Product Review: Brooks Notch Thermal Hoodie

When the Brooks Guru (sales & promotional rep for Brooks Running…and HI BRIDGET!!!!! I LURVE YOUUUU!!!) whose territory includes the running store where I have a part-time job gifted me with a Notch Thermal Hoodie, I knew I had to give it a shot. I knew, too, that I would have to write about it on my blog (that no one reads! ha!). You see, Brooks is the only running shoe brand I have worn since I began running in 2011, and the shoes, sports bras, and running apparel they make and sell are simply the best. So duh–this gift was essentially the best gift ever. To be really honest, when I saw that she had gifted with me, I spent about five minutes hugging the hoodie and jumping up and down because somehow some person who I really don’t know too well thought of me. And because sometimes I really am too giddy and dorky for my own good. But then, after the expressions of glee subsided, I thought “I have to run in this!” and “I can blog about this!”


The Notch Thermal Hoodie from Brooks, in navy. This top feels thin and lightweight, but it’s just the thing to help you create some toasty-warm goodness on your upper body during a cold weather run. And–well–Ain’t she pretty?!?

So I set a plan. On Christmas morning, I would run in my new hoodie. I decided to treat this like any other Christmas gift (translation: I used every ounce of restraint I had and waited about 10 days between seeing this gift at work and gearing up in it for a run…it seems I can sometimes be pretty good at restraint…). I would also run in the fresh pair of Launch 5s that I bought myself on major sale and a new running hat that I treated myself to. And I got super excited when I realized that the weather on Christmas morning would be just cold enough where something called a “thermal hoodie” would fit the bill. (I also wore other brand new things just because I had some brand new running tights and a new pair of lightweight-but-lightly-fleece-lined running gloves that I wanted to check out…and because why not?) And let me tell you–this thermal hoodie felt amazing.

christmas run happy

Christmas Day run–she is done! My hoodie kept me warm and after wiping the sweat off my face, I was just all smiles…

This top constitutes a very thin layer to wear in your running outfit. Depending on where you live and how you define “cold,” this top is thin enough to be one layer of many for your mid-winter runs OR thin enough to be your main layer and main source of heat-capturing in your mid-winter runs. It has a half zip and the fabric is soft and the right blend of drapey and clingy. The hoodie’s so thin that at first you might wonder how on earth it could possibly help you stay warm, but this hoodie gets its name mostly from the thin strips of thermal fleecing on the inside of a top that has the kind of happy meshy dry-wicking goodness you would want for any sports top. The space between the strips of fleeced fabric gives moisture a chance to escape stage left while the body heat stays. The heat you generate from a run partners with the heat that gets captured in the hoodie, and before you know it, without a lot of bulk on your upper body, you’re nice and warm. It’s a glorious thing.


Washed, air-dried, sitting on an unmade bed, and ready to be added to my pile of clean running clothes. Not yet folded KonMari-style…

The amazingly kind person who gifted me with this hoodie gave me a size bigger than I usually wear, and I am actually happy about it. While the fabric is stretchy and the fit of this top is semi-fitted (ie just loose enough to not show every little detail of how your torso, back, and arms carry your weight…), as you run and get sweaty and the top gets wet, it clings a little bit to your body. The looseness of one-size-up made the cling not at all annoying after all of my Greek Woman Runner Girl Sweat (it’s a thing…trust me on this…) started to cool on my drive home from my run spot of the day.

One warning, though: the fabric for the zipper on this top is a bit scratchy. Because this hoodie is a half-zip top–meaning the zipper reaches below the bra strap/heart rate monitor line–if you’re not wearing a tank top or base layer beneath, the zipper’s fabric can seem a bit scratchy. If this hoodie was a quarter-zip instead, the zipper fabric might rest right against your sports bra and you would likely not have to worry as much about feeling a zillion little scratches against your flesh as your body moves its way forward run after run. Since my Dash Half-Zip (admittedly from last year’s colors) has zipper fabric piped so the hard scratchy edges don’t hit the skin in an unfriendly sort of way, I wondered why Brooks didn’t take the same technique with this top?

Aside from that one small concern, this was the perfect top to run in! I hope that my Sunday morning run is in cold enough temperatures for me to need this as a layer in my ensemble!


An inside-out closeup of my top. See the zipper fabric and how it’s left un-tipped, or piped, or whatever the right sewing term is? Be mindful enough to wear a tank top or thin long-sleeved top under this so your skin doesn’t itch! ALSO, this close up lets you see the ‘strips’ of fleeced fabric on the inside of the top and the ‘notches’ or thinner ‘strips’ of un-lined fabric that allow moisture to wick away.


Thanks big time to my friend who’s a Brooks Guru for the amazing gift–and for adding so much joy to my Christmas morning run!

Have you worn tops from Brooks? Do you have a favorite one?

How do you keep warm on a long run?

Did you get any running-related Christmas gifts this year?



Note: I am not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise paid by Brooks. I just really love the brand and have loved it since I put on my first pair of running shoes in 2011. All opinions offered in this post are entirely my own. 

2 thoughts on “Product Review: Brooks Notch Thermal Hoodie

  1. Love the info on the hoodie! The color looks nice in the pic and I’m definately starting to shop for actual running gear from following your social media. Thanks for being you!


    • Duff–Brooks has launched its spring gear, so the hoodie is on big-time sale right now. It might be worth getting since you’re living in an area where it’s still likely very much….winter! I think that navy/purple-ish color is sold out, but the grey one is good! AND–YAY for being ready for actual running gear! Make sure that you go to a local running shop even if for no other reason than (1) to get properly fitted for running shoes (I can write a blog post about that in the next couple of weeks if you’re interested…) and (2) to get properly fitted for a sports bra. These things are very important!! 🙂


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