It’s been mercilessly hot in Southern Ontario for the past few weeks, but I took it as a sign when I woke up Sunday morning and it was cool outside – cool enough to wear the Arc’teryx Incendo jacket out for my planned trail run. Mother Nature knew how bad I wanted to try this jacket out, and she obliged!
As soon as I zipped the Incendo Jacket up, I was very impressed with the fit. I am 6′ and in the low 160 lb range. I normally wear a medium, but with jackets I find that often leaves me wanting more in the sleeve length department. The Incendo sleeves were just right, not too long, not too short. I also really like the asymmetrical cut of the sleeve at the wrist. I like when a sleeve is a little longer on the outside. The main body of the jacket fits close without being restrictive at all. I actually wore it with a vest pack and didn’t experience any bunching or other issues. It was like the jacket wasn’t even there.
The fabric also helped me forget I had it on at all. It is incredibly lightweight, but still keeps the chill of the wind out. The armpits are vented to prevent overheating. The jacket is super minimalist which is what I like in a windshell running jacket. It doesn’t have straps on the wrists, lots of pockets, hoods, or anything else that is rarely used and usually gets in the way. It has one small pocket with a port for headphones. Its got a few reflective details to help at night. Besides that it is simply a great jacket for running in cooler weather.
On this day, I only lasted about 5K of my 18K run with it on before it warmed up enough on the trails to go without. I found another great thing about this jacket is that it takes up almost no room when you aren’t wearing it. I shoved it into a small pocket on my vest pack, but it is also designed to stuff into its own tiny pocket, and you could carry it in your hand if you had to.
I have to say that overall I was blown away by this jacket. I am very new to Arc’teryx as a running clothing company, but I am very impressed based on the pieces I have seen. I have used Arc’teryx packs and techincal gear in the past for climbing and backpacking and their extraordinary manufacturing, quality, and technical detail carries through to their line of Endorphin fitness clothing. The design of the jacket is great – it fits perfectly all over. The quality of manufacturing is great – there isn’t an errant stitch or piece of thread anywhere on the jacket. The Arc’teryx Incendo Jacket is incredibly perfect in its simplicity.
This led me to wonder why I wasn’t as aware of this clothing as I would have expected to be. I see a big retail gap with the increasing popularity in trail running these days. A lot of trail runners (like me) have their beginnings in road running. As a result they have become accustomed to shopping for running gear in running stores that mainly carry road running clothing. Brands like Arc’teryx are making incredibly good running gear (I now know) but they traditionally retail in outdoor-type stores. I guess it is up to the outdoor retailers to promote themselves as trail running stores, or the traditional running stores should start carrying brands like Arc’teryx.
Disclaimer – Arc’teryx was kind enough to provide this jacket as a sample for me to try, with no conditions or expectations in terms of what I would say about it. The opinions expressed here are definitely and entirely my own, based on my use of the jacket.