The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt Review
Many elite athletes toe the line in running skirts, including Rory Bosio, back to back winner of UTMB. She won last years’ race in TNF Eat My Dust Skirt. This season, the folks at The North Face have updated the Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt. The skirt has quickly worn and won its’ way to my running outfit rotation.
Storage, storage, and more storage
This season, it is quite apparent that many shorts and skirts are adding pockets for your gels, gadgets, etc. This is great to help reduce what you may have to carry if you like to utilize a hand-held to keep it simple and provides easy accessibility to must need items quite quickly. The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt, as its’ name suggests, is ready for the long haul with a zippered back pocket and kangaroo style pocket that runs the length of the back of the skirt, under the zippered pocket. You can use this kangaroo pocket for two separate items, as there are little openings on each side, or place a larger/longer item, such as a ultralight jacket along the entire length of the pocket. In the front waistband of the skirt, there is a envelope style pocket. The photos above depict the hidden bonus pockets within the boy-short liner.
I personally don’t like to have a lot of items around my waist, hence my love for running vests and packs. Therefore, I opted for utilizing the two small stash pockets and zippered pocket for my house key, keeping it pretty light. I elected to stash my jacket away in my pack, which is a must on these quick-weather changing Colorado spring days. I found the liner short pockets to be bothersome on hot days due to having “one more thing touching me while I’m on fire!” With that said, I tended to avoid these pockets unless the temps were more mild, and even then, just to be safe, I only stashed items such as salt/electrolyte tabs within them. But really, that is all personal preference. TNF provide many pocket opportunities, you simply need to figure out which ones will work for you. Frankly, it is nice to have options!
Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt Fabric and Fit
The Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt features a skirt length, from waistband to hem, of 13.5″. This may sound long when you compare it to your typical 3″ or 4″ inseam running short. Don’t be fooled, the length on a short is only the inseam, not the entire waistband to hem measurement. For instance, my TNF Better Than Naked Short (2014), features a total length of 12″, from waistband to hem. The Long Haul Skirt feels similar to a 3.5 to 4″ pair of running shorts, providing ample coverage, yet unrestricted leg movement.
TNF nailed it with the the integrated boy-short liner, as it doesn’t ride up or bind. The leg openings are designed to accommodate different leg circumferences without becoming too tight or loose. The liner is composed of a highly breathable polyester combination: 58% recycled poly and 42% FlashDry. The fabric is soft, not itchy, and dries quickly. Finally, someone decided that placing a white crouch liner was not what we (most women) wanted to see; TNF utilized gray fabric in this area.
The outer fabric of the Long Haul Skirt, excluding the waistband, is a lightweight polyester diamond ripstop. As its’ name suggests, it is designed to withstand run-ins with bushes, trees, rocks, etc. The outer is so light that you forget that you are wearing a skirt overtop the boy-short liner.
A wide, soft waist band with internal drawstring rounds out the list of fit features. The waistband is comfortable and the drawstring is easy to adjust, and is also soft to prevent chafing. I must apologize in advance, sorry for the belly shot that you are about to see. I wanted to show the delineation between the waistband fabric, which is composed of heavier polyester and elastane blend, and the body of the skirt. This material helps to anchor the skirt to your hips when the pockets are fully loaded.
The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt runs true to size, is available in XS to XL for retail price of $65
On my first spin with The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt, I ran 14 glorious miles. I told my running partner that I felt like I was stronger with the skirt on and giddy with the new gear. I wouldn’t say the skirt made me run faster, it was simply so comfortable, breathable, and dare I say it, “cute”. The North Face website currently has the Better Than Naked Long Haul Skirt in solid black, as well as a purple and black combo. Check back in a few weeks to see the new spring 2015 color palette.