If you happen to live North of the Mississippi, things are a little frigid for you right now. And if you’ve come to love the outdoors at all, you’re probably wondering how to stay warm AND do what you love.
Maybe you’re starting to train for a Spring half marathon or your first 5k and would like to do it outside. Or you’ve taken up the goal of walking a few days a week with friends, but Mister Cold is nipping at your heels. Enter moi, with a few deals for you.
Mile Marker Sports carries a full line of Sporthill clothes. Designed for three temperature zones, (including what we call “beyond reasonably cold”) Sporthill is also one of the few brands who for years has designed quality, technical clothing for plus-sized women. As you might imagine, I like them because of that.
In November, flush with cash and entering the winter running season, I purchased this top at full price. For you, dear readers, I give you The Sale.
1/2 zip top, fleece-lined, windproof outer shell, side arm zip pocket (great for nano) and back zip pocket (great for Gu, keys, etc.).
Original Price: $119
Available in blue and black, sizes left include 2X and 4X (check website for measurements and sizes).
I cannot say it enough – I LOVE this top. I’ll be wearing it tomorrow as I snowshoe in Palos Park, and I wear it running and walking down to about 20 degrees with a couple of shirts on underneath it. Without overstating it, this is the best half zip winter technical top on the market for plus size women who do aerobic activity in cold weather climates. And trust me, at $64, it’s probably the cheapest we’ll see all season.
I’ve wear-tested two other tops in comparison: REI’s Power Stretch 1/2 Zip Top is warm, but don’t bother wearing it on a sweat-producing run in cold weather – it’s too bulky, and doesn’t block the wind at all. And Moving Comfort’s No Chill 1/2 Zip top lacks the windblocking technology (or, in the alternative, the thermal weight) to truly take out on a winter day.
But the Sporthill people have it down. You can hike, run, bike, kayak, snowshoe, walk, cross-country ski, etc. etc. etc. in this puppy. So if you haven’t bought a reliable top yet, give it a go. And if you don’t happen to be plus-sized but are looking for a great top to add to your wardrobe, Sporthill makes the same top in regular sizes, too. The men’s top can be found up to an XXL here.
What about pants?
These cold temperatures may have you reaching for your “outdoor pants” only to find they don’t really cut it right now. As my friend Lisa noted this morning on our run (my walk), when it’s under 20 degrees, the tuckus and the thighs tend to be pretty cold, long after you’ve come in from the run. (As said tuckus and thighs tend to be reservoirs of “adipose tissue” - otherwise known as “FAT”. Since FAT doesn’t get warm, you want to do your best to keep it toasty while you’re hauling it around. Hence, a tight that is lined in fleece, tightly woven, and has wicked cool reflective stuff on it so people don’t hit you when you’re out enjoying a quiet night on the road.
Sugoi’s Mid Zero Zap Tight below is my newest purchase for cold-weather running and walking and it’s, quite frankly, the best pair of tights I’ve worn in the winter running season in about 6 years.
Gone are the days where my skin was freezing to the touch, red and angry after a run. Instead, the fleece interior here keeps my legs pretty toasty. These are great tights down to 15 degrees, or about 5 below windchill with a windpant over top.
And, because I’m a genius, I’ve found them for you ON SALE. The Zap tight isn’t available in an XXL anymore on the Sugoi site, or at Team Estrogen where I found them for $90. Lucky for you, I’ve snagged them at another site for a mere $40.
(December, 2010 update: The sale is gone, but if you’re looking for the tight, I’ve located it on Sugoi’s site here. It’s $90 and comes up to an XXL which fits up to a Size 20/22.)
Why buy them? Well, let’s start with the 7 inch leg zippers which make putting on a compression tight simple. Then let’s talk about the reflective piping for night or morning runs; the key holder for your ID and that indespensable $20; and don’t forget the baby-soft fleece interior with JUST the right amount of stretch to make these easy-on/easy-off. And to finish, let’s finish with the fact that they support you where you need it thanks to a 6-panel construction that moves with your body. You simply won’t find a better tight for cool and cold weather, and YES, the XXL will fit you if you’re up to a Size 22. If you’re over a 22, I’d refer you to the Sporthill Traverse Pant (also available at Mile Marker) which can take you anywhere.
Get the Mid-Zero Zap here at Bike Sport in Seattle for $40, down from $79. This is a BARGAIN PEOPLE!!! And if you find them anywhere else online, let me know so I can post.
And with that, I’m off to recover from this morning’s 5 mile nordic walk on Lake Michigan, and rest up for tomorrow’s snowshoe in the park.
See you on the path!