TAYLOR: At the southern terminus of the Americas lies one of the most beautiful and rugged landscapes that this floating rock has to offer. Few adventurers get the opportunity to go, but a common descriptor is simply “wild.” Patagonia. In the heart of the region is where Weis, a trail-centric running brand, was born and tested.
We met Weis at The Running Event last year. They were skeptical of me asking for review products because they wanted to be sure that I wasn’t going to say good things in exchange for gear. They wanted the good, the bad, and the ugly from us to be able to provide the best options for runners.
Bad and ugly are terms that you won’t hear in this review. Quality is at the forefront of Weis, and niche brands like it, because they were born out of a sense of dissatisfaction. Honestly, more people should be dissatisfied more often, especially when it leads to top-notch gear like this.
Weis Simer II 10L Vest
TAYLOR: I’ll let our full review do the talking for this one. In short, this is one of the best vests available. The Simer II 10L should be your first stop when the fit is of utmost importance. Even with a full load of bottles, a phone, a jacket, and more, this vest worked its magic to resist bouncing and stay locked in place.
Usually, the cost of such security is the equivalent of letting a boa constrictor wrap your rib cage. Not here, as the Simer II employs a second set of security measures. It combines initial chest clip adjustments with some underarm tweaks to hold both the top and bottom of the pack close to the body. No matter how much you move or wiggle, it stays right where you set it.
Check the review linked above for more in-depth details on materials and pockets. In short, this vest has quickly become my favorite because of its excellent fit. I’m hoping for a second version to address some storage options (not necessarily issues), but that’s all I have in terms of criticisms.
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Weis Simer 1L Vest
TAYLOR: We all know the struggle of deciding between a vest or a handheld for a run. There’s just that perfect middle distance where you’re not quite sure. Well, the Simer 1L Vest has been settling that debate for me as of late. It’s a vest, but it’s only big enough for the essentials. You could wear it for shorter runs where you only want the essentials or pick it for a race without too much distance between aid stations.
This simply constructed vest has the same up-front options as the other Simer vests, with multiple pouch-style pockets to fit all your goods. What comes in clutch here, again, is the fit. It’s remarkably secure and comfortable because of the multiple adjustment points. Not only do they stretch across the chest, but there are the same clutch adjustments hidden under the arms that bring the bottom side of the vest closer to the body. It’s got zero bounce, even with bottles.
What’s different about the 1L vest is that the back doesn’t have a pocket. It’s a vented mesh with two smaller pockets at the lower edge of the vest. These make for a quick and simple stash of items like gloves, a headlamp, or a windbreaker.
This is a light and hands-free option for trail and road runners alike.
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500mL Handheld Soft Flask
TAYLOR: The soft-flask handheld seems to be the most convenient piece of gear in the Weis lineup. It combines a good-sized flask with a little burst of storage in an easy-to-hold package. Even the mesh handgrip is comfortable for long miles.
However, I had a few issues with the lack of overall structure. The soft approach was a bit too floppy for me to hold it securely, and it became more of a nuisance as I emptied the bottle. I know it’s a common complaint for similar handhelds, but it didn’t quite work for me.
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Slim Fanny Pack
TAYLOR: Clip, zip, and go! The Weis Slim Fanny Pack was the piece of gear I overlooked the most but ended up using a ton — funny how that happens.
This has been a go-to piece of gear this fall. I grab it for every trail run because of the comfort and security. Once clipped on and placed, I don’t even recognize it’s there.
I have a couple of other waist belts too, but this one is the least cumbersome. It’ll easily hold a phone and a set of keys (but not much more). Like their vests, this one had zero bounce for me until I had three or four items in the pocket, which I knew would be overloading the system a little. The easily adjustable strap lets you place the belt where you want it rather than having it slide up or down (my experience with other belts). I simply set it around the waistline of my shorts, and it stays.
The Slim Fanny Pack also works well for a third hand in the grocery store post-run. Just saying.
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Z-Compact Vario Composite X2 Carbon Lite Poles
TAYLOR: Poles have a unique place in my quiver of trail running tools. Since they’re one of those few and far-between items that I only bring for specific terrain and efforts, I’m particular about what I like. Chances are, you’re the same.
For starters, I think this particular set would be great for trekking but only alright for running. They’re easily packable and made of carbon fiber, but they’re still on the heftier side when put against the competition. It’s not a massive weight difference, but it could be enough to sway you with something as light as a pair of poles.
Other than that, the Z-Compact poles are some of the most durable I’ve ever used. The carbon fiber is impressive and handles wear and tear better than others. I don’t worry even a little bit about snapping them like I do with my Black Diamond pair. Weis picked some robust and comfortable handles for the top and matched them with a reinforced tip down below. You can swap between rubber and carbide, depending on your surfaces.
What’s really unique is that the Weis poles are incredibly adjustable. Most Z-poles come at fixed lengths and snap into place, but these can snap in and then adjust up or down for the right fit.
Shop Z-Compact Vario Composite X2 Carbon Lite Poles