Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sprint: Fitness Fix Review

A couple of months back, I went off to have some fun with Mountain Warehouse and came back thoroughly impressed with their range of active wear. Turns out they make some pretty awesome kit for us urban types, not just for those of you into your mountain ranges. For anyone who enjoys commuting to work by cycle, you might have tried a rucksack a time  or two, and lots of you running types will also know that having a plentiful supply of water to keep you hydrated sometimes if best done on your back. The very generous people at Mountain Warehouse sent me away with this amazing baselayer (available to buy here £12.99)....

Mountain Warehouse long sleeve womens baselayer


So- my shiny new baselayer- I purposefully picked with sleeves because until very recently, it's still be quite chilly when I leave for work at 0700 each morning. What strikes me still, as it did at first try with this top is the lightness of the fabric. It's not clingy, it doesn't feel heavy, and it's super super comfortable- always a good start. I've worn this top under my jersey for longer bike rides, but also on it's own as a go-between for changeable temperatures- it wicks, doesn't ride up my back whilst I'm pedaling, it's warm enough to keep chills at bay, but I've never once overheated in it. AND- it's not pink either. To say that I'm please is probably an understatement. So the run down-

PROs
-Lightweight
-Warm
-Wicking
-Awesome colour
-Excellent true to size fit

CONs
- the neckline is a little higher than I prefer


Mountain Warehouse Sprint 8 L Rucksack Hydration Pack

So, the other little bonus item- this one I didn't pick, but it couldn't have come at a better time since a couple of days later, T had to switch out his usual rucksack, and my old one was there as a spare. The other great thing about being given things, is that not only is it super generous but it also makes me try things I may not have bothered with before.

The above is an 8 litre capacity rucksack with space for a 1 litre hydropack (those strange little bag things with straws that stretch out of the back). An average rucksack such as the predecessor is around 18-20 litres in capacity, so this is pretty dinky by comparison. But size is no guarantee of power, and after some fiddling and a bit reworking my packing for work not only have I been able to use this comfortably, but I've managed to drastically reduce the weight and amount of *stuff* I take to work each day. It's also fair to say that this isn't designed with the commuter in mind, I just wanted to see if I could make it work for me. So...

PROs
- the the back is moulded, it means some air gets to my back whilst I'm moving and I don't get as sticky
- Lots of internal pockets in the main 2 compartments- mesh parts, pockets large enough for purses and card holders and smaller pockets for keys so I don't have to rifle
- Reflective details mean even if it's a bit dull or wet out, I'm still visible
- Chest and waist straps for extra stability but both also have straps to tuck them up and away if you're not using them
- The base of the pack is deeper than the top, meaning you get a whole lot more into the bag than you think
- Sits high up on the back so it doesn't interfere with movement whilst cycling (or running I guess)
- Super lightweght when empty- no extra kilos here!
- It's on sale for a ridiculously good price. What are you still waiting for?

CONs
- Quite small, but then it is the 8L. Would be great to see a 15L go live as a commuter friendly version
- Could do with a side pocket for easy access to essentials without removal
- Would hugely benefit from a loop for a light for darker months

So the overall verdict is pretty overwhelmingly positive. I'm keeping a close eye on their new selection of goods including these sports bras that are £9.99 and if they match the quality of the other kit I've tried will be  total bargain. As I mentioned in my run down of the #urbanplayground event, the Mountain Warehouse sports range really surprised me in the best possible way, and if you're looking for reasonable pricing on sports kit that isn't scary but does it's job of keeping you comfortable, you won't go far wrong here.

*Disclaimer*
I was not paid to review the above products or obliged to do so, neither was I paid to include the links in the post. All views are my own. 
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