During the Leopard Run recce Seamus Allardice put First Ascent’s new X-Trail range of trail running gear to the test. Here’s his run down on the 2019 product range.

First Ascent’s X-Trail range is specifically intended for trail running.

Hush Minimalist Pack

R899 | Shop Online

Comfortable and snug fitting, thanks to two adjustable chest straps and finely tuneable shoulder straps, the Hush Minimalist Pack is trail running vest-style pack. It features a mesh pouch, with an elasticated toggle, on each shoulder strap – which is perfect for storing First Ascent’s 300ml Soft Bottles. In the main body of the pack, which sits high up on your back, it features a small zippered pouch for valuables, and a larger mesh pouch for food and emergency gear – like the First Ascent X-Trail Jacket. Plus of course the slot for a hydration reservoir of up to two litres in capacity, which takes the Hush Pack’s fluid carrying capacity up to 2.6 litres – more than sufficient for even the longest stretches between water points.

First Ascent’s X-Trail Tee, X-Trail Shorts, X-Trail Edge Visor, Fusion Tee, Hush Minimalist Pack and Soft Bottles.

X-Trail 7” Shorts

R699 | Shop Online 

First Ascent’s men’s X-Trail shorts come in 5” and 7” lengths. The 5” versions feature a brief style inner liner, while the 7” versions boast full 7” inner tights. The 5” X-Trail shorts are comfortable and provide ease of movement but the 7” X-Trail shorts are without a doubt the most comfortable shorts we’ve ever ran in. The long inner eliminates chafe by moving with your body while the external shell of the shorts slides friction free over the inners while you run. For long days in the mountain they are highly recommended.

The X-Trail 7″ Shorts are exceptionally comfortable.

X-Trail Tee

R559 | Shop Online

Highly breathable the First Ascent X-Trail Tee is the garment you need in your wardrobe for a long, hot, day on the trails. The form fit cut eliminates excess material to flap about and cause chafing while the simple dark colours are elegantly stylist.

The X-Trail Tee is available in Navy Blue or Granite (as pictured).

X-Trail Edge Visor

R279 | Shop Online

Given Seamus’s recently shaven head the X-Trail Edge Visor was the one item he didn’t put to the test during the Leopard Run recce. He chose instead to run the long mountain day in the wide brimmed First Ascent Dundee Hat. The Edge Visor it must be said though is light and with a fold line down the centre of the peak it is designed to stow away inside a pack should you start the run without a hat but need one later in the day.

Due to the long day on the trail and his recently shaven head Seamus chose to rather wear the First Ascent Dundee wide brimmed hat on Day 2.

Fusion Tee

R549 | Shop Online

Though not as good at keeping you cool as the X-Trail Tee the Fusion Tee is made from a silky smooth fabric which is exceptionally comfortable. When wearing a hydration pack over it, with a heart rate monitor strap under the tee, it proved comfortable throughout a long six hour day on the trails. What more can you ask for from a tee? It along with the X-Trail 7” Shorts are our top picks from the Leopard Run gear test.

The Fusion Tee was, along with the X-Trail 7″ Shorts, the most comfortable item of First Ascent gear used on the trip.

Soft Bottle

R159 | Shop Online

These BPA free Soft Bottles are a must have for any sportsman or woman. They are not just great for trail runners; we’ll definitely be using them rather than standard hard plastic extra bottles on bike rides, when it’s necessary to put an extra bottle in your back pocket. On the trail they are easy to drink from when stored in the Hush Pack’s front pouches and easy to pull out and refill at water points.

The First Ascent Soft Bottles are all round winners and great additions to any outdoorsman’s arsenal.