Winter has an impressive knack of sapping away your best intentions for early morning runs. It’s that bone breaking, teeth clenching cold that forces even the most dedicated runners indoors to log miles on the dreaded treadmill. Which is why New Balance designed the Chameleon Jacket. A rare combination of lightweight warmth, moisture wicking, breathability and modern style.
On Performance and Design…
The reality is that sometimes, running sucks. Frosty mornings with icy roads and frozen digits don’t do much to help the situation. But if you’ve got the right gear to shield you from the cold and wind while wicking away perspiration, then you’re ready to conquer your cold weather runs.
The cornerstone of the Chameleon Jacket is Polartec® Alpha® fabric. Originally developed for the U.S. Special Forces when they required a more advanced insulating material in their combat uniforms, Polartec Alpha is little more than a technological marvel. It boasts an open-weave construction that not only provides a slightly puffy, down-inspired feel, but it generates airflow that pulls moisture away from your body while holding in warmth all while remaining remarkably lightweight.
By keeping moisture vapor moving freely through the fabric, it increases overall air exchange and drastically speeds up dry times. That means less discomfort from saturation while avoiding the metamorphosis to a sponge which is enough to ruin any run – especially one in the cold.
Add in back heathered mélange panels, extended hems in the back and points of reflectivity to keep you visible, and you’ve got a one of a kind running jacket that makes any cold weather run a walk in the park. But beyond our running regimen, what truly impressed our team was the versatility of this jacket. Thanks to a fashion forward design, few apparel pieces, if any, more readily transition from pre-dawn runs on the trail to high-elevation approaches on blustery autumn afternoons back to nights on the town.
Notes from the trail…
You’ll fall in love with this jacket the first time you slip it over your shoulders and hit the pavement. The Chameleon jacket looks, feels and performs like a top shelf option minus the top-shelf price tag. Coupled with impressive performance, you’ve got plenty of reasons to add it to your running arsenal. In terms of a critique, there were two minor points worth noting.
The Chameleon is clearly designed with the runner physique in mind which meant it offered our multi-sport athletes a slightly tighter fit across the chest and shoulders. Secondly, while the sleeves of the Chameleon Jacket provide impressive next-to-skin comfort and breathe freely, they do hold moisture more than merino or some fleece options we’ve utilized.
Grab the Chameleon Jacket from New Balance and ensure that winter never again dictates your running schedule.
*Gumption Gear Review received a product sample of the item featured in this review from New Balance at no cost, and receives no monetary compensation for this or any related review. The item featured was provided solely in return for our honest views and opinions.