New Balance Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip Review
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Looking for a running top that looks stylish and keeps you cozy and dry all throughout your run? The New Balance Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip just might be the top to do the trick. The top is a brushed-fleece, spandex-polyester blend that initially felt very thick and perhaps too warm for a cold-weather running top. I was surprised when I took it out on a few runs, mostly around 30-35 degrees, and was kept at just the right temperature. Despite the thick, fleecy feeling of the fabric (on the interior), it did breathe well and released just enough heat to keep me comfortable throughout my run. As stated on the label, the fabric wicked away moisture and kept my skin dry. The best part is that on the label it states the NB Heat Technology is derived from “eco-friendly coffee grinds”. I have no idea how they turned coffee grinds into this top, but it makes for interesting conversation nonetheless.
The Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip is semi-fitted and I feel runs true to size (offered XS to 2XL). The top offers thumb-holes, which are comfortable and are not too tight on the base of your thumb. The sleeve is cut a little longer, which provides additional hand warmth. The time I did wear the top with gloves, I was easily able to slip the thumb-holes over the gloves to lock in the heat. I also love that this top has a dropped back hem, which provides some additional warmth for your rear and made it look a little more stylish as well. There is a zippered-pocket on the right hip (at about elbow level) that is perfect for a key and a gel or two. It looked like it could hold a cell phone, so I tried to fit mine into the pocket with no such luck.
The top I tested was a deep purple with bright orange reflective trim. It is also offered in a teal or black with bright pink reflective trim, or a bright solid orange/coral. While I loved the color, my only wish is that it had extra reflectors on it since most of us, I assume, run in the dark this time of year. There are some small reflective elements on the forearm, but not enough for a nighttime run, in my opinion.
Overall, I think the New Balance Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip is pretty versatile and can take you from a chilly fall run to a frigid run in the snow with some additional layering. A long sleeve shirt underneath or as a base layer under a windbreaker or more substantial jacket would get you through most cold weather situations – all while looking cute and stylish at the same time! For more info on the Impact Thermal and other New Balance products, visit www.newbalance.com or www.amazon.com/newbalance.