Capsule Review: Asics Fuji Long Sleeve Half Zip Wind Shirt

Posted: 03/11/2013 in Review, Running
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the run up to the Jedburgh 3 Peaks Ultra Marathon, I figured that my warm layer would be rubbish in the wind, and that I didn’t want to add another layer as well in while I was trying to save space and weight. A last minute trip to the running shop to figure out if there was an alternative that might fit the bill.

The Asics Fuji LS 1/2 Zip top looked the biz. It’s a long sleeve warmer layer (tick), and the front panel and shoulders are made out of a wind-proof material without being a heavy waterproof. The lower arms are not wind proof, but are warm, and the ends are longer and shaped to fit over your hand with thumb loops. The back is the warm not-wind proof layer and a large mesh panel in between the shoulder blades to allow your back to breathe.

It comes in black, fluo-orange and a nifty blue.

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I got the blue.

Those little black triangles at the hips? They’re tiny mesh pockets, which it turns out are perfect for storing the packets from used gels. I made good use of those wee pockets during the Jedburgh Ultra.

The shoulders have a silicon patten on them, which I suspect is there to keep rucksacks steady and possibly to reduce wear to the shoulders? I was wearing my VCAC running vest over the top, so I can’t comment on how well or otherwise they work. There’s also a little hole to put a headphone cable through if you like that kind of thing. Whenever I’ve used headphones I’ve just passed them down the neck hole, which also makes stripping layers easier as you don’t need to un-thread cables.

Over the 38 miles of varied terrain, with rain, wind and hail, the top stood up to everything. It’s not waterproof, but I ran through light showers without noticing any damp, only resorting to my waterproof when it properly tipped down. I certainly didn’t have any problems with wind.

The hand cover things are great – I ditched my gloves pretty early on, and they kept my hands just that little bit warmer over the first few miles until I’d warmed up.

I’ve used it again for a shorter run, and coming over the top of the hill with the wind gale  in my face I didn’t get cold – I could feel the wind pushing on the front material, but none of it got through.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the top, I can’t find anything negative to say about it – it ticks all the boxes I wanted it for, and has a couple of little extras I wasn’t expecting (hand covers and those nifty little pockets). At £60, the price was a little rich, but I found the blue ones reduced for no apparent reason (and luckily I liked the blue). Saying which, and having had the chance to try it out, I reckon it’s worth the higher tag, as it ticks of warmer layer and wind top very nicely. It packs up smaller than my Nike Element top, and certainly deals better with rain.

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Comments
  1. This sounds good. I like the wind proof front and shoulders but breathability in the back. I know people who have jackets w/ the thumb loops and they love them. I usually wear a vest that allows me to zip up in the wind and un-zip in the sun. Also has big pockets.
    I’ll have to checl one of these out the next time I’m at the rnning store.

  2. Well worth a look – know what you mean about venting though, the top doesn’t have the longest of zips, but you can slide the sleeves up OK, which worked well for me – forearms are the radiators of the soul. 🙂

  3. Lorenzo says:

    Hi! I´m thinking about using this top for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Could it be used like a mid-layer or only a base layer since is very breathable? Thanks!

    • I use it as a mid layer – it’s most breathable in the back where there’s a mesh panel, then the arms which are like a usual long top – the front is made of coconut fibre and so far I’ve never felt a breath of wind through it – I think in strong winds in cold places you’d get chilly arms, but then I’d be putting a top layer on then anyway. You get more bang for your buck than an equivalent weight/volume top in my book.

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