11 Best Running Jackets Reviewed & Tested
In this guide, we have provided a list of the best running jackets to keep you out on the trails come or shine!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Smooth-face fleece liner
Top 11 Running Jackets
1. The North Face Arrowood Triclimate
Smooth-face fleece liner
Before you shy away from the Arrowood Triclimate due to the steep price point, it is important to note that this jacket is essentially 2 coats in one. It boasts a wind-resistant top layer that is able to be completely removed to reveal a lightweight and breathable fleece lining. This is the perfect jacket for those that live in a part of the world where the weather shifts wildly between snowy, raining, and warm!Read more
The most notable feature of the Arrowood Triclimate is the ability to quickly shed layers as needed. You can wear the fleece layer alone on sunny yet chilly mornings, or pair it with the windbreaker on super cold days. You can even wear the windbreaker alone on warmer rainy days as well. This jacket is truly built for all seasons.
The exterior layer is constructed with a DryVent shell which works to wick away rain and moisture while lifting hot air up and out of the coat to prevent your runs from becoming overly hot and clammy. The interior liner is composed of smooth-face fleece that feels super soft against the skin and works overtime to hold in heat and wick away sweat from your skin.
The best part of this design is that both layers are able to be tossed into the washing machine as needed. If you live in a part of the world with some pretty extreme weather conditions, this design from The North Face is well worth the slightly higher price point.
2. Salomon Outrack
Not water or wind resistant
What we love about the Outrack design from Salomon is that it is composed of lightweight and comfortable materials to help regulate your body temperature and keep you nice and warm when heading out for a cool day. Runners love this simple design because it will keep you warm on chilly fall days, and it is thin and lightweight enough to use as a great mid-layer when the temperatures really drop!Read more
One of the things that runners love about this design is that it is composed of 100 percent polyester fleece. It has a ribbed interior shell that helps to wick sweat away from your body where it quickly dries on the surface. Due to the fact that it is made from durable polyester, users can toss this coat into the washing machine as needed.
The cut of this jacket is also great for runners, whether you are out for an easy jog or you are going for speed. The long and narrow cut is made to hug your body like a second skin to make your movements light and easy. It also boasts flat-lock seams that won’t rub your skin when engaging in repetitive movements.
It’s important to note that unlike some of the other designs that we have seen, the Outrack doesn’t possess any water-resistant properties. While it’s a great coat for chilly days, it won’t offer much protection if you get caught in the rain. However, the slim and lightweight fit makes this design a cinch to pair with a good windbreaker for added protection.
3. Columbia Flashback
Unique color options
Completely wind and waterproof
What we loved most about the Flashback from Columbia is that it boasts a loose and easy fit that won’t hinder your full range of motion, and it is made from materials that can tackle any weather condition. Whether you are running on a soggy early spring morning or heading out in the middle of winter, this is the perfect top layer to keep you warm and dry.Read more
The exterior shell of this design is composed of 100 percent water and wind-resistant polyester This simple design is even able to be tossed into the washing machine as needed. It comes in a ton of unique colors and retro-inspired designs to add a little old school flair to your seasonal runs.
The magic of this design lies in all of the small design features made to keep you warm and comfortable. It boasts cuffed collars on your hands and waist to hold in heat and to prevent wind and rain from penetrating. It has a full hood with a high neckline to provide an added level of wind and rain resistance.
If you are in the market for something that is lightweight and versatile that is a perfect companion for all seasons, this design from Columbia is a great choice. The best part of this versatile and simple design is that it comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank.
4. Under Armour Tech
Bright colors increase visibility
Warm yet breathable
Stylish 3/4 sleeve design
Some size issues reported
This jacket is designed with a thinner material that allows for enhanced temperature regulation while still serving the basic purpose of a jacket- to keep your body heat locked in so you stay warm! The Under Armour Tech jacket is a great product that carried on the great tradition of this brand.Read more
This is a jacket that will protect you from the elements while keeping you dry and comfortable. It is weather-resistant and durable with a soft inner layer to keep you comfortable on your runs - no matter how long they may be.
One of the big drawbacks to many running jackets out there today is they are bulky and hard to move around in. This is bad news for a runner and thankfully the Under Armour Tech jacket is designed to be flexible and will not hinder your motion control much at all!
