It’s springtime, and finally we Midwesterners get to shed some layers and relax into some warmer weather runs. Before you know it, the mercury skyrockets and the sweat really starts pouring. Much like our Winter gear, Spring apparel has to be able to handle wide swings in temperature, be able to wick moisture like there is no tomorrow, and keep us comfortable throughout. Brooks Running are masters of this and, happily, sent an assortment of tops and bottoms to test out (check out Laima’s reviews of the women’s Spring apparel at Women’s Endurance Gear).
The tops were three-fold, the Men’s EZ T II ($28.00) in Atlantic, the Men’s HVAC Synergy Singlet ($38.00) in Power Red, and the Men’s Rev SS II ($34.00) in Atlantic/Sulphur. All three are for warmer weather running, though I had no problems staying warm on some cold mornings with the addition of arm warmers.
The EZ T II looks like a comfy t-shirt, but and feels and performs like a tech tee. A relaxed fit adds to the comfort of dryness effected by the moisture-moving fabric. For me, a necessity in tech gear is an antimicrobial fabric to reduce odors. I love that this tee is super-soft with just enough stretch.
Surprisingly, the HVAC Synergy Singlet didn’t look that bad on me – unless you’re really fit, I think that singlets look not-quite-right on most people, but Brooks has hit a home run with this one. Really a singlet for the masses, probably due to the generous cut and coverage. Though Brooks considers this top to be semi-fitted, I felt like it hung a bit more loosely than the other two tops in this test. Some great features include X-STATIC®, The Silver Fiber™, side panels that fight odor and move heat and moisture. Since many people wear singlets for hot weather running, Brooks has included strategically placed UV protection rated UPF 40+ and 360° of 3M™ Scotchlite™ retroreflectivity for low light or dark conditions.
The Men’s Rev SS II was the flashiest of the bunch. I’m really happy that Brooks is coming out with some more fashion-forward colors these days – not that I’m some sort of fastinista, but it’s still fun to play dress up and move beyond the basic blacks and whites I used to gravitate to. The sharp colors and asymmetric design, along with the semi-fitted feel make this a comfortable shirt in all conditions. The updated look and sharp fit bring style to the run, 360° of 3M™ Scotchlite™ retroreflectivity gives a measure of safety.
For bottoms, Brooks sent me two running shorts to try out. I received the Men’s 5″ Essential Run Short ($32.00) in Atlantic/Sulphur and the Men’s Sherpa 2-in-1 Short 4.5″ ($46.00). Both are extremely comfortable, though quite different from each other.
The Essential Run Short has a semi-fitted feel, with a 5″ inseam on the woven moisture-transfer polyester shell. It has a sewn-in 100% moisture-transfer crepe liner for dry comfort, a drawstring, an elastic waistband with internal key/I.D. pocket, and a secure rear zip pocket is big enough to hold a slim tri-fold wallet. I never carried anything in the pockets, as I don’t like things bouncing around in my shorts, but they are there if you need them.
The Sherpa 2-in-1 have the internal supportive and chafe-resistant brief that I really like, though I would never have guessed that a boxer style liner would be so comfortable for running. The semi-fitted have a slightly shorter 4½” shell inseam (4″ boxer brief inseam). Since I don’t use pockets in shorts they aren’t that useful to me, but the dual rear-holster pockets are there if you need them. More useful to me is the 360° of 3M™ Scotchlite™ retroreflectivity.
Both of these are lightweight, attractive, and functional shorts. Couldn’t go wrong with either.
Brooks’ True Blue Guarantee – Brooks products come with a no-questions-asked, 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your new Brooks equipment within the first 30 days after purchase, they will replace or exchange your product. Nice customer service!
(Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free to review on my blog – courtesy of Brooks Running. I did not pay for the items, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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