A Review of SKINS™ A400 Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the SKINS™ A400 3/4 Skyscraper Compression Tights  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

I love running in all things compression. I have a plethora of compression running sleeves and socks and have come to love running in compression tights just this last year.   SKINS™ manufactures all kinds of compression gear from bras to shirts to shorts to tights. What started in 1996 as an idea by an Aussie skier for better, longer performance has not grown into a multi-national company with over 160 products.

I had the opportunity to test out the A400 Skyscraper 3/4 Compression Tights. I personally like the 3/4 length because it’s perfect for our warm climate in Louisiana. I rarely have the need to wear full tights unless I’m traveling or racing further up north. We just don’t get that cold. I was a little leery about testing these out in September and October since we are always still in the upper 80s and 90s then. But one of the first things I noticed was how thin and lightweight the tights are. They didn’t feel overly hot when I got them on but they still offered a good amount of compression. This is due to their “ADAPTIVE Technology” which is supposed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. I did not ever feel like I was overheating wearing these.

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I logged a couple of long runs and several short tempo runs in these and they really felt great. I really liked the wide waistband and higher rise to help tame my muffin top and support my abdominal muscles. The bonded hems and flat seams did not rub or chafe anywhere. The compression technology is supposed to minimize muscle vibration and drive more oxygen to your muscle which results in improved performance. I definitely felt the support from the calves all the way to my lower back and abs.

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I’ll break down the Pros and Cons for these tights.

Pros:

  • Thin material and lightweight so they’re great for warmer climates.
  • High rise really helped support my abs and lower back and tamed some of my middle area squishy bits.
  • I felt they offered a really good amount of compression. I definitely felt more supported and had less muscle vibration (or jiggling).
  • The flat seams and bonded hems were great. No chafing and no rubbing at all.
  • Reflective print on the side. This was an added bonus. I like running clothing that ads on reflective print. This is especially important with black tights.
  • The gusset design in the waistband is genius. It really improved the comfort and stretch and support all around the waist. No binding or pinching or rolling.

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Cons:

  • No key pocket. This bugs me. Most of their other models have a key pocket built in. For some reason the Skyscraper does not. I almost always run outside a few miles from home. I need a place to put my car key. I had to have my friend carry it for me a couple of times.
  • They can be a little see-through. These are not for the modest or for wearing wild undies underneath. Because they are thinner material they are a little transparent, especially in the booty as they stretch out. Just know this. I wore a long shirt and didn’t really care.

Overall I really liked these tights. I think they are a great addition to my training gear and will be usable year-round for me. I think the design was well thought out and executed.

If you would like to try out a pair of SKINS™ Compression tights you can save 20% off your order with code BIBRAVE20 through October.

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5k Crate Runner Subscription Box Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the 5k Crate Runner Subscription Box  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

These days I think there’s a subscription box for everything: beauty, clothes, kids,  science for kids, dogs, cats, wine…you name it, there’s a subscription for it! I’ve seen several subscription boxes being advertised for runners as well. The reviews on some of them have not been too good. The boxes are often filled with random energy bars and gels and not much else. Well, this is NOT the case for 5k Crate. This box was crammed packed with some really, really cool runner gear.

First,  a little about 5k Crate. It’s a quarterly subscription service with each box designed specifically for runners. The subscription costs you $59.99 a quarter and they send you gear specified to your gender and size. You get 4 to 6 handpicked items each quarter and the shipping is free.

