Forcing Spring/La Sportiva Task Hybrid Jacket Review

 Enjoying the moody sky, on a warm-ish afternoon. Look ma, no hat!

Enjoying the moody sky, on a warm-ish afternoon. Look ma, no hat!

Spring has sprung, in some parts of the world. Here in Mazama, it's dumping snow as I write this, but we've had some warmer afternoons that have inspired me to find some dirt to run on. I've been doing much more skiing this year than running, which has been fun, but I do miss the simplicity of running. When March hits, I get spring fever; or maybe I like doing a sport I'm better at...

 about 2 minutes into our run

about 2 minutes into our run

In any case, the sun was out, dogs and I were hankering for a run, and I knew some roads had melted out. Melted out, yes. Dry? Not by any means: mud season has begun.

It felt pretty warm as I got out of the truck, but not warm enough to go without a hat and jacket. Since I didn't have a hat, I was glad to have the hooded La Sportiva Task Hybrid jacket, but figured I'd get too hot, since it has a light primaloft layer in the front. Instead, I forgot I had it on, in the best way possible: it's light enough that I didn't feel it at all; the fit is perfect ensuring no weird rubbing or bunching, even with the hood on and it zipped all the way up (creating a balaclava); and it's noiseless, something my sensitive ears really appreciated. Then, when the weather turned as it almost certainly does this time of year, I was perfectly comfortable, despite the wind and cold.

Other features I dug:

Fuzzy, fleece-lined pockets

  • The jacket stuffs into said pocket
  • Long zipper pull, with a tab. That doesn't seem like a big deal, but I hate futzing around trying to find where to pull the zipper, especially with gloves.
  • Long enough in the torso and arms. I am often between a small and medium, but with the European sizing (read small), the medium fit perfectly, even with longer appendages, without being loose. This is the first jacket that I haven't wished had some other fit in at least one part of my body.
 A new mainstay in my running pack-perfect for long adventures when the weather turns awry.

A new mainstay in my running pack-perfect for long adventures when the weather turns awry.

 What happened to the sun?! Hood to the rescue.

What happened to the sun?! Hood to the rescue.

Technically this is a skimo jacket, and I can see how it would be awesome if you're getting after it at a race or a hard workout. I should know better than to try to force anything, especially when it comes to nature so with all the new snow, I'll likely submit to skiing again and try it in that capacity. The climb I did in the middle of the run certainly will be more fun to ski than run, and it's looking like a backyard powder day is coming soon.

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 Happiness is a husky or two sliding around in the snow; just ask these two.

Happiness is a husky or two sliding around in the snow; just ask these two.

Comment /Source

Alison Naney

Owner, RRCA Certified Running Coach, NCSA Certified Personal Trainer, and Licensed Massage Therapist

Growing up amid the wheat fields of eastern Oregon, Alison was drawn to open spaces and went to college in Montana where she could ski, backpack, rock climb, and mountain bike with abandon. Majoring in Environmental Studies furthered her connection to the mountains and when she ran her first trail race in 2000, she was hooked: to traveling more miles with a lighter load; helping protect the landscapes she loves; and exploring the connection between her body, movement and the natural world. 

After college, she started running ultras and made her way to Seattle where she worked at Seattle Running Company, where she loved introducing others to the trails by leading group runs and coaching youth and adult programs. Massage school seemed to be a natural choice from there, where she continued exploring how the body moves, and how to take care of it to run long-term. Armed with her license, the mountains drew her to the Methow Valley on the east side of the North Cascades. There, she began her private practice, coached runners, and taught others how to run in a way that didn’t hurt. After another brief stint in Seattle, she’s excited to be back in the Methow, helping runners of all backgrounds and locales find new limits and accomplish their goals.

Alison has been a competitive ultrarunner for fourteen years, and coach for ten. Her holistic approach combines her keen eye for how the body moves, her knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and her vast running experience. She loves working closely with her athletes to see them find new confidence in their running and beyond. She can be found running for hours with her husband and Husky in the nearby Cascades and can be reached at alison@cascadeendurance.com.