10 Best Running Jackets Reviewed and Tested
The top 10 running jackets available in 2017. Detailed analysis and ranking, great for elite and novice runners alike. See more here!
When the cold winter months hit you want to have a good outer layer to protect you from foul weather and other hazards. There is always a reason not to go for that run or to skip (just today), don’t let that reason be because of cold temperatures. We’ve rounded up the cream of the crop and below you’ll find detailed analysis and breakdown of just why we think these are the top 10 best running jackets currently available.
We have gathered products which are made from different materials, for different climates and environments encountered when running. We have even included a few picks which will stand up to the challenges off-road and trail running maight throw at you.
10 Best Running Jackets
1. Adidas Men’s Essential Tricot Jacket
Breathability: 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.
Movement: This jacket is extremely flexible, allowing you free movement of your arms and torso. This helps you run more naturally, comfortably, and powerfully.
Value: This is an average priced running jacket.
- Breathable fabric
- Allows natural movement
- Classic Adidas design
- Some users find the fabric to be too shiny
2. Adidas Men’s Essential Woven Jacket
Breathability: The climawarm fabric allows your sweat and other moisture to evaporate, helping to keep your body dry and natural regulate your temperature. The hood is lined with mesh for added ventilation.
Movement: This jacket has a flexible, fleece feel to, and you are able to move your arms and torso freely.
Value: This is an average priced running jacket.
- Bright colors increase visibility
- Warm yet breathable
- Some users experienced sizing issues
3. Nike Dry Element Running Dry Fit
Breathability: Nike DRI-FIT synthetic fabrics wicks moisture from your skin, allowing you to stay cool as it evaporates. The quarter zip features allows your to let a little extra air flow in at your neck and chest.
Movement: The synthetic material of this jacket is very flexible, allowing for free movement of your arms.
Value: Depending on the color you choose, this could be a pricey garment.
- Many color options
- DRI-FIT fabric
- Can be expensive
4. Champion Men’s Vapor 6.2 Half Zip Jacket
Breathability: This garment has two technologies that contribute to its breathability: Champion Vapor Technology and Moisture Management technology. Together, they keep you dry by quickly wicking and evaporating sweat and other moisture.
Movement: This jacket is soft and flexible due to its honeycomb texture.
- Moisture management
- Soft texture
- Users report it is very light and does not really provide any warmth
5. Salomon Men’s Bonatti Jacket
Breathability: Advanced Skin Dry technology helps this jacket wick and evaporate moisture... plus it's waterproof!
Movement: Salomon Motion Fit technology has flexibility built into the shoulders, so whether you are running or performing another athletic activity, you can move freely and naturally.
Value: This is a high priced running jacket.
- Salomon Motion Fit technology
- Stow Pocket
- Zipper may bulge
6. Under Armour Men’s Storm Launch Run Jacket
Breathability: Users tout this jacket for its combination of water repelling technology and breathability. Much of the breathability can be credited to a mesh back vent that allows air to circulate while keeping water out.
Movement: Users note that many features on the jacket, like the sleeves and the waist, are too long. Although this allows for movement, it also means the jacket can bunch up and get in the way.
- Repels water, yet breathes
- Highly visible colors
- Too much fabric
7. Aeroskin Dry Full Zip Running Jacket
Breathability: Quick-dry moisture wicking technology keeps you cool and dry as your run.
Movement: The polyester and spandex combination of which this jacket is constructed gives it flexibility to match every movement you make.
Value: This is an extremely low priced running jacket.
- Low price
- Users say it fits true-to-size
- The fit is very structured, which may be a turn off to some runners
8. Nike Men’s Windrunner Hooded Track Jacket
Breathability: The lightweight fabric allows air to flow through easily. The back yoke is vented, increasing air flow and moisture evaporation.
Movement: Users note that this jacket is sized a bit small. So, in order to have more freedom of movement, order one size larger than you normally would.
Value: This is a higher priced running jacket.
