10 Best Nike Running Jackets Tested in-depth
In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research
- Shield Flash
- Rain Runner
- Tech Hypermesh Windrunner
- Hurricane Vapor Running Jacket
- Impossibly Light
- Men's AeroLayer Running Jacket
- Epic Training
- Vapor Cyclone
- Men's Dry Element Running Top
- Dri-Fit Thermal Full Zip
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Nike Running Jackets
1. Shield Flash
Entirety not reflective
The Nike Shield Flash is a smart choice for the runner who is more likely to run after dark. It provides the wearer with warmth and visibility: two must-haves for night running.Read more
The Shield Flash keeps its runner warm and comfortable, its polyester builds resistant to accumulating uncomfortable dampness.
A large portion of the Shield Flash is reflective so that the runner is visible in both darkness and inclement weather.
This jacket is lightweight and comfortable, making it easy to run in. The Shield Flash has a durable build that will last, making it a worthwhile investment. All of these noteworthy qualities come for a worthwhile, but steep, price.
2. Rain Runner
360-degree reflective features
Made of Nylon and polyester
Not designed for extremely cold temperatures
While the Rain Runner jacket is a bit pricey, it is a durable option made specifically for those of you who frequently run in the rain.Read more
This is an excellent option for runners who frequently run in the rain--it will keep you warm and dry and protect you from both the wind and the rain.
It utilizes a Nylon shield along with a Polyester mesh to provide you with the same benefits of a raincoat--just more comfortable and ideal for the range of motion running requires. The jackets seams are double taped and well sealed to ensure no water gets in and the zippers have the same preventative measures applied to them as well.
This jacket also has 360-degree reflective features to ensure your safety by allowing drivers and cyclists to see you in the rain.
While this jacket is not built for extremely cold temperatures (it does not provide added insulation to keep you warm) it is designed for the rain. It will keep you dry and ensure you are seen by others on the road. It does have a steeper price tag, but if you are looking for a jacket that will last you several years, then this is a great option for you.
3. Tech Hypermesh Windrunner
Wind & Water Repellent
Could be considered expensive.
A lightweight layered jacket that will keep you warm, but has very well hidden ventilation areas to keep sweat away.Read more
Looking for that jacket that keeps sweat away? This jacket has holes under every overlapping layer that will help ventilate and keep sweat away.
Every runner needs running jackets that provide reflective components so others can see them coming. This jacket has reflective on the drawcords to enhance visibility.
This is the jacket that has everything you need while you run. You'll stay warm, dry, and sweat free. The ventilation components are cleverly hidden among the layers of the jacket in the areas that you need it most.
4. Hurricane Vapor Running Jacket
Secure side pockets with sturdy zip features
Comfortable and protective.
Pricey compared to some
The Hurricane Vapor Running Jacket is a great choice for runners who are looking for the best option for weather protection while out on a run. This is the men's version with very similar features to the ladies version, a great addition for his and hers running kit. The features of this jacket include warm inner lining, weatherproof outer coating, durable designs and everything you need to stay dry and comfortable on your runs.Read more
Lightweight and Breathability
With multiple layers of protection, the Hurricane Vapor Running Jacket from Nike is a great choice for runners who want something a little heavier but still manageable. The upper back, chest, and hood are made to fit snuggly for comforts and warmth but still provides ideal mobility and range of motion, something many runners want and miss in many other running jackets.
When you are trying to choose the right running jacket for your running needs one thing that must be considered is how well it will protect you. Running jackets can be made to protect against the weather in terms of rainfall and temperature changes. The Hurricane Vapor Running Jacket is a great option to protect against both and continues the great tradition of the Nike brand.
There are many features that make this a great choice for runners like you: Nike Vapor Fabric - An ultra-lightweight and breathable material for comfort to provide you the best running experience. Designed to provide extra warmth when you run in the cold. Adjustable cuffs allow for a snug, custom and personalized fit. Zip pockets for easy secure storage. Reflective Piping - for added visibility in low-light conditions
5. Impossibly Light
Jacket folds up into your pocket & a bungee so you can carry it
Stretchy arm material
Wind & Rain Resistant
Could be considered pricey
A women's light but a durable jacket that can fold up into your pocket and has a bungee so you can carry it easily on your run.Read more
Don't like having a huge jacket to carry around with you everywhere? This one is perfect as it folds up and packs right into its own pocket and if you're hot when you run you can carry it with its easily accessible bungee handle.
If you are a runner you want protection from inclement weather. This durable jacket will shield you from the wind & water because it is wind & water resistant.
A lightweight women's jacket that will keep you warm in inclement weather. You can pack up & go with its easily pack into its pocket feature which also allows you to carry it with a bungee strap. You'll be comfortable and have sufficient reflectivity so others can see you when you run.
