Apparel Review: Brooks Seattle Shell and Tights
In our ongoing hunt for running apparel for winter, I wanted to talk about Brooks and their Seattle line. When I first got a look at it and even when I saw the name I thought immediately, someone has finally built apparel specifically for road running in the Pacific Northwest. Turns out I was right and the Seattle Shell and Tights are really about staying dry and keeping you warm in our crazy northwest weather.
The Seattle Shell
The Seattle Shell is really well-designed and it wicks water like there’s no tomorrow. I tested this thoroughly by actually pouring water across it to see how it would handle having massive amounts on it and I watched it roll off effortlessly. The jacket is semi-fitted so good for layering and is hooded as well. The hood rolls up and stows, but honestly I always left it out and handy. I kind of hate the puffy collar effect any way. It does zip up quite high and has a chin guard, a draft flap, and a brushed neck lining. This really just means that it comes up high to protect your face and feels nice and cozy when you are in full sprint.
From a warmth retention perspective, it keeps the heat in really well. Sometimes almost too well in that I actually felt a little too warm on the 30-40 degree days. To resolve this I actually lightened up my layers underneath and then I found it to be quite enjoyable. When it got colder, I just layered up again and was nice and toasty. It also handled wind with no problems and all of the zippers are all windproof and hold a tight seam, so I never noticed any draft whatsoever. It has two hand pockets for storage and these also stayed quite dry throughout keeping valuables like phones and keys, wallets etc pretty well protected. The right pocket has a security areas as well. There is also a chest pocket as well. Lastly, it has the same soft stretch material cuffs like the Drift Shell which does a good job keeping the jacket in place.
I did feel it ran slightly larger than I expected given its semi-fitted nature. I’m normally a medium and found it to be just a touch big, so definitely I would try it on before you commit to a particular size. I can say I’ve never felt dryer from a jacket and while we picked the Brooks Drift Shell for our holiday gift guide, the Seattle is like its big brother and the performance is even better.
The Seattle Tights
The nice thing about the Seattle Tight is that it is warm. I have lots of tights that I feel just can’t handle the winter, but these can really take the cold. These stood up to everything I could throw at it from a weather perspective including rain, snow, and even some mud. They do have a slightly baggier style crotch that some don’t like, but the idea of this is to keep that cold and wetness away from your groin during longer runs because even though it’s insulated, you would still get cold in those ahem, areas. They have a water resistant zip pocket in the center of the back (too small for a phone) and a small level of reflectivity. The inseam is just over 30 inches and was pretty spot on for me as a 32” inseam normally in pants.
Both the Seattle Shell and Tights are available from Brooks directly or at your local running store. The Shell is available in blue and black and is $260 and the Tights are $165. Both are awesome for running on the road or trail in the Northwest in in the gnarliest of conditions.