A few weeks back, Champion sent me a jacket and pair of shorts to sample and review for the blog. When I first started running I relied a lot on Champion’s C-9 brand sold at Target, a full line of affordable workout gear. Pretty good stuff and not a budget breaker, either.
Over the past few years, Champion has made a conscious effort to really up the quality of their clothing,I assume in a pitch to make inroads into the market share currently held by other retail giants such as Nike, Adidas, etc.
I am a running snob when it comes to my running shorts. If they don’t feel right, or if they are too long, or if the seam is too thick, I just have a hard time handling it. So I was interested in trying the shorts on a recent Zone 2 recovery run. I figure if they didn’t feel great or if all the sudden I was attacked with bionic chafing, I could soldier through it on a run that wasn’t as “key” as my other runs, such as hills or tempo. I was pleased with the performance of the shorts. Very light material, I wanted to say fabric, but tech material isn’t quite fabric, no? The fit is nice and the sizing is fairly true to what I wear (these were size medium). There are mesh panels on each side and in the crotch. The crotch mesh panel made me giggle a bit, but as any runners know, man or woman, a mesh panel in the crotch ain’t a bad idea at all!
I’ve run in the shorts 4 times, including an 11 mile hill workout this morning. They are light and well-fitted. And I’m very pleased with the quality of these shorts. Of course, with summer beginning here in Alabama they will be put to the ultimate test in heat, humidity, and human grime! For a quality run short, they are also fairly priced in the low 20’s, and compared to price points of the likes of Nike and Adidas, they are a relative bargain.
Since it has warmed quite a bit here, I have had no chance to run in the jacket. But I have worn it extensively to my kids’ baseball and soccer practices, as well as a nice late spring cool-weather jacket for work. I LOVE this jacket. Just heavy enough to block the wind and cold from 50 degree evenings at the baseball park, but also water-resistant enough to block the rain. In fact, I love how the rain jut beads up and rolls off the jacket. Reminds me of how water used to bead on an old car I had back in the 1980s after I waxed it.
The jacket has a trimmer fit for running and activity and to prevent it from becoming a sail in windy conditions. It has two side zipper pockets on the outside and two slip pockets on the inside. In the left hand outer pocket there is a sleeve for a MP3 player or phone, which holds it securely from bumping around. Here is a pic of me wearing it.