Pearl Izumi: Road N0 v2 (yes, I'm a PI ambassador)
I only wear racing flats a few times a year, so admittedly this was a bit of an unnecessary purchase because my Mizuno Musha 4 from three years ago still is in nearly-new shape (and those are great shoes, too!). Although this is a v2 and the newer PI road shoes have a firmer-feeling midsole compared to the original line, this one maintains the older midsole material. It is softer than the new v3 shoes, there is just less material, as a racing flat is meant to be. Normal seamless PI upper that breaths very well and is lightweight; lightweight laces, too.
I wore them for the Geoduck Half and still will use them sporadically for track workouts. For me, the shoe is best for half and under distance, neutral and skinny runners (I'm 5'9"ish, 152lb and appreciate a bit more cushion for 13 miles of pavement).
|Pearl Izumi Road N2 v3 standard trainer (top) and N0 v2 racer|
Patagonia: R1 Hoody, Duckbill Cap (verdict pending...)
Patagonia gear is great, but it's hard to get over the price. Using a one-time pro deal through a friend I was finally able to swallow, close my eyes and click, as the discount made the price comparable to other brands.
I tend to hike/run on the hot side, often wearing fewer layers than others. I've worn the R1 on a few hikes and wear it straight up without a baselayer underneath. It's so warm that I think it'll only be an October-February piece for me. I love the balaclava-style hood and long chest zip for venting.
|The R1 Hoody in Mount Rainier National Park, Jan '16|
|...and the R1 in slightly less ideal weather in the Teanaway, Nov '15. No need for a balaclava.|
Icebreaker: BodyFit 150g baselayers
Sierra Trading Post always is a great place for outdoor deals. Last summer I purchased three Icebreaker 150g baselayer shirts at a steep discount. Simply put, I love them in pretty much every non-heat condition. I don't think merino wool "cools" in summer like some brands promote, but September-May these are some of my favorite shirts, even when just running around town.
|Icebreaker Merino baselayer in Nevada, Oct '15|
Whatever pricing algorithm Amazon uses it definitely can pay off for a keen observer. I snagged this right before the Nevada trip for $35 (it's now back up to $95?). I wore it for two days straight in Great Basin National Park and since have worn it for various hikes and runs. It's a nice versatile piece for layering, just keep velcro away so as not to start piling the wool.
|Layering the WoolX Hoodie in GBNP, Oct '15|
|And making use of the hood, which is nice and breathable |
(yeah, I originally purchased this as Ben is almost always wearing his, but from a different company)
A Sir-Hikes recommendation, I used these running the Wonderland and they now are my standard shell layer down to mid-20s F. I prefer to pair them with a lightweight wool glove.