With a sleek design, cool colors, secure pockets, and air flow regulation design, this is a smart choice for runners of all sorts so be sure to check it out for yourself!
5. Adidas Essential Tricot
Allows natural movement
Classic Adidas design
Some users find the fabric to be too shiny
This jacket offers the classic Adidas track look with many added benefits to help you have a successful run. This jacket is made of 100% poly tricot fabric. It is flexible, breathable, and gives a sleek athletic look. It also touts the classic Adidas three stripe insignia, and is available in 14 colors.Read more
The poly tricot material of this jacket is highly breathable and wicks moisture from your skin. When running in this jacket, there is no need to worry about being weighed down by trapped sweat or moisture.
It's extremely flexible, allowing you free movement of your arms and torso. This helps you run more naturally, comfortably, and powerfully.
This is an average priced running jacket.
6. Columbia Flash Forward Hybrid
Flex panels for an easy range of motion
Great for cold weather
650 fill power down insulation
Sleeves are very long
If you are concerned about losing mobility as you gear up for cold weather, this design from Columbia is worth checking out. The Flash Forward Hybrid fuses heat-retaining materials with stretchy fabric in key areas to keep you warm without weighing you down or hindering your full range of motion. It’s a perfect design for those really cold days!Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that the chest and arms are made from two very different materials. The chest is composed of a down puffer design that is lightweight and works overtime to hold in heat. To keep your movements light and easy, the arms are made from stretchy materials that won’t hinder your full range of motion.
Heat Seal technology found in all points of the coat work to hold in heat to keep you nice and toasty (and not clammy) on those long colder weather runs. It boasts a high neckline to retain heat and vertical zippered pockets on the side to safely store your phone and car keys.
If you are in the market for a good jacket that works to retain heat without the use of heavy and bulky materials that hinder your full range of motion, this design from Columbia is a great choice. It is a jacket that is specifically designed with runners in mind, and the best part is that even machine washable!
7. The North Face Stormy Trail
Doesn’t feel clammy
The North Face really took runners into consideration with their Stormy Trail design. The lightweight exterior shell wicks away 100 percent of rain and wind, and it is made from materials that work to regulate your body temperature. It has a few incredibly convenient features as well to keep your runs light and easy.Read more
The most notable feature of this design is the innovative materials used in the construction of this garment. While the outside wicks away rain and blocks heat, it won’t feel hot and clammy like some of the other windbreakers out there on the market. Vented panels in crucial areas work to lift hot air up and away from your body, as well as lift sweat where it quickly evaporates on the surface.
This design also boasts vertical zippered pockets to safely store your gear, as well as an adjustable hood. The entire garment is woven with reflective materials, you will always be noticed, even in low light conditions. Users love that it boasts a longer cut that isn’t too short, and cuffed sleeve work to block wind and rain.
The best part of the Stormy Trail is that you can simply toss it into the washing machine as needed. While it may cost a little bit more when compared to other designs out there on the market, we feel that the smart design of this running jacket is an excellent value that will hold up to years of continued use.
8. Adidas Supernova Storm
Quickly adjustable for breathability and warmth
Designed with Adidas’ trademark style and quality, this jacket is a good choice for runners looking for an option created just for athletes.Read more
This jacket is available in 5 colors. It has a high collar and a sturdy zipper. All colors are made with a reflective fabric that’s great for running in low light conditions. Pockets will help keep your hands warm in the cold, and the zipper pocket on the left arm can hold keys and your phone.
The jacket’s climate fabric wicks sweat away from your skin. There are side seam zippers that allow you to adjust the breathability. It's very lightweight and fits well but not too tightly.
This is a moderately expensive running jacket.
Pockets fit a phone snugly
Not really windproof
This is a tough, light jacket great for running in colder weather even though it's very light and breathable.Read more
This jacket is made from 100% polyester. It’s very lightweight, weatherproof and waterproof. The cuffs fit snugly and the hem can be adjusted with a drawstring. The attached funnel hood provides extra protection when you need it.
The interior mesh helps keep you from getting too sweaty while the jacket still provides good protection from the cold.
