A running jacket is often regarded as one of the most important pieces of running outerwear that individuals should have in their possession. The best running jacket keeps you as comfortable, regardless of the prevailing external conditions. As a result, you are able to slog up muddy hills, hard pavements, or rugged terrains. These jackets mitigate outdoor weather negatives that make it hard to keep to a running routine. If you are looking for one, here are 10 of the best in 2020, a buying guide, as well as answers to some of the questions runners frequently ask about these jackets.
- 1 10 Best Running Jackets Reviews 2020
- 2 Best Men’s Running Jacket 2020
- 2.1 1. adidas Men’s Essentials 3-Stripe Tricot Track Jacket – Best Overall for Men
- 2.2 2. The North Face Men’s Apex Bionic 2 Jacket – Best for Wind Protection
- 2.3 3. The North Face Men’s Resolve Jacket – Best All-Round
- 2.4 4. Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket – Best Lightweight Jacket
- 2.5 5. Arcteryx Mens Norvan Jacket – Best for Trail Running
- 3 Best Women’s Running Jacket 2020
- 3.1 6. Regna X NO Bother Women’s Active Lightweight Full-Zip Hooded Jacket – Best Overall for Women
- 3.2 7. 90 Degree By Reflex Women’s Running Track Jacket – Best Stylish Running Jacket
- 3.3 8. icyzone Women’s Running Shirt Full Zip Workout Track Jacket – Best for Hiking
- 3.4 9. TSLA Women’s Lightweight Active Performance Full-Zip Hoodie Jacket – Best for Music
- 3.5 10. Brooks Womens Canopy Jacket – Best for Trim Physique
- 4 Things to Consider Before Buying Best Running Jackets
- 5 FAQs About Best Running Jacket
- 6 Conclusion
10 Best Running Jackets Reviews 2020
Best Men’s Running Jacket 2020
1. adidas Men’s Essentials 3-Stripe Tricot Track Jacket – Best Overall for Men
This running jacket from Adidas has you, a cold morning runner in mind. The cold, bracing air in the morning forces many runners (me included) back into the comfort of their homes instead of braving it. If you have been a victim, then the Essentials Tricot could be a jacket option to keep you protected from the harsh elements.
Whether you are the type who goes for a constitutional run around the park, a marathoner, or one who hikes a lot, this jacket is packed with features to ease your runs. Being reasonably priced and stylish tops the list of features to look forward to. From the name, the jacket spots the classic 3-strips Adidas look to make you stand out in the crowd.
Another great feature is the 100% poly tricot fabric used in its manufacture. This feature is great because it makes the jacket stylish, while also being both flexible and breathable. Tricot fabric has an amazing moisture-wicking capability for less sweat accumulation during runs. Breathability also ensures not being weighed down by moisture and you being kept cool. The jacket flexibility permits free movement of your body parts, especially the torso and your arms. Consequently, your runs become powerful, comfortable and occur naturally. Something to note is that you should be weary of some of the products that look cheaply made for some reason. The fabrics are thin, with low quality plastic zippers.
- Full front zip for easy on and off.
- Side pockets avail decent storage space.
- Hems and cuffs are ribbed to keep in warmth.
- Handy stand-up collar for additional warmth retention.
- Numerous color options available.
- Machine washable.
- Has a regular fit.
- Permits natural body movement.
- Can be annoyingly shiny.
- Poor quality at times.
2. The North Face Men’s Apex Bionic 2 Jacket – Best for Wind Protection
Going for your early morning or late afternoon run at freezing temperatures can be a treacherous affair. It is during these times that the North Face Men’s Apex Bionic 2 jacket comes in handy. Fitted with Velcro adjustable cuffs, this jacket keeps out the biting cold, allowing you to go about your jogs with minimal fuss.
Besides being tailor-made for sub-zero temperatures, this jacket has a soft outer shell to take on windy conditions as well. The material used cuts about 80-95% of wind, offering a protective layer against gusty winds as you wind down a chilly hill. At the same time, underneath the soft shell, a fleece backer keeps a runner comfortable.
