Some time ago, I requested and received a ThermaJock, courtesy of RunnerTek, LLC. Before you scoff, fair weather endurance enthusiasts and ladies, please don't doubt, there is a need for this protective gear for many males. Running and cycling in the Midwest (or any other cold weather area), it sometimes takes many layers of protection to feel comfortable. I was intrigued by the ThermaJock because I could see how it could eliminate one or more layers and also extend the season to run in shorts and cycle outside.
If you're a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, you may have experienced their be-socked encores, quite a sight to see. When I first opened the Thermajock, it was the first thing that sprang to mind. It's a pretty simple fleece sleeve, with two fasteners.
ThermaJock’s warmth is attributed to the use of Polartec® Thermal Pro fleece. The 100% polyester fabric’s surface creates air pockets that trap air and retain body heat, providing outstanding warmth without weight. This fabric also offers excellent breathability and dries quickly while being machine washable.
ThermaJock stays in place by using a unique double fastening system. The fasteners can be adjusted to fit any size athlete. The ability to use a cord at the top and a strap in the middle allows ThermaJock to stay in place without having to over-tighten a single fastener and sacrifice comfort.
Wouldn't you know it, but the first couple of weeks after I received the ThermaJock, it was unseasonably warm here in Chicagoland. Fortunately, there have been some cold mornings that allowed for realistic testing. And, we've now had our first bitterly cold mornings as well as our first snowfall, so I feel confident that I gave it a good run.
Comfortable, easy to use, and, contrary to my initial expectations, it never felt like it would fall off. It is initially somewhat strange to wear, but I quickly became used to it. I ran with the Thermajock and also did some cycling, where this product really helps out. Using it for cycling allowed me to eliminate a pair of wind tights, which tend to make me overheat in all but the coldest conditions, so it was a definite benefit in that instance. It also clearly helped during my runs, as my thighs were quite cold even as the important parts stayed warm.
Created by 2 Chicago area athletes, ThermaJock is definitely a beneficial piece of gear for cold-weather endurance athletes. Suggestions for improvement? One (or two, depending on how you count). While the ThermaJock is a quality piece of gear, well-made and delivering on its promise, I personally would like to see it joined in the catalog or replaced by by a technical brief with the same wind-blocking capabilities or a typical athletic supporter offering the same protection. I believe the brief or supporter would be more comfortable to wear. I plan on using my ThermaJock this winter as, while I don't mind the treadmill, there is something still more pleasing about running outside in the elements. Thanks RunnerTek, LLC, for creating this product and giving me the opportunity to try it out!
(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of RunnerTek, LLC. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)