This jacket fits snugly without being too tight. The elastic cuffs have just enough give. You will still be able to move freely even if the drawstrings are pulled tight.
Keep in mind that this is an expensive option.
10. Arc'teryx Incendo
Breathable and ventilated
The Arc’teryx Incendo is an excellent example of high-performance construction on this list. A hoodie whose every aspect is designed to support and enhance the runner and their experience. The Incendo is a great choice if you are looking for an all-around great hoodie.Read more
The Arc’teryx Incendo is waterproof and with its hood, you can make sure even your head stays dry, also making it a solid choice if you prefer to run with headphones. The Incendo is also wind resistant meaning that with it there is no weather that can stop you from going out and shaving some seconds off your time.
The Incendo is constructed with elastics to make sure you have a tight form fitting wear each and every time to keep out any excess wind and rain. All this proofing doesn’t mean that the Incendo has ventilation issues, as it's constructed with special mesh panels to make sure your airflow stays regulated.
The Incendo from Arc’teryx is a reliable choice for the runner who isn’t deterred by the elements and needs their gear to keep up with them.
Budget friendly option
Users note the sizing is a little smaller than expected
In search of a lightweight but feminine running jacket? This may be the option you need to complete your running wardobe.Read more
This 90% polyester and 10% polyurethane jacket is cut to enhance the female shape. Thumb holes, contrast cuffs, and zippered pockets are small features that make a big difference in this jacket. The hood even includes an earphone outlet. This jacket is available only in gray or black.
This jacket is highly breathable because of the light fabric and other ventilated features. The combination of polyester and polyurethane that makes up this garment is extremely flexible, meaning you can wear this to run or even to yoga.
This is an inexpensive running jacket.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This criteria makes or breaks a jacket design.
When you run, you sweat and there is no temperature to prevent that. The best jackets for runners allow for rapid sweat evaporation without saturating your clothes or you.
Newer wicking technologies are also offering temperature controlling fabric that not only evaporates but uses it to keep your body temp steady. However, adding this into a design can release all that without the moisture build-up. The airflow is essential to keeping a jacket breathable.
More solid jackets usually offer zips in the sides and mesh material. These are used to add a vent like A’C to your run. These are proven elements in the best running jackets that assist in breathability.
Breathability also prevents chafing and heat rashes. These are caused usually by excessive humid heat. The best jackets for running will breathe well enough without losing the integrity of warmth, comfort and sweat evaporation.
There are many ways to keeping protected from the elements and this is a very effective one.
Whether you’ll be running in the snow, rain or hot sun, knowing what you will be encountering should go into what you're running gear offers. Below are a couple of examples of the types of weatherproofing we look for in the jackets.
- Waterproofing v. Water Resistance
Obviously, it is easy to read the differences between the two. However, we find more than not consumers are confused with how they differ. Waterproofing should keep you dry in all areas the jacket is in contact with your body. Water-resistance should keep you dry just long enough to get out of the storm.
Waterproofing is usually more technical and uses membranes and different materials to completely block out water penetration while still allowing for your sweat vapors to release. A lot of different sciences go into the levels of waterproofing there are.
Water resistance is usually designed to keep s a certain amount of water out. These options tend to breathe really well but you only have a few minutes before you are soaked. Hopefully, the best water resistance will offer quick-drying fabrics.
Wind Proofing v. Wind Resistance
Most waterproof jackets are also going to offer windproofing. And just like that Paramo water resistance, will be more of a wind-resistant option.
Wind proofing versus wind resistance shadows the rules of waterproof versus water resistance. One helps with limitations while the other blocks the elements completely. Most windproofing jackets tend to be light and work really well for travel. A lot of them go over other clothes, like fleece or cotton to help prevent the wind from cutting through you.
Whatever it is you are looking for in a design, always know your surroundings and what you are getting into when you run. Having options is also a great idea when investing in the best running gear. Having different levels in protection gives you a great arsenal to work with for a more customizable and comfortable running experience.
Any of the best running gear is going to offer the best mobility.
If you can’t move your arms and get the full range, you aren’t going to get very far fast. Furthermore, the restriction is annoying.
The jackets will offer nothing less. How much mobility an item has starts with design as well as how it fits. If it is too small, you aren't going to like the jacket.
