I updated an old post recently (my Club Med Punta Cana review) that I originally wrote four years ago, which made specific reference to the fact that I only run if being chased.
My, how times have changed.
If you’d told me four years ago that I would run four times a week at Orangetheory Fitness, train for and complete a 10k race, go mountain biking in Vermont, canoe-tripping in Algonquin Park, cycle around Tremblant and be an avid ski advocate, I’d have LOL’d all over the place.
But here we are.
And along with my newfound appreciation for physical challenges and the great outdoors comes the need for the best gear to help me perform in all kinds of conditions.
This is the first year I’ve tried Peak Performance gear outside of skiing, and I’ve been as thrilled with its weatherproofness and stylish looks as I am through the winter months. Similarly, Serengeti Eyewear‘s ridiculously lightweight sport sunglasses have been on every outdoor run and biking adventure I’ve had in the past six months. These are easy brands to recommend.
Here’s what’s in-store* now that all outdoor enthusiasts should check out:
I wore these pants a LOT during the colder months as I was training for the Sporting Life 10k. They’re a bit thicker than your average running tight and have excellent compression. They’re also ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities when you want to protect your legs from the elements or environment.
A ball cap made of GoreTex gives you a way to keep the rain out of your eyes and prevents your head from getting drenched if you find yourself running or hiking in the rain. It’s also SUPER lightweight.
This sweat-wicking T-shirt and extremely thin running jacket were the perfect layering partners for spring training when weather could change dramatically inside of a one-hour run.
Part of what I love so much about Peak Performance from season to season is that its collections are designed for everything to work together. Like any good capsule wardrobe, that means you can buy just a few things but create many different looks from them.
This GoreTex shell and down-filled liner have been staples for me, taking me from much cooler spring weather that still felt like winter until late in the season, right through to summer rainstorms. Together, they form a warm, waterproof partnership that would work for any outdoor activity pretty much any time of year. Alone, they’re each functional and beautiful pieces of gear.
I especially love the colour combo (the liner has the same neon yellow/green forearms), but the shell also has loads of taped-seam pockets (some big enough to fit my Google Pixel 3XL) and full ventilation in the front. This complements the vented mesh-lined zippers in the front of the liner — and together that provides even more versatility in ever-changing weather.
I’ve put this shell to the test over and over — including balling it up into my teeny-tiny purse and taking it into the hair salon just in case it started to rain while I was getting a blowout. Perhaps not the intended purpose of such a jacket, but let me tell you…it sure does the trick.
Another feature I love on my Peak Performance Vislight jacket is this “button,” which appears everywhere on the jacket where there are elastic cords that help customize fit. It makes it easy to draw in and let out the elastics, ensuring you don’t yank them too hard in either direction.
Plus: STRETCHY GORETEX! It’s ah-mazing. See that back panel on my jacket that’s a different coloured blue? If you ever had a smocked dress as a child, it’s the same concept and gives that area across your shoulders sooooo much give. The added movement you get out of this is pretty remarkable and I really hope Peak adds this feature to some of its ski jackets.
The best shorts ever for outdoor fun. These softshell shorts offer loads of pockets (again — one in the front right thigh that even fits my huge Pixel 3XL with its massive LifeProof case on!), a tonne of stretch to allow movement of any kind and a fit-like-a-glove shape that has almost knee-length protection but also a lower-on-the-waist band that’s actually flattering.
I have worn these for downhill mountain biking, regular cycling, light hiking and I’ll definitely be wearing them paddling this summer because of their quick-dry fabric.
No outdoor outfit is complete without sunglasses designed for physical activity in the outdoors. Serengeti sunglasses are in a league of their own. I have three pairs and there’s no better lens out there — including my very pricey polarized prescription lenses — mostly because these aren’t coated lenses. The functionality is literally built into every Serengeti lens rather than added on after the lens is produced.
This particular style (#8696) has been amazing for running and biking because (a) they weigh basically nothing and you truly forget they’re even on your face, (b) they work in every kind of lighting condition and (c) they feature a singular lens cut with an extremely fine frame, so your field of vision is extremely wide and unimpaired.
*If you like to try before you buy, Peak Performance is available at brick-and-mortar shops like Peak Whistler, Sporting Life, Peak Montreal and Explore! in Tremblant.
Now go get out there and get active!
DISCLAIMER: Peak Performance and Serengeti provided me with products to facilitate this post. I have personally spent months wearing everything in all kinds of scenarios and weather conditions to ensure durability and performance. All opinions are my own.
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