Salomon Trail Runner II
Sam Ring, May 31, 2011
The Trail Runner II 1/2 Zip is Salomon’s latest addition to their extensive technical tops range. The innovative top claims to provide ‘maximum ventilation on hot days’ so I put it to the test to see whether it could be the next summer saviour.
On first inspection the most notable feature of the shirt is the large zip that runs centrally from the collar to midpoint of the shirt – immediately highlighting Salomon’s focus on ventilation. After a long run through blazing heat the benefits of this zip are obvious: While a running movement naturally produces muscular heat, the zip opening makes the most of forward movement by allowing air to flow beneath the garment and cool the body. Cyclists have benefitted from tipped tops for generations, now trail runners have the pleasure too. The Trail Runner II (1/2 Zip and non Zip ‘Tech’ Tee) also capitalises on certain fabric alignments to further aid ventilation. Salomon’s pattented actiLITE polyester mesh that comprises 92% of the main body is finished to a very high standard and allows the skin to breathe easily. Even more open mesh is found on the side panels and back panel – an extremely welcome feature if you’re wearing a backpack.
Other features outside ventilation are worth a mention. Firstly, the zip toggle can be tucked into a fabric pouch so preventing the skin from rubbing. Even the ease with which the shirt can be removed – as the zip opening doubles the neck size – endeared me further to the Trail Runner II. Meanwhile two discreet pockets have extended coverings to ensure that your energy bars and valuables stay where you want them. On a safety note, the vivid colour range and light-reflective materials ensure you the best chance of being seen by other traffic.
Unfortunately such performance and careful design comes at a cost. So, although the benefits this top provides are substantial, they are arguably not quite great enough to warrant the price tag. However if you can take the price and intend to be on the trail frequently in the summer months then this top is well worth trying out.