Brooks Canopy - Women's Review
Cons: Heavier, less weather resistance, hood doesn't adjust
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Canopy is a decent jacket at a very approachable price point. It's heavier than other options in our lineup, and the weather protection and breathability aren't the best we've experienced, but it's comfortable and well-featured.
Because running is a high-output activity, no matter how fast you're going, being able to breathe and release some heat is crucial. The Canopy is by no means stifling, but it's definitely heavier than other jackets we tested, and the built-up heat isn't as easily released. It's made entirely with polyester, and without any vents in the armpits or back, we felt pretty toasty when the temperatures started to climb. Now, there are definitely less breathable jackets than this one, so if you're looking for a layer for brisk morning runs, this could definitely be a good fit in the right conditions.
Let's face it, if jackets weren't for weather resistance, why would we wear them? Weather can come in a wide range of types, though, so for this review, we looked at wind, rain, and temperature to help guide our judgments.
We found the Canopy to have average weather resistance in some ways and poor protection in others. It shields from wind decently, but it isn't quite as bombproof as other jackets we tested. It's difficult for any material to both let air flow and keep weather out, which is why many jackets we tested have vents or panels in strategic locations, but sadly, the Canopy does not employ this tactic. As far as rain goes, this jacket provides almost no protection. It's easily saturated by even light mist. It is one of the heavier materials we tried, though, so it does provide a bit of warmth on cool days, though the hood doesn't cinch down or have a brim for added protection.
Comfort and Mobility
The Canopy was one of our favorites in this category. Its polyester material is quite soft and has none of the trash-bag feeling of some other wind layers in this review. We really like how it feels on the skin, and no matter how sweaty we got, it didn't stick to us. The fit is a bit looser than some other products we tested, and our testing team had mixed feelings about that. As with most products we test, if you have a chance to try it on before you commit, it's not a bad idea.
The sleeves on the Canopy are… interesting. At first, we thought there had been a faulty design decision. But once we wore the jacket out for a spin around the neighborhood, we realized that the ruching serves a unique purpose: you can roll them up! We love being able to roll up the sleeves of our layers once we start to warm up, and this is so much easier with the Canopy than other jackets we tested. Finally, we didn't find the hood to be that effective because it catches the wind pretty easily, but really like that it can be rolled up and stowed away.
Conditions change, and that's why we need a jacket that's portable enough to pack up if we don't need it anymore. The Canopy isn't the lightest jacket in this review (4.1 ounces for a small), but it is much lighter than its previous version, which we were thrilled to see. Additionally, the old Canopy had an arm strap design for transport, but the new one has a seriously improved backpack mechanism. A mesh pocket lives in the back of this jacket, and when it's all folded up, there are two small shoulder straps. We think this is really neat and a major improvement over the previous version or (gasp) having to tie your jacket around your waist.
There are so many things that make a running jacket more than a wind shell, and that's what this metric is all about. The details are what make each jacket unique, and the Canopy has plenty of them. One thing that we love about this jacket is the pockets. With two exterior hand pockets and an internal one, there's plenty of room for whatever you might need — though we don't really love the feeling of running with stuff in our pockets. The hood, like we mentioned above, rolls away, which makes this piece more versatile.
There are reflective stripes on the front and back, and while there are other jackets in this review with more extensive reflective markings, we really appreciate having any at all. Additionally, the Canopy has a media port to let your headphone cables slip through, but unfortunately, this hole isn't large enough for the new Apple headphone jack. And finally, this jacket has a UPF rating of 30. Even though we can't imagine using it much when the strong sun is out, for folks who live in places with intense solar rays, this is an awesome feature.
The Canopy, while not the single least expensive jacket in this review, is definitely one of the most affordable. The average isn't much higher, but the most expensive ones are twice as much! All of this to say: even though the Canopy isn't the high scorer in some categories, it is affordable, comfortable, and portable, making it a great choice for runners who want a good amount of bang for their buck.
The Brooks Canopy is a comfortable, lightweight jacket that's full of helpful features and is easily packable into its own little backpack. While this isn't our pick for warm days or races where weight is everything, it is a great jacket for cool morning warm-up runs. And because of its affordable price, we think it's a pretty great buy.
— Lauren DeLaunay