10 Best Running Jackets Reviewed and Tested

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Running is about momentum. Runners don’t stop just because the weather is cold, or wet, or windy. That doesn’t mean that they are immune to those elements. What you will need is a jacket that can shield you so you can focus on what really matters.

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 don’t want you to get just any jacket. We want you to have the very best, the jacket that will be perfect for you. A jacket you can put on with confidence and walk out the door no matter what it is like outside.

Last Updated: August 8, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

We consistently update our lists to make sure you are getting the best suggestions at all times. Here we have top rated, high quality choices for you to choose from. 8/7/18 Our lists can use a good old fashion tune up every once in a while and thats just what we did. Not only did we revamp it but we added the Arc'teryx Incendo at number four. While we were at it we also touched up the FAQ with some new helpful questions and answers for our readers.

Adidas Men's Essential Tricot Jacket
  • Adidas Men's Essential Tricot Jacket
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Essential Woven Jacket
  • Adidas Essential Woven Jacket
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Warm
  • Price: See Here
Baleaf Woven Windproof
  • Baleaf Woven Windproof
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Super lightweight
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Jackets


1. Adidas Essential Tricot

1. Adidas Essential Tricot
This jacket offers the classic Adidas track look with many added benefits to help you have a successful run.
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Construction and Style: 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.

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.
Pros
  • Breathable fabric
  • Allows natural movement
  • Classic Adidas design
Cons
  • Some users find the fabric to be too shiny


2. Adidas Essential Woven

2. Adidas Essential Woven
If you are a cold weather runner, this jacket is for you. It will keep you warm during the chilliest months, but also allows your body to breathe.
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Construction and Style: Available in 10 colors, this jacket is made of climawarm fabric, which keeps you warm but still allows your sweat to evaporate so you stay dry. It has kangaroo pockets for storage and ribbed cuffs and hem for a snug yet flexible fit.

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.
Pros
Cons
  • Some users experienced sizing issues


3. Baleaf Woven Hooded Windproof

3. Baleaf Woven Hooded Windproof
This is a tough, light jacket great for running in colder weather.
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Construction and Style: 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.

Breathability: This jacket is very light and breathable. The interior mesh helps keep you from getting too sweaty while the jacket still provides good protection from the cold.

Movement: 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.

Value: This is an inexpensive running jacket.
Pros
  • very lightweight 
  • pockets fit a phone snugly
  • very durable
Cons
  • not really windproof

4. Arc'teryx Incendo

4. Arc'teryx Incendo
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.
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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.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable and ventilated
  • Zip pockets
  • Reflective
  • Waterproof
  • Elastic fitted
Cons
  • Wrinkles easily

5. Craft Brilliant 2.0

5. Craft Brilliant 2.0
This jacket is specially designed for comfort and ease of movement during long distance runs. It is roomy enough for you to fit an extra layer of warmth under it if needed.
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Construction and Style: This jacket has elastic panels to allow for the best fit. The bottom can be adjusted to help keep you warm. The silver dot design along the front is reflective. There are two zipper pockets with plenty of room inside. Rain will simply roll right off this jacket.

Breathability: The lightweight, poly material is highly breathable. The collar, back of the shoulders, and area under the arms are lined with mesh to help wick away sweat.

Movement: This jacket was designed for ease of movement, and it shows. The fit allows enough room to move freely, but not so much that fabric bunches up uncomfortably.

Value: This is an expensive running jacket.
Pros
  • high visibility
  • durable design
Cons
  • Can fit a little tight, so order a size larger if you want it to be a bit loose

6. Tesla Lightweight Active Performance

6. Tesla Lightweight Active Performance
In search of a lightweight but feminine running jacket? This may be the option you need to complete your running wardobe.
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Construction and Style: This 90% polyester and 10% polyurethane jacket is cut to enhance the female shape. Thumb holes, contrast cuffs, and zippered pockets are small feature that make a big difference in this jacket. The hood even includes an earphone outlet. This jacket is available only in gray or black.

