If you have read the article on trail safety you would know that we recommend taking a light shell jacket with you when trail running. The Apple Jacket from First Ascent is just such a jacket.
Weighing in at 95g and packing into its own pocket the size of an apple (hence the name), this windproof, breathable and water-resistant jacket is perfect for keeping in a pack as an emergency shell if there is a chance of light rain or heavy wind later in a trail run. We say light rain as the jacket’s Microtex 20D material is breathable and not seam sealed so will thus not keep you dry in more than a drizzle. It will however still keep the wind chill at bay once you are wet as well as keeping you warm in windy conditions.
While the jacket has under-arm ventilation and a full-length zip allowing the user to regulate their core temperature, the jacket warms you up quickly while trail running, so we would not recommend purchasing it just for chilly morning/afternoon runs. It needs to be cold or you’ll be overheating and taking off the jacket within a few minutes of starting. This does however make it a good jacket for a pre-race warm-up.
The jacket works best when worn over a long sleeve base layer, as the layer wicks sweat away from the trail runner and forms a barrier between the user and the jacket. This keeps the jacket from sticking to the trail runner’s skin, resulting in a more comfortable trail run.
The jacket has a regular cut. The sample fit well, but there is excess material in the upper arm area that can flap around in heavy wind. The elasticised neck keeps the elements out but can be too tight so we would suggest fitting the garment before purchasing. There is no “garage” for the zipper which can lead to irritation in the chin area. The back of the jacket is tapered to keep water spray off your bottom and the sleeves extend to cover the hands, keeping them warm and dry.