I’ve just got back from Chamonix after having a mini break to watch the Evergreen Triathlon. We were heading over to size it up for next year as Nick is looking to take part. I wanted to go to breathe in that mountain air that I continually crave, and enjoy some much needed trail running and hiking amongst those evergreen trees.
I’ve worked with Columbia a few times in the past and always used their kit, but I was particularly interested to try out some of their Columbia Montrail range. I was sent the jacket and trainers some time ago, and whilst they are great in the hilly countryside of Leicestershire, they really needed a good test up Mont Blanc.
I’ve got other kit from Columbia I was wearing, like my long shorts – a great stretchy and flexible material, and my teal technical top. They’ve not faded, snagged or misshapen and I’ve pretty much used this kit on every single outdoor trip – that’s a lot!
The main thing I wanted to talk about is my most favourite trail running shoes. These have been such a fantastic discovery for me after being so dedicated to my Brooks Cascadias, but always wanting something a little more, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing. I was sent the Columbia Caldorado 2 trainers at the start of the year, and ever since we have been bonded together. Trail running across the Outwoods and over to Beacon Hill, they have been the perfect balance between stability, flexibility but more important subtle but solid support. In Chamonix we climbed up to Montenvers Mer de Glace but it had rained heavily the day before so further up the mountain the rocks were slippy, I was slightly concerned I would go over on them, but these trainers had me sorted. I’ve actually not worn my Brooks in a while because I love these so much. They great for rambling, hiking, trail running or climbing – I’ve tested them all!
The Columbia Women’s OutDry Ex Light Shell Jacket has been pretty good too. As it rains all the time in the UK, especially on any trip ever to the Lake District! The jacket is really light but the light shell really does keep you protected from some of the worst weather conditions! Rain… hail… strong winds?! It’s been great in all situations. This to me is ideal for you’re training outside as the breathable waterproof membrane keeps your skin all dry, and the advanced evaporation and seamless construction keeps it dry. Extras include a great adjustable hood with a peak, two large pockets, reflective technology 360 for better visibility. Initially wasn’t sure if I sounded like a crisp packet – but that has kept me super dry and warm without being heavy.
The main thing for me with any kit review that I always ask myself, does this cause me any discomfort? Is it a nuisance in anyway? Does it distract me from what I’m trying to do? I can hand on heart say this Columbia kit is amazing. Those trail shoes are so good I’m getting my husband to test it the male version out. They are like slippers for trail running, in fact the whole range is very comfortable and ideal for those of you who love trail running or hiking.