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The Best Running Jackets for Keeping Warm and Dry

Don't let bad weather get in the way of your next run.

collage of three colorful running jackets

Your enjoyment and interest in running has a lot to do with the conditions you’re training in. Sure, a clear pathway and vibrant landscape can be great for setting the tone, but an errant rainstorm or chilly winter’s day can all but squash any fun to be had along your normal route.

While we’re all for forgoing the typical outdoor run for indoor-based treadmill running from time to time, odds are you’re more inclined to venture outside if given the choice despite inclement conditions. If you fall into this crowd, you’ll need running gear that’s up for the tasks and challenges, beginning with a well-built running jacket.

Running jackets differ from your normal outerwear in that breathability, comfort and performance all need to mesh perfectly for an ideal silhouette. After all, your normal rain gear probably doesn’t cater to activities that have your heart racing and sweat pumping. Before diving into our top picks for dreary-day garb, let’s examine some of the features to consider when choosing a proper running jacket.

How to Choose a Running Jacket


Like any other outer layer, your running jacket should work to protect you from the elements. After all, what’s the point of wearing one if it’s no different than running in your normal attire? But, unlike other exceptional jackets that thrive in inclement weather, running jackets also need to be breathable. As you move through your cardio goals, your body temperature can rise, resulting in a sweaty physique from head to toe. This can hinder your performance and, in less than ideal temperatures, potentially become an issue of runner safety. Look for running jackets that provide plenty of ventilation, so your body heat can dissipate properly and you can stay as dry as possible.

Water Resistance

Speaking of staying dry, it’s important to understand the difference between “water-resistant” and “waterproof.” Many of the running jackets we’ve chosen feature a Durable Water Repellent (DWR), which is an exterior coating that can help protect against morning dew and drizzles. While this technology can be suitable for many runners’ needs, if your conditions are damper, consider looking at waterproof options with laminate layers or coatings better suited for more intense rainfall. Keep in mind, however, that waterproof jackets can sacrifice breathability for added protection. In our experience, though, running through a downpour is not something we'd prefer over extended distances.

Wind Resistance

You should also look at your jacket’s wind resistance when gearing up to face the elements. As is the case with waterproof jackets, though, more protection can sacrifice breathability. Try to find a running jacket offering wind resistance in key areas, like your chest and outer arms, while also showcasing vented components at the back and underarms. This balance can help you stay comfortable and warm enough to perform without that bone-chilling cut of a strong gust.


Finally, running is, naturally, a physical activity. The last thing you want when logging your miles is to feel constricted in your gear. Look for a running jacket that provides plenty of mobility in key sticking points like the shoulders and armpits. Shorter jackets can begin to ride up as you run, so length is also important. When trying on jackets, note any tightness when moving around. Bend down and tie your shoes. Reach around you to grab essentials from your pack or pockets. Flex. These little movements might not seem critical but can be the downfall of an ill-fitting piece. Just because running is physical doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be comfortable.

How We Tested

collage of a man wearing running jackets
Ben Emminger

Over the course of multiple weeks, we wore a handful of these top running jackets throughout our logged miles, highlighting key components including breathability and overall fit. We also tried to schedule our jogs around inclement weather (which, admittedly, was easier than predicted thanks to Pittsburgh's climate) to get a better scope of which jackets fared better in the wind and rain. Additionally, we also made note of convenient features like available pockets, packability and other factors because let’s be honest, if a running jacket is less convenient than running through the conditions in a normal top, then what’s the point?

Now, let’s button up and get right into this roundup of the best running jackets available today.

Arc'teryx Norvan LT Hoody


Arc'teryx Norvan LT Hoody


  • Extremely lightweight build despite the hardshell construction
  • Ample breathability ideal for pushing intensity up a peg or two

  • 20-denier fabric can be prone to durability issues over extended use
  • $400 is a lot to ask of a running jacket, no matter the performance
  • Weight: 6.7 Ounces
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Three-Layer Construction
  • Material: N13p 3L Gore-Tex with C-KNIT Backer Technology

    Don’t let the hardshell construction of this jacket fool you. The Norvan LT is still plenty versatile for even your most taxing running endeavors. We really enjoyed the breathability and protection built into this silhouette, highlighted by the adjustable hood and elasticized bottom hem for that perfect sense of coverage and fit. We also appreciated the articulation across the sleeves, which allowed for heightened coziness without sacrificing bulk or mobility. Unfortunately, however, the Norvan LT is a perfect example of “get what you pay for,” in that you’ll need to cough up a pretty penny to take advantage of all the perks sewn into this premium jacket silhouette.

