this jacket offers the perfect combination of wight, size and practicality.
Obviously should you anticipate ‘harsh’ conditions then this jacket may very well be too ‘light’ and I would recommend the Visio FL Jacket. For 2013 the Incendo will also have the option of a ‘hood’. This product will be called Incendo Hoody.
Aerios 7L Backpack
A Backpack is an all important essential item to any trail, mountain or ultra runner. Because of the variables we encounter when out running the need to carry ‘essential’ items, food and water mean that a practical and comfortable pack is essential. Now if you are like me, I am sure you will have spent a fortune on constantly trying to find that ‘perfect pack’. We have so many variables to consider and I personally find that no ‘one’ pack does all jobs well.
The Aerios 7L (also 10L available) weighs in at 400g and comes in either black or blue. It has two internal pockets, one for a bladder and the other pocket is a small zippered type with a key holder that could hold a wallet, phone or both. It is a simple pack that can hold a surprisingly large amount of kit. In the test case I had a buff, gloves, head torch, Incendo Jacket, Incendo Vest and 2 collapsable poles inside and I still had plenty of room for additional kit. On the outside is a drawstring elastic cord with a ‘garage’ to stow excess cord. This elastic is ideal for adding a jacket such as the ‘Gore Tex’ Visio FL. It has an elastic waist belt with a ‘quick release’ adjustable buckle and if required the waist belt can be removed from the pack completely with two fasteners. On the chest it has an adjustable chest strap that can be placed in one of four positions depending on your body shape and desired fit. In use it is really comfortable to wear and has minimal bounce.
The rear of the pack has ‘Aeroform’ mesh that provides a stable support and minimal heat retention. At the bottom of the pack on either side are two small expandable mesh pockets that are easy to reach without removing the pack and can easily hold several gels or food. At 7L it has a particular use and for me I personally would like the addition of pockets on either the shoulder straps or waist belt. This would provide more options for food and or other essentials such as mobile phone or GPS.
Incendo Shorts are one of the best that I have worn. Made from two fabrics called ‘Invigor’ and Viente both of which are Polyester. They fit and hold shape perfectly. They weigh 132g for a medium and have a relaxed fit. An internal liner provides excellent comfort and no irritation. A drawstring waist allows for precise adjustment and at the rear a small mesh vent panel allows for heat to escape. It has two pockets, a hip stash pocket and hip zippered security pocket. In use they are extremely comfortable and allow for plenty of movement with no discomfort. Running or walking up steep gradients in the Pyrenees allowed my legs to move through a whole series of positions with no restraint applied by the fabric or the cut of the short. The waist band was just the right size and like all Arc’teryx products the attention to detail was second to no other make them ideal for a short or long run on road or trail. The addition of reflective strips to increase visibility make them a perfect choice.
I would like to thank Arc’teryx for the opportunity to travel to the Pyrenees and test the products. My reviews are independent, open and transparent.