Tights. They aren’t the most aspirational item of running kit, yet, when you get one that works for you, you hold onto it like it’s a child of your own, do all you can to keep them alive and feel distraught if you are unable to locate them for every single run.
I’m going to cut to the chase with the Columbia Titan Wind Block™ Tight. I wore them for every single winter run this season. Period.
I was and remain genuinely impressed by the construction. They have had more than 500 miles of running and the main photos were taken last week, an indication of how well they have held up to repeat use and washing machine cycles.
So why are the Titan Wind Block™ Tight so good?For me it’s pretty simple. Columbia utilise their Omni-Wind™ Block windproof fabric across the front of the quads, crotch and along the shin/lower half. You can feel the heavier weight fabric between your fingers and they make a huge difference when things get freezing. Before I was sent them, I was using a regular weight pair of tights and my legs were red at the end of each session. The Titan’s changed this instantly.
The panelling, combined with more breathable, lighter weight and stretchier lycra fabric, allows complete freedom of movement, while the Omni_wind™ Block areas keep out the worst the “Beast from the East” can throw at you. I wore these through the famous storm, to the office and in the Highlands of Scotland. My legs remained at a stable temperature, despite running in temperatures as low as -14°C, when factoring in wind chill.The above shot isn’t from falling over. The white ice/snowy coating is from the wind carrying it. This proved to me, in extreme conditions the Titan’s live up to their name and deliver. They took on the Beast, while on a training camp in the Highlands of Scotland and came out on top.
With any use of fabric, you compromise by losing a degree of breathability. To counter this, all panels feature Omni-Wick™ to pull moisture onto the fibres, off the body and ultimately into the atmosphere. Feature wise, the tights come with a small zippered pocket on the rear, which I would fill with house key and/or a gel, when running light.The legs also have a zip at each opening, to allow easier navigation around your feet. There is also a reinforced collar, which keeps the ankle cuff in place and has limited stretch.For visibility, reflective details are on the front and back.They are comfortable, keep the wind at bay and survived the worst/or best winter we have had in years. But how do they fit?
This is the only area I struggle with personally. I’m 5ft 7″, 30inch waist, inside leg something close to 30″ and have reasonably large leg muscles. I opted for a small and they are a little tighter around the waist than I would like. As you can see there is plenty of excess material for if you have longer legs and in a culture of “Active Wear” where people are walking around in super thin lycra without a ripple in site, this may look out of place.
But here’s the thing. It isn’t. Outside of the waist, which does have an drawcord (I should pull it out) they don’t cause any pressure, discomfort or chaffing. They work. And with time, the waist has slacked off enough for me not to notice them. I’ve run 5km to 30 miles in the Titan Wind Block Tights and my anatomy is in perfect condition.So what is the takeaway?
Columbia, though designating these for hiking on their website, have designed a tight that is perfectly at home running in the mountains. Comfortable, secure fitting and cleverly paired with wind blocking material in key areas, they allow you to push on in conditions shorts would deter you from.
The fact it’s taken me so long to get around to putting these words on here is a testament to their performance. I effectively forgot about them. They became my tights, rather than tight X on test. So sorry to Columbia for taking 6 months and 500 miles to form an opinion, the reality is, the opinion was made very early on and I have been enjoying myself ever since.
Supplied by Canoe inc