logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
star Bookmark: Tag Tag Tag Tag Tag
Great Britain

IndyBest's best buys of 2019: From mattresses to foundation

Another year has gone by and we've spent it testing out everything possibly imaginable from pushchairs to chocolates (someone's got to, right?) and everything in-between. 

Covering food, fashion, beauty, tech, sports, kids and travel, our team has put everything through its paces, and only included the very best products we found. In every piece, we select our best buy product, which comes top on test. 

Here, we've taken the best buy from some of our top features in 2019, to bring you the things you really need.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Best fashion and beauty products of 2019

Best eyeshadow palette: Charlotte Tilbury starry eyes to hypnotise eyeshadow palette, 12 shades: £60, Charlotte Tilbury

World renowned make-up artist and master of the perfect palette, Charlotte Tilbury takes the thinking out of a smokey eye and has grouped 12 shades into four different looks, each containing three step-by-step shades: prime (all over the lid), enhance (nestle the colour into the socket) and smoke (add definition along the crease and lash line). “Happy glow” is all made up of bronze tones and pale golds, “love glow” is the pink hued option with rose gold tones, “dream glow” has olive khaki metallic shades, while “seduce glow” is your classic midnight blue smokey eye, with an antique gold.

You don’t have to stick with her suggested trios – the combinations are endless if you mix them up. The pigmentation and colour payoff is excellent and we love the molten texture formula of the jewel tones – not quite a pressed powder shadow, but not entirely creamy either. This makes them easy to blend and gives great longevity. Probably at the upper end of our acceptable palette price bracket, but carefully chosen colours to suit all skin tones combined with beautiful textures ensures there isn’t a wasted shade here.

Buy now

Best foundation: Fenty Beauty pro filt’r hydrating longwear: £27, Harvey Nichols 

Rihanna’s beauty line has released a new take on its pro filt’r foundation, for those who found the original too matte and drying. It’s a hydrating, creamy, bouncy-skin formula for normal to dry skin. It gives medium coverage that easily covers redness and minor scarring, and has a natural, glowy finish. It comes in the same 50 shades as the original pro filt’r, so if you already know your shade, order away.

Buy now

Best perfume: Chanel Gabrielle Chanel essence, 50ml: £85.50, John Lewis & Partners

Inspired by and named after Gabrielle Chanel – better known as Coco – this scent (a reinvention of the Chanel Gabrielle EDP) is an immediate classic. It’s vibrant and feminine, with tuberose, white flowers, jasmine, orange blossom and ylang-ylang – given depth by musk and sandalwood. Perfectly balanced and it lasted all day.

Buy now

Best women's coat: French Connection buona faux fur long coat: £170, French Connection

Designers and high street brands alike have gone big on faux fur coats this season, but this olive green number stood out as a favourite. Don’t be deceived by its lightweight feel, it is unequivocally warm. Create easy impact by wearing over jeans and a jumper or add some serious glam by throwing on over your LBD. 

Buy now

Best men's trainers: Puma RS-X tracks trainers: £63, Puma

The RS-X trainers are right on trend but more understated than most other 'big ugly trainers' on the market. Puma’s designers have shown the perfect amount of restraint to make these trainers interesting without going overboard with the extraneous architectural touches. The sheer, aggressive profile looks great with tailored trousers, tracksuit bottoms or denim jeans. There’s a range of colourways to choose from, with an emphasis of pastel summer tones, however the red and orange colourway is our favourite.

Buy now

Best home and garden products of 2019

Best espresso coffee machine: Illy Y3.2 espresso and coffee capsule espresso machine: £65.01, Amazon

Nifty, narrow and compact, this capsule-based machine takes up barely any counter space and makes an incredible espresso in a matter of seconds. It’s easy to set up and use – essentially fill up the water tank and pop in your capsule – and the 0.75L water tank, which sits at the back, is easy to remove and clean. It also comes with a programmable temperature setting, so you can tailor your espressos exactly to your liking. It is only compatible with Illy capsules though, but it still works out much cheaper than a shop-bought coffee, and tastes just as good. No-fuss and easy to clean and operate, this came out top for us. 

