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April 27, 2015 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

Mothers Day Must Haves!




Brooks Logo



Ladies, we have all had those days where spandex is just not our friend.  The PureProject short-sleeve running shirt from Brooks could be your new BFF. It’s a relaxed fitting, yet flattering shirt that is lightweight and highly functional. The fabric is super comfortable and smooth and leads us to believe it would not snag like some tech shirts. It flows and breathes very well. The hems are all flat lock heat sealed so really high quality and smooth. A nice open yet modest, attractive neckline and two tone color design with several reflective patches.

Brooks PureProject short sleeve

Brooks PureProject SS  II

The shirt runs true to size and is more fitted in the chest and arms. It may be a little snug for someone with large arms.  Regrettably, many running shirts feel like either a belly shirt or a sundress. The shirt has found a nice compromise of length, that most running shirts lack. With an apparent flared waist look, the PureProject looks very flattering once on.

Some things to consider for this wonderful shirt are hydration packs and coverage during hotter weather. The PureProject SS did bunch up under a hydration pack, however it was barely noticeable and did not impede performance or comfort.  It would not deter us from choosing this shirt for any run or workout though. We also love a good tan line as much as the next person, and usually go for tanks as the weather warms up, but we really appreciated the sleeves on this shirt helping us not have to deal with extra sunscreen or missing a spot.  It’s been nice to cover and protect the chest and shoulders that are such a high impact area for the sun. And hey, the sleeves save us another day from shaving. A win win for these moms.

Brooks Cairn(1)





Pandana Logo



Head wear can be a real challenge for moms. Our ladies were super excited to get their heads into some Pandana Headwear. As functional and nice quality as many of their competitors, the Pandana brand has really designed some attractive pieces that we thought the moms in the TAUR community would like. Similarly, they are seamless and can be used in almost 20 different ways.

Pandana Headwear

Pandana Headwear


Not only did these perform in a variety of conditions, from cold snow storms, to hot desert runs, but Pandana helped our lady testers look good while running. The Pandana headwear is made of a lighter weight material.

I really loved it! The print was insanely cute! – Tester

Pandana Cairn(2)







Sporteer Logo



Sporteer Armbands now come in an attractive pink and black. Our testers were really impressed with the quality and the comfort of the armbands. Some of the smaller female testers were even happy to report that the SporteerArmbands fit snugly on their arms without undesired bouncing or jostling. The Classic Armbands were however difficult to access while on the run. Despite phones getting larger, the armbands did an excellent job carrying a phone on short runs.


Sporteer Armband & Waistband

Sporteer Armband & Waistband


However, our testers were quick to choose the Sporteer Waistband over the Armband. The waistband was easy to adjust, never bounced and very conveniently carried a key or nutrition. Neither the Armband or the Waistband had any wear issues and meet the expectations of all of our female testers. Certainly, a great gift for any mom who enjoys taking the phone along for a shorter trail or road run.

Sporteer Cairn(3)




Avex Logo




Avex Brazos Autoseal


The Avex Brazos Autoseal bottle is an easy to drink from BPA free bottle for everyday life and just plain staying hydrated. There is nothing worse then a dehydrated mom on the run. This water is very convenient to carry with a discrete handle. Our testers, took the Avex Brazos Autoseal bottle on hikes, stroller walks, and just around town and never spilled a drop. It is great for kids and has a sanitary spout cover helping to prevent germs. Our only feedback is that we would love to see Avex Brazos Autoseal bottle come in a larger size.

Avex Cairn(4)












Balega makes an extremely comfortable sock. All of our testers loved these socks. Each sock was made of soft fabrics, that performed at high levels. Not only did the testers love the functionality, performance and durability of Balega socks, but they loved the aesthetics of them also, sadly, the Balega website does not do the socks justice.

Our favorite of the Balega socks was the Second Skin and Enduro socks. The included intentionally designed elements such as breathable mesh panels for ventilation and ribbed top panels for comfort.


Balega Cairn(5)






Injinji Logo


TAUR testers were able to put their feet on a variety of Injinji socks this spring. Socks ranged from the Trail, Run, Womens Run, and Compression 2.0. Every tester agreed, no matter the sock, that the Injinji was a very comfortable sock that performed well and prevented blisters. Regrettably, 3 out of 4 of the testers all agreed that putting Injinji socks on was very difficult and the only area that the TAUR rating dropped.

Injinji has released a wide variety of color schemes in their sock lines and they are a welcome addition to these innovative socks. Not only highly functional as running socks, Injinji has improved an already stellar sock. We are happy to recommend these as a fun and functional Mother’s Day Must Have.


Injinji Compression

Injinji Compression


My favorite sock ever. On one pair of socks I have at least 250 miles. Still going strong. No blisters and no hot spots. – Tester


Injinji Cairn(6)





Hydrapak Logo



Collapsible bottles are all the rage right now, so TAUR needed to get their hands on the most durable ones on the market. Hydrapak’s SoftFlask is a nice hydration option for those runners getting away from the hard water bottles. Moms can get these SoftFlasks in 350, 500, and 750 ml, as well as in orange, gray and white. The TPU is extremely durable and flexible. Our testers used these on short and long runs, hikes with the kids and around town. The nozzles took some time to become acquaintanced with, but worked perfectly. Water flow was optimal and leaking was not observed. Most testers did not use the nozzle covers or finger loop attachments.


Hydrapak SoftFlask


“The SoftFlasks worked really well. It helps to not have water sloshing around all over the place inside a plastic bottle.” – Tester


Balega Cairn(5)






Montane Logo

If you really love your mom, the Montane VIA Trail Series Trailblazer Stretch jacket will be the gift that keeps on giving. It is a cut above the rest in quality, construction, fit, and functionality. As a running jacket, it fits very comfortably in a variety of conditions and temperatures. The advanced four-way stretch material is durable yet flattering. It’s a very lightweight jacket that holds up very well to being stuffed into a hydration pack for many miles before use and still lays very flat when put on again. The stitching and seams down the back lay flat and stay down when arms are raised to help keep layers underneath dry and warm.

This jacket worked very well over both a light long sleeve layer and a thicker layer or sweatshirt for colder temperatures. The sleeves are longer than average, providing better coverage for the hands and in some cases eliminating the need for gloves. The adjustable hood has a built-in moldable brim to help keep rain out of your face, and when fully zipped, the collar sits high over the face eliminating the need for an additional neck gaiter. The pockets are deep making it easier to stash gear without causing the jacket to bulge out, and the tall zippers make it easy to access the pockets on both sides. All around this jacket is an incredible outer layer addition to the runner’s closet for both winter and spring runs.


Montane VIA Trail Series Trailblazer Stretch Jacket

Montane VIA Trail Series Trailblazer Stretch Jacket


A note on the care of this jacket: it washes well, but it is recommended that it be hang-dried inside out (after washing OR just wearing for a sweaty run) to allow the waterproof lining to air out properly each time it’s used.

Montane Cairn(8)

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