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The travel kit list: essential trail running gear for 2021

Whether you’re ascending a mountain trail or jogging through rocky forest tracks, keep gaining ground with kit that’ll keep you protected from the elements.

By Nora Wallaya
Published 15 Apr 2021, 08:00 BST, Updated 6 Jan 2022, 16:24 GMT
Left to right: Garmin Enduro GPS Multisport Watch, Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover, New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6.

Left to right: Garmin Enduro GPS Multisport Watch, Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover, New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

1. Garmin Enduro GPS Multisport Watch

After a surge in interest in trail running in 2020, Garmin has introduced this sophisticated smartwatch that delivers specialised features in spades: a solar-charging lens for enhanced battery life outdoors (up to 80 hours in GPS mode), precise GPS even in remote locations, VO2 max tracking, upcoming climb insights and ascent planning, rest timers and recovery data. RRP: £799.

2. Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover

Designed specifically for the, at times, chillier climes of mountain running landscapes, this lightweight pullover is fast-drying, breathable and comes with longer sleeves to cover over your hands. Plus, it’s water-repellent, and packs small — easy to stow away in your pack. RRP: £100.

3. New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6

They’re supportive, lightweight, and have enhanced foam cushioning, a reinforced toe box and laser perforations for extra breathability. RRP: £125.

Left to right: Salomon Adv Skin 12 Trail Running Pack, Merrell Agility Peak 4, Icebreaker Cool-Lite Merino Impulse Running Shorts.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

4. Salomon Adv Skin 12 Trail Running Pack

With integrated, easy-access soft-flask hydration packs and 12 litres of space for belongings, this pack allows you to run for longer far more comfortably. The snug and adjustable fit allows you create a shape that works for your own body — helping to eliminate chafe and increase stability. RRP: £125.

5. Merrell Agility Peak 4

With a glove-like fit, these cushioned trail runners are flexible yet stable and sturdy, with enhanced grip for rocky terrain or wet surfaces and a foam midsole for light-weight comfort. RRP: £120.

6. Icebreaker Cool-Lite Merino Impulse Running Shorts

The lightweight running shorts are made using a cool, breathable blend of merino wool and a fabric made using wood fiber, with fast moisture-wicking to keep you dry. They don’t crease and have a water-repellent finish to keep you protected from light rain. RRP: £60.

Left to right: On Cloudultra, Nike AeroBill Tailwind Running Cap, Beats Powerbeats Pro.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

7. On Cloudultra

Designed to tackle even the toughest terrain in comfort, these new trail runners feature the Swiss brand’s pioneering technology that relieves foot swell with a nifty adjustment tool on the laces. RRP: £160.

8. Nike AeroBill Tailwind Running Cap

The running cap has an adjustable fit, with moisture-wicking to keep sweat out of your vision, while laser perforations at the sides enhance breathability, keeping you cool. Made using up to 50% recycled materials. RRP: £23.

9. Beats Powerbeats Pro

A perennial favourite, these earphones deliver powerful sound, wirelessly, and with great battery life — up to nine hours of listening time. The adjustable, hooked design helps the earphones remain comfortable and, importantly, stable during your run, even on the bumpiest terrain. They’re sweatproof and water-resistant, too. RRP: £220.

Discover more recommended kit for travellers

Published in the May 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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