Gravitas across Europe

By Aleks Kashefi

After giving my first Gravitas a proper bashing whilst training for my cross Europe run one has been keeping me company through the 1000's of km notched...

Norway was tough to run through. The terrain was one thing but the weather added to the problems. I was expecting to get wet at some point. There's only so many days a lightweight waterproof can keep you dry, and I'd had other lightweight waterproofs that just gave up the whole waterproof thing after a couple of days. The Gravitas proved my pessimism wrong. 5 days of rain and at the end of each day, hidden away in a broken tent, my base layer was dry! Ok, slightly sweaty on the back but I guess you'd expect that with a backpack on.

The fit was comfortable and it's a fairly quiet piece of kit to run in. The bonus is that the breathability is just enough to make it double up as a vapour barrier for those super cold nights when your sleeping bag is gonna freeze from the evaporating moisture of your body.

The hood is roomy enough for a bobble hat to hide under it or a baseball cap to tuck away inside it. I've worn it for most of the last 2000kms, day in and day out, as a waterproof and as a windproof and it's still going strong. The DWR coating last a reasonable while, but even after this has worn off or gotten so grimey that it doesn't bead anymore, water doesn't get through!

My previous waterproofs all fell apart. It happens when you use off trail routes, scramble up and down scree slopes and clamber through bushes and over fences that happen to be in the way. The Gravitas is slightly heavier than the lightest jacket out but that few grams is where this jacket is better. They make it durable. I've not ripped it yet despite having to take detours through storm drains, bramble thickets and barbed wire fences!

The only thing i would say it needs is waist pockets, but that's more to suit what I'm doing. On long multiday runs where your constantly using phone or camera, a waist pocket would make things handy to get at and having a phone in the chest pocket gets a little annoying after a week of running.

Apart from that... I'm glad I've got one with me for this trip. Light enough to carry in a pocket, comfortable enough to wear day after day and durable enough to last.

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