I think sometimes we gear reviewers get so focused on what’s new and hot that we forget that some of the best products have been around for a while—and are equally deserving of a wider audience. So this week, I want to give a well-deserved shout-out to the two companions that have been getting me through my dark morning walks during the colder months of the past couple years: my Brooks NightLife jacket and gloves.
While Brooks no longer makes the exact items I own, they do sell updated versions: the LSD Lite Jacket and the Vapor Dry 2 Glove, both in NightLife, aka bright yellow and black. And by bright yellow, I mean shocking, neon, traffic-light-so-bright-it-makes-you-hit-the-gas-or-slam-on-the-brakes-depending-on-who-you-are yellow. There’s no way you can miss this color—even in the dead of a moonless predawn.
Which is basically the point, right? In my sidewalk-less and sparsely lit neighborhood, I want to be seen by those let’s-ignore-the-speed-limit-'cause-it’s-5:30-in-the-morning-and-who’s-gonna-be-out drivers.
But it’s not just about visibility. These are two really nice pieces of workout wear. The jacket is light and breathable, but resists wind and water quite admirably. (It won’t keep you warm on its own; this is definitely a layering piece.) The new version has a hood, which is a smart addition. And it fits well—sleek, but not too fitted, so you can still zip it up while wearing those aforementioned layers.
The gloves are pretty great too. They’re warm but not too warm, with a super-handy terrycloth portion for wiping my sweaty brow (and, OK, my runny nose). Plus, there’s a cool magnet on each wrist so they stay together when not on my hands. Need more? The new version also has nifty finger grips and a thumb pad that flips back to make iPod manipulation easier.
Early in the morning, a few days ago, I donned my jacket and gloves and prepared to head out into the darkness. My husband came into the room, saw me, and shook his head. “It’s just so yellow,” he said. Exactly.
Products: Brooks LSD Lite Jacket and Vapor Dry 2 Glove
Cost: $95 for the jacket and $30 for the gloves at www.BrooksRunning.com