The gear in this quarter’s box did NOT disappoint. Inside the box there were:

  • A women’s Mission Vaporactive Alpha Short Sleeve V-neck T-Shirt – in my specified size. And in my favorite color…PINK! I really liked this shirt. It was moisture wicking, thin, and not too tight and clingy. I can see it becoming a repeat in my weekly running apparel.  (Value $25)
  • A Mission HydroActive Cooling Towel – I have a couple of these and they’re really nice on the hot, hot summer days we have in the South. (Value $10 – $15)
  • A pair of Zensah Peek Running Socks – Loved these! Such a cute color and great fit. Love Zensah’s products. (Value $14)
  • A pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Our team had mixed reviews on these but I honestly loved them. They fit well in my ears and didn’t pop out. They connected really easily to my iPhone and the battery life was pretty impressive. The sound quality was really great as well. I was very impressed by these headphones and they’re quickly turning into my new faves. (Value $27)
  • Two Epic Wipes – There’s a reason they market these as “The Massive Wet Wipe” because these things are HUGE! You can seriously wipe down your entire body with one huge wipe. It felt AMAZING after a hot, sweaty run. I used one right before I had to run to the grocery store after a run and I felt amazingly refreshed and not quite so stanky. I can see these being very versatile. (Value $5)
  • Two La Fresh Travel Lite Sunnyside Lotion Wipes – I threw one in my backpack and one in my purse for emergency sunblock if needed. They are each SPF 30. (Value $1)

As you can see there is well over $80 is merchandise and gear in the box and all of it is very relevant to any runner.  I liked everything that came in the box. You can get a little better view of everything in the box on my “unboxing” video below.

Valentine’s Day Gifts Full of Runner Love

While I love chocolate just as much as the next gal, I don’t particularly want a huge box of it, especially during marathon training which just so happens to fall during Valentine’s Day for me this year. I personally prefer more practical gifts, and if they are related to health and running then it’s a double WIN for me. I’ve compiled a nice little list of some of my favorite runner things right now that would go great in any runner Valentine’s Day basket or gift box.

Valentine's Day runner gifts

  1. 2XU Mid-rise Compression 7/8 tights – I love, love, LOVE these tights. They are seriously my new favorite pair of tights to run, walk, jump, lift, eat, or binge watch Netflix in. I did a full review of them here, but SERIOUSLY they feel like buttah when they’re on. They hold all your jiggly parts in and provide enough compression to keep you feeling fresh and spry on your long runs. And how SUPER CUTE is that pink X down the leg!?!? (they come in other colors too if you *gasp* don’t like pink). You can get 20% off your 2XU order through February 29th with the code Run20.
  2. Buff UV Headband – I really like this headband in Cail Pink.  Pink and paisley…what’s not to love?! Plus the Coolmax® Extreme fabric is so soft. It’s great for those ehrm…”I didn’t really feel like doing anything to my hair…not even brush it…shut up” days. You put this headband on and you look cool, stylish, and so not like you just rolled out of bed 10 minutes past your alarm clock.
  3. Oiselle Flyte Tank – I have a couple of these tanks and they are sooooo comfy. I really like the seamless construction and the fact that it’s made to fit loose, not sausage-casing-tight like a lot of running tops. It hides that little guilty cheeseburger pooch I have really well. Plus it’s longer than most of my other running tops so I don’t have to worry about it rolling or riding up to expose my underbelly.
  4. Perfect Bars – These bars are soooo yummy! They are perfect for pre-run fuel or just a middle of the day snack. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and full of complex carbs, protein and 20 nutrient dense super foods. They don’t mess with my tummy, which can be very sensitive to sugars pre-run. The almond butter ones are really good, or pick up a sample pack to try all the great flavors.
  5. 2Toms Sport Shield – I’ve recently been turned onto this stuff. It’s Ah-May-Zing. Seriously. I love that it rolls on for easy application and it isn’t heavy or overly greasy.  I’ve worn it through several long runs (even a recent 20 miler) with zero chafe or burn in my usual bra areas. It’s a must have for any runner’s bag. You can get 20% off any 2Toms order with the code 2Toms20 through April!
  6. xx2i Optics France1 Sunglasses – These sunglasses come in so many fun colors!! I LOVE them! I posted a full review on them here. Wearing sunglasses while I run is a must. Gotta protect my peeps. The xx2i ones are really lightweight and comfortable and fit my face well. I love their lifetime guarantee and the fact that you have a whole year to try them out and return them, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Great product. Great company. You can get 50% off your order right now with the code XX2iRocks.
  7. Running Princess Tiara Visor – I’m a sucker for a cute visor. I have this hat in both black and white. It’s one of my favorite running hats. It’s a Headsweats brand which means it’s super comfy and the tiara embroidery and rhinestone bling on the front make it girly fun. Every girl needs a tiara! I’ve washed these hats in the washing machine many, many times and they hold up really well. The rhinestones are still intact and the hat has held it’s shape well. I do air dry it though.
  8. Garmin fenix 3 – This is the QUEEN of all GPS fitness wearables right now. EVERY runner is lusting after this thing (including me). It pretty much does it all plus a bag of chips. It’s some serious runner tech. The runnerd in me squeals every time I see one. I could write love sonnets about this watch. One day you will be mine…one day.

