Dependable Gear for My Double Challenge

Disclaimer: I received two items from 2XU (the Hyoptik Jacket and Movement Engineered 1/4 Zip) to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

This isn't your everyday review! I have some lofty goals this 2016, including my own "Double Challenge", and thanks to BibRave and 2XU I received an amazing gift of dependable gear to help me tackle what's ahead.

First off, what's my Double Challenge you ask? Next weekend I'll be running the Sedona Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by an Arizona XTERRA Trail Race-15 miler the next day. No PR goals in mind, just two big races back-to-back. 

One road race, followed by a trail race 24-hours later. Ambitious yet exciting! Be sure to check back for a full report on how it went AND follow our journey on my Instagram page.  I also chose this challenge because my BIG 2016 goal is my first ultra this year! This personal Double Challenge will be perfect practice. 

Now, why 2XU? How are *these* items helping me reach my goals? You may have read my previous post on the their thermal tights and MCS tights. Since testing those out, I've fallen in love with 2XU products and the brand. I've purchased a few other items on my own because I've come to trust and depend on 2XU that much. They have earned my business not just because of style, but for their durability and performance. 

I was approached by BibRave and 2XU as part of a special New Years Resolution campaign. Because many of us have come to rely so much on 2XU in our training, they asked what item would help us best reach our goals this year. That would be the item we would review. Well, I provided two options, depending on what was in stock. To my utmost surprise, they sent BOTH! I'm telling you, 2XU is just that awesome. 

First, came my Hyoptik Jacket, right before Christmas.  A truly amazing holiday gift. 

Why did I choose the Hyoptik Jacket as a "must have" item in my training? I wanted a warm layer for the cold mornings in Arizona, but nothing too heavy because it warms up quickly. The added "hyoptik" feature (reflective properties) was appealing as well for my early morning and late night runs.

Other features of this jacket that drew me to it were the breathability, wind protection, back storage pocket, and moisture control. 

I really wanted something that would last me not just for winter running, but for chilly spring mornings and when traveling out of town to colder climates. When the jacket arrived, I was actually surprised by how light and thin it was! It feels more like a light, "windbreaker" material and super breathable. The fit was perfect! Not too "form-fitting", but true to size without being baggy. My first run in this jacket was one of the coldest mornings on Arizona record! Seems like a perfect time to test out the thermal properties. 

This 30-degree, Sunrise 6k with the November Project crew was the perfect test.. and it paid off. I ended up going faster then I had in quite some time! I stayed warm but not sweaty for the entire run. Plus it was at night, so was a great time to also notice the awesome reflectiveness. I definitely stood out and felt safe! 

Since then, it's now been my go-to outfit for cold early morning workouts, from November Project.... hitting the trails with friends!

After closer inspection, I noticed the few extras that made this jacket stand out:

Small pocket in the back-perfect for GU, keys, etc. 
Tiny holes under each armpit. I realized this is how it stays so breathable!
The Hyoptik Jacket is perfect. I wear it at the start of a run or workout, and can easily fold it up into my Orange Mud pack if the temps start to climb. And vice versa for those dusk to dark runs when the temps drop.

The added reflectiveness (Hyoptik=High Optic... get it?!) makes me feel comfortable and safer wearing it when it's dark.

And I've even gotten it SUPER muddy.. and it washed right out!

Quick recap, here's the many reasons I LOVE the 2XU Hyoptik Jacket:
    • Thermal properties without being "heavy"
    • Lightweight and protects against wind
    • Reflective
    • Breathable
    • Durable
    • Extra pocket
    • Machine washable
The 2XU Hyoptik Jacket costs $119.95 and is worth the investment (scroll down for the discount code!)

As if that's not enough amazingness in one piece of gear... I later received a second surprise from 2XU! The Movement Engineered 1/4 Zip.

I know, you're thinking "Geez dude, don't you have enough layers already?" Well, I actually *don't* have many warm layers! Living in Arizona, I've rarely needed much winter gear. I'd always stick to running during the warmest part of the day. However, not only have I recently been running when it's colder, I've also been traveling more. Which means unknown temps in unfamiliar areas. 

I chose the Movement Engineered 1/4 Zip for the warmth and lightness, but... let's face it... I also chose it because of style. I'm weak when it comes to awesome looking gear!

I loved this from the moment I put it on! It's definitely a little more form-fitting than the jacket, but it's not compression and I never felt like I was "muffin topping". ;-)

I was surprised by just how light and SOFT this shirt is. It's so freaking soft that I want to wear it just out and about, but it's always in the dirty clothes basket because I wear it so much (sometimes I re-wear it even dirty).

It's very thin, and perfect for the runs that start "chilly" and end warm. And best of all? Thumb holes!

And let's face it... the badass style also makes me FEEL.. well.. badass!

Quick recap on the Movement Engineered 1/4 Zip and the reasons I love it:
    • Super Light
    • Super SOFT
    • Form fitting
    • Thumb holes
    • Thin yet warm
    • Great style

The Movement Engineered 1/4 Zip costs $109.95, definitely worth the investment! (scroll below for the discount code).

Overall, both of these layers are amazing pieces of gear that I now can't go on a run without! I may not feel totally prepared mileage-wise for my personal Double Challenge next weekend, but I know that I can at least depend on my 2XU gear to get me through it! 

My 2XU is going to not only help me with this particular goal, but with any challenges and adventures I take on in 2016.

I highly recommend both the Hyoptik Jacket and the Movement Engineered 1/4 Zip for anyone looking for light layers for added warmth, and looking to invest in dependable gear for their New Years goals! 

Don't just take my word for it... check out my fellow BibRavePro Buds who also took part in this New Years 2XU campaign:

Katherine             Emily
   Heather               Chadd

Now... drumroll please... 2XU has been so kind once again that they've offered up a discount code to share with you! Use "RUN20" for 20% off your order. (Code expires on 02/29/16 so stock up soon!)

I can't thank BibRave and 2XU enough for this opportunity to add essential gear to my closet! I'm ready to take 2016 by storm. Who's with me?! What are YOUR New Years Goals?


  1. As someone who's completed a few ultras, I can say that back-to-back challenge is the perfect training. Have fun!

  2. You are kicking butt and taking names! Love both of your 2XU pieces and adding them to my 'must-buy' list :)

  3. Nice ! I found your site very beautiful and distinguished too. Thank you for your good work and continue.
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  4. For safety purposes, high visibility Safety vest and Reflective tape are going to make you far more visible.


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