A review by Justin Rowles
If the mountains and adventure run deep within your DNA, you will understand when we say that when it comes to exploration our parents always knew what was best - always pack like you’re preparing for the worst. The mountain conditions back home were always unpredictable, so we could never take any chances.
It’s 05h45, it’s pitch black and the birds haven’t even started playing their tune. The only thing capable of getting me out of bed is the thought of a cup of piping hot coffee and a solid trail session. The coffee is on the stove, I’ve got music setting the mood and the packing has begun. Mark my words, 9 times out of 10, my packing ability is something to be questioned. Some runners take great pride in their trail preparation process – I’ve always left plenty of room for improvement. Today was an exception.
Lightweight is always the best kind of weight in my opinion, which makes packing challenging. It’s always a fight over whether I should pack that extra Snickers Bar or something to keep me warm. In hindsight, I’m glad I listened to my parent’s advice – before I ran out of my house, I shoved my Impact Jacket into my hydration pack.
I was ready to step outside and explore and take on the mountains. Sometimes we can easily take things for granted, this wasn’t one of those days. The sunrise was breath-taking. The air was crisp. The mist was hanging, and the pastel skies kept me distracted for ages. It was a still morning, eerie to an extent. However, the peace and calm didn’t last long. The higher I climbed the more the weather began to change. Before I knew it, the pastel sky was coloured in grey. The still morning had changed its tune and conditions had taken a 180-degree turn. Although these kinds of conditions have their own beauty, being unprepared can be fatal.
My parents knew what they were talking about - always pack like you’re preparing for the worst. I was freezing cold, under the pump and roughly 8km’s from the finish. Those are the kinds of moments that tend to leave you humbled. Fortunately, I was able to throw on my Impact Jacket. Before, I felt every breath of wind and every raindrop. Now I was on the verge of overheating. It’s radical to think that such a lightweight and compact jacket has the ability to shield you from the wind, rain and cold. Before I knew it, I was hurdling down a single track without an ounce of concern about the cold, minutes away from reaching my final destination.
As trail runners, we are always after the next adventure and the next challenge that will leave us questioning all rational ways of thinking. We are explorers who are also always after the best gear. Like the elusive Tars living up on Table Mountain, great gear is also often hard to find. My search was cut short. Being the lightweight packer that I am, having this jacket has drastically changed my packing game and adventuring. I am passionate about exploring and fully experiencing the mountains, but often you only want the bare necessities – my Impact Jacket takes the place of my Snickers Bar every time.