When I wake up early in the morning to run as the sun rises I want my resolve to be fit and healthy to rise as well. For years runners, and athletes of all sorts, have known that better equipment leads to better results. And as technology continues to seep into athletic and fitness products, I’m excited about discovering and testing the best new gadgets available to me that can help me be more awesome.
That’s why I rock an Apple Watch (the best smartwatch on the planet, including for fitness), don JBL Synchros Reflect-I in-ear headphones (the best workout headphones for under $60) and sport the Brooks Launch 2 running shoes (seen by many runners as the best jogging shoe around).
As you can see I’m always on the lookout for new technology that can make running more enjoyable or can help me perform at my peak. And for the last two weeks I’ve been testing two new garments which will become permanent pieces of my stash of running gear/gadgets: the Vaiden Triton long-sleeved shirt and Heliosphere light jacket.
Let’s talk about the technology that is packed into these clothes.
The most interesting technology found in Vaiden products is the Astronaut Head Management system which makes used of Thermocules to store and release heat at optimal times. So lets say you’re working out and it’s hot: the Thermocules will keep you cooler. When your workout ends, the Thermocules will release that heat that was stored during your workout back to you in order to keep you warm (or at your optimal temperature) at just the right time.
I found that the Thermocules did work as described. But, while I certainly stayed cooler during my runs while wearing the Triton, the heating wasn’t released back to me right on cue when I stopped running and sat down. It seemed to take 5-10 minutes to really kick in, which makes sense given your body actually needs to start cooling down in order for the material to “realize” it needs to stop absorbing heat and start releasing it.
Athletes stink. It’s a rule. When you sweat you smell — and so does whatever you happen to be wearing. That’s where Vaiden’s Silver Ion Technology comes in; it helps to kill bad odors (and odor generating bacteria). And ya, it works. I could wear the Triton for several days at a time before being able to sense a terrible odor without actively trying to sniff my clothes. Still, it doesn’t eliminate odors: if I tried to find an odor after just one run I could, but it was faint and hardly noticeable. The point is, odor from sweat is drastically, noticeably reduced.
Like many workout clothes, Vaiden clothes are moisture wicking. This feature, I can say, works well without a doubt. While my head was dripping beads of sweat down past my eyes, my chest and back seemed quite dry throughout my runs — unlike when a tee shirt is worn and, depending on the wearer and the activity, can get soaked.
The Vaiden clothes are very light, which is appreciated (and touted as a factor). While you could run without your shirt on (guys), which would be lighter, technically, it would also defeat the purpose of being able to cool off and warm back up. So I would say that the benefits of wearing the clothes outweighs not wearing them; they are so light you will hardly care.
And then things like Flat Lock Seams, 4 Way Stretch fabric and Locking Zippers add additional toughness to the garments.
As I’ve been testing the Triton during my normal morning running routine, the temperature has consistently been in the 50’s and 60’s — not very humid. Had I been wearing a tee shirt I would’ve probably sweat enough to get it pretty wet, which of course means it would be pretty cold when I stopped running (I like to sit around a bit outside recovering rather than heading straight inside). After the cardio portion of my morning was done, I often continued wearing the Triton through my strength training exercises as well.
There are companies upon companies saturating the market with athletic/fitness apparel. One thing that Vaiden is doing different is pairing their clothing with apps/communities. The Vaiden app has built in social networking capabilities that let you connect with other athletes. It also lets you compete for a potential endorsement (cash prize) each month (which other users can vote for). Personally I didn’t get super into the Vaiden app because I don’t need that extra push (socially or monetarily) to do what I do — perhaps other people would really those carrots dangling in front of them though.
As it stands (and until/unless another product/company can unseat them), the Triton is the best running/workout shirt I’ve ever used. It’s light, comfy, dry and does keep me cool (and eventually warm). The Helioshere is also great for days that are a bit chillier. If you have the money to spend (i.e., you’re serious about your athletic/physical activity) I’d certainly recommend checking out Vaiden’s lineup.