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Columbia's Montrail line of clothing draws inspiration from 103-mile endurance race

Why it matters to you

Columbia is seeking to inspire us to run farther with its new Montrail line of endurance clothing inspired by Europe's 103-mile UTMB race.

Columbia Sportswear is breaking into the ultra trail running scene in a big way. The company recently released its debut line of endurance clothing, the Montrail series. The new Montrail trail running clothes were developed from the company’s high-profile sponsorship of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) endurance race. The UTMB is one of the most popular long-distance trail races in Europe, attracting more than 2,400 runners in 2016.

The UTMB is a grueling 103-mile race across the Tour du Mont Blanc hiking path, which bring runners along a loop around Mont Blanc. The route varies each year depending on conditions, but these minor variations don’t change the difficulty of the course, which requires runners to climb more than 9,600 meters in elevation.

The UTMB is the flagship race that everyone talks about, but there are several other races held in Chamonix including an 180-mile relay race, a full marathon, and two other 100K ultras. The weekend-long event brings in more than 8,000 runners of the type Columbia had in mind in developing its new Montrail line of endurance clothing.

Not matter the weather, Columbia has got you covered on the outside with its new Titan Lite Windbreaker and OutDry EX Light Shell. The Titan Lite Windbreaker is a versatile ultralight trail-running jacket with a stretch fit and water-repellent coating that sheds water during unexpected showers.

And when the sun is beating down, the sweat-activated interior lining incorporates sweat-activating technology that reacts with sweat and becomes cold to the touch. It also has reflective trim for night-time running and can be packed into its own pocket for storage on the go. When rain is in the forecast, the Women’s OutDry EX Light Shell is the jacket to stash in your vest. The OutDry EX Light is a lightweight and breathable outer layer with 360-degree reflective trim, peripheral hood adjustability, and Light Rail zippers that come standard on Columbia’s high-end gear.

When an outer layer is too much, Columbia offers its Titan Ultra half-zip shirt, Titan Ultra short sleeve shirt, and Titan Ultra shorts. All three garments are designed to keep you cool and dry while tackling the trails. Both the half-zip and short sleeve shirts are made with a sweat-wicking fabric and feature Columbia’s sweat-activating technology. In addition to wicking away moisture, Colombia’s Ultra is water repellent and has snug-fitting briefs to minimize chafing.

Last but not least, Columbia updated the classic Caldorado shoe with trail-running-specific features. The new Caldorado II offers improved support for trail running as well as extra absorption, especially in the heel and tongue. Rugged from top to bottom, the trail shoe includes Colombia’s Trailshead protection plate to protect against rocks and 4mm multi-directional lugs that provide traction on most surfaces.