The material, as we mentioned, will also play a huge effect on how well you move. This is why the current best jackets can breathe and move and wick, etc.
You don’t want materials that cling and add sweat unless that is what you're into. You want material and size to work over and on materials of other active gear. You want to stretch with plenty of room to breathe without constraint. We suggest making sure the jacket isn’t too heavy either.
Most designs have it down to a science and with all that technology and the best running jackets offer great material that allows you to move and breathe without weighing you down.
This is an especially important feature to have for runners who are running at night.
Reflective features may be located on the seams, collars or hems of a jacket. Safety is very important for runners.
Whether on the road or trail, it's important to be visible, and choosing a jacket with reflective features is a wise choice. Although reflective accessories, such as vests, can be purchased for this intended purpose, finding a jacket that already incorporates reflective details may be worthwhile for individuals who consistently run in low visibility areas.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Protecting yourself from the elements starts with a solid jacket. Whether you are facing wind, rain or snow there is a large selection of quality jackets to choose from. We’ve got ones that are designed for downpours, some for arctic chills, and others meant to be flashy and reflective. Waterproof, windproof or even both, each different option has its own thing that makes it rate well among runners out there.
A good quality running jacket will cost but will be more than worth the investment. Be sure to closely follow the manufactures recommendations on the care of your jacket. Investing in a good quality running jacket now will keep you safe and comfortable which will let you go on longer runs and get better results from your workouts.
Other Factors to Consider
Many modern jackets are designed to suit specific weather conditions. You can find a very light jacket perfect for breezy weather, drizzly morning in spring, or something heavier which is fleece-lined to curb the cold winter running mornings.
To have maximum comfort and enjoyment in your running, make sure that the jacket can offer abundant warmth and maximum breathability.
No matter where you live, you are bound to be inhibited by weather one day. Why let rain or snow change your plans? There are plenty of jackets out there to make sure you stay dry and at the proper temperature, even jackets that can block out high winds without overheating you.
There are many running jackets with some, if not all of these, qualities. We want you to have the very best, the jacket that will be perfect for you. A running jacket you can put on with confidence and walk out the door no matter what it is like outside.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What do you mean by “breathability”?
Breathability is the amount of air that can pass through an article of clothing to help regulate the wearer’s temperature. Breathability isn’t solely about letting air pass, otherwise, it would be best to go shirtless.
Breathability is also about making sure only the right amount of air passes through the clothing, enough to regulate temperature but not enough to over cool or chafe the wearer.
q: Is a waterproof and windproof jacket breathable?
Different types of materials will have different levels of breathability. Clothing made from microporous fibers can still allow air flow through them without allowing almost no liquid to pass through. On the other hand of the scale, jackets can be made with more restrictive fabric that lets absolutely zero liquid through but also doesn’t allow any air to pass through it either, giving it very little breathability.
q: What's the difference between waterproof and water resistance?
A waterproof jacket will prevent you from getting wet in any wet condition because it uses a special coating or membrane such as Gore-Tex.
A water resistant jacket will keep you dry during light rain. However, it will no provide protection from intense wet conditions. Water resistant jackets are more breathable than waterproof ones.
q: What type of fit should I look for in a running jacket?
It generally works on what you want out of your jacket but there are some factors to keep in mind. Too tight and you won’t have a full range of motion and this will restrict your performance. Too loose and you’ll feel too heavy and drag.
Runners looking for a tighter fit of the jacket will have a lighter feeling run but might have to sacrifice a bit of breathability since not as much air can move through a jacket with less space.
Runners with a looser jacket will have a lot more space to breathe but the jacket is a little heavier since it hangs off of you. There is also more of a chance the jacket will have issues with high winds.
q: What should I look for in terms of pockets?
Assuming you want pockets, since most people would often prefer the convenience of them over not, then you have a couple of options are far as what to look for. Many jackets offered zippered pockets. This is a good choice more often than not since you are more likely to opt for a weatherproof jacket.
The other thing to keep an eye out for is inside pockets. Not as convenient as a zippered pocket but they are great if you have a phone you like to keep on hand. Your headphones can be run up the inside of the jacket rather than exposed. This way you don’t have to give up on your music just because of a little weather.
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