What You Need To Know
- All-new elite collection featuring premium run pieces from Ciele Athletics
- Collection includes jacket, singlet, and race shorts
- Price points range from $100-$400
- Available now
On race day, you want to race, not just run. In any other sport, race day means employing the lightest and most technologically-developed products. Think carbon-fiber components and aerodynamic designs for race cars and bicycles. But when it comes to running, we throw on the most expensive chassis and wheels, but tend to just put on whatever looks good when it comes to the body.
Ciele Athletics is looking to fix that with its all-new Elite Collection, an apparel drop of five pieces designed to give athletes the most of their performance on race day. For a brand known primarily for its top-tier running caps (we can confirm, they’re pretty much the best), a foray into premium run apparel may seem like a bit of a leap. There’s quite a bit of difference between a hat and a singlet or jacket, especially when that gear falls anywhere between the $100-$400 range.
However, when Ciele went into the research and development of the Elite Collection, they did so with intentionality throughout every step of the process. Their goal with the Elite was to find “the very best recycled fabrics, the very best factories, the very best constructions and use these ingredients to build the very best products for your run.” The standard was impeccably high from the start.
Keep in mind that when they first debuted, Ciele caps were twice the price of almost every other running hat out there. Now, they’ve become the standard that many running hat companies are trying to emulate/match, though few have come close.
And so it is with the Elite Collection, with features unlike any we’ve seen in other running apparel. As you’ll see, the thoughtfulness is apparent, from the welded pocket seams of the DBSShort to the unbelievably light weight of the waterproof FLRJacket. For the jacket in particular, there were only a handful of factories globally who could produce it. Ciele chose a factory that they had been to, and know the team personally, in order to produce a garment that would meet the high standards we were driving for.
Is this gear for everyone? Certainly not. The price alone is a barrier for most runners. But for those that can afford it and are looking for a product that features recycled products made in premium factories and with thorough regards to performance engineering, then the Elite Collection is surely something to consider.
Learn more about the pieces below and our experience running in them.
» RCDSinglet elite
Made from recycled fabric yarns, this singlet tingles the senses by truly allowing you to feel like an elite. In a nothing-there manner, the stitchless construction is comprised of Ciele’s COOLmatic.EXP knit, which is– get this– infused with carbon fiber.
I didn’t even know this, but carbon fiber absorbs odors and allows for greater breathability and temperature regulation. And because of this superior construction, the performance won’t fade or wash out, unlike traditional fibers. It still maintains high stretch and durability but retains a sturdy-yet-soft feel.
The singlet also employs airBEAM, which is specially designed vents on the spine to allow the body to perform its natural cooling process. A constant two-way air exchange pushes warm air our and circulates fresh air.
I can confirm that on the run, this singlet truly does feel weightless and reminded me of the best elite singlets I’ve somehow scammed companies to let me wear on race day. Chafing is non-existent and the breathability is as good as it can get. The carbon fiber construction is something I’ve never seen before; basically, I’m excited to keep this on the “good side” of my singlet drawer for a long time.
PRICE: $100Shop RCDSinglet – Men Shop RCDSinglet – Women
» RCDTshirt elite
The RCDTshirt elite is essentially the same construction and materials as the singlet, just in t-shirt form. If you want all the details, scroll up just a bit, but the idea here is that you’re getting a bit more protection and coverage for less-than-singlet weather.
Did we also mention this has a lifetime guarantee? Bold move for a running t-shirt, but we like it.
PRICE: $120Shop RCDTshirt – Men Shop RCDTshirt – Women
» QCKBra elite
This running bra features an OekoTex approved fabric featuring 65% recycled nylon with 35% elastane for shape retention and support over any distance.
It also features all of Ciele’s most advanced apparel tech, including COOLmatic.plus lining and HeiQ Smart Temp® for accelerated wicking and HeiQ Fresh® for odour control. Meanwhile, eflective elements keep you lit from sun down to sun up. includes removable pads.
