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Top 10 Best Rain Jackets for Running Reviewed

last updated Oct 01, 2018
Unless you’re bound to the indoor track or your treadmill, running requires contact with the elements. Wind, rain, sun, and snow are probably well-known friends to you if you’re a die-hard runner. In some senses, this is the joy in running. Fresh air and the feeling of contact with the natural world enlivens and improves health. Therefore choosing the right running jacket is vital if you don’t want any of the elements distracting you from your running experience.

A jacket which offers good protection for a summer rain shower will not function the same during colder temps. Some jackets are designed to be super light, easy to stash away in a stuff-pocket and fine for a local run. Other jackets need to offer more, especially if a runner is caught out in heavy rain while on a long trail run. If you spend a little more time looking, you can even find jackets which were not specifically designed for running but are more than ideal for intense weather conditions.
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Products Evaluated
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By Giselle Killebrew:

This time around we have added a new jacket from the North Face! Make sure to take a look at all of our jackets since their rankings have changed and they have been adjusted to what is currently considered the best of the best.

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Protection Style Breathability Size Price By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Protection
99%
Style
96%
Breathability
91%
Size
97%
Price
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$78.83
Best Deal
$95.37
Best Deal
$111.97
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Protection
90%
Style
90%
Breathability
94%
Size
93%
Price
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$69.73
Best Deal
$69.95
Best Deal
$100.00
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Protection
90%
Style
88%
Breathability
95%
Size
87%
Price
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Protection
88%
Style
84%
Breathability
94%
Size
90%
Price
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$149.73
Best Deal
$149.95
$161.21
Best Deal
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Protection
90%
Style
87%
Breathability
93%
Size
90%
Price
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Protection
95%
Style
92%
Breathability
79%
Size
90%
Price
74%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Protection
96%
Style
90%
Breathability
84%
Size
89%
Price
65%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$276.25
$425.00
Best Deal
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Protection
90%
Style
70%
Breathability
89%
Size
90%
Price
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$93.83
Best Deal
$122.82
Best Deal
$189.00
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Protection
92%
Style
89%
Breathability
75%
Size
83%
Price
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$63.83
Best Deal
$129.00
$129.00
Best Deal
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.4
Protection
80%
Style
70%
Breathability
71%
Size
86%
Price
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.18)
$47.00
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Outdoor Research Helium II
  • Marmot PreCip
  • North Face Resolve
  • Outdoor Research Foray
  • Outdoor Research Realm
  • Helly Hansen Seven J
  • Arc’teryx Zeta LT
  • Marmot Minimalist
  • Patagonia Torrentshell
  • Charles River Apparel New Englander
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Rain Jackets

1. Outdoor Research Helium II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Outdoor Research Helium II
Protection
99
Style
96
Breathability
91
Size
97
Price
89
best offer for today
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$111.97
$78.83
Best deal
$95.37
Best deal
Pros:

Ultralight, made from Nylon, 2.5 layer 30D Pertex Shield DS ripstop fabric

Waterproof zippers

Stuff pocket for easy storage

Elastic cuffs to keep water/air out

Adjustable hood drawstring

Cons:

No side pockets

The 2nd edition of Research Helium rain jacket is one mega light jacket with a very good price. It can be described as a packable shell and waterproof, that allows an athlete to enjoy a very light run and climb.

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The features in the jacket are just the same features that an athlete will get form a rain jacket that is ultralight. It has a chest pocket that is Napoleon, it has a very nice sizing with a protection zipper that is water resistant. Just below the hem you will find the jacket has a pocket on the interior part. The jacket,has adjustments that have cords that are single draw, for the jacket's hem and hood. The jacket is an amazing apparel for both athletes who love running both in the city and in upcountry. The 2nd version of Helium stuffs very easily into ones interior pocket that is small, and the jacket is also small enough to be carried for any given run. Light weight and with great carry ability.

Still a good jacket compared to new versions of rain jackets like Montane and Marmot. Its 100% waterproof, and has a feel that is slippery on fabric that is used to make the interior parts of the jackets. Though it lacks pocket venting and has no zips that are pits, this contributes to the jacket having limited brethability. But then its an affordable jacket with amazing lightweight features.

2. Marmot PreCip

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
 Marmot PreCip
Protection
90
Style
90
Breathability
94
Size
93
Price
90
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$100.00
$69.73
Best deal
$69.95
Best deal
Pros:

Great value

Breathes well

Quality materials.

