Sometimes working in a running store provides more perks than just getting to work with cool (and fast) people and helping customers get all the right gear they need to train in comfort and style. In this case, our friends at Brooks Running provided me with a sample of their Men’s LSD Lite Jacket III to test out. With the temperatures dropping in Boston, I couldn’t wait to try out this lightweight jacket on my longer marathon training runs.
Before I get to my impressions though, let’s find out what Brooks has to say about the jacket. According to the website description, the jacket is both windproof and water-resistant, both of which are fantastic features for a New England winter. The jacket is semi-fitted, weighs 4.3 ounces and features a hood with a cinch as well as one chest pocket. There are two vents on the back for breathability. One of the much-touted features of the jacket is that it “packs into its own pocket.” I’ve yet to test this feature and, honestly, I can’t ever see a need to, given how light and “squishable” the jacket is anyway. But if things packing into themselves is a feature you look for in clothing, then this is the jacket for you based on that feature alone. “That’s all well and good” you say, “but what does it look like?” you continue. Through the power of “Save Image As…” I present to you representations of the LSD Lite Jacket III:
It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the front and back orange colors are the same. In fact, the orange color is the one that I have and, technically, it is a different product, called the Nightlife LSD Lite III, as opposed to the plain old LSD Lite III. It’s a good looking jacket and the orange nightlife color gives me some extra comfort in visibility on the roads at night.
I took the jacket out twice in the past week, both times wearing it over a Brooks Rev II Sleeveless base-layer and Brooks Nightlife Infiniti 1/2 Zip. My first run was 8 miles in roughly 25 degree weather with a bit of a breeze and the second run was 9.5 miles with a starting temperature of 12 degrees and some wind gusts. Brooks says the jacket is suitable for 40-65 degrees, but unless you run really cold or it’s raining/blowing wind like crazy I think you’ll overheat very quickly in that range. Me, I run hot, and even at 24 degrees I think the jacket was a touch much without any substantial wind to block. The back vents certainly help get some air flow going without feeling like they are letting cold air blow through the jacket. I fared better in the 12 degree weather when I was happy to have the windproof layer. I still have some tinkering to do to find the right long sleeve match for the jacket, with the Infiniti top being about as heavy a top as I have, but I think I would have been perfectly dialed in with a step down in warmth.
In terms of fit and function, the jacket fit true to other Brooks sizing. I wear a medium in all Brooks tops and the jacket proved no exception. I think I understand why you’d want tight cuff bands from a design point of view, as they would prevent wind from coming up the sleeves, but I did find that they really prevent you from pushing up the sleeves when feeling warm, and even made it hard to get to my watch easily on the run, though my Garmin 305 is admittedly huge. All that said, I wish they’d gone with an adjustable Velcro cuff. I didn’t use the chest pocket, but I’m sure it’s good for a small key or some gels, or I suppose for packing the jacket into itself.
I will definitely be using Brooks LSD Lite III jacket a ton this winter, particularly on those blustery, snowy days that will be upon us before we know it. I foresee the jacket getting use on chillier spring and fall days when you really want to wear a t-shirt but biting wind stands in the way.
Disclaimer: I received this jacket gratis from Brooks, but all the opinions above are my own without input from either Brooks or Greater Boston Running Company.