Quickie review: Eastbay cold weather gear

Because of such a drastic price difference, and what I’m betting is at least a little bit of curiosity on the part of consumers, I thought I’d throw together some brief thoughts on Eastbay’s answer to Nike Hyperwarm and Under Armour Cold Gear. It doesn’t have any fancy name, but what I ordered about a week ago was Eastbay’s Cold Weather Tight Mock and Cold Weather Tight to wear as a base layer for running outside. (We’ve somehow just about skipped fall and when I got up this morning to run at 8:00 — Thanks, time change! — it was still sub-40 out.)

I’d actually been investigating buying either Nike or UA’s version of this gear, but it’s just so expensive for a base layer when you consider that the shirts run $50 and the pants often run $60. Eastbay was (and still is) running a special where you can get the shirt and pants for $50 total. To pay less than half of what UA and Nike were charging, I had to give it a try. (Link to the Eastbay deal can be found here, if you’re interested.)

When I checked the temp this morning, it was actually 34 out. I’m not a big outdoor runner when it’s cold. It can just be hard to breathe and it’s so easy to be stiff the whole time. But this seemed like the perfect chance to try out the new gear. Having used some similar “moisture-wicking” gear from adidas, I can say the Eastbay stuff delivered in that department and I wasn’t soaked afterward or anything. I did actually wear this stuff under a light hooded sweatshirt and some light sweatpants. I can say that I would’ve been freezing and probably cut the run short had I not had the extra layer.

Now, I’ve got no basis for comparison here because I’ve never used either UA’s Cold Gear or Nike’s Hyperwarm apparel, but for the most part I stayed warm enough to tolerate a 3-mile run. Now, cold is cold, and I can tell you when I wasn’t in the sun, I could really feel how cold it was on my face, but my legs, arms, etc. never got that cold.

If you’ve already got the Nike or UA gear and you’ve got some sort of built-in brand loyalty, I totally get why you wouldn’t want to switch. I’m that way with other stuff, too, but I think for the savings if you’re open to something new, you’d be crazy to not at least throw down $50 and try a set of Eastbay’s stuff.

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