|Credit to Gde-Fon|
Brrrr! It's that time of year again... And for folks like me that always seem to need to be training in the winter for races in May... time to become that Winter Warrior!
Sure.. I could find a treadmill and workout inside.. but what fun is that? Besides, I need to start logging some long miles, and I would never last inside...
So.. the question then becomes.. how do I stay warm and comfortable? As you know, I've tackled this by testing and reviewing a variety of winter wear products, and for this season, I'm taking a look at a company called C2. Heard of them? I hadn't before, but I am glad I have now! C2 is a small New England business started by Jane Hayes in 1993. C2 came about from a passion for finding the right performance clothing for being outside, even in challenging weather. As you know, I love smaller 100% made in the USA companies that came about from the desire for something better.
|C2 Elite 1/2 Zip Power Wool and Extreme Tights|
Ok.. so first up is the Elite 1/2 zip top... forgive the goofy guy in the pic, just wanted to get a pic of the top while it was on.
So, this top features a blend of 65% Polyester, and 35% Wool, as the Power Wool option, but you can also get it in a Power Dry all synthetic option if you have issues with wool.
It is marketed as a next to the skin, all day adventure base layer, designed to wick moisture, keep you warm and comfortable, and to be very durable. I found it interesting to see the waffle-like pattern of this fabric blend. For me, it felt just a little bit itchy against my skin, but not too much. I determined it worked best for me wearing it over a thin compression shirt. Doing that, it was super comfortable and breathed really well. And, most importantly, kept me warm when out walking and running in temps around 20F. I am quite certain it would work well at even lower temps.
I generally wear just synthetic poly materials, but it was nice to have the feel of natural wool in this fabric. It stretched nicely, so easy and comfortable to wear. The quality construction is apparent as well as you can see in the solid stitching and zipper construction. This piece retails for $89 on their site, but it's one of those pieces of gear that is a good investment, as my guess is it will hold up through a lot of wear and tear.. and who doesn't like to be warm and dry?
Now for the Extreme Tights. I was originally going to review their Performance Tights, which look awesome, but when I saw these I thought... now there is something different... and who can pass up a name like Extreme!!
So what makes these unique compared to all the other winter tights I've tried is the composition of materials.
As you can see by the pictures I've shared, these tights have two distinctly different (yet similar) materials. On the upper (above the calf), the material looks and feels like Polar Fleece. But I've learned it is much more than that. The upper is a Polartec Power Stretch double velour, which is 94% Poly and 6% Lycra. The result is a fabric that is baby butt soft, and stretchy. So comfortable that you don't want to take them off! I loved how they don't pinch or constrict around my waist.. they feel like pajama pants. But, my immediate concern was that the material was too light and that the wind would blow right through it. But I've learned that this material was developed for wind and abrasion resistance, water shedding, moisture wicking, all while being lightweight and insulating!
As for the bottom section, it is made of a similar Polartec Power Stretch (88% Poly, 12% Lycra), but with something called a Hard Face coating. So here you get something that is still stretchy but with a little more structure. I really liked the feel because for me that section worked a bit like calf compression and felt great. Also, it shed snow very easily.
And, the zippers make it very easy to put on socks of various heights etc, handy for runners, skiers and bikers alike.
As far as performance goes.... superb!! I have a feeling I will spend most of the winter in these pants... I spent 8 miles running single track (pic above) in temps around 20F and my legs were happy. The Extreme Tights held out the wind, shed snow, wicked moisture and kept me warm.. you can't ask for much more than that to keep you training and outside all winter!
The Extreme Tights retail for $149, and again, a solid investment. You can easily spend that on a good pair of trail shoes, and my guess is, these tights will outlast them for sure.
So, to wrap up, I am really happy to have learned about C2.. another great Made in the USA company that is delivering some top quality and high-performance winter wear. Check out all of their products by going to this link http://www.buyc2.com/shop-c2/ and check out their Facebook page by clicking HERE. AND, just for you, if you use the code "barefoot16" on your order, you will get 20% off orders over $50 through 2/15/2017!
Thanks again for stopping by... good luck with your winter training!
As always, if you have any questions, comments, feedback, just drop me an email, leave a comment below, or message me on the Barefoot Inclined Facebook page HERE.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received C2 Elite 1/2 Zip and Extreme Tights for free from C2 in consideration for a gear review