The Best Running Jackets – What Should You Look for?

When it comes to exercising out in nature, you need to wear some sort of protective gear that is designed specifically for the terrain in which you plan on exploring. Whether it’s a hot and humid environment or a very cold landscape, sufficient outerwear protection is absolutely vital in ensuring that you’re well protected against any potential threats during your adventure. 

Running is a very popular activity and for good reason. Running is good for the cardiovascular system and it requires very little cost or equipment to enjoy. While most gyms offer treadmills that simulate running under a variety of conditions and parameters, these machines simply can’t replicate the amount of beneficial activity that you’ll receive from actually getting out on the pavement or running in your natural environment. 

There are a lot of different variables that you must consider when running out in nature such as debris, climate, weather, and more. By staying ready to address these different variables when out running, you’ll be able to avoid experiencing injuries or other roadblocks.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from these different elements is by wearing a protective jacket that will allow you to easily continue your exercise without having to worry about the weather ending your run early. 

Choosing the right jacket to use for your running exercises all depends on the conditions in which you’ll be running, how long you plan to run, and what your personal preference is in terms of material thickness and durability. Because there are so many different factors to consider when selecting which running jacket is right for you, it’s important for you to stay educated about all of the different factors you need to consider before making your final purchase decision. 

If you’re someone who has been looking for a premium running jacket but has been struggling to find the right fit for your particular needs, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with a comprehensive look at all of the most important factors and variables that you need to consider when choosing which running jacket will be best suited for your particular needs. 

We’re going to cover all of the important factors that you need to consider when making your decision about which running jacket is right for you to ensure that you make the right choice. To begin, let’s look at some of the most prominent features that everyone should consider when browsing through running jackets out on the market right now. 

Top Recommended Running Jacket 

Saucony Men’s Vigor Jacket

The Saucony Men’s Vigor Jacket is constructed using 100% polyester for a very reliable layer of protection against wet climates and conditions. The jacket uses a specialized textile material for its waterproof and windproof exterior flex shell layer which prevent any of the outside elements from impacting your ability to perform.

The jacket also comes with bonded seams which prevent any water from penetrating the interior of the jacket in addition to reflective peak cuts all throughout its design which ensure that you remain visible under all sorts of conditions. The jacket comes with bonded zipper pockets which allow you to easily store your essential items and accessories that you would need while out running.

The reflective logos on the jacket also add extra visibility under dark conditions and the jacket itself is very breathable. This jacket can also be cleaned using a standard washing machine and detergent combination which makes it very easy. 

Main Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right Running Jacket 

While there are a lot of different factors that you should consider when choosing which running jacket is right for you, there are a few main elements that you will want to ensure you’re paying attention to before making your final purchase decision. In the following section, we’re going to take an in-depth look at all of the main factors that you need to consider when taking a look at which running jacket option will fit all of your needs. 

Sustained Visibility 

When out running, you can never predict when severe weather or conditions which will arise and interfere with your workout regimen.

Bad weather conditions can reduce the overall visibility in your areas significantly which is why it’s important for you to look for a running jacket that has some sort of reflective materials in its design. Reflective materials will ensure that you can easily be seen under all sorts of conditions while out running to protect yourself from any potential threats. 


Depending on the type of protection that you’re looking for, every running jacket comes with separate features and integrated material capabilities. The price of your selected jacket is not a determining factor however it will usually determine the overall material stability and performance of the jacket. When considering the price of your preferred option, you must remember that you’re essentially paying for the amount of development and research that went into the product. 

This typically means that jackets of higher price ranges will provide the most protection however this factor does not always translate. While you shouldn’t base your final purchase decision on price alone, it does play a huge factor in helping you figure out the overall quality of the jacket that you choose to go with. 

Hood Type 

The wind is an unavoidable factor that any runner will encounter while out on their journey. A great way to reduce the odds of wind having a significant impact on your running ability, you should consider purchasing a jacket that comes with a hood installation.

Hoods come in many different forms and designs which makes it easy for you to find the right fit for your needs in no time. Hoods come in two main configurations being detachable and roll-up both of which provide their own benefits depending on the specific style of the runner in question. 

Especially if you encounter adverse weather conditions on a regular basis, a hood will provide the necessary protection and resistant that you need while out running. 


When running with a jacket on, you always have to consider the amount of heat being absorbed and retained by the material. Wearing a jacket that has a very thick insulating layer can lead to serious overheating and other complications with your health over an extended period of time. Because of these factors, you will want to look for a running jacket that comes with some sort of integrated ventilation capabilities and materials. 

