Dirtbag Runners: Our Favorite Gear

A dirtbag has two choices: to spend their money frivolously, or to invest it in things that matter. More often than not, we choose to…

Photo by Molly Nugent.

A dirtbag has two choices: to spend their money frivolously, or to invest it in things that matter. More often than not, we choose to invest our money into items that will go with us on the long run. Sometimes we get hand-me-downs from others and cherish the items as if they were brand new. Sometimes we save up for months and buy an item many would raise an eyebrow at us for. So what if we choose to spend a couple hundred dollars on a watch or if we want the coveted Patagonia puffy jacket? A dirtbag is more defined as a lifestyle rather than a dollar limit on how much you spend on your gear. Regardless of how we acquire the clothes on our backs or the shoes (or sandals) on our feet, we know one thing: it’s got to be durable enough to handle the dirtbag lifestyle.

We polled our ambassadors, asking them to tell us what their favorite gear is on the trail and on the road. This is what they said:

Piers de Gruchy: This should be self-explanatory.


Steven Novitscus: Gotta be any one of the multitude of Buffs that I have. Truly the best piece of headwear out there.

Alyssa Perry: ARM SLEEVES! They are so multifunctional, use them for sleeves/mitts/legs for warmth, wet them down for coolness, headbands, wrap and tie to release cramps on the quads, emergency pet leash, drink koozie…super cheap, easy to pack extras, the list could go on!! #armsleevesforthewin

Kyle Konczal: Ah.. The trucker hat of course!!! #EasyAnswer


Natosha Hoover: Toilet paper

Dustin Kipper: Gotta go with the pack! It’s not often that I need that much water but it’s nice to take a few essentials with you like a jacket, bandaids, headlamp, buff, body glide, toilet paper, Dales Pale Ale ha the list goes on. I’ve commuted, done self supported races, plenty of my own adventures and many more to come(I hope)! This things been to other countries with me. The bladder leaked once I email Osprey three days later I had a new one and some goodies! The Osprey Rev 6 is my gear of choice because of it’s awesome storage, minimal design, no bouncing or chaffing, and because the company stands by their product and to me that is hard to find.

Crista Scott: My Patagonia Puffy Jacket is my most cherished piece of clothing or gear. Second to that would be my Luna Sandals (The Mono with the MGT Footbed and ATC lacing, pictured below).


Cherie Yanek: EMS Racerback sports bra. No chafing, not sexy, but dries nice and quickly so you can wear it for a while…

Jack Rosenfeld: Honda Element and beer 🙂

Emil Justin Gazda IV: Patagonia Houdini. 
Super light weight, water resistant jacket with cinchable hood. It dries quickly and packs up small enough to fit in your tiniest split short pocket. Just throwing on this thin shell has gotten me through some cold night time temps and freezing cold race starts. Goes with me everywhere, except Summer time here in the Southeast.


Julie Blanda: Kelty Gunnison 2. Just the right amount of room, plenty of storage space, lightweight.


Jen Laughlin: The DBR buff…
Ice around your neck in the summer
Neck warmer in the winter
Dust guard during storms
Ears in the winter
Head band in the summer
Wrist band for wiping sweat
Hanky for boogies when you are sick
Tourniquet hopefully never… But it’s there if you need it

"Get Dirty" Bandito


Ben Syzek: +1 for the Ultimate Direction AK 2.0 vest. Never go on a long run without it. It got me through a race just this past weekend!


Todd Falker: –Altra Superior (I work for Altra)
– Alpha Pack from UltrAspire (I do not work for UltrA)
– Sawyer Mini water filter

– Superfeet Carbon
– SmartWool socks (I used to work for SmartWool)
– Salomon SLab Shorts $140 and worth every penny for carrying capacity

Shacky Runs: Luna Sandals!

Flint Bordeau: I am famous for what Patrick Sweeney calls my Lady Pants… I just buy my running split shorts at fashion discount stores where no one wants them… Usually for about 10$… Usually in the women’s section… O_o



Mirka Markkula: This loyal Nathan vest! Been with me since my first marathon dreams and all through my ultras, now waiting with me “patiently” for me to get my wrist operated and more of those adventures in our future!!

Rumpl Blankets: These babies have an awesome stuff sack, will keep you warm during the winter months, and can be tossed in the washing machine. Perfect for a dirtbag!



What is YOUR must-have gear?