Peak Elements Tight and Core Elements Jacket Review
When Katy Biddulph, founder of StridersEdge, asked if I would like to review the Peak Elements Tight my answer could only be a resounding…….Yes Please! I have a number of items from their collection, a recent addition being the Core Elements Jacket, so I was keen to see how the garments worked individually and as an ensemble.
Both the Core Elements Jacket and the Peak Elements Tight are made from antibacterial, breathable, wind resistant, UV protective material – providing you with protection from both the outside elements and your own inner climate. A soft brushed inner, flat seams and 4-way stretch (plus some intelligent design) ensures the clothes are comfortable to wear and move in. High-Vis detailing is positioned to flatter offering both safety and style.
I was a little worried about reviewing the tight and jacket as they are suited for cooler weather than you would normally expect in June. Luckily (in this respect) the weather was on my side and for the past 4 weeks that I have been testing the clothes I have experienced torrential rain, gale force winds and single digit temperatures, interspersed with the odd sunny spell. In fact the only weather I haven’t tested them in is snow and ice but I’m sure that now we are in July this is to come! I have run, hiked and biked in the clothes and even spent some time flat out on the sofa in them as a recent spell of illness saw me unable to do anything other than watch bad daytime TV – I am nothing but thorough in my testing!
Thoughts: Core Elements Jacket.
Looking deceptively simple in design this jacket packs a lot of clever, well engineered features into its sleek form. Take the zips for instance. StridersEdge do not compromise on any detail and have used YKK for both the full length front zip and the two side pockets. Function aside and on to aesthetics, the zips are silver and they just look right. Black would have been a little too, well, dull to be honest and white, well that would have just been wrong. But silver is discreet whilst still being a little bit blingy. The collar of the jacket has a small flap for the zip, a welcome feature that some manufacturers still do not include in their designs. The only (slight) fault I have is that the zips on the pockets are quite small and did not have a toggle or loop making it a bit difficult opening them with thick gloves on.
Another feature of the jacket are the thumb cuffs. Now I have to admit I have never really seen the point of these and tend to find them annoying and uncomfortable but I gave these a go and was pleasantly surprised. Unlike other jackets I have tried these cuffs didn’t end up twisting the sleeves and didn’t chafe between my finger and thumb. Discreetly placed, they do not leave a gaping hole in your sleeve when not in use. All in all, another example of some real thought going into the design.
The jacket is flattering, well fitted and the ideal length in the body – why do some companies make women’s clothing so short, are we back wearing crop tops?! Having worn the jacket on two legs and on two wheels for both short intensity and long leisurely sessions I never once noticed any discomfort or niggles, the jacket was put on and simply forgotten about. After a particularly long run I went straight to a café and although I had worked up quite a sweat – sorry, a glow – the jacket was quick to dry with no hint of clamminess against my skin. Like I said, deceptively simple but packing a whole lot of technical features into a stylish package.
Thoughts: Peak Elements Tight.
Complementing the Core Elements Jacket, the Peak Elements Tight continues with the stealth like approach to technical features hidden within stylish design. My first outing in the tight was a 7 mile trail run over some varied terrain. Steep climbs, uneven ground and obstacles to jump equals a lot of movement. Personally when I’m out trail running I want to be thinking about my line choice and not be distracted by tights that are falling down or that are ill fitting. The Peak Elements Tight were fabulous in this respect. As I mentioned in the Tech Info, the tights are made from a 4 way stretch material coupled with some intelligent design. Gathered Knee Articulation allows freedom of movement whilst ensuring the tights aren’t slowly inching their way down your thighs or chaffing behind your knees. This is coupled with a waistband that sits perfectly – not unfashionably high, not irritatingly low. The waistband can be tightened with a simple but effective flat cord.
The tights feature a pocket flatteringly positioned at the top of each thigh. Although I know it can be useful to have pockets – for obvious reasons, I’m personally not a fan of them on legwear. When running I tend to either take a hydration pack on longer runs or nothing at all on shorter runs and when hiking I would always be carrying a pack of some sorts. When coupled with wearing a jacket that would invariably also have some sort of pocket(s) I find the addition of pockets on legwear unnecessary. I do however like the styling of these and for testing purposes I stowed away my phone and keys on a short local run to see how they performed. The pockets zips didn’t work loose and though I was aware of carrying the items, they felt securely supported and didn’t affect the functionality of the fit.
Like the jacket, the tights are flattering in their fit with the High-Vis detailing not only providing an important safety feature but also a slimming and lengthening element – always welcome! The weight of the material gives a supportive feel to the tights and a smooth sleek look – again, always welcome. I have run through brash and bracken, clambered over rocks and fallen off my mountain bike in the tights and they have survived it all with no tears or nicks in the fabric. Though slightly too warm for this time of year the tights will be my ‘go to’ choice for autumn and winter runs and hikes.
I have been highly impressed with both garments. They have endured a month of thorough testing and have triumphed. Washed and dried numerous times both the jacket and tights have remained looking as good as new with no fading, stretching or loss in shape.
Sizing seems spot on, so no nasty surprises if you are buying online and not able to try first.
The pricing of all the items in the Striders Edge collection is very reasonable comparing favourably with similar companies. The clothes are innovative, technical and well made and the prices reflect this without being silly.
I value my time out in the outdoors and I need my clothing to enhance my experiences and adventures not detract from them. I care about how I look and gain motivation from wearing stylish and flattering clothes. I want to look and feel feminine in a strong and powerful way not patronised by simpering girly prints and colour schemes. StridersEdge are passionate about designing clothes for active women who refuse to compromise on style or function. I like that.
The new StridersEdge Collection has just been launched. You can see it at their website www.stridersedge.com