When late fall and early winter settles in, it becomes that time of year that really tests a triathlete’s dedication to outdoor running. During this time, the weather seems to present an infinite number of challenges. And with no race in the near future, a triathlete’s motivation can really be put to the test. Add a fresh blanket of snow and cutting winds and many of us nearly forget about running entirely. Quality gear can be a much-needed boost right now. If ever there’s a time of year to invest in the gear wardrobe, it’s now. Go the wise route and invest in the big staple pieces first. One such example: the vest. The vest is a solid piece to have at the ready this winter because it can be worn on a colder day as an outer shell with several layers underneath or it can be worn as a lighter alternative when a full jacket is overkill. Luckily, many of the vests out this season come with flattering cuts, reflective details, ventilation and fun patterns. Here are some of our top picks.

Under Armour Cold Gear Reactor Vest, $144.99

This brand deserves credit for always being on point with the cold weather gear. Wear Under Armour and you know you won’t have to cut the run short because the winds have sliced through the gear causing a chill two kilometres in. If you want quality, you’ve got quality in this item.

Saucony Freedom Vest, $91.99

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When skies are grey, parks are colourless and streets are shrouded in white, winter months beg for a little colour. This vest does just that. Nothing like hot pink to add a little picker upper to a dull winter day.

Nike Aeroloft Flash, $335

When Nike named this vest “Flash” they didn’t mean it lightly. This vest has a fun and trendy reflective pattern that is going to make others give you a double-take when you run down the street.

 

Reebok One Series Running Lightweight Warmth Vest, $160

It’s lightweight, yet it will keep in body heat. Wear this one on it’s own over a trustworthy base layer or use it as a mid-layer on a cooler morning.

The North Face Women’s Pseudio Half-Zip, $129.99

The black and grey combo always seems to work. The colour blocking on this piece keeps things from being boring, yet it’s simple and classic enough that runners can jazz it up with a fun printed pair of tights.

Nike Aerolayer Women’s, $240

If there’s one thing Nike always seems to get right, it’s blending athletic wear with fashion in a perfect balance. For those wanting to take advantage of the athleisure trend this winter, no piece says “on trend” more than a basic black turtleneck. Wear it with bold accessories and you’re good to go.

MEC Kinglet Vest, $100

Winter is dreary, but a runner’s wardrobe doesn’t have to be. When logging hundreds of kilometres in winter, runners need plenty of good quality options to outfit themselves with. MEC is like a runner’s best friend for that because the gear does what it’s supposed to and buying it doesn’t break the bank.