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Fitness Junkies, Take Note: These Are the Best Running Jackets of 2022

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

best running jackets
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Anyone who has experienced the runner's high knows that come wind or rain, snow or sleet, there isn't much that can stop a runner from lacing up and heading out for their daily meditation.

There are debates as to whether the runner's high even exists, or whether it's due to endorphins, or rather endocannabinoids — biochemical substances similar to cannabis that are naturally produced by the body — but the bottom line remains: there's a reason many of us get addicted to running, even if it can't be explained. Yet.

That said, it's important to support your running habit in as many ways as you can. The elusive promise of the fabled runner's high hiding just around the bend doesn't negate the fact that running is, well, hard. Supporting your daily mile meter means stepping into the proper shoes, stretching your muscles, properly fueling and, of course, finding the right running jacket.This guide provides all the information you'll need to pick the best one for you, including weight, breathability, material, comfort and more.

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 will rise and sweat will begin to accumulate. This can hinder your performance and, in less than ideal temperatures, 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.

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 more damp, 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.

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.

Now that we have some basic factors to consider, let’s lace up and break down the year’s best picks:

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BEST OVERALL RUNNING JACKET
Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody
Arc'teryx

Weight: 4.9 Ounces

Waterproofing: DWR Finish

Material: Tyono 30 Ripstop Nylon


Although created specifically for mountain training and marginal weather, the Squamish is highly capable and can be great for running in a myriad of conditions. Featuring lightweight Tyono 30 ripstop nylon, paired with a DWR finish for waterproofing, this jacket is built to resist wind and rain while dumping heat and maintaining breathability. An adjustable StormHood soft brim adds to the coverage when you need that extra support on the road. And at just over four ounces, you'll forget you have it on.

BEST UPGRADE RUNNING JACKET
Salomon S/Lab Motionfit 360 Jacket
Campsaver

Weight: 5.5 Ounces

Waterproofing: Pertex Shield Membrane

Material: 72% Nylon, 28% Elastane

Long-distance runners require gear that's tailored to the grueling nature of 30+ mile runs, with details that offer support and comfort. Built for ultrarunners, Salomon's S/Lab Motionfit Jacket is meant to go the distance. The proprietary Pertex Shield membrane keeps any amount of water at bay, from light showers to downpours, and the Smart Vent feature allows you to fully unzip the jacket without the sides flapping out behind you, thanks to special tabs that keep the sides of the jacket connected. The entire jacket can be stowed (on the go) in the bottom elastic waistband, minimizing the need to fumble around while trying to stash the jacket.

BEST BUDGET RUNNING JACKET
Smartwool Merino Sport Ultralight Jacket
REI

Weight: 4.73 Ounces

Waterproofing: DWR Finish

Material: Nylon, Merino Wool, Polyester

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 150 mesh keeps things cozy and antimicrobial, while the recycled nylon outer shell paired with the DWR coating provides weather and wind protection. Reflective details increase visibility in low light conditions, and the entire jacket packs down into its right hand pocket for maximum storage capability.

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET
Montbell Tachyon Parka Men's
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Weight: 2.5 Ounces

Waterproofing: Polkatex DWR Treatment

Material: 7-denier Ballistic Airlight Nylon Ripstop

The new and improved Tachyon parka received some major upgrades this season, including Montbell's new 7-denier nylon fabric, featuring a manipulated weave that balances the ability to release heat built up in the jacket, while maintaining superior warmth. At just 2.5 ounces, this parka is lightweight, waterproof and stowable for adventures on the go, rain or shine.

BEST RECYCLED JACKET
Patagonia Houdini Jacket
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Weight: 3.7 ounces

Waterproofing: DWR Finish

Material: 100% Recycled Ripstop Nylon Shell

Patagonia is known the world over for its commitment to making less of an impact by using recycled and sustainable materials, and the Houdini Jacket is a prime example. The 100 percent recycled nylon, Fair Trade Certified running jacket features a slim fit for better movement, an adjustable hood, half-elastic cuffs and a drawcord hem for finding the perfect fit, reflective details for safety and a DWR finish to top it all off.

BEST PULL ON JACKET
Montane Prism Ultra Pull On Insulated Jacket
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Weight: 7.1 Ounces

Waterproofing: DWR Finish

Material: Barrier Lite RS Primaloft Silver Insulation

Full zips have their perks, but we love a good pull-on. At 7.1 ounces, this option from Montane is not only lightweight and breathable, but also features 70 percent recycled PrimaLoft Silver insulation, making it a do-anything, go-anywhere workhorse. A close-fitting collar and elasticated cuffs reduce heat loss, and it stuffs into its external chest pocket for enhanced packability.

BEST CITY JACKET
The North Face Winter Warm Jacket
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Weight: 13.4 Ounces

Waterproofing: DWR Finish

Material: 40 grams Heatseeker Eco: 70 percent Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester

Those of us living in city environments face the age-old conundrum of wanting technical apparel to keep us warm on cooler days, without sacrificing aesthetics. The North Face's Winter Warm jacket is able to sit in both worlds, with style notes like playful color-blocking combined with tech elements like 40 grams of Heatseeker Eco 70 percent post-consumer recycled polyester and a DWR finish.

BEST EVERYDAY JACKET
adidas Terrex Multi RAIN.RDY Primegreen Two-Layer Rain Jacket
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Weight: N/A

Waterproofing: Woven into Polyester

Material: Waterproof 100% Recycled Polyester

There are running jackets that come around every once in a while that you just don't want to take off — a confluence of factors that come together in some inexplicable way, unique to each of us. This option from adidas tops quite a few of our lists, for a few reasons. It's made with Primegreen, the company's high-performance recycled material, and boasts a two-layered lined design to enhance breathability and durability. It also uses RAIN.RDY to channel water away from the body, allowing you to stay focused on what counts: your run.

BEST WINTER PUFFY RUNNING JACKET
Saucony Snowdrift 2.0 Running Jacket
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Weight: Approx. 11 Ounces

Waterproofing: Non PFC DWR

Material: 87g/ms 93% Recycled Polyester / 7% Spandex

Saucony's Snowdrift 2.0 is ideal for runners who want a main dish of warmth with a heaping side of coziness. Complete with PrimaLoft Black and ThermoPlume insulation (which retains heat even while wet), this puffy will keep you running even when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Fleece stretch panels along the side of the body regulate heat retention, and zip hand pockets shield chilly fingers from the elements.

BEST FLEECE JACKET
Norrona Svalbard Warm1 Jacket
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Weight: 14 Ounces

Waterproofing: N/A

Material: Polartec Thermal Pro Polyester

For those chilly morning jogs, the Norrona Svalbard Warm1 features Polartec Thermal Pro fleece for a cozy-yet-breathable profile. Elastic cuffs with added thumbholes can help you keep your sleeves in place when on-the-go. A high collar and brushed chin guard can also add to your coverage without the risk of chafing. And through every movement, this jacket stays with you thanks to a stretchy, mobile build for lasting comfort from start to finish.

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