Saturday, April 2, 2011

My favourite running accessory: Arm warmers

The weather lately has been weird. Last week was sunny and 6 degrees. Yesterday was rain and ice pellets. Today there's snow drifting. But hey -- that's spring in Nova Scotia!

One of the running accessories that I love for this time of year are my arm warmers -- they're perfect for starting a run with a little extra coverage, peeling down once you warm up, and easy to slip on and off if you get cold throughout the route.

I've owned a pair of LuluLemon's Brisk Run armwarmers for about three years now, and they've been great up until the last few wears. The pair I own has reflective birds on it, which are not only cute, they're handy when you're running at night. There are thumb holes and little pockets at the wrist that you can pull over your hands to act as mitts when your fingers get a little chilly.

The newer versions that I've seen have a slit in the wrist so you can wear your watch or Garmin under the sleeve and have the face poke through, which is handy because with the older version if you wear your watch over the sleeve, you're pretty much stuck with the sleeve on until you finish your run (unless you stop to remove the watch, remove the sleeve, put the watch back on, etc etc). The only thing is that a few friends of mine tested them in the store and the slit is not quite in the right spot. But hopefully that's something the designers will fix for their next version, which I'm told is coming out in the fall (why don't they release them in the spring too? It would be perfect for this time of year, especially out here!).

The newer versions also have a little pocket on one side for your iPod, and extra hemming in the elbow to give you room to bend your arm without stretching the material too much. Lat fall they had some funky patterns like striped grey and black, or bright neon yellow, which are a nice change to the usual black.

I really liked the second generation of these arm warmers, and was looking for a new pair -- my older pair has strangely stopped wicking, so if you sweat at all and then it gets chilly (like say for instance you end up running by the Arm or the harbour where the winds are colder), you end up with a pair of freezing sleeves on your arms for the rest of the run. Unfortunately, as I said, when I emailed them Lulu told me that they won't be releasing a new series of arm warmers until the fall.

So instead, I ended up going to Mountain Equipment Co-op and purchasing a pair of their nylon-esque arm warmers for $23 (I didn't want to invest the $80 or so for a pair of Saucony armwarmers at Aerobics First -- I can't imagine paying that much money for something that only covers a fraction of my body surface!).

The MEC versions are nothing special. They're lined, so they keep you warm, and so far they seem to wick well. There's only a small reflective logo on one arm, and no thumb holes or pockets to slip over your hands. But otherwise, they do what they're designed to do, and they were a good buy. I look forward to testing them on future runs, but I'll also keep my eyes open in case I find any at Lulu in the future.

Who knew you could write so much about arm warmers?


1 comment:

  1. I bought a pair of Lulu Lemon arm warmers on e-bay and scored them for $24 (shipping included) and a pair of Moeben online and got scorched with $20 shipping fee and then $20 duty for 3 pair *sad face*. I'm torn on which ones I love best but they are the perfect Spring running accessory (actually they might be even considered essential). I have the first generation Lulu Lemon ones and agree with all your points on the pros and cons. The moeben has a little sleeve to hold a small iPod which I think is cool and I bought the organic cotton one that is a super fresh design of flowers but I doubt they wick! Love reading your product reviews... keep them coming!