As the only pullover in our current lineup, the LSD is a bit of a unicorn in a field of full zip layers. While there are some downsides to using a pullover, the lightweight simplicity is appreciated on short morning jogs around the park when layering or delayering isn't really necessary.
For a nippy jog around the park, the LSD performs quite well. If you're heading out into the mountains and want the LSD to keep up, you may want to dig into this review further.
The LSD achieves its breathability through a large mesh panel obscured by the same common fabric that comprises the rest of the jacket. For maximum breathability, opening the half zip chest zipper really does allow for ample airflow. The large flap on the back was a bit frustrating during times of high wind, however. The design helps scoop air in when moving, but it also catches wind and flaps like a goose trying to protect its goslings.
Large back vents, similar to a flyfishing shirt, actually do let quite a lot of air move through the jacket. Our only frustration with this design was when high winds would kick up and cause some serious flapping.
The LSD is certainly not the most weather-resistant jacket we tested, but it's also not made or intended to be a highly weather-shielding layer. The fabric is ultra-light and lacks even a DWR treatment coating as other basic running layers have. That said, it does well keeping the bite out of wind and chill during morning jogs with the flapping back panel being more of a frustration than a vulnerability to weather.
If your shoulder mobility is as poor as our main tester, you may opt to weather the exposed windy ridge section of your run without struggling your way into this jacket. If the material had a little bit of stretch this process would be waaaay easier.
Comfort and Mobility
Overall, the LSD provides ample material for full range of movement without restriction. While some jackets shave grams by snugging up the jacket sizes, Brooks allows enough material to keep a loose and comfortable fit. As you might expect from such an affordable jacket, seams are sewn with large chunky patterns that become a bit abrasive after a long day out. While the seams aren't affixed with high quality, invisible tape, they are decently comfortable and aren't that noticeable unless you put on a snug running hydration pack or are out on the trails for hours.
Short sleeve lengths can be frustrating especially if you intend to use your jacket for anything besides running with your arms pasted to your sides.
Some of the common frustrations with running jacket portability (like a stuff pouch that is the wrong size or no storage system at all) have been solved cleverly by Brooks. The LSD provides a lightweight package that is easy to pack and deploy. There's an elastic armband for convenient carrying, which seems like a good idea in theory, but strapping it around the bicep and running isn't very comfortable. The one-size-fits-all strap was far too tight on our main gear tester and too loose on others — and it's not adjustable.
This 4.7oz package is tidy and easy to use. Honestly, this jacket could be even lighter if the useless elastic armband were removed. It was too tight for many of our testers and not adjustable.
The particular colorway we tested doesn't offer great daytime visibility, but nighttime and low-light visibility are excellent. 360-degree reflective markings on both arms seem to offer light reflection as well as portray an element of movement. Jackets with only a reflective chest logo often don't give drivers any sense of how far away a subject is, while reflective armbands offer significantly more movement and depth. The daytime visibility factor, however, is worth noting in a jacket that seems to be designed with an urban environment in mind. The material color scheme and pattern is a bit too dull and close to camouflage to offer optimal performance in the city.
Brooks definitely knows the value of 360 degree visibility. While the daytime color scheme isn't the greatest, there are ample reflectors on all sides.
The LSD is one of the most affordable jackets in our test. The portability, nighttime visibility, and breathability are all on point, making it a decent option for urban running. While this jacket is a good value, other options offer better overall performance and versatility, such as our Best Buy winner.
The Brooks LSD has been slowly evolving over the years and continues to knock on the door of the elite running jacket club. With a bit more development, comfortable body mapping technology, and improved weather resistance, this could be a real contender. As it is now, the LSD offers great packability and decent performance for the reasonable price tag but isn't our favorite.
If you manage to hit an artery, the LDS's elastic band might double as a tourniquet. It definitely cut off circulation during our testing...