In my opinion, track and trails are two of the best things that the sport of running has to offer. Throw in some old-school New England aesthetic with well-constructed performance fabrics and we’re really cooking with gas.
Tracksmith, long a staple of the bourgie class of road runners, and/or runners who just want some great freaking gear, has finally stepped into the trail game with the Off Roads collection. Designed with “versatility and grit” in mind, the collection features Merino wool long sleeves (that magic fabric that fits into three seasons), as well as other pieces including Ciele x Tracksmith GOcap, jacket, shorts, bandana, coffee mug, and other random stuff that pairs well with the great outdoors. Oh, also this ridiculously sweet Mission backpack collaboration.
And while this collection is meant for trail, I can guarantee you it’ll work for whatever you need in running, especially as it gets colder. (I even sleep in this shirt. Whatever, don’t judge).
Off Roads Packable Jacket
TAYLOR: Here in the Colorado Rockies weather can be as temperamental as a three-nager (i.e. a three-year old child, I have one, the struggle is real) without a nap. A light jacket is good to have along if you plan on going out for any sizable adventure. The Off Road Packable Jacket is made of a four-way stretch, nylon-based fabric. Woven within the jacket is a water repellent thread making it durable and weather-resistant. It handles light moisture and cold weather just fine (especially when paired with the Off Road Long Sleeve).
One of my favorite pieces of this jacket is the double zipper. I’ve had one other jacket with this and I wish all of my running garments did. Instead of zipping down and having the shoulders of your jacket bounce around, zip up to expose your midsection and cool faster without the bounce. So simple, but so useful.
The Off Road Packable Jacket feels light on the shoulders and rolls easy on the trails. I was a little concerned with the more squared fit around the midsection but it turned out to be a non-issue.
Packable is practical. Roll it up and stuff it in its own pocket. The garment is plenty light enough to carry or stow away in a pack.
I’m not going to say it’s the ultimate light jacket for the trails, but it is a freakin’ good looking and well-performing one. That said, $198 is a pretty steep price. Christmas is coming though!
PRICE: $198Shop Tracksmith Off Roads
Off Roads Long Sleeve
TAYLOR: Merino wool is at the top of my list for trail performance fabrics. Some companies do better than others at finding the right blend to keep the comfort and performance qualities of wool at its finest. The Tracksmith Off Roads Long Sleeve is hands-down one of the few that could contend for the Merino wool title.
Traditionally, wool runs the risk of being itchy and heavy. Don’t worry about that with the Off Roads Long Sleeve. This is light, soft, and fits like … well, exactly how you’d want it to.
I wore this garment for days on end (literally) without washing. This meant short runs, long runs, work, and cooking dinner. It retained its comfort, performance, and fresh smell throughout. I know $98 might be an eye-popper of a price for a long sleeve shirt, but when it ticks all the boxes at a very high-level, it would be hard to pass up.
ROBBE: I’m not gonna get way into this, but let me tell you that this is not just one of my favorite running shirts I own, it’s literally one of my favorite of any shirts I own. It’s so comfortable and the fit is just right (which is actually an issue I’ve had in the past with Tracksmith tops). A bonus of this collection is that it looks like something you could wear outside of running, and I certainly do.
PRICE: $98Shop Tracksmith Off Roads
Off Roads Shorts
Tracksmith has earned huge respect for many reasons, but one is having thoughtfully crafted and high-quality gear. The Off Road shorts are no different.
I usually ignore a 2-in-1 short. These were sent to my door. So, I couldn’t. Welp, I’ve been naive. Or ignorant. I enjoy the feel of a half-tight and love the “freedom” of a nice short pair of shorts. The Off Road short is made of those two light layers. Tracksmith gets this combo right for being able to go all day and over various terrain in supreme comfort and style.
The inner liner fits like a compression short should (a lot of companies get this wrong) and it’s light enough on the skin to barely notice. Two thigh pockets in the liner offer storage for larger items like a phone. This was the only “iffy” aspect of the shorts. My phone was just small enough to fit. I had to be alert when the going got faster and/or technical. My phone needed to be pushed down into the pocket multiple times.
The outer layer is also light feeling but offers substantial enough protection for the elements. The two layers felt heavier in hand than a “typical” pair of shorts, but certainly not while running. With a 5-inch inseam, the Off Road Short will fall into about everyone’s comfort zone.
A waist belt is added to secure the shorts if you choose to utilize the two rear pockets which are big enough to hold a few gels, keys, plus some more. I’ve heard some scrutiny on the waist belt, but it’s a very light elastic that only proved practical. Unnoticeable otherwise.
I’ll come back to the Off Road shorts for long runs, off-trail rambling, and even long races. It’s a valiant first attempt at a trail short that offers more than just incredible all-day comfort.
PRICE: $98Shop Tracksmith Off Roads
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.