Sometimes I am truly blessed with good luck. I had a new Mountain Hardwear Effusion Hooded Jacket hanging in my closet, a 20km trail run planned and it was pouring rain. What more could I ask for?! This was perfect weather for testing out this kind of running jacket – steady downpour, cool temperatures, and close to two hours for the precipitation to try and infiltrate the Effusion Hooded Jacket. I had run in it a few times in dry conditions, but on this day I really hit the jackpot!
The Effusion Hooded jacket itself has been pared down to incorporate the necessities for running (or other outdoor aerobic activities). It does have a hood which some people like, while others would rather go without. I didn’t mind the hood at all. I used the elastics to cinch it up a bit and it stayed in place, out of the wind. It has two pockets, which I really liked. While some jackets are more minimalist with only one pocket, I found that the double pockets allowed for better distribution of weight. Even carrying two gels on one side will pull a jacket, so splitting it up (as I did) with a gel on each side balances things out. The pockets were large enough to carry more than I would need while out for a run. They also had a nice lining that was soft on the hands if you needed to use them to warm up cold fingers. One pocket had an opening for a headphone cord (do any jackets not have this these days?) Of course, there were a few reflective designs to brighten me up on those inevitable dark fall/winter runs.
In terms of water resistance I was very pleased with how this jacket performed. I was out for nearly two hours, when the rain didn’t let up at all, and I didn’t have any precipitation getting at me. On the flip side it did an adequate job of managing my own perspiration from the inside. I managed to pick the right base layers and with this jacket I never felt chilled, or overly warm.
The Effusion Hooded Jacket I tested was a size large. I normally wear a medium jacket, but a large gave more room for layering while still fitting great when I was wearing minimal base layers underneath. I ran with this jacket in dry conditions with only a t-shirt underneath and the fit wasn’t tight but the cut of the jacket still kept it from blowing in the breeze. Consider how you will use this jacket when you are trying it on. I was happy with the flexibility of the larger size with no reduction in performance. The large also gave a bit of extra sleeve length which I appreciated in the cooler, wet weather. The waist was cut a little longer in the back and could be cinched up to keep the hard earned warm air inside on cold days.
The Dry-Q DWR treated fabric proved very effective in rainy weather, but what I liked even more about it was how smooth (and actually soft) it felt on the inside of the jacket. When I wore it with a t-shirt and bare arms underneath it felt as comfortable as wearing a long sleeve t-shirt. This gives the jacket even more flexibility as you don’t need to wear long layers underneath but can use it to keep the wind and rain out.
The Mountain Hardwear Effusion Hooded Jacket is a great choice for fall and winter running. I really didn’t find anything I didn’t like about this jacket. This is a great time of year to get out on the trails, and this jacket has proven to make even the wettest days enjoyable. If you don’t want the weather to dictate when you can be comfortable outside, then consider this as a new staple in your running closet. Having good gear makes all the difference when you want to be active outside in less than ideal weather, and this is good gear!