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REVIEW: Montane's Winter VIA Trail Running Collection

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"I've spent much of the last year wearing various items from Montane's VIA Trail Running collection, and have been universally impressed by the comfort and quality" says Rob Greenwood. Here he takes a look at the more winter-oriented pieces in the range.

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1
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

How do you find the length on the tights Rob? I've got some of the outgoing via trail tights which are great but they're about an inch too short (5"11 in a size small). Looking at the size chart 30.5" for a small and 31" inches for a medium seems a bit on the short side

In reply to probablylost:

> How do you find the length on the tights Rob? I've got some of the outgoing via trail tights which are great but they're about an inch too short (5"11 in a size small). Looking at the size chart 30.5" for a small and 31" inches for a medium seems a bit on the short side

Good question, and something I should have covered within the review.

I haven't used the previous model, so can't comment like-for-like, but my initial thought was that I am 5"11 and there's no way I'd have bought a size small (or if I did, they'd probably come up an inch short too).

The mediums will likely fit you a lot, lot better. I certainly haven't had any problems with regards to them feeling too short, which is something I often suffer from as I've got a pretty long set of legs!

In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I'll have to track a pair down to try on. I tried the mediums in the old ones and they were a bit baggy for my whippety frame. 

I like the sound of the top with the very long arms though!

In reply to probablylost:

> I like the sound of the top with the very long arms though!

Indeed, I infinitely prefer having longer arms, as that way you can get your hands inside them on colder days. The fact these also have thumb loops, and that funky flip over mitt, is an added bonus.

 PPP 25 Jan 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

The gloves in the review aren’t Montane Switch, but Montane Via Shift instead:

https://montane.com/products/montane-switch-gloves-with-pull-out-mitt

https://montane.com/products/montane-via-shift-glove

 dczach 25 Jan 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Where's the first photo from?

In reply to PPP:

> The gloves in the review aren’t Montane Switch, but Montane Via Shift instead:

Oops, not sure why I'd got it into my head they were called the Shift, but the good news is that I was very much reviewing what I had on my hands, which was the Via Shift. I've updated the links accordingly. Thanks!

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I'd be interested to know what the defining characteristics are which make trail running clothes distinct from fell running clothes. Or even just from running clothes.

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'd be interested to know what the defining characteristics are which make trail running clothes distinct from fell running clothes. Or even just from running clothes.

There's basically a blurry line in between trail, fell, mountain and ultra distance running and some people feel strongly that they're one and not the other. In my experience you can, depending on your interpretation, become virtually all of these within the space of a single run, especially somewhere like the Lake District where you will almost inevitably run on some trails, some fells, some mountains (depending on how you define a fell vs. mountain) and - if you run for long enough - it'll likely be ultra distance too.

In terms of what this means for what makes them distinct? Whilst there are some specialist products out there for each discipline, there are a lot - such as the ones on review here - that are suitable for all of them. I guess what might them more distinct from your average running clothes is that the rigours you're likely to experience road running don't compare to those you'll experience up on the hills in winter - hence you require more of them.

Post edited at 16:32
 greg_may_ 25 Jan 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

TFIW I had a pair of the Switch gloves last winter/spring, they lasted three winter runs before the outer mitt started to part company with the inner and the grips on the mitt started peeling off :/

Outside replaced them straight away no questions asked. Now using the Black Diamond equivalent...they've been great.

The concept really works well, the BD ones are my go to winter gloves.

In reply to greg_may_:

> The concept really works well, the BD ones are my go to winter gloves.

It's a really good idea. I have the La Sportiva equivalent, however it's much thinner than the Montanes, (which isn't too bad as I run hot), but more crucially the mitt only covers the fingers not the thumb. Consequently in cold biting winds my thumb gets really cold. The Montane and I assume the BD version seem to have sorted this shortfall out.

 greg_may_ 25 Jan 2022
In reply to Ridge:

Yep, the BD ones have the thumb covered. 

In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

So nothing to do with marketing to make people think they need to spend money on special "trail running" clothes rather than just run in the clothes they normally run off-road in given the weather and temperatures? I'm sure the Montane clothes are great though (I've always been impressed with their stuff). 

4
 jackth 25 Jan 2022
In reply to greg_may_:

Agreed. Obviously, as someone said, these aren't the exact ones in the review but you'd expect a similar level of design/durability and I was shockingly underwhelmed, though perhaps that says more about me than the gloves 😅. I've always liked montane, particularly their windproof jackets/smocks for running, but those gloves put me right off! The design seems super intuitive and versatile but a) they looked knackered after the first use... and basically fell to pieces after 3; b) I'm actually not totally convinced about the design anymore. When I felt it was cold enough for the mitten feature, it wasn't actually warm enough and I was left windmilling my arms and thinking about getting my backups from the bag...

I got my money back because they fell to bits. Maybe I'll try try the BD ones!

In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'd be interested to know what the defining characteristics are which make trail running clothes distinct from fell running clothes. Or even just from running clothes.

Fell running trousers have special patches on the thighs where you can put your hands to help with steep ascents. Trail running trousers don’t have these  

 greg_may_ 25 Jan 2022
In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

Fell runners don't wear trousers 

 greg_may_ 25 Jan 2022
In reply to jackth:

I can say so far, that the BD ones have been great. Can't fault them - got them on cheap which was nice too! 

In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

> Fell running trousers have special patches on the thighs where you can put your hands to help with steep ascents. Trail running trousers don’t have these  

I'm not sure whether you are joking or not. If not, please could you provide a link to some dedicated fell-running legwear with these patches.

1
In reply to greg_may_:

So such things do exist, but the blurb doesn't say that they are specifically for fell-running. In fact the word "trail" appears.

In reply to Robert Durran:

I was pulling your leg Robert. Apologies. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if there is such a garment already available, so the joke’s on me. 

In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

> I was pulling your leg Robert. Apologies. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if there is such a garment already available, so the joke’s on me. 

Well the funny thing is that such patches do turn out to exist!

Post edited at 18:49

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