Mesh ventilation and removable parts are commonly found on many outwear jackets designed for providing performance relief for those who engage in strenuous activity while wearing them. 

Now that we’ve gone over all of the most important features that you need to look for when selecting the right running jacket for your needs, it’s time to look at all of the different running jacket options that you can choose from out on the market today. 

Types of Running Jacket Selections

Running jackets come in many different configurations and designs which ensures that you’ll be able to find the right fit for your particular needs with no issues. Every running jacket configuration will provide its own specific benefits and advantages for particular climates and weather conditions. It’s important for you to choose the right running jacket type for your specific needs so that you’ll be able to ensure you’re receiving the right amount of protection and performance enhancement. 

In the following section, we’re going to take a look at all of the different running jacket options that you will find out on the market currently so that you can ensure you’re making the right decision based on your individualized needs and preferences. 


Vests are one of the most versatile jacket configurations available on the market, they give you the ability stay protected in heavy rain conditions without being overheated by excessive heat retention caused by the movement of your body. Vests are an optimal choice for those who simply want an added layer of protection against the external elements while out on their routine runs.

They can help provide substantial protection for you against rain, wind, and heat but the best part is that they leave your arms open which means that you won’t experience a reduction in mobility. 

Another great part about choosing a vest over other running jacket options is that they can be used in combination with other pieces of performance clothing. This makes it easy for you to simply change your clothing when the weather suddenly changes on your running trip.

Because vests don’t provide protection for your arms, they are best for mild to low variable weather conditions since during extreme circumstances your body will still be exposed to the external elements.  

Thermal Jackets 

If you know that you’re going to be running in very cold weather conditions, it’s best for you to go with an insulated running jacket. These jacket configurations are also referred to as thermal jackets, they are designed to provide you with extreme protection against severe cold weather conditions in any climate.

Most thermal jackets don’t, however, provide protection against damp and wet climates which is why it’s recommended that you use them as a layer on top of your other protective clothing. 

Thermal jackets are oftentimes made using various different types of materials which all combine to create a comprehensive jacket of protection for you while out running. They are oftentimes best when used as an outer layer or mid-layer to your overall outfit of choice. 

Midweight Running Jackets 

For versatile protection against a wide array of different external elements, midweight jackets are the best option to go with. They are designed to provide protection against weather conditions such as mild heat and moderate moisture. A lot of mediumweight running jackets also have some sort of integrated insulating material to provide extra protection for you while out on the trail. They also oftentimes come with a soft lining material which provides added comfort to the overall design of the jacket. 

Super Lightweight Running Jackets 

Super lightweight jackets are best for those who constantly need to change their level of protection while out running. Super lightweight jackets oftentimes take storage space into account making them one of the mobile jacket configurations out right now.

You can pack many of these jackets into your storage bags or even in your pocket with some super lightweight designs that are out on the market. This makes them perfect for those who want a simple layer of protection against water and wind without too much restriction. 

Most super lightweight running jackets are made using a small layer of waterproof material to add that extra layer of protection that you want and need. While they do have a low level of weather resistance integrated into their design, super lightweight jackets are not optimized for extreme weather conditions so keep this in mind. 

Lightweight Running Jackets 

Lightweight running jackets provide more protection against the external elements than super lightweight jackets do. They are usually great for moderate temperatures and climate conditions because they combine wind resistance and water-resistant materials which provide the perfect balance of protection for you under any type of weather atmosphere. While they are lightweight, they are typically not optimized for quick and easy storage.

Lightweight jackets are perfect for those who run in environments that have a consistent level of wind, rain, and mild heat. For easy carrying, you can always simply wrap the jacket around your waist to remain engaged with your exercise.

Now that we’ve gone over all of the various types of running jackets that you’ll find on the market, it’s time to look at how you can determine the level of protection that your selected jacket provides by looking at its description. 

Protection Levels: How to Decide Which Running Jacket Has the Protection You Need 

Every running jacket on the market comes with a label indicating the level of weather resistance that it provides against the external elements that you encounter. Oftentimes, you will see certain labels such as “rainproof” or “windproof” when manufacturers want to describe the type of protection their jacket offers.

While these labels may sound like different ways to describe the same type of protection, these labels actually vary quite significantly in terms of accurately describing the functional protection that you’ll get when choosing any running jacket you decide to go with. 

