By Veronica Allan
Veronica is a freelance journalist and research consultant living in Ottawa, ON, where she is a member of the OAC racing team. She holds a PhD in sport psychology from Queen’s University, and works with organizations in the sport sector to create and share knowledge widely within the Canadian sport system. She was introduced to the sport of cross-country running in Grade 4, and has been running ever since.
With fall turning to winter, it has become increasingly difficult to get out for a run during the daylight hours. At the same time, dropping temperatures mean more gear is needed for a warm and comfortable run. With less daylight and cooler temperatures over the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to ‘test run’ the reflective gloves and beanie hat from the Nathan HyperNight Reflective Safety Collection. This lightweight, breathable gear was designed with safety and style in mind for outdoor activities. Read on to see whether or not it lives up to the hype!
Nathan Women’s Reflective Gloves
The Nathan women’s reflective gloves are a great first layer when the temperatures start to drop. They are advertised for -1 to 10°C, but I found them to better suited to the warmer end of that range. Once the temperature approached the freezing mark, these gloves were a bit too light for me. For this reason, I found that I could only wear them for a limited period of time in late October and early November (here in Ottawa, ON).
Generally speaking, the gloves have an attractive design with a reflective pattern across the back each hand. The reflective accents offer visibility in low light and an aesthetically appealing look. Of note, the Nathan logo has started to peel off after only two months of limited wear.
They are made of a stretchy spandex fabric that gives them a snug fit. They are lightweight and would make a nice glove for racing in cool weather - although for regular training runs, I typically prefer a softer feel. Each glove has horizontal strips across the fingers and palm that provide additional grip. This was a nice (if not necessary) feature given that the spandex fabric was otherwise quite slippery. Additional features include a touch screen-friendly patch at the tip of each index finger and thumb, as well as a soft, fleece-like material stretching down the back of each thumb. Although I didn’t use these features very often, I did find that they came in handy when I needed to use my phone or wipe my nose ‘on the go.’ Finally, the gloves have built-in pockets on the back of each hand for keys or other small items. I like the potential for convenience that these pockets offer, but the openings were too small for my house key.
RECAP: These are an attractive pair of gloves that offer visibility and style, but have limited practical value - including a limited range of temperatures at which they can be comfortably worn, and features (e.g., key pocket) that didn’t live up to my expectations.
Nathan Women’s Reflective Beanie Hat
Unlike the gloves, the beanie hat far exceeded my expectations. Normally, I prefer to wear headbands so that I can wear my hair in a mid- to high-ponytail while I am out for a run, a cross-country ski, or any other activity during the winter months (my neck gets so itchy when I wear a low ponytail under a hat!) … but the Nathan women’ reflective beanie hat has a ponytail hole midway up the back that allowed me to do just that.
I love the feeling of the beanie hat’s soft, fleece-like lining. It fits snugly and doesn’t shift when I run. Similar to the gloves, the beanie hat has a graphic reflective pattern that offers visibility in low light conditions.
I felt comfortable wearing the hat in temperatures below -5°C (otherwise, I was too hot). In fact, I wore this hat to run in temperatures as low as -21°C, and still felt quite warm. The only time that I was not warm enough was when I was running into a cold wind. Although the hat pulls down low on my forehead and around the nape of my neck, it just barely covers the bottom of my ears. Consequently, the wind would funnel behind my ears and up into the hat.
While the gloves and beanie hat could make a nice matching set, I found that the difference in temperatures at which they were comfortable to wear meant that I never actually wore them together.
RECAP: The Nathan women’s reflective beanie hat will keep you comfortable, warm, and visible during winter activities (as long as you avoid a headwind)!
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