Salomon modular S-Lab. A difficult feeling to desc
Published on 14/06/2017 00:00
As always the S-Lab range does not disappoint. Here is a new collection for lovers of lightness, comfort and quality that will cover all your needs. And the great thing is you can create your own combinations. What more can you ask for?
When Salomon explains their new idea, you might not know what to think at first. This is a modular range, where you will choose the different layers yourself, according to your needs or tastes. Honestly, it seemed like a risky bet to me. But then again, I think Salomon has already earned the confidence of millions of consumers. I don't think it's any different this time.
First of all, I think you should take a look at the items belonging to the modular S-Lab collection by Salomon. For this purpose, I have included the video the brand itself uses to promote this collection:
When we talk about a product from S-Lab, competition, quality, lightness, comfort, technology, minimalism, and efficiency are just some of the words that come to mind. The athletes sponsored by the Annecy brand have been actively involved in the design of new products for years, with emphasis on the S-Lab range, intended especially for competition.
I have tested the S-Lab modular range products based on the same principles. Very light material. You'll notice right away that these products allow 100% freedom of movement. The first impression you have might be that this is a fragile material, but little by little you'll notice the details and realise the quality of the product. But let's be honest, these products are not cheap. We know that they invest lots of time and effort in improving them year after year, and that this is reflected in the final price of the product. But is this price difference justified when compared to other basic running trousers or an ordinary t-shirt for example? Or are we merely paying extra for the brand itself? Let’s take a look at the performance of some products from Salomon's modular S-Lab range. I want to know how it feels to be dressed as a professional runner, just like we see at the front of the most important races in the world. Let's go!
First of all, I would like to describe each piece separately and then the overall performance.
S-LAB Sense Boxer: First layer, or inner garment. Three of the goals for the brand are to be the shortest, lightest and to offer the greatest sense of freedom. The sense boxers have three front buttons and three rear buttons on the waist. They are not there by chance, quite the opposite in fact. The S-Lab sense boxer can be adapted, and linked up perfectly with the S-Lab modular belt.
In the waist area we find another peculiarity, which is that the entire contour of the waist is non-slip, so that it won't move a millimetre while we are running. Another feature is that it has two elastic pockets, one on each leg, if you want to carry some gel, house keys or even a mobile phone.
S-LAB Short 4 and Short 6: The difference between these two models is the length and colour. The rest of the features are the same. Personally, I have never used trousers like this, which are totally minimalist. It doesn't have any cord, so you can't adjust the trousers to your waist. If you lose a few pounds, you’ll no longer be able to leave the house wearing these, which for me means this could be a mistake. I'm used to tying my running trousers and it seemed weird not being able to do it. Yes, it’s true that their ability to adjust is pretty amazing. There are two rubber bands at the waist to give a greater degree of adjustment. The bands do not extend around the entire waist. The rest of the waist area is comprised of a non-slip material so that the trousers stick to the skin and will follow us everywhere we go. It should be mentioned that it makes sense choosing a size smaller than our own, although perhaps that's stating the obvious. These two types of trousers have reflective elements in the back of the right leg so that we can be seen while training or running at night.
S-LAB Sense tank : you can easily see through it. With laser-perforated holes in the chest area. This helps avoid overheating, even in the middle of the summer. There is also no irritating seam on the T-shirt. It has reflective elements in the upper right side of the back.
S-LAB Modular belt They have separated the different parts as if it were a puzzle. There is no zip pocket in the trousers to carry important items like house keys or a mobile phone. We can only carry these items if we are also wearing the sense boxers, using the side pockets.
Very elastic belt with 4 compartments and no zip. The fitting to the body is exceptional and the pockets are closed using only the elasticity of the modular belt. Each pocket has a fabric handle to facilitate access to the contents inside.
Up until now I've been out running with the Salomon Agile trousers and modular belt. I was using the sense boxers, module belt and the S-Lab 4 shorts, all adjusted accordingly. I only used the S-Lab Shorts 4 and 6 with the modular belt and of course with the S-Lab sense tank t-shirt. I tried all the possible combinations, except going out only in the S-Lab sense boxers, which I didn't dare to do!
The performance of this material is exceptional. I think it's the closest thing there is to running naked. The sense of freedom is total. There is no seam that can rub or annoy and the slightest breeze won't go unnoticed. The fit of the material is perfect and stays with you in all your movements without you noticing that it is there. It's a difficult feeling to describe but great to experience. In all the years I've been running, I've honestly never felt so comfortable. No matter how hot it gets, you won't experience any t-shirt soaked in sweat or the trousers stuck to your leg. Just after finishing the activity, the clothes are completely dry in a matter of minutes. It also does not absorb any odours, I have used them for several days in a row and I haven't noticed bad smells.