6. Men's AeroLayer Running Jacket
Ventilation is good
Comfortable and soft interior
Expensive for some runners
The Men's AeroLayer Running Jacket is a lightweight jacket that will keep you warm while providing the right amount of breathability and repelling water. It is made with warm comfortable interior layers and a protective water proof outer layer. This is a great jacket for anyone who needs a reliable running jacket that is easy to take along with you wherever you go.Read more
If you are a runner and are considering the Men's AeroLayer Running Jacket then you will see that is offers a great level of protection against the rain and temperature changes. This jacket is designed with Dri-Fit fabric so it helps to keep sweat away and provides warmth and comfort when you need it the most no matter how wet the weather may get. It’s a perfect example of the quality Nike has come to be known for.
Materials and Value
This running jacket is a bit on the pricey side for some, but those runners who know the value of a quality jacket know that investing a little now will pay off ten fold down the road. The Men's AeroLayer Running Jacket is a great investment for any runner who likes to get out for their runs, even when the weather is less than perfect. Try it for yourself and see how valuable a good running jacket is.
7. Epic Training
Dri Fit tech
Not for heavy rain or cold temperatures
The Nike Epic Training jacket provides a more form-fitting fit and comes in a few color options. It allows for full range of motion and will keep you warm and comfortable during all of your runs.Read more
This jacket features a mock neck, which helps retain warmth during those colder days. You can zip down this feature if you decide it isn't cold enough to use but always have the option to do so. It also has side mesh panels for added breathability and overall ventilation so you don't overheat.
This jacket also features Dri-fit technology--to keep you dry during your runs.
This jacket is available at a moderate price and is well worth the cost given its many features.
8. Vapor Cyclone
Not as breathable as other options on our list
As the name suggests, this jacket is designed for those harsh winds--its waterproof and windproof, to protect you from harsh elements and provide you with comfort and breathability during your runs.Read more
This jacket is windproof, a feature many will appreciate. It is designed to protect you from harsh winds and ensure you have a comfortable and safe run.
It is also waterproof and prevents any water from easily seeping in. To prevent the breathability issues that may arise from a waterproof jacket, Nike used a combination of eyelet openings and a porous membrane so moisture and heat can exit.
This jacket is a bit pricier but well worth the price given its durability and additional features.
9. Men's Dry Element Running Top
Raglan sleeves system
Good protection against the elements
Comfortable, stylish and durable
Some runners prefer more of a jacket appearance than a track suit style
If you are looking for a great running jacket from the brand you can trust, then you need to check out the Men's Dry Element Running Top from Nike. This jacket is designed to be comfortable and durable while you are out for a run in cold and damp weather. The fabric is soft and offers moisture wicking properties and a snug fit that keeps you warm and comfortable no matter where you may be running.Read more
Comfort and Breathability
The DriFit tech used in this running jacket is perfect for runners because it keeps them comfortable and allows breathability and moisture control. Sturdy pockets are built into each side of the jacket so you can stow away your possessions and zip up for added security. Comfort and usability are key with Nike jackets and this Men's Dry Element Running Top is a perfect example of this quality and excellence.
Though the jacket is lightweight there are many features of this material design that makes it perfect for outdoor running needs. It is made from 100% polyester materials that are made with Dri-Fit technology that is soft, comfortable, and durable. If you want a jacket that will meet your neds and hold up to everything you can throw at it then this is a great jacket to consider.
The Men's Dry Element Running Top is reasonably priced for a Nike jacket and is a great choice for beginners and experienced runners alike. It can be worn as a single layer in moderate weather or as a cozy underlayer when the temperatures start to drop. This jacket is a great option and is a smart investment for anyone who needs a lightweight and comfortable jacket this season.
10. Dri-Fit Thermal Full Zip
Dri-Fit fabric helps keep sweat away
Soft & comfortable
Pockets on side zip
Sizes may run small
This is another excellent option from Nike: a lightweight men's full zip-up jacket that will keep you warm while keeping the sweat away.Read more
There's nothing worse than coming back from a run all sweaty. This jacket has the desired Dri-Fit fabric that will help keep sweat away and keep you feeling fresh.
It's soft & comfortable so you may find yourself wearing it even when you don't run. Plus, it has side zip pockets so you can store your necessities (music/cellphone) in them.
This is a soft, comfortable jacket that will keep you warm while keeping the sweat away. It will allow others to spot you as it has reflective areas on the jacket, and you'll be able to store a few items in your side pockets.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Our criteria look at runners of all ages–children, teenagers, and adults alike. We all have our own specific needs and weather requirements–while some might not mind running under a light drizzle, others may prefer to have protection even from the minimal rain. For some of us, it’s exhilarating to run in challenging elements. However, prolonged exposure to cold rain or wind deregulates our body temperature, negatively affects our immune system, and even affects our overall performance. It can also decrease our flexibility and focus as well as expose us to bugs, germs, and viruses that can make us ill. These problems can be prevented simply by wearing the right type of protective clothing–you need protection from the chilling rain and wind in order to safely enjoy your runs. That being said, just because we have to wear protective clothing doesn’t mean we can’t also look stylish at the same time!
So, how do jackets provide protection? The first thing to look at is what materials the jacket is made of. If these materials prevent water from seeping through then it is well on its way to being an excellent option.