Cons:

Limited hood adjustments

In the raining jacket ventures today, the Marmot just seem to be getting well in the market.Marmot PreCip is another outdoor costume with good qualities and fit to performance oriented user.

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The price of this rain raining jacket is reasonable ant that makes it very much recommendable to family and friends. A big contributor to the PreCip’s popularity is its light feel and excellent breathability.The jacket is kept effectively cool all round and waterproofed by the Pit zips and Marmot’s features.

Ventilation of this jacket is also amazing. It is designed to pit zips that are 15-inch, pocket vents that are chest-high plus a Velcro storm flap that helps the jacket to repel the rain and wind even whenever the zipper at the front of the running jacket is open.

The jacket is surprisingly lighter even with the usage of 50-denier durable ripson nylon and the venting designs. All these features makes the Marmot PreCip a good jacket and usable overall.

3. North Face Resolve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
North Face Resolve
Protection
90
Style
88
Breathability
95
Size
87
Price
93
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Pros:

Well-ventilated

Good for rain protection in warm climates

Windproof

Effective waterproofing

Cons:

High collar

Doesn't provide insulation

This high-quality rain jacket features a breathable mesh lining in the interior and adjustable hood that can be packed inside the collar. The jacket is also windproof and offers a warranty.

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The jacket is made of nylon, polyurethane, tricot, and twill, to provide you with enhanced water and wind proofing. It is made of a DryVent (2L) Shell with mesh liner for ventilation. It has been highly rated for its ability to keep users dry, while allowing for optimum breathability. This is a good jacket for warmer climates, but buyer beware that it does not provide much insulation.

The hood can be stowed in the collar, but some users found the collar a bit too high for comfort. It has a relaxed fit if you like that style. The pockets zip, there are elastic bound cuffs at the wrists and an adjustable cinch at the waist.

The cost of the jacket is about the same as other high-quality sports jackets, if not a bit cheaper. The North Face company offers a lifetime warranty on the product as well. This model is available for both men and women.

4. Outdoor Research Foray

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Outdoor Research Foray
Protection
88
Style
84
Breathability
94
Size
90
Price
86
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$149.95
$149.73
Best deal
$161.21
Best deal
Pros:

Completely waterproof.

Extremely breathable.

The best possible ventilation system.

Versatile.

Very packable.

Very durable polyester material.

Great wind protection.

Cons:

A bit at heavier side.

No internal mesh (my favorite feature).

Talk of style combined with good jacket features in one, this is the Outdoor Research Foray.This outdoor jacket is designed with good features that favor the runner. Its fabric is created to be lightweight, breathable,water and wind proofed, movement-mirroring stretch and it is fully seam-taped. The fabric is also air permeable and weather protective.

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It's Ascent Shell membrane manipulates the superfine polyurethane fibers that are designed in a random pattern to form small, air-permeable pores that regulate the users body heat and temperatures in all the weather conditions.

This jacket too gives enough space for the runner to carry all the necessities while on the run. It has pockets on the another meshed on ultralight stretch for added venting. It also has a bonus stretchy pouch where the user can keep his or her smartphone while on the run, and still be secured.

5. Outdoor Research Realm

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Outdoor Research Realm
Protection
90
Style
87
Breathability
93
Size
90
Price
75
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$235.72
Pros:

Lightweight

Windproof

Waterproof

Breathable

Cons:

Expensive

No women's cut

For any rain running runner that is performance oriented and looking for a good jacket that will suit him or her, then the Outdoor Research Realm is the answer. This outdoor jacket is designed with good features that favor the runner.

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Its fabric is created to be lightweight, breathable,water and wind proofed, movement-mirroring stretch and it is fully seam-taped. The fabric is also air permeable and weather protective.

It's AscentShell membrane manipulates the superfine polyurethane fibers that are designed in a random pattern to form small, air-permeable pores that regulate the users body heat and temperatures in all the weather conditions.

This jacket too gives enough space for the runner to carry all the necessities while on the run. It has two pockets on the chest and another meshed on ultralight stretch for added venting. It also has a bonus stretchy pouch where the user can keep his or her smartphone while on the run, and still be secured.
It has a carabiner loop too that the user can pack the jacket and the Internal front stormflap helps in blocking out wind

6. Helly Hansen Seven J

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Helly Hansen Seven J
Protection
95
Style
92
Breathability
79
Size
90
Price
74
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Pros:

Waterproof and Windproof

Quick-dry liner

Storm flaps and fully sealed seams

Zippered pockets

Bottom hem cinches

Adjustable sleeve cuffs

Cons:

Stiff

Less breathable than other lighter jackets

This rain jacket from Helly Hansen isn’t necessarily a running jacket but is a great option if you’re looking for something a little more heavy duty with more than just the basics. The reliable weatherproofing and wide array of features make this jacket a good total package.