- Light weight
- Many colors
- Hood with bill
- Runs small
9. Salomon Men’s Panorama Midlayer Jacket
Breathability: Fleece, even though it keeps you warm, has a little bit of breathability.
Movement: The stretch of the fleece material and the relaxed fit allow you freedom of movement, keeping you comfortable in any situation.
Value: This is a slightly below average priced running jacket.
- Comfy fit
- Not waterproof
10. Tesla Women’s Lightweight Active Performance Full Zip Hoodie Jacket
Breathability: This jacket is highly breathable because of the light fabric and other ventilated features.
Movement: The combination of polyester and polyurethane that makes up this garment is extremely flexible, meaning you can wear this to run or to yoga!
Value: This is an inexpensive running jacket.
- Budget friendly option
- Feminine cut
- Users note the sizing is a little smaller than expected
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.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation of the Best Running Jackets
The weather shouldn’t stop you from getting a run in, and a jacket is one way you can protect yourself from the elements. However, the jacket you wear to go to work probably won’t cut it out on the road or trail. Running jackets provide a lot of features not just to protect you, but to keep you running at your best. Knowing these important factors help you making sure that you take into consideration some of the important metrics we used in selecting the above running jackets as the best. These factors will offer a simple guideline to buyers on what to look for when shopping for running jackets.
After careful research and compiling data from trusted sources, we aimed to provide a comprehensive list of the best running jackets that would work for most runners. As you go through the following factors, make sure to ask yourself these questions. Knowing the answers will allow you to choose one of the top 10 running jackets that will work best for you.
How breathable is this jacket?
Sweat plays an important role in aerobic activities. The most important benefit of sweat is that it regulates body temperature. As sweat evaporates, we cool down and thus, do not get overheated. So it is important to have a jacket that is breathable and allows for evaporation, so that we stay cool during our runs.
There are two ways jackets promote breathability. The first is via the fabric. Microporous fabrics allow for air flow, while some fabrics feature a special technology that wicks sweat from the skin and then the sweat evaporates from the fabric. The second way is through mesh panels. These panels allow air to enter the jacket in order to keep you cool.
If a jacket is not breathable enough, this could potentially lead to overheating. Excessive heat can also cause skin rashes. It is very important that your jacket, as well as your other running clothes, provides the right amount of breathability. Consider the weather conditions you will be running in and choose your apparel accordingly.
You shouldn’t just choose a running jacket that looks good (even though you want to be stylish while you run). You should choose a jacket that, while being stylish, also provides protection from the weather you could possibly encounter while out on a run. The frequently encountered weather elements when running will be rain, wind, snow and sometimes hailstones. Below are some weatherproofing features that you may consider when choosing outdoor running gear:
Waterproofing v. Water Resistance
If a jacket is waterproof, it will keep your under layers and skin (covered by the jacket, of course) from getting wet. There are different types of waterproofing. Coated fabrics have the polyurethane components inside the fabric, may have limited breathability, and are best used during moderate activity. Some examples of the coated fabrics that are currently used by major manufacturers are the IsoTex, the AquaDry, and the Precip. Waterproof membranes are made of millions of incredibly micro pores that let water evaporate from inside out, however don’t let water get into the jacket from the inside.
This allows them to be waterproof and highly breathable. GOR-TEX is one of the most well known waterproof membranes. The third variety of waterproofing fabric is Páramo, which mimicks the functionality of the animal fur or wool to move moisture. It keeps you warm even if your jacket is wet through the use of of a breathable but permeable action liner.
Many people use waterproofing and water resistance as synonyms. But, they really aren’t. Waterproof guarantees you the needed dryness during a wet running day however water resistant can only offer limited protection from moisture for a short period of time.
Wind Proofing v. Wind Resistance
A waterproof jacket will also be wind proof. The same kind of barriers that keep out water when you are running in the rain are the very same ones that will prevent the wind from reaching your chest. Never the less, we have some jackets that are deemed to be windproof especially if the laminating coating has been used as part of the material.
