A few weeks ago I took advantage of a big sale Eastern Mountain Sports had and also used a $25 coupon I had. I’ve only had one thing from EMS–a fleece from many years ago–so was excited to try some new things. I haven’t had a chance to take photos of everything yet, so this is part one of my review.
I mentioned that I’m in the market for a new running jacket. This jacket has cuffins–extra fabric at the hands that you can pull over to use as mittens–and at the bargain price I paid of $44 (originally $129.50), it seemed like a steal. I was very impressed when I got it. It has two large zippered pockets big enough to fit my whole hand, plus a media pocket inside at chest level. The core is made of Polartec Alpha fabric, an extremely lightweight insulation, and the arms and sides are a midweight version of EMS’ knit Techwick fabric. I ordered a medium, and it fit me well–fitted but not tight. The length comes to my hip, so it’s not super long, but also not super short. The product description says the jacket is ideal for high-intensity cold-weather activities since it’s lightweight and breathable. I wore it twice for running.
The first time I wore it running was on a 27-degree morning. I wore a lightweight longsleeve tee (a Lululemon Swiftly) under it. On my warm-up walk, I was warm except for my arms. During the run, my core stayed warm but I didn’t get too hot, and I didn’t sweat as much through my base layer as I usually do. The Polartec Alpha fabric really does its job well of being both warm and breathable. The Techwick fabric on the arms was the problem. The sweat from my arms made its way through the Techwick fabric, so I then had wet arms in the cold air that made me really cold. This is why I am not a vest person. I must not have as hardy limbs as those who like vests, because I want warmth all over, not just on my core.
The second time I wore it was on a 33-degree morning with rapidly increasing temps so that I got extremely hot in the jacket.
I’d say this jacket isn’t for temps above freezing, but because the arms don’t provide much warmth, it’s also not for super cold runs either, unless you’re unlike me and have arms that are oblivious to the cold. So, unfortunately, there’s a small window of temperatures in which I can wear this jacket.
I did like the cuffins, maybe even more so than Lululemon’s. They look cute and just like ruching when not worn as mittens, and there’s a generous amount of fabric so that they’re very easy to use as mittens. I also like the neck, which came high but wasn’t very tight so that I didn’t have to unzip it when I got warm.
While I really love the Polartec Alpha fabric and will be looking for other jackets with that material, the jacket had some inferior quality issues. For example, the fabric over the end of the zipper at the pockets didn’t seem to fit and bunched up. It’s a small detail, sure, but something I noticed.
Also, a small reflective strip–the only reflective element–seemed just pasted on the back as an afterthought.
For the price, this jacket offers some good features with the three pockets and cuffins, and it’s a decent running jacket. But it doesn’t really work for me since it leaves my arms cold and there’s not a wide enough range of temperatures for me to wear it. I think I’m going to try to sell this. (If anyone is interested, email me.)
EMS Women’s Transition Hoodie
I loved the color of this hoodie, and I thought a lightweight running hoodie would be good to have. Originally $59.50, I got it for $23. It’s made of EMS’ Techwick fabric, which is a knit fabric. Techwick is definitely a step up from super-cheap fabrics that many budget activewear brands use, but it’s not soft. There’s a discreet side zippered pocket and thumbholes. The hoodie fits tight around the head, which I like to keep the wind out. I ordered a medium, which fit well–not loose or tight. I really liked this hoodie, especially for the price.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for running. And when I look back at the product description, it doesn’t say it’s made for running. There are scratchy seams that hit right at the collarbone, and it chafed me so bad when I wore it running last weekend that I still have marks.
Still, this is a pretty nice, lightweight hoodie that I can wear for hiking and casual wear, so I’ll definitely get some use out of it. When I paired it with a Lulu Longsleeve Swiftly for running, I got pretty hot, so I think it could be worn in a range of temps depending on whether you layer it or wear it alone. This hoodie is completely sold out at EMS, but there’s a heathered grey color still available on Amazon for $23.80 (affiliate link).
EMS is having a 70% blowout sale now, and I have two more $25 off of $125 coupons that I don’t plan to use. If anyone wants them, email me at jennifer [at] dashinginstyle.com and I’ll give you the code.