Straight outta Boston, but drawing from inspirations and artists around the world, Janji just released their newest clothing drop in the Cambodia collection. Titled STEADFAST, this new release is a line of reliable, go-to styles that pair perfectly on a daily run or post-workout hang. Meaghan and I give our thoughts on the apparel we received.Shop Janji STEADFAST
Robbe: Made in Peru with Janji’s Runpaca fabric, the Runpaca SS blends pima cotton and alpaca fleece (Napoleon Dynamite would be down) for an incredibly soft and light shirt. This is kind of their thing, and I’m okay with it. My long-sleeve Runpaca is one of my favorite overall shirts. I can run in it, sleep in it, or wear it to a backyard party with a Tecate in one hand and a horseshoe in the other (summer please get here). It’s a shirt you don’t realize you need until you have it.
The Runpaca SS is simple in design—it’s a wrap design, so there’s only one seam right down the middle of the back in their signature ladder stitch. It has a very 90’s feel to it in its sizing, which I have to think was intentional. We’re getting away from the super trim and form-fitting clothing towards a looser feel—this shirt embraces that. It looks good too. I’m not a huge fan of Royal Blue, but it grew on me. The other colors are more muted but attractive.
The alpaca fleece element (2.5% of the shirt) helps make the top applicable to a wider flux of temperatures— I felt pretty good overall on a 5-mile run in 80-degree weather, and same in the cold. As with any shirt in warm weather, I sweat through parts of it, but it wasn’t terrible.Shop Janji STEADFAST
Although I have a couple minor reservations about the shorts (read below), overall, I loved them. For starters, they look great. The Haze colorway is a perfect escape from the boring blocks of either solid color or neon prominent in most running shorts. The hand-painted dot print theme is derived from traditional Southeast Asian Batik textiles and symbolic of rain/water and the coming of spring. Sounds very “roll-your-eyes, corporate-mission-statement” talk, except Janji backs that shit up. They actually visit these places, work with local artists in deriving patterns, then give 5% of their proceeds to a local water NPO to provide viable, sustainable clean water solutions in that country. Anyway, I guess think about that when you see that water ripple pattern on the back of the shorts.
The shorts are made with Janji’s AdventureVent ripstop mesh outer (97% polyester, 3% spandex), a perforated knit waistband with internal drawcord, and a moisture-wicking liner. I found the shorts to be incredibly comfortable. They reminded me a lot of the North Face Better Than Naked short, which is my favorite short ever, and which is for some reason hard to find. These shorts are a pretty great substitute.
Although the shorts don’t have any side pockets, they feature a decent-sized back pocket with a key loop bungee. I appreciate this since I lost a bike key not too long ago and had to angle-grind my lock off to get home.
Meaghan: The new Steadfast Cambodia collection from Janji is pretty sweet. I tested out the women’s Runpaca Short Sleeve in Dust and Deviation Tights in Sublime Tok Dot.
I’m a fan of the tights design. The top half is black and cut diagonally into a light-pink dot pattern. The design itself was inspired by Southeast Asian Batik textiles – the dot print symbolizes raindrops. Tok means both water and drop in Khmai, which is the official language of Cambodia.
The tights fit well. I went with my normal size small, and they’re snug through the waist and legs, but not too tight. If you prefer a real snug fit, I’d suggest sizing down. The high-waisted waistband comes with an internal drawstring and two hidden pockets in the front that can easily store keys, credit cards or a Gu. The back has a double-sided zippered pocket that can fit an iPhone or work as a pass-through for a shirt or light jacket. The tights are meant to be ⅞ in length, but they are full-length tights for me. Nothing new – unless a brand offers a ‘short’ size option, I’m always finding excess material.Shop Janji STEADFAST
The short sleeve tee is made from Janji’s Runpaca fabric that blends soft pima cotton with alpaca fleece. It’s ultra-lightweight, has a relaxed fit, and pairs perfectly with the Deviation tights.
Robbe: Like I said, I love the comfortability of the RunPaca SS. However, I think it comes with some caveats. One, it will shrink in the wash. I’m actually glad it did because it was originally sized too big for me (I wear a size small, it fit like a medium initially). That said, I’ve found that the Runpaca fabric also loosens up after a couple hours, so it kind of returns to an in-between stage. That may sound insane, but that’s how it felt for me.
If you don’t like the loose and airy fit, you may not love the shirt. It’s not exactly form-fitting, but I think it will grow on you if you give it a chance. The comfort and style of it trump the form-fitting aspect, in my opinion.
Also, if you want a shirt to work with both life and running, you’re going to have to sacrifice a little bit. At the end of the day, it is a majority-cotton shirt. It felt heavier than a typical synthetic shirt when I sweat, but it wasn’t awful. Also, if you’re running in 80+ weather you should be wearing a singlet anyway.
So I loved everything about the short, except one thing that I can’t exactly put my finger on. I believe it comes down to the cut of the shorts which seems slimmer than a typical running short. The small (which I wear in every running short ever), felt somewhat constrictive in the leg, although it wasn’t so noticeable when actually running. I asked them to send me the medium, and it fit much better.
Meaghan: There’s nothing negative to say about the tights, but I did have a concern with the top. I tested the tee on the treadmill, and sweat quite a bit. While the odor-resistant fabric works great, the shirt’s coloring makes sweat very apparent. It also took over an hour to dry. It doesn’t affect performance at all, but aesthetically speaking, it’s not the best look.
Janji STEADFAST Conclusion
Meaghan: Even if Janji didn’t make awesome running apparel, I’d still be a fan of the brand. They’re doing good stuff for the world – five percent of all proceeds go directly toward funding clean water projects worldwide. So if you’re in the market for some new gear, go check them out.
Robbe: I’ve really loved some things Janji has done in the past year; their designs on the Bolivia drop were crazy cool, unlike anything you see in running apparel. The Cambodia STEADFAST drop is more muted, but it’s also right in line with current fashion trends. I honestly think Janji has the best design in the running market right now. I would wear any of their clothes in everyday life and not think twice about it.
I think they need to get some of their sizing stuff consistent, but if you have any issues, they offer free returns and their customer service team is incredibly helpful.Shop Janji STEADFAST
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Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards when he’s not MAF training. His favorite race distance is the marathon and his favorite beer is anything but Blue Moon.