    Patagonia Houdini Jacket


    Patagonia Houdini Jacket


    • Half-elastic wrist cuffs provide the perfect amount of structure and comfort
    • Super lightweight build that can pack easily into the chest pocket

    • The lightweight material cannot support the inner tag when worn with the hood down
    • Drawcord hem can begin to loosen during more intense runs
    • Weight: 3.7 Ounces
    • Waterproofing: DWR Finish
    • Material: 100% Recycled Ripstop Nylon Shell

      This sustainable option from Patagonia is not only a great running jacket but a damn-fine windbreaker overall. We really enjoyed the lightweight, slim fit of this outerwear option, and found the half-elastic wrist cuffs to be the perfect blend of comfort and support. We did find some difficulty in securing the bottom drawcord hem for more intense training, but this featherweight pick from one of outerwear’s most-trusted brands definitely delivers the goods mile after mile.

      Nathan Stealth Jacket


      Nathan Stealth Jacket


      • Noise-free exterior creates a great distraction-free running experience
      • Thumb holes at the wrist cuffs keep everything secure and in-place

      • Adjustable hood cord doesn’t keep the extra coverage secured to your head
      • No side pockets limit the amount of items you can carry when out on the road
      • Weight: N/A
      • Waterproofing: DWR Finish
      • Material: 100% Nylon

        Premium running jackets rarely fall under $110, so we were pleasantly surprised when we discovered this cost-effective pick from Nathan Sports. Boasting a DWR finish for superior water resistance, we also enjoyed the convenient thumb holes that allowed us to keep our sleeves in their rightful place mid-run. While this silhouette could be enhanced with some side pockets, you’re not likely to find a more impressive outerwear option at this price point.

        Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Jacket


        Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Jacket

        salomon salomon.com

        • Chest pocket packability keeps you ready for changing conditions at all times
        • AdvancedSkin Dry 10K/10K fabric keeps you dry, even in driving rain and slush

        • Waterproof zipper is stiffer than others on this list
        • Impressive waterproof liner limits breathability
        • Weight: 5.29 Ounces
        • Waterproofing: AdvancedSkin Dry 10K/10K Fabric
        • Material: 100% Polyamide

          This impressive, lightweight pick from Salomon had us more eager than not to hit the streets no matter the forecast. Despite the lightweight, 5.29-ounce frame, the Bonatti Waterproof Jacket proved more than capable of keeping our physique and base layers dry thanks to the quality AdvancedSkin Dry 10K/10K fabric. Plus, the entire jacket packs easily into its chest pocket for more efficient storage, making this an excellent pick for throwing in your running pack or hydration vest for when errant storms pop up. We do recommend saving this jacket for inclement weather, however, as the high-quality waterproofing did little in terms of breathability when our environments began to warm up.

          Smartwool Merino Sport Ultralite Jacket


          Smartwool Active Ultralite Jacket


          • Body-mapped Merino Sport 120 fabric gives this outerwear some serious breathing room
          • Nylon outer shell with DWR finish helps protect against mild conditions, perfect for fall training days

          • No drawcord hem for added security
          • No hood, which leaves your head exposed more to the elements
          • Weight: 4.72 Ounces
          • Waterproofing: DWR Finish
          • Material: Main Body: 100% Recycled Nylon // Trim/Lining: 53% Merino Wool, 47% TENCEL Lyocell

            The Merino Sport Ultralight Jacket is a super comfy option for any runner, from those just getting into the sport to ultra-running pros. Body-mapped panels of Merino Sport 120 mesh keep things cozy and antimicrobial, while the recycled nylon outer shell paired with the DWR coating provides weather and wind protection that’s great for brisker jaunts. While we’d appreciate a hood and bottom drawcord in this silhouette, this nylon jacket gives that classic windbreaker feel without any fear of sweating through your outerwear.