The jacket is not only windproof, but also water proof to an extent. It utilizes a durable water repellent coating principle. This finish retains the fabric breathability, suiting the jacket for adverse backcountry conditions. Furthermore, two pockets act as refuge for your hands, providing a warming refuge or a storage space for your gloves, phone, keys, and wallet. These hand pockets, alongside the chest pockets are centered, reversed, but exposed for use.In addition,if you are the type to keep a granola bar at arm’s reach, (you never know when a hungry man may strike), and two granola bars can fit in each of the pockets. Although the description says the jacket is water repellent, it is not waterproof. Expect it to get soaked up from time to time.
- Sizeable pockets for storage.
- Available in a wide range of select colors.
- Relaxed fit for prolonged comfort.
- Stand-up collar adds to cold protection.
- Reversed pocket design to keep out moisture.
- Excellent breathability.
- To be washed separately from other clothes.
- Not waterproof.
- Zippers fragile at times.
3. The North Face Men’s Resolve Jacket – Best All-Round
The North Face has a rich history in the creation of some of the best sports outwear currently available in the market. They derive their name from climbers who traverse the hard to tame North Side Mountains. Apart from their previous jacket, the men’s resolve is also another popular choice for the best running jacket, particularly in frosty, windy conditions.
I don’t know what’s more impressive about this jacket: its great looks or its ability to keep you warm and less worrisome of the wind. The jacket wraps you in a trademarked 70D DryVent 2L shell to brush off harsh winter winds while keeping wearers as cozy as possible on the inside. Such ability is made possible by a 2-layer design.
Classic styling coupled with the fact that the jacket is geared for an all-round use makes it a great consideration for a running jacket. Another great feature is the suitability for both trail and trail settings, as your schedule dictates. A mesh drop liner facilitates exemplary free interchange of cool and warm air generated as you run. Perhaps a unique feature that makes this jacket all-rounded is the hooded design. As you wade through wet weather, the hood leaves you unscathed. Afterwards when you don’t need it, conveniently stow the hood in its provided collar. Overall, it’s a quality jacket, save for the annoying hood. It tends to hover over the eyes in heavy downpours.
- Breathable polyurethane coating.
- Reinforced seams keep out water.
- Meshed lining for improved breathability.
- Storm flaps available.
- Hood slides into its collar in a breeze.
- Appropriate for both town and off-road settings.
- Hoods annoying hangs over the eyes.
- Poor quality stitches at times.
- Elastic bands in the cuffs still let in rain.
4. Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket – Best Lightweight Jacket
Weighing just about 6.4 ounces, the Outdoor Research Men’s Helium II Jacket is one of the lightest running jackets out there. In this jacket, Outdoor Research has pieced together an active outwear that meets most if not all of the demands of a nature enthusiast. Since it is lightweight, this jacket rarely impinges on your movements during a run.
Whereas it is not the warmest jacket in this review, I find the wind and rain proofing rather useful. Primarily, the lightweight and compact design tailors it for use in temperate regions, thus the Helium name because of the close similarity is features. As a minimalist, the compact design really strikes me. I can fold it down to the size of a granola bar when packing for a trip.
Outdoor research uses the Pertex Shield for this outwear. It’s a sort of weather element shielding system featuring a hydrophobic finishing/coating. While remaining water repellent, this coating stays breathable at the same time. Notice how different it is to traditional waterproof coating that impedes on breathability. As per my opinion, I think the cost and the value for money that this jacket gives you could be a potential turn off for a number of runners. More so, if you consider the fact that it is not particularly warm for winter-like trails. However, in terms of convenient and wind resistance, I think it is one of the best available choices to consider.
- Compact folding.
- Durable 30D ripstop nylon.
- A carabineer loop available for clipping on the belt loop.
- Adjustable hood fitted with reflective material.
- Stuff pocket and webbing loop present.
- Long-lasting taped seams.
- Needs extra layers for warmth.
- Loses the rain proofing after a while.
5. Arcteryx Mens Norvan Jacket – Best for Trail Running
When going trail running on a beautiful day, Mother Nature could be your biggest impediment. Do not let a rainy day stop you from stepping out there and doing your thing. One of the jackets made for such scenarios is the Arcteryx Norvan jacket. This minimalist running jacket pushes the boundaries between low weight, warmth, wind, and rain protection.
