Last updated: 16-Aug-18
By Dan Stinton
I may have had my head buried in the sand, or been looking the wrong way, but I wasn’t aware of the CRAFT brand. Perusing their website, they’ve been in the game for the last 40 years and have a large range of clothing on the UK site that covers running, cycling and leisure wear. This review is of three items from the Craft Breakaway range; Breakaway SS Tee (white), Breakaway Jacket (black) and Breakaway 2 in 1 shorts (all men’s).
Breakaway SS Tee £25
- 100% Polyester
- Lighter mesh under sleeves/sides
- Bright colour/design
Breakaway Jacket £55
- Lightweight jacket with mesh panels
- Vented back panel
- Two front zipped pockets
- Reflective trim on zip and sleeves
Breakaway 2 in 1 shorts £30
- Lightweight with inner tights
- Reflective trim
- Back zipped pocket
Pros: What’s good about the Craft Breakaway range?
The first thing that jumped out to me about both the Breakaway tee and jacket was the bright orange trim and branding which looks great and really stands out. Whilst loitering around the end of a parkrun recently two people asked me about the jacket which never normally happens, so clearly the Craft design team have done something right.
The Breakaway jacket is predominantly black (also available in blue), with a bright orange front zip along with two zipped pockets at the front. The pockets are generously sized and whilst you could fit even a reasonably large smartphone in the lower pocket it would probably end up bashing against your chest.
The side panels are mesh along with a back vented panel. I didn’t notice at first as it’s quite subtle but the end of the sleeves bulge out slightly at the wrist which leaves more room for your GPS watch – a great feature! I don’t generally run in a jacket as I get too hot but this is soft and comfortable and vented in all the right places.
The tee is a mesh construction with a lighter mesh under the sleeves that continues down the sides. The Craft logo, made up of a number of orange dots, is boldly printed on the front. It’s comfortable to wear on long runs and the mesh seems to work well at regulating temperature.
The shorts come in a single colour (black) with an inner compression-type layer that’s just slightly longer than the outer-short. I much prefer this to the “briefs” style-inner in other shorts, especially for long-running. They’re a soft lightweight material with a handy zipped pocket directly on the back of the shorts which could hold a couple of gels or a small mobile phone. Thin reflective bands are printed down each of the legs along with a small Craft logo, but oddly not in the orange used for the rest of the range.
Cons: What’s not so good about the Craft Breakaway range?
Both the tee and jacket really suited me. I think they’re well designed, and the simple use of colours helps them stand out. The shorts on the other hand, whilst comfortable in use, just don’t have the same visual impact. I’m surprised Craft didn’t use a similar orange trim or print to make it feel like part of the range.
I would generally use the jacket pre/post run rather than during as I’d usually just wear a long sleeve top if needed rather than two layers, but this is down to personal preference.
Size-wise I went for medium for all, but the shorts are, how do I put it, on the “close-fitting” edge of the spectrum. This isn’t a negative per se but choose your sizes carefully. I’m a 32” waist and a large would have been a more suitable fit. Checking the Craft UK website the size chart page doesn’t appear to work, but obviously this is something that can be easily corrected, and hopefully will have been, by the time this review is published.
I really like the Breakaway range. I think it performs well and looks good to the extent it was commented on at a parkrun which is a first for me. The shorts don’t really have much visual impact so don’t really feel like part of the same range but I do like the inner lining compared to other similar length shorts. Price wise, it’s not the cheapest kit but is decent value and generally seems comparable to a lot of the big brands.
Others you may want to consider:
There are so many brands out there it’s difficult to choose some comparable tees and shorts, but some other jackets to consider are the OMM Sonic Smock or Inov-8 AT/C Windshell.
About the writer: Dan is a Peak District based runner who once ran a 50km race in the wrong direction, he likes nothing more than escaping into the Dark Peak and then writing about how difficult it was at www.allhailthetrail.co.uk
All images Dan Stinton.
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