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ms help to keep out the elements and a storm flap covers up the zipper. The bottom hem is cinched and the cuffs and hood are adjustable, so the inside is protected from rain and helps to windproof the jacket.

Style and Fit
This jacket comes in a huge variety of colors that are vibrant and will help you stand out, providing personality and safety. Plenty of adjustable features will help keep the fit close.

Construction and Materials
A soft inner lining and an outer shell made of Helly Tech 2-ply fabric make the foundation for this jacket, a base on which plenty of other fantastic features are built. Along with many adjustable parts, a reliable weatherproof outside, and a quick-dry moisture wicking liner there are zippered pockets and a chin guard.

7. Arc’teryx Zeta LT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Arc’teryx Zeta LT
Protection
96
Style
90
Breathability
84
Size
89
Price
65
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$276.25
$425.00
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Pros:

Cut design

Lovely feeling fabric

Excellent breathability

Lightweight

Super neat construction

Cons:

No wiring on peak

Expensive

Quirky upwards-opening hand-pockets.

This high performing rain jacket has got good features that any hiking or backpacker runner would love and dream to have in a rain running jacket.

Read more

This jacket utilizes a simple polyester shell that allows it to be lightweight and stylish while also providing you with the protection you need. It is breathable and versatile and a great option for severe weather.

8. Marmot Minimalist

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Marmot Minimalist
Protection
90
Style
70
Breathability
89
Size
90
Price
79
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$189.00
$93.83
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$122.82
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Pros:

Completely waterproof.

Breathable.

Versatile.

Very packable.

Durable polyester material.

Great wind protection.

Great variety of colors & sizes.

Machine washable.

Cons:

High Price.

A bit on the heavier side, not a big deal.

No roll away hood.

No stuff pocket.

No fleece in the collar

This Rainwear outfit is dedicated to an outdoor, running person. The Polyester shell keeps the Marmot Minimalist Jacket is simple and light though can keep a runner under protection from strong wind and rains through its Gore-Tex-Paclite technology.

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The Gore-Tex Paclite membrane is also responsible for keeping out all the moisture from the user. The angel Wing Movement and lower back hem gives allowance for softshell, versatile and lightweight too, giving the user comfort of not being restricted or overheated.

Its adjustable hood hem and hook and loop cuffs maximize the importance of the Marmot Minimalist rain running jacket by sealing out monsoon winds. From the front, the pockets help the runner in carrying important necessities that may be needed during the run.

The face is insulated and comforted by the DriClime-lined chin guard The Gores’s inimitable Paclite feature gives the jacket a guaranteed reliability while the water-resistant zippers and a front storm flap reduces vulnerabilities of the jacket to nearly zero percent for ultimate protection. Not to forget the zippered underarm vents that regulate excessive production of heat and interior humidity whenever there are occurrences of rainstorms.

All these ingredients make the Marmot Minimalist jacket not only a classic wear but also fit and right for a user during rainy seasons.

9. Patagonia Torrentshell

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Patagonia Torrentshell
Protection
92
Style
89
Breathability
75
Size
83
Price
70
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$129.00
$63.83
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$129.00
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Pros:

Small packed size

Great hood

Weather-ready construction.

Cons:

Has a heavier feel when worn,

Price premium

The Torrentshell from Patagonia, is a little more expensive but then it has additional features, that enables the wearer to have a perfect fit. The hem will offer a fit that is even thanks to the drawcord that is found on all the sides. No velcro on the flap (streamlined) it covers the zip entirely. Should be covered always to prevent any rainwater from sipping in.

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he Torremstshell stands out as a shell: functional and clean, its whole look works perfectly well for athletes daily wear.

With the extra dollar, it also brings more impressive features a more substantial feel from the fabric, which is crucial in its functionality. Its lightweight feature is debatable because it weighs less than one ounce more than most running rain jackets. But then it's not heavy. However, it has a construction which is more substantial and becomes very helpful and useful when the running weather becomes more nasty and rough. It does come in handy if the weather turns particularly nasty. This jacket has an amazing hood design.