At just about 7.6 ounces, the Arcteryx Norvan is among the lightest hardshell running jackets you may encounter. Despite the fact that its weight might prove otherwise, this jacket performs impressively in windy and rainy conditions. The 3-layer Gore-Tex construction is at par with the hard shells, albeit with the reduced bulkiness.
More often than not, a running jacket is expected to meet two conflicting demands. First, it has to keep you warm in wet weather while secondly being breathable in a high output activity. The more intense your activity gets; you don’t have to worry about being trapped in a miniature sauna and sweat. This product has venture type of vents, which are great because they allow for air flow as you run. These vents will open and close synchronously with your arm movements. Such a type of ventilation is a step away from the usual traditional zippers and pit zips which used to compromise on breathability. With its impressive features, this running jacket isn’t cheap.
- Excellent water resistance.
- All round breathability.
- Soft outer shell.
- Hood provides adequate protection.
- Low weight.
- Impressive packing abilities.
- Moisture easily vaporizes and wicked out of the jacket.
- Hood is non-adjustable.
- Less durable in comparison with hard shells.
- No hand-warmers.
Best Women’s Running Jacket 2020
6. Regna X NO Bother Women’s Active Lightweight Full-Zip Hooded Jacket – Best Overall for Women
The Regna X is a hooded running jacket designed to offer the best possible comfort on a frosty morning for every runner. In as much as the jacket is ideal for active use, its contemporary design also suits everyday usage.
Featuring a blend of polyester and elastane in 90 and 10 percent blending, this running jacket has a bit of stretchy touch to its inner surface for more comfort. Also, the polyester composition makes it durable while being lightweight. All these attributes are great as they make reduce drag and accommodate all your body movements for a successful morning routine.
Originally, Regna produced a specific style and colors, which I think did not go well with sports enthusiasts. As a result, the company restocked as well as adding more colors to this line of products. Currently, you can find about 28 color variants of this running jacket.
Other features you might look forward to includea hoodie for an extra layer of protection from chilling wind on a run. Also, there are 3 front pockets and thumb holes to keep your hands warm, and drawstrings for adjusting the hoodie fit.
- Thumb holes for extra coverage.
- Stretchy sleeves stay in place.
- Stretchy fabric suitable for yoga, gym, and fitness running.
- Standup collar shields the torso from bruising wind.
- Tons of different colors.
- Effective zipped closure.
- Pocket available for warming your hands.
- Sleeves long enough for tall people.
- Hard to get the right fit.
- Jacket sleeves tend to be a couple of inches too long.
7. 90 Degree By Reflex Women’s Running Track Jacket – Best Stylish Running Jacket
Designed for all body shapes, the 90 Degreetrack jacket is another option you may consider for the best running jacket. The construction comprises of 81% nylon and 19% spandex, enabling it to adhere to different user shapes. While at it, its stylish nature impeccably accentuates on your silhouette.
Thumb holes within the sleeves increase the shielding surface area in case it gets cold. Side pockets are availed for stashing any accessories you bring along such as keys, wallets, phones etc. For those who run at night/dusk, a reflective logo acts as a safety barrier, maintaining visibility from afar.
The lightweight nature of this jacket is a great feature because it makes it possible to be worn in a number of different ways. For example, during spring when it’s warm, you can wear the jacket as an outer layer then wear it as a middle layer in winter. It’s such versatility that I think makes it one of the best running jackets around. Several different colors of these jackets are available, depending on your aesthetic preferences. The care routine for this jacket is a simple one, due to the nylon construction. You should cool wash it with like colored wears. Avoid hot/warm washing of nylon and then don’t try to heat dry the jacket afterwards. Exposure to heat distorts the nylon and spandex orientation.
- Super soft layer.
- Excellent ventilation.
- Elastic to accommodate all body shapes.
- Thumb holes increases body coverage.
- Super lightweight.
- Great price.
- Easy care routine.
- Reflective safety logo.
- Not very comfortable.
- Requires sizing up at times.
