The most useful bit of running kit you’ll never run in

If there’s one bit of kit I’d massively recommend for anyone who likes trail running, it’s a down jacket – despite the fact you will almost certainly never actually run in it. Why? Super-warm and incredibly compressible and light, it’s the perfect thing to chuck in a bag for a long run so you know you have something warm to put on afterwards or if you need to stop running due to injury or getting lost. Just knowing I have a jacket that can keep me warm down to near-freezing temperatures gives me a lot more confidence running off into a national park alone, believe me!


And it’s the perfect thing to wear on the train to your jumping off point, particularly when leaving early on a cold, dark October morning, and then just squash into your bag (ideally inside a small dry-sack) and off you go. Mine is a very cheap one from Decathlon. The quality might not be quite up there with Patagonia or North Face but it’s hard to argue with a down jacket at less than £30. Actually it’s quite hard to argue with a down jacket at all as their grasp of logic is very basic. 


5 thoughts on “The most useful bit of running kit you’ll never run in

  1. Nice post. I agree with having an emergency layer when going anywhere remote (or even sort of remote) solo. However, would a light primaloft (or other synthetic) jacket not be better for this situation as your likely to have been sweating when running and the down could lose loft…

    1. I’d agree up to a point, however almost all modern down jackets will contain hydrophobic down which, while maybe still less good than synthetic fill in torrential rain, should be able to cope with a bit of sweat without any issues at all.

      That said, a synthetic jacket could definitely do the kind of job I’m talking about just as well, and arguably better if you do actually get caught in torrential rain. So, depending on the weather I often now take with me my Arc’Teryx Atom Lt, which contains Coreloft, instead of the very cheap Quecha (one of the Decathlon in-house brands) down jacket pictured.

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