For added protection, we need to find out if the jacket has been treated with any additional water protective qualities? Treating the surface of a fabric with a water-resistant compound is an ideal way to further protect from water penetration.
With regards to the features built into the jacket, we looked at the purpose of the feature and how it worked in functional terms to provide comfort and protection? We noted the high use of synthetic fibers and this connects to an efficient protection against water. In some jackets functionality was further enhanced through the inclusion of spandex woven with nylon, this means that the material has extra stretch–which in turn provides the runner with more physical flexibility.
FIT is highly important because it defines the runner’s overall comfort level. You can choose a great jacket, but the wrong fit won’t let you enjoy any of its benefits. FIT also helps keep you well protected from elements such as the wind or driving rain. We wanted to know if FIT provided you with both a protective body hug as well as a loose enough fit to allow air circulation within the jacket?
When it comes to a running jacket we all have similar criteria–comfort, protection, breathability, and additional storage. As much as we love running, we need to ensure we are safe, and comfortable at all times. Running on a hot day can prove to be challenging and even result in dehydration or serious fatigue if you aren’t careful. When you get dehydrated your immune system drops and your body ceases to function properly–this results in disorientation and can eventually collapse your entire system. These problems, however, can be easily prevented by ensuring you have access to water as well as protective and comfortable clothing that regulates your body’s and protects your skin from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Style is an important feature for running jackets. We want protection but we don’t want to sacrifice looking good. We looked to see if the inclusion of styling had any negative impacts on weight, protection, and functionality.
Comparing weight between the different jackets proved to be very interesting. Ultra lightweight jackets made from tightly woven fabrics are easy to carry, there are even versions which can be folded up and carried in a pocket. Something that was very clear is that the lighter the jacket, the fewer functional features it is able to provide. This is because more features require more materials or at times different types of materials and pockets, all of which add to the weight factor.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When choosing a jacket, think about comfort, protection, longevity, design, features, and durability. When we buy a jacket it's going to be with us for a long time, so style and design need to be neutral to allow for the changing fashions over the years.
At times we want a jacket for a specific duty, such as sports, hiking, or skiing. These are times when we should do our research about the performance of the jacket because its overall design will be focused on performing while remaining comfortable.
Other Factors to Consider
We examined the style and number of pockets built into jackets: Are the pockets streamlined into the contour of the jacket? Are the pockets large enough to carry needed important items and how secure are the pockets? We noted that the two methods for securing pockets were zip fasteners or drawcords.
We noted the high use of synthetic fibers and this connects to an efficient protection against water.
Thumbholes in sleeves were an appreciated innovative feature because these allow the runner to comfortably secure the jacket sleeve which running and this prevents the sleeve riding up the arm and exposing skin to the cold and wet elements.
We looked at the use of drawcords–especially at the hood, wrist, and waist– in order to block cold inwards air flow which would result in the body becoming too cold.
Our final criteria for consideration was cost. Many of you have heard the well-known expression “you get what you pay for” and we are pleased to note, in the case of Nike jackets, that this expression is not entirely accurate. Many of the jackets included innovative design, protection, lightweight, and functionality without overly pushing up the cost of the jacket. The cheapest type of jacket was the style that can be folded and stored in a pocket. As the number of features in the jacket increased it seems acceptable to pay more, yet all of the jackets remained true to durability, protection, and comfort regardless of the price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Synthetic fibers have better qualities when it comes to protection against water penetration or water retention. Cotton, velvet, and wool are known to absorb and retain water–which drags you down, makes you uncomfortable, and can even contribute to illness. The last thing you want during your run is to be soaked in water and have to cut it short because of it. Furthermore, in the days prior to synthetic fibers athletes actually had to go through a gradual cool down process. The sweat retained in their clothing kept them wet and if they removed it too quickly they could become ill. Today we still have a cool down period, but it is much less rigorous than it was in the past.
Certainly, you first need to choose a running jacket that has secure pockets–this ensures your belongings are also protected. You can carry pretty much carry anything that will fit in your pocket–your phone, keys, money–but remember that no clothing is 100% waterproof (nylon comes close heavy rain water will find a way in via seams or loose fits).
It’s probably best to look into a jack made from a Nylon-spandex blend.
A zip fastener provides security but only as long as the zip stays solid. The trouble with zip systems is that they can fail but while they are working they are protective and secure. Draw-cords are easy to use and offer security, unless they work themselves lose, so the choice is really a matter of personal preference. The ideal choice is a combination of both and some running jackets do offer this.
Before making your purchase you need to ensure it suits your specific needs. You need to ensure your jacket is properly ventilated and comfortable for YOU. If you are unsure of the specifics, Runnerclick has the information available for you. You don’t need to buy a name brand, per say, but oftentimes name brand gear is better equipped to deal with specific needs.
The air ventilation system that we recommend is the zip system. It allows you to adjust the air flow of your jacket, controlling how much of the cooling outside air is coming in and how much of your own body heat is leaving.