8. icyzone Women’s Running Shirt Full Zip Workout Track Jacket – Best for Hiking
The icyzone running shirt-cum-track jacket encompasses the idea of a sporty, healthy, and fashion driven lifestyle. The running jackets are deliberate to keep up with your active lifestyle within the gym, or out on beaten paths and beyond. As you hit the ground running on hiking trails, this lightweight jacket wraps your body in a warm shell away from the cold.
A 4-way stretching fabric made out of 90% polyester and 10% spandex conforms to your body contours, wicks away moisture, and sweat. Plus, thumb holes included in the design keeps the jacket sleeves locked down, while warming up your hands.
Two zippers on either side have zippers for keeping personal items safe during runs. When taking strolls, the pockets on the hems conveniently keep your hands warm too. The two pockets are lined by a breathable mesh that is also not easy to break or tear. The polyester-spandex blend results in a fabric that dries within a short while, just in case the rains pour down on you. Moreover, an advanced moisture management technology within the structure keeps you dry and cool at all times. The seams are stitched in a flat manner, thus reducing instances of chaffing or skin irritation on your part.
- Excellent moisture wicking during hikes.
- No chaffing or skin irritation.
- Durable pockets.
- Essential thumb holes.
- Machine washable.
- Wearable as a sweatshirt.
- Casual wear.
- Sizing is small.
- A weird loop sticks between shoulder blades.
Are you in search of a lightweight feminine jacket to combat the morning cold? Well, the TSLA active performance hoodie jacket is an option worth considering when revamping your running wardrobe. Its 90% polyester and 10% polyurethane blend enhances the feminine appeal you are likely looking for.
Features such as zippered pockets for storage, contrast cuffs, and thumb holes make a huge difference in terms of performance and practicability to this jacket. As a fan of listening to music during runs, I love the inclusion of earphone outlets within the hood for convenience. This feature is great because you don’t have to constantly adjust dangling cables.
Boasting of excellent elasticity, your range of motions becomes virtually limitless during any sports activity. Breathability is another great feature because you will eventually heat up, even in winter weather. The light fabric used is good at interchanging warm air within and cool air from outside. Thumb holes on the sleeves further aids in this ventilation.
Since the fabric is light and slightly warm, this running jacket is a suitable outwear for a number of seasons. During spring and fall, it can be worn as an outer layer, then shifting it into the middle layer when it is extremely cold in winter. Again, the design is only for petite feminine use. Large sized options may not be available, and there is a limited range of colors.
- Suitable for spring, fall, and winter.
- Customized for slim fit performance or training wear.
- Functional 3-D, 3-panel hoodie.
- Wind resistance by high neck collar.
- Thumb holes cuts for breathability.
- Earphone outlets present.
- Elastic stretch.
- Excellent sweat absorption.
- Limited range of colors.
- No extra large size.
10. Brooks Womens Canopy Jacket – Best for Trim Physique
Most runners have a slim physique, which then requires a specific type of fitting jacket. When looking for such an accessory, the Brooks Women’s Canopy Jacket could be a good place to start. Also, a versatile design seamlessly takes you from a clear to a cloudy sky with relative ease.
In terms of benefits, you can derive plenty from this jacket. First, a DriLayer Seal offers a breathable, rain, and wind resistant fabric that keeps runners dry, even in pounding weather. What’s more, the included canopy doesn’t sacrifice on breathability for comfort in rainy conditions.
This running jacket packs compactly into a small size into its front zipped pocket. In addition, the pocket has a wearable rubber band that you can wrap the folded jacket around and then wear it on your arm. Headphone anchors on the front zipper keep the cords under control. Another great feature is the easy to collapse hood. When you don’t need it, it easily tucks away. Soft and stretchy cuffs accompany the hidden thumbholes. Both the front and backs of the jacket have reflective linings. Better still; the outer shell has a sun protection factor of 30 UPF.
- Sun protection.
- Wind and rain resistance.
- Chin guard.
- Convenient headphone anchors on zipper pulls.
- Elastic band present for wearing the folded jacket on the arms.
- Reflective surfaces for safety.
- A stretch cuff tucks away the thumbholes.
- Quite costly for large sizes.
- Measurements are way off at times.