Buy now

Best mattress: Emma original mattress: £649 for a double, Emma

Despite the name, this is the second version of this popular German-made three-layer foam mattress, which uses a different kind of foam to the likes of Eve, Simba, Casper and Leesa that the manufacturer claims is longer-lasting. Also exclusive to Emma is the exceptionally breathable top layer. We found it more instantly comfortable than other bed-in-a-box mattresses we tried, it has significantly more bounce and is easier to turn over on – with no chance of disturbing your partner when you do.

There isn’t a body shape or type of sleeper that it wouldn’t suit, making it a great all-rounder, and it doesn't need turning, although there are handles if you need to move it. There’s also a washable cover. The icing on the cake is that there’s no minimum time-frame to request a return, and if you do decide to send it back (we doubt you will), you don’t have to repackage it. This is as good as it gets.

Buy now

Best mattress topper: Soak and Sleep ultimate soft as down with silk mattress topper: £115, Soak and Sleep

We were really impressed by the firm but springy sensation of this hollowfibre-filled topper and rate it as an ultra-comfortable choice for all sleepers – front, back and side. A layer of mulberry silk in the inners also helps to wick away moisture and reduces sweatiness in the night.

The fill is held in place by the topper’s quilting, and we were happy to discover it didn’t shift around in the night. A quick plump in the morning soon revives the topper’s bounciness. This one can be machine washed, but unless you’ve got a large drum washer and dryer, your best bet is taking it to be professionally cleaned.

Buy now

Best corded vacuum cleaner: Dyson big ball animal 2 corded vacuum cleaner: £299.99, Dyson

For pet owners, this bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner is the dog’s whatsits. The suction is outstanding and there’s a tangle-free turbine tool to pick up stubborn tufts of fir from your carpet or upholstery. Other handy accessories include pneumatic floor head, combination tool, stair tool and carbon fibre head. While other vacuum cleaner heads need switching or adjusting when you move between floor types, this automatically adapts itself.

The design includes a streamlined ball that rolls smoothly around furniture, making it less likely to catch up on obstacles, and it pushes and pulls in any direction. It even picks itself up if knocked over. It’s quiet, has a big canister and good filter, but you need a bit of elbow grease on thicker carpets and it’s slightly heavier than we expected.

Buy now

Best slow cooker: Morphy Richards sear and stew slow cooker 460016: £39.99, Amazon

With most slow cookers, you have to forgo searing your meat unless you’re prepared to brown it off in a separate pan first. Not so with this clever machine that allows you to do both, making this a one-stop pot for a hearty dinner. The dishwasher safe glass lid means you can check on your meal as it cooks without releasing any heat, and the 3.5L capacity easily feeds three to four people (and fits a whole chicken). It’s smarter looking than most, even featuring the notoriously trendy rose gold colour. But unfortunately, there’s no keep-warm function.

Buy now

Best baby and kids products of 2019

Best toy: Tonies toniebox: £69.95, John Lewis & Partners

An audio machine for children like no other, the toniebox is perfect for children over three-years-old who love stories. Instead of having to faff about with buttons, wires, disks, controls or other fiddly bits, all children have to do is simply fix a Tonie (a figurine containing an audio story) onto the toniebox and they’re away, engulfed in a fantasy world, the story having downloaded onto the device.

There are tonnes of Tonies to choose from but we recommend The Stick Man, read by Imelda Staunton although The Jungle Book was a massive hit with our three-year-old who sung along to all the songs. There is also such a thing as a creative Tonie, which is perfect for if parents might want to narrate their own story and let their children listen to their voice.

The toniebox is pretty cool as an object – well-made, weighty and robust, available in a range of colours. What we really love about it is that it’s awesome technology without the overbearing glare of a screen, the confusion of buttons or distraction of flashing lights. The toniebox can play any downloaded Tonie without Wi-Fi.

Our three-year-old tester got to grips with this very quickly, while a 10-year-old enjoyed working out how to put other audiobooks onto the creative Tonie.

Buy now

Best pushchair: iCandy lime pushchair and carrycot: £650, iCandy

As well as being a cool-looking buggy, the new lime model gives you all the functions of iCandy’s full-sized pushchairs, in a cheaper, easy-to-manoeuvre city stroller. This pushchair makes light work of tight corners, aisles in shops and narrow doorways and big rear wheels give it a stable feel. In the bundle comes both the carrycot and seat fabrics, so it’s suitable for a newborn, and you can pop on a car seat with the included adaptors. The seat can also be parent or world-facing, which is a feature not often seen on such a compact stroller.

