Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Product Review: Brooks NightLife Jacket and Hat

We've had very dense pea soup fog and light rain for the past few days, but today was the first time I didn't find enough of a break in the weather to make it out for a dry run. I kept waiting and waiting until it became a dark, foggy sunset. With the treadmill lurking in the back of my mind, I finally suited up in some nighttime rain gear and headed out for my first heavier-rain run of the year.

  • The material that this jacket is made from is perfect for keeping all rain out. I don't think a single drop seeped through, and I especially liked how the zipper goes up high as to keep the rain off of my neck. Even the wrists are cinched so water couldn't get in, and it kept my non-waterproof GPS watch nice and dry as well.
  • The semi-fitted jacket is loose enough where my range of motion didn't feel restricted. It was very comfortable to wear and I was able to run naturally with this jacket on.
  • The wind-and-water resistant material is exactly that -- no water got in, and no water got out ... no air got in, and no air got out. (Read: this material wasn't breathable at all.) Because I was running in a cold rain today, the added insulation of my body heat was welcome. But on warmer rainy runs, I think could get clammy and uncomfortable.
  • The collar felt a little tight, but not tight enough where I was worried about it restricting my airway.

  • This hat kept my body heat in and the raindrops out. It was so comfortable to wear and didn't feel like it was hugging my head or crown tightly at all.
  • Because I sweat a lot, I figured this hat would become heavier with my own moisture + the rain, but it really didn't. The moisture magically beads up and rolls off the side of the hat and out of my eyes. It felt lightweight from start to finish, which I definitely can't say happens with all my running hats. 
  • The red blinking light on the back is pretty difficult to turn on and off. It turns on and off by pressing the light in for about 5 seconds. Perhaps I'm weak, but I had to press it in really hard for 5 seconds with both of my hands, and it actually kind of hurt my wimpy little thumbs.
  • I'm going to go out on a limb and predict the future here, but there is no mesh material on this hat like most running hats. I imagine that this will equal some hot heads during the summertime.
  • I'm a girl. Like most girls, I wear my hair in a ponytail. If you figure where a ponytail falls in between the closure and the opening on the back of a hat, it completely covers the blinking red light. It would have been a little smarter to place the light on the top of the opening. 
Overall, both are great products for running in the rain, and especially for running at night. Safety first!


  1. Yup, I most definitely am running Minneapolis - it's my 50 state finish! Hope to see you there :)

  2. Awesome! Go out with a bang in this awesome city. :P I think we run a similar pace, so maybe we'll end up in the same pace group! If I find you, don't be surprised if I request a pic with you. :)