With a single cinch (normally on the backside of the hood), the wearer can adjust the back and sides of the hood and also of the bill. This enables the athlete to have a great seal and fit. It has an effective but very simple system. The fit of the jacket is similar to Marmot Precip's fit, in case a tiny bit smaller because of its back length is short.

The jacket is definitely very true to its size, with an amazing balance of not being too bulky while still having the excess layer that is underneath the jacket for warmth and heat retention. The full price of the jacket at the retail store is quite high, compared to other rain jackets used by runners. Though we must note that the jacket has really impressive features hence considered one of the high-quality rain jackets for athletes.

Though, some features found in the jacket can be found from cheaper models or rain jackets, but then not all the features. This is definitely one of the constructions from Patagonia with a great design that is durable against wear and tear.

10. Charles River Apparel New Englander

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.4
Charles River Apparel New Englander
Protection
80
Style
70
Breathability
71
Size
86
Price
90
best offer for today
$47.00
Pros:

More affordable compared to other choices on the list

Waterproof and Windproof

Comes in many different colors

Hand pockets

Adjustable drawstring hood

Reflective striping

Cons:

Noisy

Stiffer than other options meant for running

This jacket is great for all kinds of settings, but also has plenty of features that will accomodate runners looking for an affordable option.

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Weatherproofing and Rain Protection
The shell of this jacket is made from polyurethane with heat sealed seams, keeping out the rain and the wind. There is a wind-flap for additional protection and the zipper runs two ways.

Style and Fit
These jackets are extremely colorful with over 10 bright and bold colors to choose from and most of the available colors come with reflective striping or coloring. The sleeves are adjustable to help keep the cuffs snug and keep the weather out.

Construction and Materials
The outer layer of the jacket is not only comfortably weatherproofed, but it’s attached to an inner layer of breathable mesh for a more durable material. Tafetta nylon sleeves and pockets add to the comfort and practicality of this rain jacket.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Protection

This is one of the most important factors of a rain jacket, but there are both waterproof and water-resistant. Waterproof jackets completely protect you against the rain no matter how hard it’s pouring. If you’re not the type to be deterred by bad weather, this jacket is for you. You’ll be protected regardless of how heavy the downpour is.

On the other side, water-resistant means the jacket provides some protection from the rain. The jacket will also be lighter in general. If you’re okay hiking with the chance of rain or if it’s just sprinkling, this is your best bet.

Style

When you are running, functionality is important, but let’s be honest- so is how you look. Even though you might be sweaty, you still want to look good while you run. We kept this in mind when selecting the jackets that made this list. Not only do they stand up well against rain, they are also stylish, so you will want to wear them!

Breathability

Running will be accompanied by intense sweating, but this varies from person to person. Sweating an important, natural body process, but not everyone is ready to deal with the smell. Sweating helps the body to get rid of soreness and ease pain from the muscles during a workout, while also helping your internal body temperature low. Apart from clearing the skin pores one interesting fact about sweating, is that it can also improve the runner’s mood, get rid of the body toxins and regulate one’s body temperature.

Check for ventilation features on your jacket before buying it as this will allow maximum breathability during your workout session. With a breathable fabric, the air can move around the body freely to keep you smelling fresh. The material used to make the inner part of the jacket should also have sweat-wicking capabilities. This combined with breathability will guarantee a comfortable cool and fresh body for an athlete through the whole running session. Many athletes are discouraged from overheating especially during workouts as this can lead to dizziness, skin irritation, and other, more serious health issues.

Apart from the breathability factor, your ideal rain jacket ought to have all the features apart from breathability that make it weather resistant. Many cases out there will present a scenario of a jacket being waterproof it automatically becomes windproof. Why is this so? The same features and designs that make a jacket to be waterproof are pretty much the same that are utilized in making a jacket that is windproof. When looking at the water-resistant ones, go for ones that have laminate coating because they will also be windproof.

Size

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a rain jacket is what size to get. This will be determined by what layers you’re wearing under it. If you’ll mainly be using it in colder climates where you’ll have layers underneath it, buying a size up so you have room to move is a good idea.

If you’ll be using the jacket in a moderate climate that’s not too cold, a jacket in the size that’s your normal size should be just fine. It’s best to wear the clothes you’ll wear while running to the store to get the most accurate fit.