To help you better understand the difference between all of the labels that you will see while out shopping, we’re going to go over how you can determine exactly what they mean before finalizing any purchase. Make sure you pay attention to this section very closely to ensure that you will be able to differentiate between the various levels of protection each running jacket offers. 

Water Resistant & Windproof 

When you see the labels water-resistant and windproof, that means that the jacket was designed for high wind conditions and very moderate rain. The material used on these jackets provides a wind stopping barrier which prevents air from circulating inside of the fabric itself.

The water-resistant aspects of these jackets do not mean that you can soak in a serious rainstorm without any issues. The water-resistant label simply means that the jacket is capable of repelling water from becoming absorbed into the material for a max time of about 45mins, after that you may experience some issues with water leaking. 

These types of jackets allow for maximum breathability while still providing a very formidable layer of protection for you against external elements. These jackets are great for those who want a moderate level of all-around protection without sacrificing comfort or flexibility. 

Water & Wind Resistant 

These types of jackets are best for those who need protection against variable weather conditions and light rains. They are made from a combination of materials that provide a solid barrier of protection for you against short bursts of rain of up to 45 minutes.

After that time interval, water will begin to penetrate the material on your jacket so it’s important to consider this before making your final purchase decision on which jacket is best for your intended use and commonly encountered environments. 

The material on these jackets will prevent wind from making its way through the fibers in the textile. This is great if consistent wind is a common variable on your running path of choice. These jackets are also great if your experience changing weather patterns consistently in the area which you run. It’s important to keep in mind that with wind-resistant jacket, water will still penetrate the material just at a much-reduced speed.  

Waterproof & Windproof 

When you see this label on a jacket that you’re interested in, you can expect for full water repellant and complete wind-blocking materials which provide lasting protection for you while out in nature. The design of these jackets prevents any sort of water or wind from penetrating the fibers, providing comprehensive coverage for you under a wide array of different conditions.

These jackets provide the highest level of protection available on the market for runners who need outerwear that will assist them in their fitness journey. 

Now that we’ve gone over all of the various different levels of protection that you will get when looking at certain labels on running jackets, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people have in terms of how to decide on the right selection and exactly what to look for. 

FAQs: Questions & Answers 

At this point in the guide, you know a lot about all of the different elements and variables that you should consider when purchasing a running jacket. In the following section, we’re going to take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions that many people have when it comes to deciding on which running jacket is right for their particular running style and climate. 

Q: Do waterproof and windproof jackets allow your body to breathe? 

A: the answer to this question will all depend on the brand and style of the jacket you decide to go with. Every manufacturer makes their running jackets using different materials and fabrics, which results in different experiences across brands. Typically, fully windproof and waterproof jackets are designed to allow minimal airflow and water flow into the materials themselves so they aren’t really meant to be breathable. 

Q: How do I properly sanitize my running jacket after use? 

A: the proper cleaning and washing method for your running jacket, in particular, will vary all depending on the manufacturer and the materials used during the production process. Some manufacturers design their running jackets to be cleaned using very simple and standard clothes washing methods. Others, however, have a very strict code of practice in terms of their recommended cleaning method. It’s important to only use the appropriate cleaning method on your running jacket as stated by the manufacturer to ensure that it remains in good condition for prolonged periods of time. 

Q: How should my running jacket fit? 

A: your preferred fit will always have an impact on the final fit that feels most comfortable to you. Some runners prefer a more loose fit for more flexibility during activity while others prefer more of a snug fit for enhanced performance. While both styles of fits can be great for specific conditions, your jacket should never be too tight or too loose at any given moment. 

Top Running Jacket Recommendations 

We’ve covered all of the most important factors and features that you need to consider when choosing the right running jacket for your specific needs. Now, it’s time to take a look at some of our top recommended running jacket options currently available on the market.

Keep in mind that all of the recommendations we list in this following section will vary in terms of protection levels, design, comfort, and all of the other important factors that you need to consider when choosing a premium running jacket selection. 

Because of this, you always want to make sure that you select a jacket based upon your personal needs and preferred running style to ensure you’re making the best decision. 

#1 Adidas Men’s Essential Woven Jacket

The is made using a composition of 28% polyester and 72% nylon providing complete protection for you against all sorts of external elements. This jacket can be cleaned using a standard washing machine and detergent which is very convenient and easy.

The jacket come with side seam hand pockets and a zipped chest pocket for added storage and functionality while out running. The jacket also features a full zip-down zipper with drawstring adjust cords which allow you to configure the coverage of the hood to your exact liking.

