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Runner Ideas

This page gives a sense of the back and forth we have in designing the Runner.  It's not really organized ... it mostly just presents the email back-and-forth, with most-recent notes first. A lot of ideas get tossed around and we would be happy to have more suggestions, or to know how people feel about ideas we have discarded (or adopted).

AS OF 4 MAY 2020:

Paul wrote:

I continue to consider the hood issue and just think if it's cold enough I need a hood, I would wear a merino base layer with a hood under this, so the jacket itself may not need a hood. I do love hoods, but I hate if they flop around while running, or if they block my view to the sides at all. It seems like a tough thing to work around honestly, a legitimately worthwhile and well-designed hood is difficult to find. 

I don't take as much on my runs as others I think, so I am not as concerned about pocket space but two napoleon pockets can't hurt, the problem is if the pockets are too low they will just bounce around. Here's my list of what I bring: 

No keys I leave those at the truck as I have a strong belief that keys and truck only have value when together if I lose them 20 miles out in the woods neither have value anymore haha
Headlamp is usually on my head or around my neck
Snack bar does go in a pocket 

Some tissue in case nature calls

Phone (this is a new addition as I have gotten older just in case it's needed, and for tracking purposes) 

I do see the purpose for more, but if I am going on an ultra run I would have a pack. I don't think the goal of this garment is to rid us of the need for a pack, like having a hydration pouch, and pockets for ponchos and trailmix seems like we're asking a lot from one article of clothing. Am I wrong in this sentiment? Are we building a do it all trail pack garment or just the best heavyweight cool weather top ever made? Like those built-in water reservoirs for running and cycling have to be skin tight so the bladder doesn't bounce around, I don't think this top will be designed to be skin tight. Sure it would be nice to have a superhuman garment that can do it all, but I don't think that's the goal, or highly marketable to be honest, how many people run over 20 miles regularly? I think the goal is utilizing the WW fabric and design to make the best running top out there that can be worn from 50-60 degrees down to zero, for one mile runs to ultras that last days. Their hunting tops don't have gun holders, ammo pouches, or built-in knife sheaths. Sorry if this sounds overly critical, I'm not trying to be negative, but I see this in my office all the time, we lose focus and try to do too much and there's value in focus and the KISS principle. 


Harald wrote:

Pondering about pockets, I made a list of what I usually carry on my runs and should thus find it's place in the pockets. Hydration excluded, very long runs where I put more gear in my pack or bumbag excluded.

Here's the list:

- keys
- paper tissues
- flashlight
- [very light Neck Gaiter]
- one of those cheapo plastic rain ponchos
- GORN (I think that's the proper term for "good old raisins and nuts". Please let me know if that's correct) or muesli bar
- watch cap / balaclava

I do not list gloves because I suppose our ideas will make them obsolete.

What do you think?


Harald wrote:

Hi all,

I like Jesse's suggestion.

Personally I prefer a hood (Ninja-Style), but a very high collar plus knitted hood makes me think again.

Aclima have a nice solution with their Warmwool Hood Sweater where they've basically sewn a balaclava to the back of the collar (it's also available in zipped form). It can be worn in several ways and works like a charm. Here's a link (sorry the text is in German):


Montura have coupled their short sleeve Trail Move Maglia with a kind of bolero (http://m.okmall.com/product/view.html?no=64085). Unfortunately it's no longer in production. I was talking to a guy wearing it during an ultratrail some years ago and he loved it.

What do you guys think of the pockets? I'd go for two large pockets, btw.

I'm uncertain about another idea I've kept in my mind since years: some sort of elastic storage (net, elastic straps....) on the shoulders.

Depending on how it's done it may interfere with the straps when running with a pack. On the other hand I consider it a convenient place to carry e.g. tissues or a hat (I put a small neoprene pouch on top of my racepack's shoulder strap years ago and ran every ultratrail since then like that).

@Jesse Is the Camelbak Racebak similar to what you have in mind regarding the space for a hydration bladder?


I'll check out the Wind Walker website, thank you for letting me know!

