My 18 yr old son is going to be running a 21K + 30 obstacles in North Lake Tahoe and needs a jacket that is waterproof and breathable. We've been told to buy GoreTex but seems there are other materials that do the same job.
Any suggestions? I want a jacket that will perform but not break the bank.
Also any other items that you would recommend (i.e. tights, etc)?
Re GoreTex - It's the "original" waterproof-breathable material. There are quite a few imitations on the market now. In my experience they all work about as well, which is to say they're waterproof, and kinda sorta breathable depending upon conditions. I wouldn't get hung up on the GoreTex name... go with something you can afford.
A few thoughts:
Hoods don't usually work very well when you're moving. Better to go with a hat.
Go with something made for running, rather than something made for hiking. Keep it light and simple.
I'd probably stick to brand name stuff, just because the quality tends to be at least a little better. (I consider REI to be brand-name, by the way.)
I'm afraid I can't offer any specifics, because I've never found anything I've been real happy with. (See above re breathability.)
We have tried a lot of waterproof + breathable options and usually end up soaked with sweat. Personally, I would pack a primaloft jacket and then get a separate packable shell to pull on over the primaloft if it starts to rain. If you get a slim primaloft (but with movement for the warms to swing well while running, getting over Spartan obstacles) it will fit well under the shell.
I trail run and have done obstacles races but I have not done a Spartan and have not had to dress warmly to do a long race so keep that in mind. That said, knowing what I know, and if rain and cold were going to be an issue, I would probably do a combo like this:
(The cool green color is over 50% off right now. Actually, I'm going to buy one. That's a good deal, haha.)
With this: (also on sale at the moment)
We have jackets for all kinds of sports and weather conditions, but I picked out the mountain hardwear and rab based on price and experience with the brands.