The 9 Best Running Jackets To Beat The Rain & Cold This Winter
Layering with the best running jacket to beat the elements can be exactly what you need to stay motivated when the weather takes a turn. You can’t control the weather, but you can control what you wear.
With the shockingly wet autumn we’re experiencing across Eastern Australia in 2022, you may be inspired to update your winter running wardrobe or running rain jacket early this year.
Brush off the temptation to hibernate at home when cold and rainy conditions take hold with our top 9 element-fighting and excuse-busting running jackets from leading sportswear brands. But first, a quick guide on how to buy the right winter running jacket for you.
How To Choose A Running Jacket
When shopping for a weather-ready running jacket, keep an eye out for the following terminology in the product description or on the product tag. This can help you make informed decisions to buy the best running jacket for the conditions – turning cold or stormy weather into a challenge, not an obstacle.
Thermal: Thermal refers to the ability of a garment to hold in your body heat, whether through using insulating materials, specialised grid pattern or shapes like a ‘honeycomb’ or ‘waffle’ construction to create air pockets that trap in warmth. In this way, thermal materials make your body heat work in your favour to help maintain warmth in cold conditions.
Water-resistant: Water-resistant running jackets feature densely woven material that blocks water from soaking into the fabric. They’re made from breathable synthetic fibres like polyester as opposed to natural cotton which is moisture-absorbing. As the lowest form of wet weather protection, they can only shield against rain for so long before the water sneaks through, making them best suited for running in light showers or during shorter rainy day runs.
Water-repellent: Water-repellent running jackets are ‘hydrophobic’, providing a barrier that repels water. Water beads on the exterior of the garment and slides off rather than penetrating the fabric. This characteristic may be referred to as a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish or coating.
Waterproof: Waterproof running jackets create an impermeable membrane with fully sealed seams and are the most effective at keeping water out. Despite the benefits of waterproofing in a downpour, the trade-off is they’re generally less breathable than other options – potentially keeping rain out but trapping sweat in!
Top sportswear brands will try to find that sweetspot of waterproofing and breathability by including a very fine internal mesh membrane or ventilation panel that allows sweat to escape without compromise to the waterproof characteristics. We recommend purchasing a waterproof jacket only from a research-driven, reputable brand like those named below - because the last thing you want is for your running jacket to behave like a wearable sauna and cause you to overheat.
Reflective: Reflective materials contain specialised glass beads that capture light of an external light source such as vehicle headlights and bounce it back as a bright and focused beam to increase your visibility when running in low light conditions. Wearing reflective gear at night or in rainy, gloomy conditions when road running is highly recommended to keep you safe and seen. Keep in mind that as we approach winter there are less hours of natural light in a day, making reflective gear an essential part of your running wardrobe.
Ideally, your winter running jacket should feature:
- Sweat-wicking and breathable panels/fabrics where needed
- Warmth without feeling bulky, stuffy or restrictive
- Lightweight technical fabric that allows you to move freely
- A hood or stand-up collar for extra protection against the elements
- Front zip for customisable ventilation and easy on/off
- Zip pockets that create a secure and dry environment to store small essentials
- A comfortable design that feels good to wear from neck to hem
In no particular order, let’s dive into the fun part - the running jackets themselves.
Be Warm: Best Running Jackets For The Cold
Cosy and durable coverage for everyday runs
The Asics Silver running jacket is your excuse-busting running buddy – ensuring you don’t need to skip your workout when the chill rolls in. This no-nonsense running jacket is made with ripstop woven fabric to tackle regular use without wearing out early.
The bulk-free design makes it easy to layer over your running top, while providing the breathability you need to allow excess heat to escape. Being moisture-wicking and fast-drying, it’s perfect for training sessions where sweat can weigh you down.
Full-zip closure makes it easy to shed a layer when your workout heats up and spacious front pockets provide a cosy spot to stash your small valuables.
Fabric: Ripstop Woven: 100% Polyester (72gsm)
2. 2XU Ignition 1/4 Zip Women's Long Sleeve Running Top & 2XU Ignition 1/4 Zip Men's Long Sleeve Running Top
Makes your body heat work in your favour
The chill has got nothing on the 2XU Ignition ¼ Zip long sleeve running top. Although we’re calling it a top, it belongs among the best running jackets with its feather-light yet full coverage of your arms, torso and neck.
A double-knit 3D waffle construction forms small air pockets to capture your body heat and prevent it from sneaking out. To keep your cold hands cosy, it features thumbholes on the cuffs and flip-over mittens for when you’re short on running gloves. ¼ zip front closure allows you to let cool air in once you warm up.
The women’s running jacket features an ‘invisible’ pocket on the shoulder while the men’s running jacket has a pocket on the chest – both providing hands-free storage of small valuables. Reflective details make it ideal for running in the low light hours, when wearing visibility accessories is vital to your safety.
Made with a high content of recycled materials, you can stay warm and protected while keeping your carbon footprint lighter on the environment.
Fabric: 94% Recycled Polyester / 6% Spandex
Insulated protection to unleash your potential
You’ll feel unstoppable when the winter chill rolls in with the Ronhill Tech Matrix ½ Zip women’s thermal jacket keeping you shielded from the bitter cold.
Insulated with a specialised grid pattern that holds warm air against your skin without compromise to the streamlined design, it’s an instant favourite this goosebump season. It also offers advanced moisture control and breathability to prevent sweat from ruining your runs.