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.
Pros
  • Budget friendly option
  • Lightweight
  • Feminine cut
Cons
  • Users note the sizing is a little smaller than expected

7. Salomon Panorama Midlayer

7. Salomon Panorama Midlayer
This Salomon jacket offers warmth for all of your outdoors activities, especially running.
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Construction and Style: This quarter zip fleece jacket is made of 100% polyester. It is available in only 2 colors.

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.
Pros
  • Warmth
  • Comfy fit
Cons
  • Not waterproof

8. Adidas Running Supernova Storm

8. Adidas Running Supernova Storm
Designed with Nike’s trademark style and quality, this jacket is a good choice for runners looking for a jacket created just for athletes.
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Construction and Style: 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. Thumb holes will help keep your hands warm in the cold, and the zipper pocket on the left arm can hold keys and your phone.

Breathability: The jacket’s climalite fabric wicks sweat away from your skin. There are side seam zippers that allow you to adjust the breathability of the jacket.

Movement: This jacket is very lightweight and fits well but not too tightly.

Value: This is moderately expensive running jacket.
Pros
  • quickly adjustable for breathability and warmth
  • reflective
Cons
  • Not waterproof

9. Patagonia Houdini

9. Patagonia Houdini
This is a waterproof and windproof jacket that works great for running in the wind and rain.
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Construction and Style: This jacket is perfect for running in the rain. Rain beads up on it. The hood provides extra protection for your face while not blocking your peripheral vision. The elastic cuff and drawcord hem help keep water and cold out. There is a zippered pocket for storing items and keeping them dry. The whole jacket folds up into a small pocket you can easily pack away.

Breathability: It’s a very lightweight and breathable jacket, perfect for anyone looking to be more active while outdoors.

Movement: You may want to order a size larger than normal, since this jacket is designed to have a very tight fit for running and other activities.

Value: This is an expensive running jacket.
Pros
  • great for heavy winds and light rain
  • available in many colors
  • folds up very small
Cons
  • runs small

10. Salomon Bonatti

10. Salomon Bonatti
This Salomon running jacket has advanced technologies to keep you dry and promotes natural movement.
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Construction and Style: The Bonatti Jacket is available in 13 colors, which have minimalist details. Salomon motion fit and Advanced Skin Dry are two technologies that have been engineered into this jacket. It stores conveniently for travel in its own stow pocket.

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.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Salomon Motion Fit technology
  • Stow Pocket
Cons

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.

 

 

Weatherproofing

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.

Mobility

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.

Reflective features

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.

Storage

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.  

Temperature

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.


FAQ

Q: What do you mean by “breathability”?

A:  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 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?

A: Different types of materials will have different levels of breathablity. 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 breathablity.

 

Q: Whats the difference between waterproof and water resistance?

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?

A: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 breath 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?

A:  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 running jackets offered zippered pockets. This is a good choice more often than not since you are more likely opting for a weatherproof jacket. Whatever pants or shorts you are wearing won’t have the same protection so the zippered pockets are a good option if you want to avoid getting your phone or wallet wet.

The other thing to keep an eye out of is inside pockets. Not as convenient as a zippered pocket but they are great if you have an mp3 player or 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.


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.

Sources

  1. Ayren Jackson-Cannady , Sweat: 7 Reasons It Does a Body Good, Fitness Magazine,
  2. Jeff Metzdorff, How to Buy a Winter Running Jacket, Informational Running Website, Jan 10, 2014
  3. Go Outdoors, Waterproof Jackets Buying Guide, Informational Outdoor Website,
  4. REI Staff, Rainwear: How to Choose, Informational Outdoor Website, Apr 07, 2016
  5. Jared Dean, How to Choose the Best Running Jacket, Informational Outdoor Website, Jul 01, 2014
  6. STG, In Our View: Wear Reflective Clothing While Running, Informational News Website, Jul 14, 2014
  7. Textile Innovation Knowledge Platform, Breathability Definitions, Textile Industry Website,
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