Saturday, February 11, 2012

Loving Local with L.L.Bean

This winter I was able to try out some incredible pieces from L.L.Bean.  I'm not a stranger to the quality of L.L.Bean.  As a family, we trust L.L. Bean with our needs in apparel and gear needs year round.  I just never really thought of getting my running gear from there.  To me, L.L. Bean says quality clothing and outdoor family apparel.  However, truth-be-known, this store has quite the selection of running gear, you just need to look around a little.  My suggestion to you is to check out L.L. Bean's base layers.

Cresta Wool Midweight Base Layer Shirt
Retail: $54.95

this was the top layer for the sub-zero runs
The day the shirt came, it was about 35F.  I was planning on going for a run, so I put on this shirt with my regular running tights and took off.  The shirt was the only layer (other than my sports bra) on the top.  At first I thought I might be a little cold and was worried.  It didn't take very long for me to change my mind.  About a mile into the run I was so hot.  I started pushing up my sleeves to cool off a little.
The shirt did get a little itchy on that first run (I hadn't washed it yet and it is 100% merino wool); however, since it's been washed, I haven't felt itchy again.  This shirt has been my go-to shirt this winter. I've worn it for the 2, sub-zero runs with my L.L.Bean running jacket.  I've also worn it under my lightweight Suguoi jacket for the 20F runs.   One very important thing to mention about this shirt, the more you wash it, the softer it gets.  It's gotten quite a bit of wear and it feels so soft.






Power Dry Midweight Base Layer Pant 
Retail: $34.95

this was the underlayer on the -11F and -9F
runs with the girls
The power dry is the best synthetic moisture-wicking fabric L.L. Bean has to offer.  It's a fast drying material that keeps you warm and dry.   I ordered smalls and they were a bit baggy in the midsection and legs, which is fine.  But the length really bothered me.  They were quite short, and I mean awkwardly short.  This kind of took them out of the running as a running tight replacement; however,  I did wear these a for both of the subzero runs under my winter weight Target tights.  The combination of the two layers were perfect during those runs.  Not once did my legs feel cold.  I actually had frost in the weirdest areas when I double-layered with them, I'm talking frost around my knees, knees, and butt.  Pretty safe to say that my body was plenty warm wearing them.
just a little on the short side - still super comfy
 
Polartec Power Dry Balaclava
Retail: $24.95


This can summed up as - lifesafer.  This little accessory was perfection during those 2 sub-zero runs.  The fabric is breathable so I didn't get a tons of build up of frost and ice.  I could easily breath through the material and didn't feel like I had to mess around with the face piece to pull it up or down in order to breath.  I could run comfortably with it in place.   This balaclava was plenty warm for those two days.   I highly recommend wearing one of these if you are going to venture out on for any kind of outdoor activity on a freezing (or below freezing) day. 


Coolmax Mutlisport Hat
Retail: $20.00

Now, not necessarily a cold weather essential, but this hat is an excellent night running accessory.  The bright yellow color had excellent reflective properties that kept me feeling quite safe and visible on my night runs.  The fit is perfection, the lightweight breathable fabric didn't leave me feeling overheated after running either.  I really enjoy wearing a cap when running at night because it helps to protect my eyes from oncoming car beams (especially when drivers leave on the high beams).  The bill of the cap is also beneficial when it's raining or snowing and keeps the elements out of my face.  









Premium Sport Wool Sock, Crew
Retail: 14.95


This is an excellent sport sock.  It is on the thicker side, since it is wool and it is a single layer sock.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend you wear it with your racing flats.  As a matter of fact, I tried to and they were just a bit too thick for that. However, with regular training shoes, this sock is great.   I found this sock to be excellent for the cold runs - especially with runs 30F and colder.  Any warmer (such as today) and my feel got a bit warm.  I'm not complaining at all, I do like warm feet in the winter.




There you have it folks, L.L. Bean does have excellent gear for all outdoor activities - running included.

3 comments:

  1. I love L.L. Bean too! My school backpack was L.L. Bean and I just recently got rid of it!

    I'm glad that Rochester got an L.L. Bean a year or so ago, now I should check out their running gear. Those socks look great!

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  2. I'm a huge LL Bean fan but get little use for it down here in Kentucky. But thanks for the reviews, I may splurge and get something!

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  3. These look like some great pieces! I still have my LL Bean backpack from high school. It survived high school, two college degrees, and I still use it for short weekend trips.

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