Thumb loops and a hand mitt provide a warm home for cold hands and a secure pocket keeps your small essentials safe and in easy reach. Depending on the conditions it’s ideal as a mid-layer or to wear on its own.
Fabric: 96% Polyester / 4% Elastane
Be Dry: Best Running Jackets For The Rain
Lightweight & water-repellent design for adventure seekers
Designed as your go-to, element-fighting layer for whatever weather nature throws at you, the On Running weather jacket provides wind and rain protection in an ultra-lightweight package that adapts to your movement.
Comfort you can zip on and forget about during long runs, it’s made with innovative Japanese fabrics for breathability – keeping the rain out without locking sweat in. The DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish ensures rain slides off the polyester/elastane blend rather than absorbing into the fabric.
The cap-style hood keeps the rain out of your eyes. A packable design complete with water-resistant zip pockets ensures your valuables have a safe and dry home on your running adventures.
Fabric: Polyester / Elastane
5. Sub4 Reflective Breathable X Women's Weather Jacket & Sub4 Reflective Breathable X Men's Weather Jacket
Wind & shower-proof to crush your running & cycling goals
Protection without the bulk, the Sub4 Reflective Breathable X running and cycling jacket is ideal for transitioning between changing weather conditions seamlessly. When the wind churns or storm clouds are brewing, you’ll be ready.
4-way stretch ensures a non-restrictive fit so you can move efficiently, and the breathable back panel offers air circulation in this sweat-prone zone. Its quick-drying technical fabrics keep you feeling light and focused, while thumbholes create a stay-put fit of the sleeves and a cosy feel.
Reflective elements at the front and back boost your visibility in dark or gloomy conditions – a must-have if you’re running or cycling by the road.
Wind & water-resistant for rainy park runs, breezy road sessions and beyond
Your versatile and breathable shell to zip up and brave the elements, Ronhill have developed the essential Ronhill Core running jacket with an eye for detail. A wind and water-resistant finish packed into a lightweight design creates a distraction-free layer in light showers.
Activelite performance fabric keeps you primed to perform and the feather-soft, fleece-lined collar provides extra protection of your neck against the cold. Articulated sleeves improve your mobility, allowing your arms to pump freely. Semi-elasticated cuffs and hem prevent the warmth from escaping and help block out wind and water.
The front zip pocket keeps your small valuables tucked away securely and reflective trim enhances your visibility after the sun goes to sleep.
Fabric: Main Body: 100% Polyester, Lining: 100% Polyester
Water-repelling shell with a unique transparent look
Ideal for all weather conditions you encounter from trail to road, the Nike Repel Wild Run Graphic Windrunner men’s running jacket keeps you moving freely. Whether you’re training for your next marathon or soaking in the sights during your trail runs, it keeps the rain off your skin while allowing sweat to escape with the front mesh and back vent.
The transparent design shows off the technical elements of the running jacket at work. Rug up or down with the drawcord hood for adaptable coverage as the weather changes.
Fabric: 100% Polyester
8. Salomon Bonatti Trail Waterproof Women's Running Jacket & Salomon Bonatti Trail Waterproof Men's Running Jacket
Waterproof protection for wild weather and rugged environments
Stay inspired to run in rainy weather with the Salomon Bonatti Trail Waterproof running jacket, topping off your winter wardrobe with adventure-ready features to make your trail runs easier.
Salomon are the experts in gear designed for off-road exploration. They have the balance spot-on with advanced Japanese PERTEX fabric providing waterproof protection while remaining lightweight and breathable.
This waterproof running jacket fits over your Salomon hydration pack to keep you and your gear dry while offering front access to a flask so you can sip-and-go without any inconvenience. A minimalist hood provides a close, distraction-free fit that shields your face and head from the elements and a chest pocket provides a safe home for essentials.
Salomon Bonatti Trail Waterproof Womens Running Jacket
Salomon Bonatti Trail Waterproof Mens Running Jacket
Be Seen: Best Running Jacket For The Dark
Ultra-reflective & windproof to rule the road after dark
With winter drawing closer and the hours of daylight becoming shorter, we’ve thrown in the award-winning Proviz Reflect360 into our best running jackets for winter list.
With 100% reflectivity, the Proviz Reflect360 running jacket lights you up like a beacon in vehicle headlights at night. It’s a must-have reflective jacket for runners that don’t quit training when darkness is upon them.
The lightweight performance fabric is windproof to run strong and train hard even when conditions aren’t ideal. Mesh is strategically placed in sweat-prone zones of the underarms and back to allow your skin to breathe for temperature regulation. Full-length front closure with lock zip ensures the zip stays put for a distraction-free run.
The Wrap Up
A weatherproof or winter-ready running jacket can make the difference between keeping your fitness on track throughout the chiller months or losing sight of your running goals and staying wrapped up like a burrito indoors all season.
Training in less-than-ideal weather can build your tolerance of unexpected or challenging conditions. The grit and determination you earn by conquering the elements can be a valuable quality when channelled into your race day performance or everyday training.
You can turn the term 'bad weather' into history by layering wisely during your runs. It’s about more than just having a go-to running jacket – it’s about having the right running jacket for the conditions to run strong and stay motivated all-year round in any weather.
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