Hope you enjoy this list of some of my favorite runner things any runner would love for Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter).

What are some of your runner gear lusts this year?

Father’s Day Runner’s Gift Guide

FD Gift GuideFather’s Day is next Sunday, June 15th! Scratching your head on what to get your Dad, husband, fur-baby-daddy? If he’s a runner, here’s a fun round up a few runner gift ideas with some excellent discount codes and specials.

1. A running hat from Headsweats. These are my ultimate favorite running hats. They are super lightweight, breathable and have a thin terrycloth sweatband on the inside. This is especially useful during the hot, super sweaty summer months. They have a cute Father’s Day line right now or I personally love the collegiate line. Get him a hat with his favorite college team’s logo on the front (Gig ’em Aggies!!). Right now get 25% off your purchase with the code DAD14.

2. A Road ID bracelet with a cool #1 Dad Badge from Road ID. I will not go out for a run or walk without my Road ID. I always feel so much more comfortable knowing that (heaven forbid) if I get injured or pass out, emergency personnel will know who to contact. I got Mr. Z one for Christmas too and he wears his 24/7 since it displays his penicillin allergy. I want to get him the #1 Dad badge to put on it too! Right now get 10% off your purchase with the code DGUYW2RGX8FS.

3. Thorlos Experia socks from Thorlos. These are my go-to socks for running. I turned my husband onto them and I swear he can never have enough. They are sweat wicking with thin uppers and a moderate amount of padding on the sole of the foot. I wear these daily and they are so comfortable. Right now buy 3 get 1 free on their website.

4. A race entry into a local or virtual Father’s Day race. We have a couple of local 5k races going on around here on Father’s Day weekend. You could sign your guy up for a surprise local race or Will Run For Bling has a cute Father’s Day virtual race going on benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. Sign up, choose and run your distance of 5k, 10k, or half marathon and they will send you the cute race medal shown above!

5. A #1 Runner Dad mug or glass from Gone for a Run. Now really, Gone for a Run has SO MANY cute Father’s Day gift ideas that it’s hard to narrow them down. They have cute runner dad coffee mugs, beer mugs, t-shirts, picture frames, medal holders…etc., etc. I also like their Run Your State tees. Really cute. Just do a search for “Dad” at the top of their site and all of the cute Father’s Day stuff pops up. Right now get 10% off your order when you sign up for their newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the page).

6. An athletic bag from Apera Bags. I love, love, LOVE my Active Pack from Apera. My husband has been eyeballing it enviously. He is in desperate need of a new gym bag, so guess who’s getting a brand new duffle!!? 🙂 I cannot brag enough about these bags. They are so well thought out for the athlete and traveler. The bags have tons of useful pockets and are very roomy without being bulky or heavy. Right now Apera is running two specials: All blue bags are 40% off or receive 20% off your order of any other items with the code SUMMER2014.

These are just a few, quick suggestions for some fun running and workout gear for your guy. Hope this gives you some good ideas. Have a great day and keep on moving!