Sometimes it’s the little things than can make a big difference in your enjoyment level on the trail. These five items pack a big punch when it comes to providing comfort and convenience, from keeping skin-irritating sticks and pebbles out of your shoes, to carrying your phone comfortably and securely (and sometimes, secretly! See the Rabbit Utilibra-Vo below.)
Phoozy Apollo II Upgraded Thermal Phone Case | $34.99
It’s a fact: Nature is pretty, and trail runners like to take photos when they run. Winter running means drained phone batteries due to cold, and drained batteries lead to dead phones. Aside from not being able to take pictures, not having a working phone can be a safety hazard. The Phoozy Apollo Thermal Phone case keeps phones insulated to extend battery life up to three times. The case also protects from summer heat, and pads your phone from hard falls… like on granite slabs during mountain runs.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Thru Gaiters | $39
If you run in terrain where debris gets in between your shoes and socks, or worse, into your socks, then arming yourself with a pair of lightweight gaiters can be a game-changer. The Ferrosi Thru Gaiters are simple and lightweight, slipping easily over shoes. They stay put via a durable underfoot strap and hook that attaches to your laces, and a cinch cord at the top opening ensures a secure fit. The water-resistant, quick-drying and breathable material makes them extra-adventure-ready.
Rabbit Utilibra-Vo | $50
This sports bra has a secret: A pocket at the center mid-back that holds a cell phone comfortably and securely, allowing you to leave the waistpack or handheld at home. The Lycra/spandex-blend bra has a higher cut in the front and wider-than-normal shoulder straps, providing ample coverage.
Adventure Medical Kit .3 | $8.99
Tossing this super-lightweight (2.3 ounces), pre-packed medical kit into a running pack makes being prepared a no-brainer, especially for longer runs in remote locations. The waterproof bag reseals after use, and the kit includes supplies for things like blister-treatment, tick removal, allergic reactions, wound-treatment and more.
Nathan ExoShot 2.0 14oz. Handheld | $34.99
When you don’t want to carry a pack but need fluids, a simple handheld like the ExoShot 2.0 does the trick. The benefit of a soft flask is that once it’s empty, it feels like nothing in your hand or can be easily shoved into a pocket (unlike a plastic bottle). Bonus: It has a small pocket that stashes a key or other small items.
Lisa Jhung is the author of “Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running” (VeloPress, 2015), and “Running That Doesn’t Suck: How To Love Running (Even If You Think You Hate It)” (Running Press, 2019), and a freelance writer based out of Boulder, Colorado.