            On Running Waterproof Anorak


            On Running Waterproof Anorak


            • Hidden vents at the midsection allow for comfortable airflow when out on a run
            • Superior water and wind resistance make this jacket a top pick for all weather conditions

            • Less breathable than other options on this list
            • Not great for quick changes to your wardrobe
            • Weight: 7.62 Ounces
            • Waterproofing: DWR Finish
            • Material: N/A

              If you’re more aligned with the pull-on style, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this waterproof pick from On Running. We wore this pullover through some rather harsh rainstorms and still felt superior protection thanks to its three-layer membrane for complete water- and windproofing. We also appreciate the updated back pocket that allows for more storage; a key upgrade over previous iterations of this silhouette. Naturally, however, the pullover nature of the Waterproof Anorak does limit how interchangeable it is mid-jog. We recommend saving this pullover for days when you know you'll need ample coverage from start to finish, as it can be a bit of a hassle to try and get in and out of this profile on the fly.

              Brooks Canopy Jacket


              Brooks Canopy Jacket


              • Draft flap snaps allow you to stay covered while still promoting breathability
              • Packs conveniently into a side sling for easier carrying

              • Some might find the shoulders and arms to be too snug
              • Zipper tags can be difficult to maneuver, especially when out on a run
              • Weight: N/A
              • Waterproofing: DriLayer Seal Fabric
              • Material: Waterproof 100% Recycled Fabric

                When you think of daily training gear, you think of something that’s there for the long haul. Well, the Brooks Canopy is definitely built to withstand run after run, thanks to its durable, 100%-recycled makeup with all the fixings of premium outerwear. We really liked the draft flap snaps that kept the jacket in place while improving breathability, and the roll-up hood was another perk that kept jaunts comfortable yet ready for any inclement weather. Just be sure to finalize your zipper placement before starting your route, as we found the shortened tags to be a bit of a hassle to manage and maneuver when out on the road or trail.

                Tracksmith Franklin Fleece


                Tracksmith Franklin Fleece


                • Polartec Classic fleece boasts exceptional warmth that pairs well to the nylon-elastane zones for better maneuverability
                • Strategically-mapped ventilation allows for optimal breathability when conditions get hot

                • Two-way zipper can be troublesome, especially if you’re not used to the feature
                • Sleeves can be constricting at times
                • Weight: Approx. N/A
                • Waterproofing: N/A
                • Material: Double Velour Polartec Franklin Fleece

                  The Franklin Fleece from veteran brand Tracksmith provides just the right amount of warmth and versatility for those colder jogs and brisk mornings. We couldn’t get enough of the soft, cozy Polartec fleece, yet still felt comfortable thanks to thoughtfully-placed ventilation that allows all that steam to dissipate when on the move. If you brush up on how to use a two-way zipper, this could be one outerwear that keeps you on the road for months on end.

                  Ibex Indie Hoodie


                  Ibex Indie Hoodie


                  • Thermoregulating qualities make this an excellent choice for brisk morning runs
                  • Included thumb holes help keep sleeve in-place during your jogs

                  • Dries slowly, leading to longer intermissions between wears
                  • Quarter-zip structure doesn't lend itself to ventilation
                  • Weight: N/A
                  • Waterproofing: N/A
                  • Material: 100% Merino Wool

                    Of course, not every jacket-inducing jaunt needs ample waterproofing and coverage. Some days, you just want the extra coverage for some added warmth, in which we highly recommend the Ibex Indie Hoody constructed from 100% merino wool. This material boasts plenty of perks, from anti-odor qualities right down to better thermoregulation, but Ibex also throws in helpful features to add more to the profile. We really like the fit of the scuba-style hood, and appreciate the thumb holes at the cuffs to help keep the sleeves in place throughout our routes. We do recommend letting this hoody hang dry for a few hours post-workout, however, as the merino wool can take a while to air out from pooled sweat or rain.

                    The North Face Summit Series Superior Futurelight Jacket


                    The North Face Summit Series Superior Futurelight Jacket


                    • Durable Futurelight material can hold up against extended use and intense weather
                    • Internal hem cinch-cord allows for lockdown adjustability at the waist

                    • Water-resistant zipper can be more difficult to operate at times
                    • Only one colorway available
                    • Weight: N/A
                    • Waterproofing: Non-PFC DWR Finish
                    • Material: 20D x 30D 92 g/m² FUTURELIGHT 3L — 100% Recycled Polyester Ripstop

                      For those living in less-than-desirable environments — i.e, you’re always planning for rain, no matter the predicted forecast — you need running gear that can withstand the trials and tribulations of an unexpected downpour. This lightweight jacket from The North Face offers up exceptional waterproofing and wind resistance, thanks to a non-PFC DWR finish, yet still remains breathable enough for pushing the limit of your training. We also like how the packed silhouette features a hand strap for more convenient carrying on the road or trail, keeping everything within reach when conditions turn sour. Just be sure to have other means for carrying your other running accessories, as there's just one internal pocket.