The jacket comes with an embedded Adidas logo on the left chest area and is made using specialized climate textile fabric which extracts moisture from your skin and repels it through the material of the jacket to keep you dry and comfortable in all type of conditions. This jacket even comes with ribbed cuffs and hems which allow you to stay protected from cold temperatures while on your run. 

#2 Columbia Outdry Ex Caldorado Shell Jacket

The Columbia Outdry Ex Caldorado Shell Jacket is made with a 100% nylon material composition that uses ripstop technology to keep your protected from a wide array of different elements.

The jacket features specialty OutDry waterproof technology which provides an incredible layer of resistance for you against wet climates due to its full seam design. The jacket also features an external non-PFC membrane that uses the same OutDry technology in order to keep you safe from extremely wet conditions.

This jacket also comes equipped with elastic cuffs and a drawcord adjustable hem which makes it easy for you to adjust the fit of the jacket as your functional needs change on a moment’s basis. The jacket also comes outfitted with a zipper-secured chest pocket which allows for even more storage of your personal items and equipment as you need it. This jacket features an attached hood that is adjustable and underarm ventilation to ensure that you remain dry while traversing those wet conditions.

#3 Arcteryx Men’s Norvan Jacket

The Arcteryx Men’s Norvan Jacket was designed with the minimalist runner in mind, the jacket features high-performance GORE-TEX fabric which adds a strong layer of protection for you against rather high-wind and wet conditions. The jacket is outfitted with GORE C-KNIT technology that is very lightweight yet very resistant to water and wind. The material that the jacket is made from provides a nice layer of protection while still giving you the breathability you want and need.

This jacket also comes with integrated reflective blazes which ensure that your visibility remains high at all times while out on your run. This same reflective material is used on the sleeves and back portion of the jacket for enhanced visibility under all sorts of weather and climate conditions.

This jacket has a very slim yet precise fit to it which allows for high output activities with enhanced performance and power. The jacket is also equipped with an elastic hem and it comes with an internal zip pocket that you can use to store your cell phone or other items. 

#4 Marmot Minimalist Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

The Marmot Minimalist Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket is made using 100% polyester material and weighs approximately 3.6 ounces. This weight and material choice clearly state that this jacket was designed for the minimalist runner in mind however it does not sacrifice protection or performance. The jacket has an adjustable attached hood which can be modified in order to provide either more or less coverage for your face under certain conditions.

This jacket is very portable and lightweight which makes it perfect for traveling or packing around on your regular running trips. The jacket features GORE-TEX PACLITE technology which provides comprehensive waterproof protection with integrated breathability and versatility.

This jacket has taped seams to ensure that no water penetrates the exterior barrier and makes its way into your jacket. You can also wash this jacket using a regular washing machine and detergent which is great for those looking for low maintenance running jacket selection. The jacket also has a zipper closure making it easy for you to close and open its front latching whenever you decide to. 

#5 New Balance Men’s All-Weather 3-Layer Reflective Jacket

The New Balance Men’s All-Weather 3-Layer Reflective Jacket is made using a 100% polyester fabric which provides durability and resistance against all of the external elements you can experience while out on the run. This jacket is outfitted with a 3-layer waterproof shell that stretches to ensure that your mobility is never limited while wearing it.

The seams on this jacket are fully taped so that no water has a chance of making its way into your interior shell. It also features an adjustable 3-way hood design which makes it easy for you to configure the hood to provide protection for you based on your specific environment or climate.

This jacket also has a knit gator thumbhole detail which makes it easy to secure the jacket in high-wind conditions. The jacket features double head pockets zippers which provide added ventilation to its design overall in addition to 36-degree reflectivity to ensure that you remain visible under all sorts of conditions.

The jacket also has an elongated double head pocket which provides more storage space for all of the items and accessories you’ll need while out on the run. The best part about it is that you can easily clean this jacket using a regular washing machine and detergent which reduces the difficulty of maintenance over time. New Balance Men’s All-Weather 3-Layer Reflective Jacket


After reading this guide, you should have no problem finding the right running jacket for your intended use in no time. We’ve gone over all of the most important variables and elements that you need to consider when making the final decision on which running jacket selection will be best for you.

Always remember to take into consideration your needs on a personalized basis so that you can ensure you’re making the right decision. Use all of the tips and information we’ve included throughout to help guide you while out looking for the running jacket that comes with all of the features and protection capabilities that you need most. 

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