We had no problems transporting it – both in the car and on public transport – thanks to the lime’s patented fold; cleverly the seat and bumper bar stay on when collapsing, and there’s a handle for easy lifting. You can whip off the wheels for an even dinkier fold. We loved that you can adjust the chair’s height and distance using the seat elevators, so it doubled up as a highchair when grabbing a pit-stop lunch. An integrated buggy-board means as your family grows, one tot can ride on the back. A generous storage basket completes this totally urban-friendly buggy.

Buy now

Best car seat: Britax Römer baby-safe i-Size: £190, Britax

The Britax baby-safe2 is a sturdy, affordable seat that conforms to i-Size standards, so is fitted in the rearward facing position and can be used until your baby reaches 13kg or 83cm. Peace of mind safety elements such as “superior side-impact protection”, plus an easy installation, see the baby-safe carrier as a popular pick among new parents – in fact, this was the seat the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to take their three little bundles home from the hospital.

Deep padding makes for a comfy ride and a removable newborn insert means babies are secure from birth. The headrest height can be adjusted with one hand, and we were impressed by the seat’s integral recline: as you alter the headrest, the lying position changes automatically. The seat can be secured by a car’s three-point seat belt but to have the Isofix fitting, you’ll need to buy either of the two compatible bases. We rate the Britax flex base (£175), as with four adjustable angles it allows the seat into an even flatter recline, offering the most ergonomic travel position for a new baby. Buy the extra adaptors and the baby-safe2 will work with many of the big-brand pushchairs too.

Buy now

Best travel and outdoors products of 2019

Best cabin bag: Briggs & Riley sympatico 4-wheel expandable international cabin suitcase: £449, John Lewis & Partners

Dimensions: H56 x W35.5 x D23cm
Capacity: 50l
Weight:  3.6kg

Not only is this the smoothest, smartest bag we tested, it also bends the laws of physics, thanks to its unique expand-compression system. This is a godsend for slapdash packers like our reviewer: if you run out of space, pop the clasps at the top and bottom of the bag to release an extra couple of inches of room (22 per cent more space, Briggs & Riley says, bringing it to almost 50l capacity – incredible for a cabin bag). Zip it closed, push down hard and the bag compresses itself back to cabin size again.

We really overstuffed the case and it worked like a charm: no more sitting on the lid to try and force the zip closed. This is typical of a bag that’s so classy – from its soft, sand-coloured lining, to the padded internal coat-hanger – you feel like it should have its own butler to pack and unpack it. It glides like a dream, has timeless good looks, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Expensive, yes, but you’ll never need to buy another case again.

Buy now

Best men's walking boots: Salewa mountain trainer mid Gore-Tex, midweight: £195, Salewa​

Weight: 670g​
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Sole: Vibram 
Material: Robust suede leather and fabric 
Colours available: grey and black
Sizes available: 6-13

A real premium choice, this not only looks the part but they’re robust, very well built and comfortable and is an overall fantastic boot. Unlike some, it fits very neatly with a more elegant outline, so it’s nice they don’t feel cumbersome when placing your step. At 670g they’re a little heavier but they somehow don’t feel it. The upper is constructed of a great looking, Gore-Tex lined, 1.6mm thick suede which affords great breathability, and there is great support round the back of the ankle, and the rubber-reinforced toe cap is really strong – even when you press hard with your thumb it doesn’t buckle. They come quite high up on your ankle so offer great support, making them an ideal if carrying a pack or just on long hikes or uneven terrain. With aggressive and generous lugs and Vibram soles, you’re very sure underfoot. A more expensive option, but so well worth it and you won’t regret this investment.

Buy now

Best women's walking boots: Mammut Ducan high boots: £179, Mammut

Weight: 460g​ per boot
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex​
Sole: Vibram 
Material: Mesh

You often get what you pay for with hiking boots – case in point, the excellent Mammut Ducan. They combine our two favourite tried-and-tested technologies, Gore-Tex waterproofing and Vibram soles, and have supportive, high-cut ankles that are great on tough, challenging terrain, especially if you find your ankles need good support. The soles are also some of the grippiest we tested. If you’re off on country walks you could go for something more casual, but for mountain trails these are our top pick.

