Brooks is Brightening my Nights with Gear Primed for Winter

I’m just going to say it – Brooks makes some dang good running gear. We have been reviewing their line for years and often find it difficult to say a bad word about them. They have a variety of dark and warm weather options that provide a great combination of functionality and safety as the days are growing increasingly shorter and colder. We recently tried out few colder weather items and had this to say:

Run Visible Insulated Vest

On a run, you want to be visible from a distance so that cars can avoid you. That might be via headlamps or flashlights, but a really solid addition is having reflective qualities on your gear. The Run Visible Insulated Vest works as both a great visibility option and keeping you warm as well.

The vest is a par to of Brooks’ Run Visible Collection. It is constructed from almost 80% recycled material and has reflective qualities via a combination of contrasting colors (neon yellow and black), fluorescence and 3M Scotchlite Carbon Black Stretch reflectivity in crucial areas like the hem and shoulders on both sides. There are also two zipped pockets for some storage.

In selecting a vest option, it is likely that you are not looking for extreme cold protection. That being said, this has all the qualities to keep you warm in most temps (I’d say the mid- to upper-30’s and beyond should be fine. I enjoy sleeveless options from time to time, as I find it allows for core warmth without overheating – and the Run Visible Insulated Vest does just that.

Obviously, you are going to be utilizing this as an outwear option with some layering underneath. Take your baselayers into consideration when determining your sizing. If you plan on something bulkier underneath, you may want to go a tad larger. If you are keeping it simple with a thin baselayer, then staying true to size should probably work fine.

Notch Thermal Long Sleeve 2.0

Brooks gear relies on fitting well to look good; there are no boastful statements or threats to your competition blazed across your chest. The men’s version has a standard crew sweatshirt profile, while the female version comes complete with a cute wrap-style high collar to keep you warm, but doesn’t scream “activewear”. Both versions are constructed with the same idea in mind – a quality top that will keep you warm.

This top has all the features that us runners require in our gear – moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and able to hold up to the elements (in this case – cold). The latter is taken up a notch with the inclusion of fold-over mitts on the hands, complete with a wrist slot to check your watch as well. There is a small pocket at the hem that can be used for items like headphones or money/cards.

While the men’s version sits like a standard swearshirt, a main (or perhaps sole) drawback in the female version is that it sits a bit short. While a top sitting right at the waist may work for some runners, its definitely not the preference of all. If you plan on wearing this with a longer baselayer, it should work quite fine. However, if you desire a longer fit in the torso, this is unlikely to meet that expectation.

Brooks also offers a hoodie version if that is more your jam.


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Thank you to Brooks for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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