Words by Hannah Campbell
The Nucleus has been my go-to for just about everything this winter. I’ve been using and abusing it for the last three months and it has fast become my favourite piece. It’s comfortable enough to wear all day when I’m at work but has also become my go-to layer for winter running. It’s surprisingly tough – I’m not known for my ‘uneventful’ runs and I quite often take a tumble or have to fight my way through brambles, but the Nucleus has performed superbly no matter what I’ve thrown at it! It works well as a stand-alone piece over a base layer on calm, cold runs but also layers up really easily when the weather turns rough.
What is it made from?
The Nucleus is made using a stretch fleece called Thermic. I’ve never owned any pieces that use Thermic, but I’ve been really impressed with this! It wicks away sweat really well, even when I’m wearing a running pack loaded with food and layers and it’s surprisingly tough. It hasn’t bobbled anywhere and as I mentioned earlier, it’s able to handle a good beating, even when pushed past it’s intended limits. It does all this whilst maintaining a soft, snuggly-like feel. When you look on the inside of the jacket you’ll see a series of ‘bobbles’ – I’ve found that those bobbles are really effective at trapping all-important heat around my body, even in freezing temperatures; but it also allows me to dump excess heat when I’m running up mountains meaning I don’t have to stop and take layers off – It’s truly a piece I’m comfortable wearing from car to peak to pub.
The pockets are a really generous size and, due to them being mesh lined, double up as vents when I need to dump excess heat quickly. The hood is neat, simple and fits under a helmet or a headtorch really easily and doesn’t get itchy or irritating even after I’ve sweated into it for a couple of hours. The flatlock seams throughout the jacket also mean that I don’t get any rubbing or chaffing even when I’m wearing a pack or a harness.
How does it fit?
The Nucleus is a close-fitting piece; it’s tailored to the curves of your body without being restrictive. Thermic is also stretchy so the jacket really moves with you – I found it still kept my lower back protected when I was climbing and running without needing to have a big drop hem. I’m 5’1”, weigh about 50kg and I wear a size XS – I have noticed that a lot of jackets come up much too long in the body for me cus I’m so short, but this was perfect – a little longer so I was still protected but not so long that it was irritating or adds excess weight to the garment. It also layers really easily – the stretch in the jacket means that you’ve got the option to add another layer underneath it if you need to without feeling clumpy and stiff, whilst the smooth, tougher outer layers really well under a shell jacket, meaning I don’t have to waste time and warmth faffing with my layer when I’m on the hill.
What could be improved?
There was really only one or two bits that I could pick out if I was being really fussy and that was firstly the toggles – they seem to be in an odd limbo – the toggles on the pockets are a simple bit of cord with a knot on the end and could do with a rubber stopper on the end of them to neaten them up and make them easier to use with big gloves; however, the toggle on the main zipper DOES have a rubber stopper, but because it is quite large it does have a tendency to knock against my nose when the wind picks up – which isn’t sore, it’s just annoying. The other thing is that I would have liked to have a little pocket on the inside of the jacket for my phone (especially on cold nights) or gels – but I only really notice this if I’m out without my running pack, which doesn’t happen very often!
Well, I don’t know if you can tell but I love my Nucleus – mostly because of just how versatile it is and because of how comfortable it keeps me no matter what I throw at it! Car to peak to pub – I’m taking all the credit for that little phrase, by the way!