Looking forward to our dialogue, stay well!


AS OF 2 MAY 2020:

Jesse wrote:

Hi all,

A further idea about the hood: I also believe it is not necessary, but perhaps a knitted hood that could attach, similar in construction to the watch cap, would solve the weight issue.  

Another idea that has come to me over the last few weeks: what if the runner also has a detachable pouch on the upper back for a reservoir, big enough for a 3L?  Would this even work?  The idea of not having to wear a hydration pack, with the constricting straps on the shoulders and chest, sounds like a dream.  Perhaps it could attach with the same slot buttons as the hood.  Any ideas?

As for a draw string bottom, I also think it is unnecessary, the anorak bottom would be perfect.

The D-ring with webbing for the sleeves seems like a really good idea, easy to tighten and open.  It would be something to test out on the prototype.  This seems like the best idea so far to secure the sleeves.

Harald, thank you, the shirt took about 30 hours of hand sewing.  It has done a great job in the mountains and in the Grand Canyon.  The shoes are made by Wind Walker in Snowflake, Arizona.  They are custom made to my feet, based on a moccasin design.  The buttons on the side are made from antler.  Both farming and hiking seems to destroy shoes at an incredible rate for me, so far these have been fantastic, and during the 50 mile Grand Canyon hike I never even had a hint of pain in my feet.  You are welcome here, the mountains are rocky, remote, and high elevation (around 10,000 ft, 3000 meters).

Hope everyone is well, look forward to the continuing dialogue. ---- Jesse


AS OF 28 APRIL 2020: 

One last thing about a hood. I will say I love hoods. I try to buy my other running tops with hoods, but they are mostly ultralight 150g merino tops, so the hoods are featherweight. I do like the idea of having a hood on this, but not at the expense of it flopping around if it's too heavy, or if it will block any periphery view while running. I have a Brooks Notch Thermal [hoody] that has a great example of a great hood. It's light and low profile when I turn my head it turns with me instead of my head turning inside of it (crucial for running). When it's down it flops around but it's light enough it doesn't bother me. I think its the ideal hood, but not sure how to replicate that with a heavier, denser fabric. I'll say that I love this brooks [hoody] but I don't wear it a ton because it's synthetic, if this was merino or WW material it would be a great piece. The design on it is great, just wish it was wool. 


AS OF 27 APRIL 2020:

On Mon, Apr 27, 2020 at 2:17 PM Paul Ronto <paul@runrepeat.com> wrote:

Just thought I'd chime in after seeing these thoughts. I appreciate the conversation around this, always fun to think out loud about new products. 

One issue with sleeve retention system, WW has this on the Anorak already a strap and buttons, much like the pic of the Burberry trench shared above, and they are too heavy when running I think. I think a simpler, lighter option would be better, I think d-rings would be heavy as well and flop around a bit. 

As for the Napoleon pocket, I agree with this, there's one on the Anorak, and it's great. Big enough to fit my cell phone, discrete zipper too so it's fairly hidden. This is a good place to store things when running because they don't bounce as much as a pocket located down by the hem. 

There was a comment earlier about adding buttons to have a detachable hood. I don't know if a hood is needed on a runner. The stovepipe neck should come up high enough to warm the back of the neck and almost up to the ears, and most runners would wear a hat in my opinion if it's that cold vs a hood. The problem with a hood is it bounces around a lot when it's not in use, and it needs to be form-fitting to wear when running, like hooded long underwear. The hood on the Anorak is great, it's huge, but not ideal for running, it's not form-fitting, it flops around when up or down, and it blocks your vision when it's up. Newer activewear with hoods have much different hood designs these days that don't obstruct your view at all and fit much tighter to the head. 

I know we have some notes on some of this stuff that I think we discussed over the past few months, I'm not sure where we landed on the hem if a drawstring was ideal or not. I personally don't think a runner needs a drawstring hem since most of the time you get running items more form-fitting than big and baggy, and a drawstring can get caught in your thumbs when running, but open to hearing the arguments for the pros of one as well. There's no drawstring on the Anorak and I like it, it's also longer in the back which I like. I like the hem on the Anorak other then it feeling a little heavy, but I assume that's because it's like a 1'' hem, and could smaller/use less material to make the bottom not feel as weighted. 