Things to Consider Before Buying Best Running Jackets
1. Is it a shell or Thermal?
Thermal properties of the running jacket are what categorize them as either the best or not. Therefore, the first thing to consider is how well the jacket keeps runners warm from the biting external cold. Most of the time, I recommend to my friends both options of a lightweight and thermal jacket.
Each of these is ideal for specific climates. Basically, a thermal jacket prioritizes insulation properties over other features to allow users stay warm in extreme cold. A running jacket should however have a thin insulation, allowing for quick drying and excellent breathability.
Then, there are shells whose main goal is to act as windbreakers. As the shell keeps out the wind, the underlying layers keep you warm. All these options work best for different people, so depending on the prevailing weather, choose the most suitable option.
2. Water and Wind Resistance Capabilities
For a running jacket, it is advisable to look for a jacket described as water-resistant on the least. And if your area is notorious for getting extremely wet, then fully waterproofed jackets are also available at higher prices.
For as long as I can remember, Gore-Tex has been the go to material for waterproofing. However, other materials have been used of late with varying degrees of success. The material notwithstanding, other factors play a role in the water resistance characteristics of the jacket.
Look for seam tapes and zipper stitching to keep out the rain. These are always the weak spots that let in water when it’s raining. Just like water resistance, wind resistance needs vary from Point A to B. Shell type running jackets top the list of popular choices for this. You can’t imagine how uncomfortable the cold can be as the wind bruises against your skin. Wind resistance is created by having tiny pores on the shell of the jacket, making it harder for wind to penetrate through.
3. Reflective Surfaces
When it’s raining, chances are that visibility is poor, making it dangerous for runners who aren’t visible to motorists, or even fellow runners. I, therefore, find it odd for people to avoid jackets with reflective strips, especially in low-light conditions. If you can find a jacket with a 360 degrees reflectivity for an all-round protection then you will be better off.
No two running jackets are similar in terms of the features they are packed with. Some of the features you might want include and are not limited to:
Hood: Some of you prefer to have the hood on while others insist that the hood usually gets in the way. There are however, numerous options of rolling the hood up, detaching it, or tucking it and zipping it altogether. Hoods are great for calm, wet days, unlike in windy conditions.
Vents: During strenuous activities such as running, breathability in some of the fabrics become overwhelmed. As such, there are jackets with vents under the arms or meshed ventilation holes for impeccable breathability.
FAQs About Best Running Jacket
Q: Is there a difference between water proof and water resistant?
A: Yes. Water resistance is basically a level of protection, meaning water does not easily penetrate the fabric. However, persistent and heavy downpour does overcome the protection. Waterproofing on the other hand means that the running jacket is impervious to water.
Q: Does waterproofing not impact on breathability
A: There is usually a significant impact, mostly in low cost, low quality running jackets. In these cases, the water repellent coating impedes the free flow of air unlike in high end products that are breathable.
Q: What’s the right size: Tight or Loose?
A: It depends on the type of material used and the prevailing conditions. In places where winter is brutal, a loose fit is ideal to accommodate a middle layer to protect you from the brutal cold. As for the material, an elastic material allows for a tighter fitting choice as it expands to accommodate a wide range of motions. Otherwise a loose fit is deemed appropriate.
Q: To machine or Hand-Wash?
A: There is no straight answer to this question. It depends on the care routines given, depending on the finishing given to the jacket. Unless specified, the general rule is to hand wash the jacket or use a spot remover.
The best running jackets are your number one protection from adverse weather conditions such as rain and chilly winds. After buying your jacket, remember to carefully read the care instructions given. These products should last you for many years, but only when care for them well. The right care means appropriate washing, drying, storage, and use. Because of the high price tags, appropriate care would make them a worthwhile investment.
As for the best running jacket, my top picks are the Adidas Men’s Essentials 3-Stripe Tricot Track Jacket and the Regna X NO Bother Women’s Active Lightweight Full-Zip Hooded Jacket. These two choices perform impressively well in windy and soaking wet conditions, thanks to their water and wind proofing traits. In comparison with the rest, they are also more breathable, regardless of the repellant finishing. A custom standard fit means most runners would fit into them, thus making the two great choices for a running jacket.