Top 10 Best Rain Jackets for Running Reviewed

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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. This is why running jacket selection is so vital, you don’t want any of the elements detracting you from your running experience.

Light showers, flash storms, sudden snowfalls, mist, humidity, drizzle, wind-driven rain, damp air, chilly wet winds; all these vastly different weather conditions require top brand outerwear manufacturers to think very creatively. There is no universal weather running jacket, so they must be designed with specific seasons in mind.

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.

Last Updated: July 6, 2018
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By Max Knapp:

Check out the latest updates we've made to our list, bringing up to 13 options for rainy days that we're pretty happy with. 07/06/2018 This update brings three more jackets to the list, replacing some outdated options. FAQ questions have also been updated for readability and accuracy.

Marmot Minimalist
  • Marmot Minimalist
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great wind protection
  • Price: See Here
Outdoor Research Realm
  • Outdoor Research Realm
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable rain protection
  • Price: See Here
Marmot PreCip
  • Marmot PreCip
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reasonably priced
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Rain Jackets For Running

 

1. Marmot Minimalist Jacket

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 give the jacket a guaranteed reliability while the water resistant zippers and a front storm flap reduces vulnerabilities of the jacket to nearly zero percentage 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.
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


2. Outdoor Research Realm

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.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Windproof
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No women's cut


3. Marmot PreCip

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.
Pros

Great value

Breathes well

Quality materials.

Cons

Limited hood adjustments

4. Arc’teryx Zeta LT

4. Arc’teryx Zeta LT
Let the price not scare you, 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. The Polyester shell feature of the jacket is responsible for the simplicity and lightweight of the costume, though can keep a runner under protection from strong wind and rains through its Gore-Tex-Paclite technology. It also constitutes the Gore-Tex Paclite membrane that is a keeps out all the moisture from the user when he or she is on the run. 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 this rain running jacket by sealing out monsoon winds. The class of this jacket is unbeatable.
All the Arc’teryx products have the tendency of their designs being created for serious and productive use. It's features makes the Arc'teryx Zeta LT very ex comfortable to be used by a runner for a rain shell with a soft touch unique from all the winter running jackets. This is definitely what a winter running runner wants.
Pros

Cut design

Lovely feeling fabric

Excellent breathability

Light weight

Super neat construction

Cons

No wiring on peak

Quirky upwards-opening hand-pockets.

5. Outdoor Research Foray

5. Outdoor Research Foray
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.
Pros
  • Completely waterproof.
  • Extremely breathable.
  • The best possible ventilation system.
  • Versatile.
  • Very packable.
  • Very durable polyester material.
  • Great wind protection.
Cons
  • Price.
  • A bit at heavier side.
  • No internal mesh (my favorite feature).

8. Patagonia Torrentshell

8. Patagonia Torrentshell
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 rain water from sipping in.
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The Torremstshell stands out as a shell: functional and clean, its whole look works perfectly well for an 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 its 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 more small because of its back length being short.

The jacket is definitely very true to its size, with an amazing balance 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 quiet 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 fain 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.
Pros

Small packed size

Great hood

Weather-ready construction.

Cons

Has a heavier feel when worn,

Price premium

9. Outdoor Research Helium II

9. Outdoor Research Helium II
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.With a price which is less $40 than other competing jackets.
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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.
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

Paradox Men's Waterproof Breathable Rain Jacket

Paradox Men's Waterproof Breathable Rain Jacket
This rain jacket from Paradox offers an easy on the go option for those who never know where their runs may take them. It’s easy compressible and, with a waterproof finish, will keep you dry when you need it most.
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Weatherproofing and Rain Protection
A two and a half layer system promises a finishing layer of waterproofing that is strong enough to hold up against the weather while being flexible enough that the jacket can easily be compressed and stored for easy travel.

Style and Fit
The design of this jacket is nothing flashy; it’s simple and comes in only a handful of colors, but it does serve its purpose well. Unfortunately there aren’t any drawstrings or adjustable parts to help with weatherproofing or fit either.

Construction and Materials
The material is comfortable and almost cloth-like on the inside, providing cozy protection from the elements. It is lightweight and compressible enough to take on the go and the material is sun protective, keeping you safe from more than just rain.
Pros
  • Waterproof and Windproof
  • Sun protective with UPF 50
  • Lightweight
  • Super portable
Cons
  • Not as breathable as other options
  • Some customers reported leaks but it seems like manufacturing flaws rather than the construction of the jacket
  • There are pockets but they may arrive sewn shut for shipping

Charles River Apparel New Englander

Charles River Apparel New Englander
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.
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

Helly Hansen Seven J

Helly Hansen Seven J
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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Weatherproofing and Rain Protection
A layer of waterproofing and sealed seams 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.
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

 

 


The Criteria We Used When Searching For The Best Rain Jackets

Running is the most popular form of physical exercise because it’s accessible, all-season, and requires very little knowledge of work out techniques. This means that there is a wider demographic of runners, all at different levels, requiring something unique from their outerwear.