It may seem that I only have good things to say about the S-Lab modular set, but that's not the case. There are a couple of negative things I have to mention.
The first one is that I don't like the fact that the trousers don't fit like the rest I've had so far, using a cord. For sure I prefer bigger sizes (I would have to choose an XL size), and in all my runs I didn't notice anything moving at all. I suppose it is just a matter of getting used to it, but in the event that a runner loses two or three kilos, they wouldn't be able to continue using them, which I think is a problem. However, with an additional adjustment element you can still continue to use the trousers, even if you use bigger sizes. It is true that if you use the S-Lab modular belt on top of the shorts, it will help you to fasten and adjust it to the waist even better.
The strength and durability of all the garments I've tried, seem to be very good. There are no signs of wear and the two pairs of trousers are fully intact, even after snags and tears. Light, comfortable and resilient, great job!
And here comes the second negative point. I have to say that with the S-Lab modular belt, yes it has shown signs of wear and tear. It has lost its initial shape and although the wear is minimal it is still noticeable. Even though it was very little I was surprised to see that so soon. It continues to adjust itself very well, but the last time I went out I loaded it up a little more than usual to see how it behaved: two 250 ml soft flasks, one at the front and the other behind, a windbreaker, and a mobile phone and energy bar on the sides. Up until that point the fit had been perfect, I really didn't notice I was wearing it, nothing bouncing around and no annoyances. Very comfortable. But that time when I went out running it fell down. It annoyed me a little until I realised that putting the items in position isn't difficult, so long as you use the fasteners for the insides of the pockets properly. But the distribution of the items is very important and by adding the windbreaker, everything was much more compressed and the modular belt then didn't fit me properly and began to drop down. Once I realised the reason, I was able to solve it and didn't have any problems after that. The poor fit was sorted out while standing, removing the contents, readjusting the belt correctly, redistributing all the items inside and problem solved. It wasn't very difficult. When I was talking about of signs of use, or deterioration, I was only referring to the fit of the belt to my waist. The closure of the pockets is still perfect. The closing system is very simple: it uses the elasticity of the belt itself to close the upper part of the pocket without us having to do anything else.
User profiles to whom you would recommend the product
MIX AND PLAY! As the Salomon campaign slogan for the S-lab modular range indicates, the different combinations this range offers will make these products ideal for lots of sports enthusiasts. The fact that you can create any combination you like or need, will mean that the public for this product is likely to be very broad. But yes, it is true that the price for all the gear together won't be cheap. The cost is likely to be an important factor for limited budgets, since the whole set, including sense boxers, S-Lab shorts 4, modular belt and tank top could set you back two hundred euros. I'd say this is the most inexpensive combination. But the advantage is that all the garments also work perfectly on their own. Therefore, each user will know how much to spend based on their own needs.
The fact that you can create any desired or needed combination makes the potential public very wide. If I had to choose products for each of my competitions, I would do so as follows:
Vertical Kilometre: S-Lab Short 4 with S-lab Sense Boxer and S-lab Sense Tank T-Shirt.
These are the shortest and most explosive races for which we need the lightest and most comfortable material. With the two S-lab Sense pockets we also have extra space for carrying gel, in case it’s needed.
Half Marathon: S-lab sense boxer with the Modular Belt, S-lab short 4 and the S-lab Sense Tank T-shirt.
By adding the Modular Belt we get a combination that screams ‘speed’, but we also have the capacity to carry more gear during a race.
Marathon: S-lab Half Tight Support with the Modular Belt, S-lab Short 6 and the S-lab Sense Tank T-shirt.
The Half Tight Support offers better support, helping to reduce muscle fatigue, which you’ll appreciate more and more as the kilometres go by. Of course, this type of race will demand certain obligatory items, and depending on what they are and what is supplied by the race organisers, it should be possible to carry everything you need with this combination.
*100% freedom of movement
*Dries almost immediately
*Variety of combinations
*Lightness and comfort
*Missing fitting element with the S-Lab 4 i 6 shorts.
*S-Lab modular belt deteriorates rapidly.
My clothing size
Disfrutar la vida al 100% junto a mis personas queridas es mi motivación principal. Soy una persona inquieta y entiendo el deporte como forma de vida. Hace unos años me quedé totalmente enganchado a correr por montaña, y cada dia que pasa me gusta más y más. La sensación de libertad que me aporta este deporte és espectacular!!!