Buy now

Best family tent: Vango stargrove air 600XL: £499.99, Outdoor World Direct

This tent does absolutely everything right, and at a sensible price. It’s airbeam (or inflatable instead of pole-based), so very light and quick to put up, without any of the folding poles that have a tendency to pinch tiny hands. It has three adjacent queen-sized bedrooms (you could just as easily turn one into a playroom or storage space), as well as an enormous living room and awning. There are plenty of features for the inevitable rainy day – like lots of windows and floor space – and, because the bedrooms are totally separate to both the porch and living areas, plenty of opportunities to stop muddy wellies from trampling over any sleeping bags. There are loads of pockets in the bedrooms, and because the dividers roll up you can change the layout to suit your family – to create one big room for parents and a crib, for example, and another room for an older child. All this plus the little touches – like the cable entry point for wires you want to run from the hook-up, and the light-blocking lining and curtains – make this our best buy.

Buy now

Best books of 2019

Best millennial memoir by women: ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton, published by Penguin Random House: £6.99, Waterstones

The Sunday Times columnist’s memoir has received a lot of hype, yet it has not disappointed. Alderton said in a recent podcast that other people sometimes complained this is the kind of book they could have written, but they didn’t. And they probably wouldn’t have done it as well. This book appears deceptively simple – covering dating, flatmates and work troubles – but has an amazing ability to take the most mundane scenario, like making friends with the man at the corner shop, and spinning it into a funny and moving story. A true comfort read with LOL moments. It has a firm finger on the millennial pulse.

Buy now

Best book by empowering women: 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston, published by Virago: £6.47, Amazon

This powerhouse of American literature is also a classic African-American feminist text. Originally published in 1937, this poetic book tells the story of Janie Mae Crawford, a woman whose journey to self-realisation is all the more remarkable for being a black woman in the American South of the 1930s. Poignant, beautiful and inspirational, American novelist Alice Walker said about the book: “It speaks to me as no novel, past or present, has ever done.” High praise indeed.

Buy now

Best literary book: ‘Big Sky’ by Kate Atkinson, published by Doubleday: £13.35, Amazon

Jackson Brodie’s back. Fans have been counting the days to read the fifth instalment in Kate Atkinson’s literary crime series about the tough ex-soldier turned private investigator, and Big Sky is well worth the wait. This time round Brodie has moved to a quiet seaside village in the northeast, occasionally joined by his tricky teenage son and his ex-partner’s ageing labrador. But once again he gets drawn into a sinister investigation and old secrets come to the fore. Superbly written and utterly readable, this novel is a delight from start to finish.

Buy now

Best food and drink products of 2019

Best vegan cookbook: 'Planted' by Chantelle Nicholson: £16.11, Amazon

Having worked under Marcus Wareing and now chef patron at Tredwells in London, the talented Chantelle clearly knows how to create a show-stopping dish or two. She’s a huge advocate of aquafaba (the chickpea byproduct that makes an excellent egg white substitute), which can make wonderful lemon meringue tarts. Comforting bowls of spelt tagliatelle with crispy rosemary and hazelnut butter nestle alongside chargrilled runner beans with romesco, tofu, oregano and lemon panzanella. Truly mouth-watering, whether you eat meat or not.

Buy now

Best prosecco: La Farra DOCG brut 11%: £13.99, The Fizz Company

Situated in the hills of Farra di Soligo is this family run vineyard, earning themselves the coveted DOCG status. It’s made from 100 per cnet glera grapes, displaying a straw-like yellow hue with gentle bubbles. Fruit forward with notes of juicy apples and peaches, it ends with a pleasingly tangy dry finish. We’d serve as an elegant aperitif or with light fish dishes. 

Buy now

Best plastic-free tea bag: Clipper organic everyday tea: £3.49 for 80, Clipper

It might look most like an ordinary teabag, but this is far, far from it. Each teabag is unbleached (hence it’s more earthy colour), organic, fairtrade, plastic free and non GM. It was the world’s first pillow-shaped bag to meet this criteria and was launched in 2018. And if that’s not enough, it was even the world’s first fairtrade tea. The teabag is made from abaca plants – a type of banana – and the plastic that sealed the bag is replaced with a material made from non-GM plants and it's become our new go-to every day tea. Just like it says. And it's by far the most affordable on the list. Although Clipper has ticked many boxes with its teabag, it's now working on making the inner foil packaging recyclable too. 