The wind resistant jacket which are similar to the water resistant ones, in that they will keep you protected up until a certain point. The wind resistant jacket can protect you from light winds, but if a really serious storm picks up, it will not have much to offer. The jackets are thin and are light hence very easy to pack and hence travel with.
When choosing a running jacket, be sure to consider the weather that you can encounter while you are outdoors, as well as the amount of breathability, waterproofing, and warmth you will need to perform your best.
Using your arms while running is important, so it comes as no surprise that having jacket that allows your arms to move freely in order to maintain a proper running form is an important feature. However, it is not only about choosing the correct fit, but also choosing a running jacket with an appropriate weight. Lighter jackets will help with overall mobility by not weighing you down, which is especially important for runners who run long distances as running form can suffer after an extended period of time.
Make sure to try on a jacket in order to see if it allows for a good range of motion and to see if the weight will work for the length of run you are planning to wear it on.
This is an especially important feature to have for runners who are running at night or other low visibility areas. 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, its 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.
Other Important Factors to Consider When Choosing The Right One For You
The above factors are considered the top priorities when shopping for a running jacket. However, there are other important factors to consider that will depend on your own personal taste and how you will use the jacket. The following factors will only narrow down your search even further and should be considered when shopping for your next running jacket.
I don’t know about you, but when I run, I have a decent amount of things I carry with me: my phone; headphones; a water bottle; my ID and some cash; a multi-tool/pocket knife; and usually an energy gel or other supplement, just in case. Since I only have two hands, I need somewhere to put all of those things while I run, and that is why it is important for my running gear to have pockets.
When choosing your running jacket, take into considerations for some of the things they you always have with you when running. Look for well placed storage pockets which can offer with the amount of space you need for your stuff.
Many modern jackets are designed to suit specific weather condition. You can find a very light jacket perfect for a 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.
Q: What do you mean by “breathability”?
A: Breathability is the amount of air flow that passes through. Allowing adequate air flow is important because it allows our body to regulate temperature and for excess moisture to evaporate, keeping us dry and comfortable.
Q: Is a waterproof and windproof jacket breathable?
A: The answer is: it depends. Jackets made of a microporous material like polyurethane allow air flow while still preventing water from getting in.
However, jackets that are treated with a hydrophilic coating, rely on a moisture wicking technology into order move moisture away from your body and keeping you as dry as possible. However, there is no actual air flow as there is in porous fabrics like previously mentioned.
Q: Waterproof and water resistant – what’s the difference?
A: 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 a light rain. However, it will no provide protection from intense wet conditions. Water resistant jackets are more breathable than water proof ones.
Q: What type of fit should I look for in a running jacket? Loose or more fitted?
A: This depends mostly on personal preference.
When choosing the size and fit of jacket make sure above all that you are comfortable. Can you move easily in the jacket? Does it feel to restricting? Does it feel too baggy or heavy? Also, a tighter fitting jacket may not allow as much breathability as you want.
We also have to mention style. Do you like the way it looks? Feeling confident in your running apparel is important too.
Make sure to try on a variety of jackets in order to find the fit and size you need. Sizing varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Here are some of the sources we used during our research:
After thoroughly researching the latest available products and their in depth specifications, we have compiled this top 10 list and informational guide in order to help you choose the right running jacket for you. In order to provide the best information, we researched scholarly and clinical sources as well as trusted running and fitness professionals. Here are the following sources that we utilized in order to provide you, the readers, with the most accurate information possible.
- Sweat: 7 Reasons It Does a Body Good, Fitness Magazine, ,
- How to Buy a Winter Running Jacket, Informational Running Website, Jan 10, 2014 ,
- Waterproof Jackets Buying Guide, Informational Outdoor Website, ,
- Rainwear: How to Choose, Informational Outdoor Website, Apr 07, 2016 ,
- How to Choose the Best Running Jacket, Informational Outdoor Website, Jul 01, 2014 ,
- In Our View: Wear Reflective Clothing While Running, Informational News Website, Jul 14, 2014 ,
- Breathability Definitions, Textile Industry Website, ,