Cape Union Mart is one of those stores I stroll into every now and then just for a look and to try out some nifty equipment. As a reader of Country Life, I reckon a solid proportion of you feel the same about their outdoor clothing, gadgets and other gear. You’ll also appreciate my excitement to partner with Cape Union’s K-Way brand in my guise as #CountryRunner.
I’ll be testing a handful of K-Way products over the next two weeks, especially on my two days and 50km of trail running in the Northern Drakensberg early in October.
Currently finishing off my training on the Highveld, I’ve had a few outings with the shell jacket and hydration pack already. Of course, the mighty Berg will pose altogether more challenging conditions, but my initial assessment is an A+.
The K-Way Men’s Wiley Active Softshell Jacket, which sells for R699, is the sort of thing every runner needs. It’s windproof and sheds water – vital in the Berg, where weather changes on a dime.
I’ve also been impressed with the polyester and spandex mix, and what they call ‘four-way stretch for comfort and freedom of movement’. It’s hard to explain, but the… shall we call it “malleability” is strangely pleasing and the fabric is surprisingly breathable. An adjustable hem and elasticated cuffs mean the fit is superb, too.
I reckon this will be a winner on the trail and the mountain bike. It’s also handsome enough to be a go-to casual top.
The K-Way Dart Hydration Pack (R299) has the job of keeping me hydrated for an expected 6 hours each day in the Berg. As the name suggests, this is a stripped-down, lightweight model, designed to be fast.
There are no pouches and additional zips to add bulk, just the single pouch for a 2l water bladder. You can use the bungee straps to attach some extra items, but you’re better off using pockets in shorts and shirts.
Lashings of mesh offer very good ventilation (especially important on the shoulder straps, where traditional materials hang onto sweat) and the sternum strap makes it no problem to get the pack sitting precisely where you want it on your spine.
Follow Country Life’s very own #CountryRunner as he documents his attempt to finish the inaugural Run the Berg, 4-5 October, 2014.