It’s not exactly a coincidence that I’ve talked about GoLite
a few times in the past month or so, and today’s review is a perfect example of
why I’m such a big fan of the company.
I have to admit I wasn’t certain how the company’s “no marketing,
no retail sales, just rock bottom web pricing across the board” strategy would
play out when they announced the paradigm shift earlier this year. Based on initial results from the first
several months, I’d be terribly disappointed if it doesn’t succeed – and you should
be too. The reason why is simple: you
simply cannot get better gear for lower prices anywhere. Period.
Two perfect examples are two pairs of cold-weather running apparel
I’ve been using: the Black Mountain Thermal Wind Pant , and the
Cross Timbers Zonal Tight . You may recall that I
mentioned receiving these earlier in the fall, but our temps weren’t yet
cold enough for me to test them. Well,
the weather has finally cooperated here – I guess that’s how I’m referring to
it - with overnight temperatures into the low 30s and upper 20s, so I’ve had plenty
of opportunities to try them.
The ornament says "Winter is Coming", and belongs to my 14-year-old son. Apparently it's a thing.
However, one disclaimer on the product photos in this post:
I don’t have action shots, because I’m much less inclined to arrange self-timer
photo shoots on dark freezing mornings than I am when the sun is out. So you’ll just have to take my word for it
that I’ve run in these things.
GoLite Black Mountain Thermal Wind Pant
First up is the Black Mountain Thermal Wind Pant , which I
was somewhat anxious to try, primarily because I haven’t had a lot of luck with
non-tight bottom garments in the past.
The fit always seems too baggy here, too tight there, and I eventually end
up going back to wearing tights again.
But with the Black Mountain pants, the fit is pretty well dialed in from
waist to ankle. There’s just a bit of
roominess through the thighs and calves, but not so much that the pants feel
baggy or bulky.
The Black Mountain pant is also super-duper warm, thanks to
material construction that’s hard to assemble with traditional tights. The exterior front panels are made of windproof
polyester that’s been treated with DWR for water resistance, but the interior
front surface has a soft fleece material for comfort and additional
Fleece interior lining, drawstring in front, rear zipper pocket
Brushed microfleece lines the entire interior surface on the
front and back side, and it stretches very nicely to provide full range of
motion. Another cool construction
element for comfort and range of motion are fully articulated clamshell knee
joints, which prevent the stretching of material on the front of the knee and
bunching on the back side.
Articulated clamshell knees;
Because they provide outstanding protection from the
elements along with comfort and freedom of movement, the Black Mountain pants
would probably be good for a variety of winter aerobic sports such as cross
country skiing or snowshoeing in addition to cold-weather running. And here’s where GoLite’s new business
strategy is a wonderful thing, because pants like this would normally retail
for close to 200 bucks, and at this time last year, GoLite would have sold them
for $160. Today, the Black Mountain
Thermal Wind Pants retail for $64 from the GoLite website – trust me, you won’t
get a better running pant for less money.
If you’re looking for traditional tights, the Cross Timbers Zonal Tight is a lightly compressive legging that provides a good combination
of warmth and breathability. It has
brushed stretch fleece throughout the front of the legs (but not the back), and
soft flatlock seams that minimize chafing. Overall comfort is pretty nice; these are the
kind of tights you can wear to start a multi-hour run in the dark, but still be
comfortable when the sun comes up later in the morning.
GoLite Cross Timbers Zonal Tight
All the other basics of traditional running tights are
included as well: ankle zippers, a drawstring waist, a zippered rear pocket,
and reflective accents and logo.
Basically, it’s a solid high-performance piece for a bargain price;
instead of a pre-business model change price of $120, GoLite now sells it for
$48 from the company website .