Buy now

Best new gin: No.3 London dry gin, 70cl, 46%: £36, Berry Bros & Rudd

Voted the world’s best gin for a fourth time and named best spirit at the Global Spirits Championship (the first gin ever to win this) – strictly speaking, no.3 isn’t a “new” gin, but it did have a total makeover this year so we thought it worthy of including.

The new hexagonal design reflects each of the six botanicals in the recipe – upfront juniper, sweet Spanish orange peel, zingy grapefruit peel, earthy angelica root, spicy coriander and warming cardamom seeds. Created by Berry Bros & Rudd – (aka, the UK’s oldest wine and spirits merchant), no.3 is quite simply the perfect example of a London dry gin – try it in a dry martini or a classic G&T.

Buy now 

Best independent coffee brands: Dear Green, Kenya tano ndogo ab: £10.75 for 250g, Dear Green

Dear Green – a roastery taking its name from its Glasgow home, The Dear Green Place, roasts and supplies speciality coffee alongside training baristas and coffee lovers alike in sensory and technical classes.

Ethical sourcing is a big focus, as is organic and Dear Green tries to visit every coffee farm to see that the beans are sourced fairly and sustainably with each smallholder. As with most truly ethical coffee brands, Dear Green pays over the odds for beans to encourage further sustainable agricultural methods and benefits for the coffee communities. Coffees are super seasonal and may only be on the site for a short while, so grab them while you can. 

We tried the Kenyan Tano Ndogo coffee, from a newly formed group of farmers from Gitwe, Kenya which has been awarded a cup score of 88.50/100, so this is a special one. Dear Green says there are fruity notes of guava and clementine, and often with things like this it’s just about detectable, but this coffee has an incredibly forward flavour of both in the initial hit and then in the aftertaste. We loved it, but it’s so lively and zippy with oranges that it could be a divisive one for others.

Buy now

Best luxury chocolate box: Chococo cascade of 50 fresh chocolates: £46.50, Chococo

Consistently excellent, this Dorset based chocolatier works tirelessly to bring out new seasonal flavours, many of which have won industry awards. Chocolates are handmade and each box includes a lovely selection of milk, white and dark chocolates with both soft and hard centres. Finished with various colourful prints and patterns, highlights include the “blackcurrant beauty” with British cassis in a dark chocolate ganache casing and the Dorset sea salt caramel.

Each flavour really tastes like the description and is never overly sweet or synthetic. We love this cascade of three boxes, stacked and tied with a silky ribbon. Not only does this look luxuriously theatrical, but you’ll also be making a 10 per cent saving when buying the set. One thing to note is that because the chocolates are so super fresh (they contain fresh Dorset cream) they only have a two-week shelf life, so might not be appropriate for gifting if you’re buying in advance.

Buy now

Best tech products of 2019

Best smartphone: Apple iPhone 11 Pro: From £999, Apple

Screen size and resolution: 5.8in, 1125 x 2436 pixels, 458 pixels per inch
Screen technology: OLED​
Storage capacity: 64/256/512GB​
Expandable storage? No
Camera (rear): 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide
Camera (front): 12MP​
Dimensions: 144 x 71.4 x 8.1mm
Weight: 188g
Headphone jack? No

The latest top-flight iPhone is the best yet. It has three rear cameras which are capable of great versatility and solid, realistic effects including a deft portrait mode where the subject is in pin-sharp focus and the background delicately blurred. There’s also a night mode which launches automatically in low light to boost light in a realistic and attractive way. The third camera is an ultra-wide lens which lets you take in much more of the location easily.

Just as importantly, the latest iPhones have significantly improved battery life so that the phone will really last all day with no issue, which is great for peace of mind. Video capture is also exceptionally good, with super-high resolution 4K video and the facility to shoot video while you’re in still picture mode by holding the shutter button. The front-facing camera is also improved, now a 12MP camera like the three on the back.

The new processor is blazingly fast, Face ID, Apple’s superb and secure face-recognition system is improved to work at more angles, and the software now has a dark mode (available to all iPhones running iOS 13). It comes in two sizes. The iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8in display and the iPhone 11 Pro Max a 6.5in screen. The larger model costs £100 more.

Buy now

Best in-ear wireless headphones: Apple airpods: From £159, Apple

True wireless earbuds became big business when Apple released its airpods in 2016. Tiny but capable, airpods are now on to their second generation. The small white buds look like they might fall out but in fact are a good fit for most ears, even when you’re exercising.

