Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

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.

collage of three running jackets
Courtesy

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 breathability, protection and more.

How to Choose a Running Jacket

Breathability

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.

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.

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.

Fit

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.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
How We Tested
collage of 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 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, storability 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.

BEST OVERALL RUNNING JACKET
Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody
Courtesy
BEST UPGRADE RUNNING JACKET
Patagonia Houdini Jacket
Courtesy
BEST BUDGET RUNNING JACKET
Nathan Stealth Jacket
Courtesy
MOST BREATHABLE RUNNING JACKET
Smartwool Merino Sport Ultralite Jacket
Courtesy
BEST PULL-ON RUNNING JACKET
On Running Waterproof Anorak
Courtesy
BEST CITY JACKET
Lululemon Stretch Ventilated Running Jacket
Courtesy
BEST RUNNING JACKET FOR DAILY TRAINING
Brooks Canopy Jacket
Courtesy
BEST FLEECE RUNNING JACKET
Tracksmith Franklin Fleece
Courtesy
BEST RUNNING JACKET FOR HARSH CONDITIONS
The North Face Flight Lightriser FUTURELIGHT Jacket
Courtesy
BEST WINTER RUNNING JACKET
Asics Lite-Show Winter Jacket
Courtesy
BEST REFLECTIVE RUNNING JACKET
Brooks Run Visible Convertible Jacket
Courtesy
BEST TRAIL RUNNING JACKET
Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket
Courtesy
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Running