Value

Rain jackets have grown to be expensive these days. However, there is no need to compromise economy for quality. When you need this kind of gear, it is imperative to remember that the best rain jacket is one that is durable and comfortable yet breathable. Try to buy off season to find good deals, if your budget is limited.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Protection Vs. Weight

Get the right rain protection in the lightest weight package possible. In colder weather, make sure there's enough room underneath for your midlayer or thermal.

Imagine layering before you buy, to make sure you aren't bogged down when adding the rest of you old weather gear.

Breathability is often overlooked

Consider jackets that breathe well. Think about the materials. Is the jacket made with some type of breathable membrane material such as Gore-Tex, Hyvatt, or other many different options out there.

Other Factors to Consider

Features

When shopping for a jacket, you’ll see 2, 2.5, and 3 layers. Two layers are the most popular and least expensive option. The two layers indicate the face fabric is attached to the membrane, and nothing else is connected inside. The 2.5 layer is similar, but abrasion resistance is provided via a laminated grid pattern that’s inside the jacket.
The 3-layer jackets are the most durable, but also the most expensive. This jacket differs in that the inner layer can be removed and worn as a separate jacket. If you’ll be outdoors in cold weather often, or like to have options, the 3 layer jacket is probably for you. If you won’t need too much protection, the 2 or 2.5 layers will be just fine.

The different types of shells refer to how the jacket is made up. Soft-shell jackets are water-resistant with an insulating layer. They tend to be more breathable, especially during activities where you might be sweating often. This jacket is good for those who like running or doing strenuous outdoor activities but also need rain protection.

Hard-shell jackets are waterproof, but as the name indicates, not as breathable as the soft shells. These tend to be stiffer as well, so it’s best to choose this if rain protection is your main concern. Hybrid shells are also offered, which are a mix of the two. If you’ll be going somewhere cold, an insulted shell will be a good choice, as there’s synthetic or down filling to keep you warm.

Weight

It is no secret that the weight of your running clothes can affect your speed. When selecting the jackets that made this top ten list, we kept in mind the importance of having lightweight running apparel that will not adversely affect your times, whether you are running a 5k or a 50k.

We also considered the fact that the weather changes, and quickly. You might leave your house to go on a run while it is bright and sunny, but halfway through it could begin to downpour. With this rapid change in mind, we also selected jackets that are packable and portable so you can always have them on hand for those just-in-case situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How Is the waterproofing feature of a jacket measured?
a:

Waterproofing is typically tested and measured by the factory, where the jacket is produced. The measurements have to get to the standardized rate set by the regulation companies where the manufacturing company is, for example the county.

q: What makes my running jacket waterproof?
a:

The waterproof feature of a jacket means that no water will be able to sip into the jacket and reach your skin. This feature is varied from one brand to another and totally depends on the material used. The coated fabric is a waterproof fabric that is used, though it has limited breathability and is ideal for moderate sporting activities.

The other fabric is known as a waterproof membrane. Its made form very many and tiny pores ( million of pores) which allow for liquid evaporation. Though it doesn’t allow water in since the evaporation is done from inside the fabric. Paramo also is a fabric used as a waterproof material. Paramo functions the same way as animal fur work in getting rid of sweat. Its lightweight also and has good breathability.

q: After choosing my running jacket, when should I retreat it?
a:

A lot of people get this wrong. Retreating a jacket can make its caring and maintenance complicated and extra expensive. One should not retreat a jacket after every wash. The only necessary time retreat a jacket is when the durable waterproof repellency has expired. Whenever it rains, a good running jacket will allow its waterproof ability to fall droplets of rain droplets whenever it rains. Else, retreating the jacket more often tends to temper the running jackets features like the breathability of the running jacket.

q: If a jacket is waterproof and windproof, how can it be breathable?
a:

Some jackets have designs that allow for venting and airflow, or that have liners that help to wick moisture and keep you cool. Even if it keeps out the weather it doesn’t mean it will keep out the cool air or that you have to be overheated or uncomfortable to be protected from rain and wind.

q: Is it better to have a tighter fitting jacket or a looser fitting jacket when I run?
a:

This is completely up to personal preference. The jacket you wear should be comfortable and fit your personal style. However, it is important to keep in mind that a jacket will be better suited for running if it allows for full mobility and is breathable. These two factors will allow you to move naturally and keep your body temperature at a safe level.

Sources

  1. Bryan Boyle, Runner's world, running website,
  2. Michael Charboneau, Runner's world, running website,