Although they work with any phone, the seamless integration with Apple devices is spectacular: open the case and a message flashes up on the iPhone screen to show battery level, for instance. Pairing is instantaneous and easily switched between Apple devices as you need them.

Audio quality is excellent and extra features are enjoyable. Say, “Hey, Siri”, and the virtual personal assistant is summoned to answer your questions or change track and so on. Take one airpod out of an ear, so you can talk to someone, and the music pauses automatically, resuming when you place the bud back in your ear.

The case charges the airpods: the buds themselves have a five-hour charge, then another 19 hours of battery life in the case. If the buds are flat, a 15-minute charge gives three hours of listening time.

A version with an optional case is available which is wireless-chargeable (£199): place the case on a wireless charging pad to charge the case without plugging in a cable.

Buy now

Best 4K TV: Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: £2,499, John Lewis & Partners

Screen size: 55in
Display Technology: OLED
HDR compatibility: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Dimensions: 760 x 1230 x 78mm plus stand
Audio: Stereo, Dolby Atmos

Panasonic’s OLED screens are routinely excellent, but this one is really outstanding, though it’s far from cheap. Picture quality is stunning with impressive contrast levels, deep black shades and rich detail. Although OLED panels are similar between manufacturers, it’s how companies drive those panels with bespoke software that makes the difference in terms of colour fidelity, motion blur and so on. Panasonic’s advanced processors, combined with its close ties to Hollywood, help it achieve a picture that’s close to what you’ll see in the cinema. A new feature for this TV is Panasonic has also devised a way to brighten the display, making the picture even punchier than OLED usually allows. Audio is also tremendous, thanks to two upward-pointing speakers on the back of the screen and a soundbar that’s built into the front. Between them, they create an immersive soundscape that’s hard to beat. The interface is simple: there are apps to take you to features like Netflix but a conventional menu system alongside.

Buy now

Best sports and fitness products fo 2019

Best yoga mat: Liforme yoga mat: £100, Liforme 

The first mat to convert our reviewer to a smooth surface, this ingenious, spacious offering from Liforme is as balanced as a good tree pose. The surface is really grippy, even in the most intense hot yoga class our reviewer tried, and it is longer and wider than most (at 185cm x 68cm) and it sits right at the sweet spot for thickness (4.2mm). What makes it so unique, though, is the grid system laid over the top to help you align yourself in poses.

This is brilliant for anyone with a home practice, who doesn’t have a teacher on hand for adjustments. The lines are very slightly textured and they do take a bit of getting used to – particularly if you have a set shape for downward dog, for example – but it’s worth playing with. The mat comes with its own carry bag but is heavy; if you plan to mostly use it at home, that doesn’t matter. 

Buy now

Best men's cycling jacket: Lusso aqua pro extreme: £164.99, Lusso

If you want a winter training or commuting jacket that ticks all the right boxes, this could be the one. It’s windproof, water-resistant and includes attention-grabbing high-vis and reflective details. It’s superbly stitched together too, with a form-fitting design which will help you to cut through the wind with no annoying flapping material.

Different Italian-made fabrics have been used in specific areas. There’s a heavier, quilted material to keep chills off your chest, with breathable but water-resistant fabric used at the back to help the rain run off. You can tell the designers have spent a lot of time riding in winter as there’s a nice long tail to keep road spray off your backside. To carry your snacks and ride essentials there are four rear pockets, including one with a zip for valuables.

Buy now

Best women's running shorts: Kalenji dry+ 2 in 1 women’s running shorts: £14.99, Decathlon 

It is always a risk testing a new piece of kit on a long training run. But halfway through our 17-miler in these 2-in-1 Kalenji running shorts and we’d all but forgotten there was anything to worry about. They are by far the comfiest pair of shorts we tried, with a soft – but crucially seamless – inner short, which prevents any rubbing, and a lightweight outer layer made from breathable material, which helped keep us cool. We liked the addition of two fluorescent strips on the side, giving us that extra bit of confidence on our late-night run commutes home, while the zipped pocket in the waistband is 15cm x 7cm, easily fitting our phone, keys and debit card. We did need to use the drawstring when these shorts first arrived to ensure they fitted perfectly, but once we had done that we found they stayed in place throughout our runs. Plus, these are the cheapest pair we tried. We're sure you'll be racing to get a pair in no time. 

Buy now

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

Themes
ICO