After all of these years of reviewing gear, I still get excited when packages land on my doorstep. Sometimes I rip open packages to see the cool gear and pack it away for my next workout. Sometimes, like with my recent Brooks Running delivery (remember, we’re Brooks ambassadors!), I open the package, rip off my current clothes, and try the new gear on right away.
The Seattle Tight ($165) doesn’t seem all that different from any other tight at first glance. They’re lightweight, if a bit thicker for protection against the elements. So I wore them around the house that day just like I would any pair of yoga pants. An hour or so later, I was typing at my computer wondering why I was BOILING HOT. I had to peel the tights off of my sweaty legs. Lesson learned: When you’re dressing for cold weather running, make sure you’re in the cold weather, running.
So just what makes them a purposeful pant and not a lounge around the house and get too sweaty pant? The inner layer is super soft and fuzzy, while the outer layer is wind- and waterproof. There are what the company calls strategic water and windproof zones, so your thighs aren’t going to get cold as the wind blasts them and your shins and calves won’t be wet if you step in a puddle. The zippers at the ankle make taking off the tights easier — because just because you’re running in the cold doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. They’re also sporting reflective materials front and back so you’ll be safer in low-light conditions this time of year. Two waistband pockets are small, but they’re lined to keep stuff dry. As someone who cringes when the needle starts to dip below 50 degrees, these pants guarantee that I’ll keep getting outside as the winter months approach.
Next up, the Seattle Shell ($260). I’m loving my Seattle Shell, a lightweight, water- and windproof jacket. In fact, it’s so lightweight that it’s hard to believe it’ll do much of anything. But that’s where Brooks shines. They’re able to pack so much function into the smallest and lightest of packages that ,even as I was writing this, I discovered new features of the jacket that I hadn’t even found yet, like the cinch cord at the hem to customize the fit at the waist. Even the zipper pull has a notch so you can keep headphone wires from flailing about and getting your way.
The hood can be easily packed away and pulled out when you need head protection from the elements. And when you get too warm, vents in the back can be unzipped to give you some needed air flow. The jacket boasts the same retroreflectivity as the tight, and the water-resistant chest pocket is just big enough to stash my phone. Two other pockets give you added storage capacity, too. For super cold runs you’ll want to layer with with, say, a sweatshirt, but it’ll do the deed in protecting you from the elements.
Do you love when companies think about the tiniest of details on their gear, too? —Erin