This guide will help you to choose exactly what’s best for you to stay warm and dry while running. We’ll take you through some simple steps so you can buy your next running jacket with confidence.

Rain 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 ( people have different degrees of sweating). Sweating a natural process of the body and those it’s helpful, nobody is always ready to deal with the smell. Sweating helps the body to get rid of soreness and ease pain from the muscles during a workout. 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.  comes with plenty of sweating, and nobody wants to have that gross smell of sweat.

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 has the ability to move around the body freely. 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 designed 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.

Levels of Layers

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.

Types of Shells

The different types of shells refer to how the jacket is made up. Softshells 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 shells 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.

Size of the Jacket

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 actually wear to the store and try the rain jacket over it to get an accurate fit.

Insulation

Yes, insulation is very important in your rain running jacket.  It keeps you from getting too cold, and also helps wick moisture away from your skin. Make sure you know the environmental conditions of the area in which you will be running so you can choose the appropriate amount of insulation in your jacket.

 

Other Things Worth Considering Before You Buy

Weight and Pack-ability of the jacket

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.

Wind Resistance

The main reason for having a rain running jacket is to help the runner keep dry while on the move. The features of the rain running jacket should be designed in a good manner that can be wind and water resistant. Windproof jackets help the runner to not have a lot of wind, which may interrupt his or her run, in the jacket.

The jackets that are wind resistant are not similar to the ones that are water resistant. One common trait though, is that they can offer weather protection to the runner but the protection is limited. The wind jacket can protect an athlete from a windy climate but when faced with stronger winds it won’t offer much help. This is because they are thin and of a lightweight constrution. Even though these features are not helpful in extreme weather conditions, they are indeed useful when one is traveling, as the jackets can be easily packed and carried along.

It is also important after getting your jacket to consider maintaining this weather features in the jacket. In case they fail or expire, it is advisable to either get the jacket for replenishing of the features or getting another rain running jacket.

Price

Rain jackets have grown to be expensive these days.  However, there is no need to compromise economy for quality. When you are in need of this kind of gear, it is imperative to remember that the best rain jacket is one that is durable and comfortable yet breathable.

FAQ

 

Q: How Is the Waterproofing feature of a jacket Measured?

A: Waterproofness 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, 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 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 waterproof material.  Paramo functions the same way as animal fur work in getting rid of sweat. Its lightweight also and has good breathability.

Q: What is the importance of insulation on my rain running jacket?

A: Yes, insulation is very important in your rain running jacket.  Insulation gives the runner a run that doesn’t have the worries of freezing because the weather is very cold. Most runners tend to check any alert related to the weather so that they can be in the know of their running climate. The ideal running temperature for most runners should be somewhere below 40 degrees. Go for insulated running hoodies or jackets as they keep you warm in the chilly running days.

Q: After choosing my running jacket, when should   I need to retreat my jacket?

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: What exactly is breathability?

A: Breathability refers to the amount of ventilation a fabric allows.

Fabrics that are ventilated allow our bodies to regulate their temperature naturally to keep us at a cool, healthy body temperature. It also helps prevent us from running around in sweat-soaked clothing.

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: What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?

A: A waterproof jacket prevents you from getting wet. A fabric can be made waterproof through the application of a coating (like polyurethane), a membrane (like GORE-TEX), or use a system like Páramo.

Water resistant fabric will keep you dry in light precipitation, but once it really starts to pour, you will still get wet. These types of fabrics are usually more light and breathable than waterproof fabrics, but they won’t keep out the weather and wet as well as truly waterproof jackets.

Q: How tight is the jacket supposed to be?

A: Some jackets will have useful features like adjustable cuffs and drawstring hems so you can tighten the fit a little bit, and a good jacket won’t be too loose. However, most rain jackets aren’t meant for compression, and a good fit must be loose enough to allow breathability and air flow. It shouldn’t limit your natural movement at all or restrain the use of your hands. Also, excess fabric can make your jacket difficult to wear or move around in as well as too heavy and not breathable enough.

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.


 

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

Sources

  1. Altra Running, Pushing Gear in Running Gear, running website,
  2. Runners world, 12 of the Season’s Best Running Jackets, running website,
  3. Runners world, Nine Running Jackets for the Rain, running website,
  4. Denali Outdoor, waterproof breathable fabric technologies, running website,
  5. Section Hiking, how to buy a hiking rain jacket, running website,
  6. Best rain jacket, what you need to remain dry during wet weathers, running website,
  7. REI, Running Jackets, running website,
  8. Wild Running, how to choose a waterproof jacket for running , running website,
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