I’m no tech expert or gear reviewer, make no mistake! However I could certainly be called a gear fanatic – I love getting new bits and bobs to enhance my running wardrobe be that trainers, shorts, socks, tops, vests, baselayers, packs…you get the idea!
The Haglöfs Boa hood is my first real foray into running with a jacket. I have previously used the Berghaus Elite Half Zip jacket when it has been raining hard but I found that it wasn’t really breathable enough and, if I was wearing a short sleeve, the material stuck to my forearms uncomfortably. Additionally the movement of the jacket when running wasn’t too great either. So it was that I ended up looking to the market for something with a more specific running design.
The Haglöfs Boa is quite a bit heavier than the Berghaus, weighing in at 500g for the large size. The Berghaus is 199g. At first I was put off by the weight of the jacket when holding it but once I put it on the load was spread evenly so I didn’t even notice it was there. I purchased a large size as I figured it would be good for ventilation and breathability and judging by the first test run I made a good decision here. Normally I would have gone for a medium sized jacket (like the Berghaus) but I think this would have been too small and restricted my movement.
Like I said I’m no gear reviewer so here are some quick takeaways for you:
- Good range of movement, stretch fabric.
- Feels durable, could withstand branch strikes.
- Great water repellancy – I tested it in quite heavy rain for around 25 minutes and discovered no leaks.
- Warm but not stifling.
- No sticking – didn’t stick to my forearms or any other exposed skin such as the back of my neck.
- Looks groovy. Could easily be worn as a day to day winter coat.
- Very bright – good visibility for road running at night.
- Versatile – could easily be used for mountain biking, fast packing, hiking or skiing.
- At 500g it couldn’t be described as ‘light’.
- Quite expensive – I’d have expected a much lighter garment for the price.
- Fairly bulky – doesn’t pack down as well as market competitors and would take up a bit of space in a 5-10l running pack.
- Thumbholes – probably personal preference here but I just don’t see the point of these, if you’re not using them they’re just a snagging hazard.
All in all, I’ve only been out in it once but I can say that it is most definitely fit for purpose and more so than my Berghaus in that it’s made of far more durable material and is much more breathable. Furthermore I like the options that the full zip gives – it’s easier to put on and take off and offers more ventilation if you feel the need. If you’re in the market for a jacket to train in then I’d say this is the one for you! However, I’m not so sure about the efficacy of racing with it due to it’s weight and the amount of space it would take up in a running pack.