                      Arc'teryx Trino SL Hoody


                      Arc'teryx Trino SL Hoody


                      • Gore-Tex Infinium material easily blocks wind without any irritating noise
                      • Water resistant enough for light downfall, making this an excellent fall or early spring pick

                      • 9.6-ounce frame is not as light as other jackets in this roundup
                      • Cuffs are not elastic, allowing for air to enter during arm swings
                      • Weight: 9.6 Ounces
                      • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Infinium
                      • Material: 93% Nylon, 7% Elastane

                        Need an outer layer that’s built for the wind and not the wet? This quality silhouette from Arc’teryx is sure to deliver. We found the Gore-Tex Infinium material to be excellent at blocking gusts and bursts throughout our runs, and the shell itself is capable of handling light drizzles and snowflakes, adding to its versatility. Yet, despite the SL moniker indicating “super lightweight” this jacket is a little on the heavier side, especially when considering some profiles in this list are nearly half its 9.6-ounce frame.

                        New Balance Q Speed Sherpa Pullover

                        BEST WINTER RUNNING JACKET

                        New Balance Q Speed Sherpa Pullover

                        $95.99 (20% off)

                        • Sleek aesthetic can be worn in and out of training
                        • NB Heat Technology helps wick moisture for less sweaty scenarios

                        • Pockets do not feature zippers, limiting security
                        • Forearms can be constricting for some athletes
                        • Weight: N/A
                        • Waterproofing: N/A
                        • Material: 100% Recycled Polyester

                          Winter brings with it its own set of environmental endeavors, and this pullover from New Balance proved to be effective in defending against most of those thrills and chills. The Sherpa fleece makeup provided excellent softness and warmth in testing, while the NB Heat technology easily wicked away moisture to help keep our torso and upper body sweat-free. While we would have liked to have seen zippered entrances to the front kangaroo pocket, adding some sense of gear security to the frame, we think this effective outerwear is prime for pacing through the winter months.

                          Brooks Run Visible Convertible Jacket

                          BEST REFLECTIVE RUNNING JACKET

                          Brooks Run Visible Convertible Jacket


                          • 3M Scotchlite reflectivity keeps you plenty visible when running at night
                          • Sleek profile folds conveniently into a wearable pack

                          • Bottom hem doesn’t tighten for a more lockdown feel
                          • Best if paired with a warmer baselayer when running in more brisk conditions
                          • Weight: N/A
                          • Waterproofing: DriLayer Seal Fabric
                          • Material: 92% Recycled Materials

                            Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow for daytime jaunts. In these circumstances, you want a jacket that’s easy to see, and we found no better pick than the Convertible Jacket from Brooks’ Run Visible Collection. Boasting 3M Scotchlite Carbon Black Stretch reflectivity, contrasting colors and a unique fluorescence, this outerwear allowed us to stand out in the safest way possible. Another thing about running at night, however, is the temperature change. If you’re logging miles with this premium outerwear, we recommend layering up to combat the milder temperatures.

                            Inov-8 Stormshell Waterproof Jacket

                            BEST TRAIL RUNNING JACKET

                            Inov-8 Stormshell Waterproof Jacket


                            • High-quality Pertex Shield fabric can withstand plenty of rain and overcast without hesitation
                            • Lightweight frame allows for exceptional packability without limiting mobility

                            • Thumb loop is cut awkwardly which can lead to some discomfort if employed
                            • No reflective materials to improve visibility in low-light conditions
                            • Weight: 6.17 Ounces
                            • Waterproofing: Pertex Shield
                            • Material: 100% Polyamide with PU Membrane

                              Trail running is another animal in comparison to road running. You need to be ready for unintended obstacles, muck and changing weather, so your gear needs to be up to the task at all times. We really admire this lightweight profile from Inov-8 for this discipline, as the material doesn’t hamper your mobility while still providing excellent durability and coverage. We wouldn’t recommend using this in lower lighting or evening jaunts, however. While Inov-8 lists reflective detailing across the Stormshell profile, we found them to be less visible than other running jackets. We’d suggest keeping this for mid-day jogs through the mountains and saving the evening endeavors for more high-vis silhouettes.

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