Brooks Infiniti Jacket Review
Cons: Heavy, Poor breathability
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Brooks Infiniti IV is loaded with all the bells and whistles any runner could ever want. It is an effective barrier against rain and wind, but is lacking in breathability. Additionally, it's the heaviest running jacket that we tested.
The Brooks Infiniti IV is constructed primarily of polyester. There are no mesh panels, or vents of any kind incorporated into its design. Within two miles of a five mile run we consistently wished that it had some ventilation. Our body temperature didn't feel regulated, and we just felt like we were overheating. The Infiniti IV easily collected moisture from sweat, and condensation formed on the inside, making us feel drenched. In colder temperatures, the sweat didn't condense as much, but we were still unhappy with the amount of moisture that formed.
We found that this piece held up really well against the wind. Indeed, the solid polyester construction was unforgiving in blustery weather. Additionally, the drawstrings around the waist helped keep any stray gusts from finding their way into the jacket, as did the elastic cuffs around the wrists. The drawstring on the Brooks Infiniti IV didn't ride up either, unlike some of its competitors, such as the Sugoi HydroLite. For a piece that compares in wind resistance, check out the Marmot DriClime Windshirt.
The Brooks Infiniti IV comes loaded with bells and whistles. The first thing that stood out to us was the ample storage space. There are two side pockets, as well as two open interior pockets (they don't zip closed and unfortunately aren't deep enough to keep items in place while running). There is also a nifty waterproof media pocket on the inside where your electronic device is sheltered from the elements and the unfortunate amount of condensation you may experience while wearing this piece. On the inside front of the Infiniti IV, at collar bone height there is an elastic loop for headphone cords to be threaded through. This feature stopped our headphones from tugging out of our ears as we ran — bonus! This piece also has reflective material lining the seams on the shoulder, which is a great safety feature. The only other jacket that compared in features to the Infiniti IV was our Best Buy Award winner, the Saucony Sonic.
When we ran in the rain, we found that the Brooks Infiniti IV repelled water fantastically. Overall, we thought this piece's water resistance was its best attribute. Brooks uses a DWR finish on the polyester shell as a water repellent. In light and heavy rain, water rolled right off, and since there are no vents or mesh panels, it's difficult for water to get in.
The Brooks Infiniti IV weighs in at 10.75 ounces, making it the heaviest running jacket we tested. Part of the reason it's so heavy is because of all the added material for pockets. We feel that on a short run, the heavy weight is hardly noticeable, but we don't recommend it for long distance running. If you need an ultra-lightweight layer, check out the Arc'Teryx Incendo or Montane Featherlite.
Our testers thought that Infiniti IV fit pretty well. The sleeve length is fine, and the torso reaches to just below the top of the hips. The polyester construction stretches as well, making any possible restriction of movement disappear.
We don't think that the Infiniti IV would be suitable for anything but stepping out your door for a quick run. We think it's too heavy for long distance running, or long trail runs. It's a good piece to wear if you were taking your dog for a walk, or doing some power walking. It does perform a little better in cold temperatures than some of the other pieces we tested, but in warmer conditions it becomes over heated quickly and breathes poorly.
At a $120 we can't say that we would be excited to purchase the Infiniti IV, especially considering how heavy it is and how poorly it faired with breathability. However, it does have a lot of storage space, which makes it ideal if you're the type of runner who carries loads of gear and gadgets with them when they run.
The Brooks Infiniti IV has a variety of fun features like its media pouch, and it performed well in our water and wind resistance tests. Overall, it's a great running jacket for the runner who needs a layer to throw on when they step out their door for a brief jog. Its main drawbacks are its weight and its poor performance in breathability.
— Jared Dean