Gear Review: Brooks Carbonite Collection
With the Brooks Carbonite collection of reflective running gear, you don’t have to compromise safety for performance. The collection integrates safety and visibility into your running wardrobe.
Brooks created the Carbonite gear with reflective details in obvious motion zones, like the hem of a pair of shorts or arms on a jacket. Because these critical zones highlight how people actually move, they make it easier for passing drivers to recognize you as a runner.
But rather than taping reflective strips onto a vest and selling it separately, the apparel in the Carbonite collection are high-performance pieces of running gear that also make it safer to run in low-light situations.
Fleet Feet runners tested some of the pieces in the Carbonite collection to see how they fit and performed. Here’s what they thought of the new gear.
Brooks Carbonite Shorts
The shorts in the Carbonite collection deliver breezy performance for sweltering mid-summer runs or milder winter days.
Like all of the apparel in the collection, Brooks used reflective 3M Scotchlite strips to make you easier to see. The lightweight strips reflect light from a car’s headlights or another runner’s headlamp, so you stand out when the sun goes down.
The men’s Carbonite 7” 2-in-1 Short and the women’s Carbonite 4” 2-in-1 short provide a few other key features. Both have pockets to stash items like gels or keys, and both have an internal liner that wicks sweat to keep you dry.
A Fleet Feet runner who tested the Brooks women’s Carbonite 4” 2-in-1 Short says pockets are crucial in a pair of running shorts.
“There are two different pockets,” she says. “These shorts have a hidden pocket large enough for some phones on the right leg, as well as a smaller waistband stash pocket along the front right hip that could hold a credit card or key.”
Brooks Carbonite Tank
Just because it’s dark doesn’t mean it’s cold, especially in southern parts of the United States. That’s why Brooks made the women’s Carbonite Tank.
The Carbonite Tank is a simple, streamlined tank top that combines the airy performance of a running tank with the safety of enhanced visibility. A pair of 3M Scotchlite strips line the shoulders, and another pair sit just above each hip.
Designers cut the Carbonite Tank from a soft (and quick drying!) DriLayer fabric, and they created smooth, bonded seams to prevent any chafing. The result is a lightweight women’s running shirt that performs at any time of day.
“This is a comfortable piece that I will definitely grab for early morning or post-work runs in the fall while the weather is still warm,” one tester says.
Brooks Carbonite Jacket
There’s a lot to like about the Brooks Carbonite Jacket.
The Carbonite Jacket sports a minimalist black and white colorway accented by safety yellow on the zipper and sleeves. 3M Scotchlite strips line the chest, elbows and back—and they’re bright.
“Brooks added the reflective strips on the black parts of the jacket, and they light up like a Christmas tree in a car’s headlights,” one reviewer says.
Designers also added a pair of zippered hand pockets for your keys, cards or a pair of gloves, and they cut the jacket from DriLayer Seal fabric to keep the elements out. Thumb loops on the sleeves help keep them in place, while the collar keeps cold air from seeping in.
Brooks Carbonite Tights
The Brooks Carbonite Tights are your ideal running tights with a reflective flair.
Brooks made the tights with a snug, supportive fit that gives you a full range of motion and prevents them from riding up. The soft, smooth fabric is also cozy and doesn’t chafe. The women’s Carbonite Tights have a wide, high-rise waistband for a flattering fit.
The reflective detailing on the Carbonite Tights wraps around the ankle and just below the knee, which helps highlight the motion of your body.
One Fleet Feet runner put it simply: “I will be wearing these all winter long.”
Brooks Carbonite Ghost 13
The Carbonite collection wouldn’t be complete without a reflective shoe, and there’s no more consistent trainer than the Ghost 13.
The Brooks Carbonite Ghost 13 takes one of the best-selling shoes on the market and makes it more visible for low-light situations. Brooks speckled the midsole with reflective details, and they added reflective accents on the back of the heel and the logo.
In daylight, the Carbonite Ghost 13 is fairly subdued. A white upper, black midsole and yellow outsole look good on afternoon runs and really pop when the sun goes down.