On Mon, Apr 27, 2020 at 1:23 PM Harald Krauss <harald@das-lauferei.de> wrote:

Hi Ralph,

let me respond to Jesse's remarks:

- Sleeves:

I'm thinking along the lines of a strap around the wrist with two
D-rings to close (guess the images show what I have in my mind:
and for webbing / d-rings:

Velcro usually works fine, but I would rather have somethink that
doesn't catch the wool and won't scratch the skin. Should work fine when
on the move, what do you guys think?

- Napoleon pockets:

Ralph's got it, it's the kind of pocket which you open from the side
(please refer to this image:

- open hem

I may have misinterpreted what I read on the Runner's website "/Maybe
have knit-stretch ribs to keep bottom-sweep snug to the body when fully
zipped up?/". This conjured up the image of a bomber jacket's hem. I'd
rather have the option to keep it loose and pull it tight with a
drawstring of sorts. Techlite is easy to ventilate while running, I'm
almost constantly adjusting ventilation. However, as you point out, the
Runner won't need that many zippers as WeatherWool does have natural

@Jesse, you did a great job with your prototype, congratulations! It
would be fun to run in the hills together - your hills or mine? How
about both? What kind of shoes are do you wear in those pics?

@all what do you think about an online brainstorming session, e.g. via



Am 27.04.20 um 18:41 schrieb Paul Ronto:
> Ralph,
> Thanks for this update and introduction. I was just thinking of reaching
> out over the weekend, I was turkey hunting in my WW anorak which I love but
> it was a nice day out here in Colorado and it was a bit too warm for it as
> I like to move light and fast through the mountains.  So I'm still really
> enthusiastic about the runner, both for everyday running, but also for high
> aerobic mountain travel. I'm happy to be on the site that's no problem.
> Excited to continue brainstorming on this.

AS OF 26 APRIL 2020

> On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 8:27 PM <ralph@weatherwool.com> wrote:
>> Great to have you with us, Harald.  I'm hoping we can interact as a group,
>> and perhaps along with others, also.  One person I thought of, for example,
>> is Advisor Don Nguyen, who does some serious aerobic work.  If you can
>> think
>> of people who can help, that would be fine, although I think we need to
>> keep
>> the group fairly small or it will get crazy.
>> XXX wants to keep his name off the website, but is good to be part of the
>> discussion.  Have not heard from Paul yet.
>> Below is some input I got from Jesse this morning.  [Napoleon pockets, I
>> assume, are side-entry pockets.  Think of the standard portrait of
>> Napoleon,
>> with his hand entering a pocket on the front of his jacket.] --- Thanks
>> All!
>> -- Ralph
>> Hi Ralph,
>> Been reading over Harald's input and it shows he definitely a runner.
>> -The length of the zipper to the sternum is a great idea.
>> -I think his idea about the two D rings and the strap would hold up the
>> sleeves, but could the function be done while moving?  I suppose this is a
>> question for Harald.
>> -Also, what are napoleon style pockets?  I tried looking this up, but
>> couldn't find anything.
>> -His point about cold thumbs is also spot on, for me either the sleeve is
>> all the way covering my hands, or rolled up.  Especially in high elevation
>> (in the winter), my thumb is the first finger to get cold.
>> -Another question for Harald: I'm not sure exactly what he means by an open
>> hem, the Buffalo Systems Teclite shirt seems to have eight ventilation
>> controls.  Without really knowing how this works it seems like it creates
>> areas of weakness in the garment and possibly difficult to open/close while
>> running.  The way WeatheWool fabric naturally vents heat, in my opinion,
>> would likely replace the additional ventilation areas on that Teclite
>> jacket.
>> Thank you for adding Harald.  It would be fun to wear the Runner on a run
>> with him in the mountains.  Happy Spring!
>> Jesse