PRICE: $60Shop QCKBra Elite
» DBSShort elite
For us, this is the highlight of the collection. Another garment that features the carbon-infused yarn of the COOLmatic.EXP, the shorts are everything you need on race day. It’s also made from stitchless construction, which is… wild. But again, it comes with Ciele’s million miles guarantee, so we’re not worried about it.
Waistbands are always an issue with running shorts, but this one is next-level good. Super soft to the touch, it features odor control and stowaway adjustment cords. Clearly some thoughtful design was put into this short. Which is evidenced even further by the front panels, which use a durable water repellent finish that’s helpful on damp days with headwinds. But here’s the best part– the shorts feature the best fuel pockets we’ve ever seen in a short. Three mesh inner fuel pockets are flat-welded to the short so you are locked and loaded on race day.
Speaking of race day, the 3-inch split style allows room for your entire range of motion so the short feels like it isn’t there. Look down every so often just to make sure.
PRICE: $120Shop DBSShort – Men Shop DBSShort – Women
» EVDshort elite
This one is probably our least favorite of the collection, because we kind of don’t know where it exists? To their credit, Ciele does note that it’s designed for running and in-between runs (i.e. a casual short over your race tight that feels just right on a community run).
The dual button system on the sides is interesting, allowing for customizable levels of mobility, but we’re also not sure where we would actually use that. We’ve done a myriad of activities in other run/lifestyle stretch shorts (like Path Projects), and don’t feel like we’re missing out.
Either way, it’s made of premium materials just like the rest of the collection, included a welded no-stitch construction and recycled stretch ripstop with a durable water repellent finish. Deep front pockets are a nice touch as well and came in handy for not losing my keys for the fourth time that day.
PRICE: $120Shop EVDShort – Men Shop EVDShort – Women
» FLRJacket elite
Okay, so there’s a lot going on in this jacket. For starts, it’s fully waterproof. But the real story is the construction (as you may have guessed). The jacket utilizes a 3-play construction which consists of a waterproof breathable membrane sandwiched between an extremely lightweight woven hard shell and a knit mesh liner. It also includes a bit of stretch, which is always appreciated on the run.
This construction allows for a 30k breathability / 20k waterproofing rating, both of which are excellent numbers for a running jacket. Standard (see: cheap) waterproofing is anything under 15k, so if you see those numbers in a run jacket– run away.
On the run, the FLR works as intended, keeping you dry while keeping inside moisture to a minimum. Note that you’ll always sacrifice on one end of things– if you want absolute waterproofing, you’ll sacrifice all breathability. It’s better to meet in the middle and balance both ends as best as you can, which is something Ciele has done. A back air vent allows for extra breathability, by the way.
Because of the premium materials used in the jacket, it comes out to 56g/m² (that’s light) and packs down into its own chest pocket for easy carry. When packed down, a mini carabiner allows it to clip onto wherever. I have to say, I don’t like that an elastic band for full carry isn’t included here. I took the jacket off mid-run on a 5-mile run this morning and it was a pain in the ass to carry around for the remainder. And as anyone who’s run in a rain jacket knows– there’s a 99% chance that thing comes off at some point during the run.
A few other dislikes: For my size small, the sleeves were ungodly long (like an inch past my fingertips), though Thomas said he had no issues with his medium. I have no problem with rain jacket sleeves extending longer (as they should), but they looked like I was trying on my dad’s dress shirt. The hood needs neck cinches. The rear cinch just didn’t do enough and it’s not a scuba style hood so it was constantly getting blown back. Lastly, I just didn’t like the overall feel of it. I know this is because of the fact that it’s high quality and woven with carbon fiber, but it felt just too… plasticky? Crinkly? Hard to describe.
Overall, this is definitely one of the best waterproof running jackets we’ve tested as far as straight quality. You will stay dry, no doubt. The price tag is steep and for $400 I would like to have zero dislikes, but I also have very specific preferences. However, know that if you shell out the dough, you’ll be getting a jacket with premium construction and a million miles guarantee.
PRICE: $400Shop FLRJacket – Unisex