To become a good runner, you need to be dedicated and consistent and to be dedicated and consistent being in possession of a good running jacket can really help. Find the right one and it will allow you to get out to run happily and comfortably no matter what the weather.
Finding the perfect jacket can be tricky though, particularly if you’re new to running. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Over the last few seasons, our team of testers have been trying out countless running jackets in an effort to find the best options out there. Heck, we even managed to set an FKT in one of them (more on that below).
Our Team’s Favourite Running Jackets
The key consideration when choosing a running jacket is whether you want to have waterproof protection or not. Waterproof running jackets are obviously great for those very wet and miserable days, but they can be a little hot and clammy in milder temperatures and/or when you’re working hard. That’s why some runners will tend to prefer a water resistant jacket instead of a waterproof one. They’ll provide protection from wind and light rain while still allowing plenty of airflow.
We’ve gone into more detail on waterproof versus non-waterproof at the bottom of this article. You’ll also find our run through on the other factors to consider when choosing a running jacket down there too. Looking for something for running in the dark? Our round up of the best running head torches will help you there.
Following our tests, we consider the following to be the best running jackets.
Best Overall Running Jacket: Haglofs L.I.M Jacket
Best Value Running Jacket: Montane Featherlite Smock
Best Breathable Running Jacket: On Weather Jacket
Best Packable Running Jacket: Rab Phantom Pull On
Best Jacket for Racing and Training in Winter: Patagonia Storm Racer
Best Overall Running Jacket
Haglöfs L.I.M Series
Attributes: Lightweight, breathable, protective
Best for: Mountain running, long distances
While this might not be primarily designed for running, we put it to the test over the course of a 500-mile self-supported run over the mountains of Wales and it passed with flying colours. Lightweight, very protective and with good breathability, it has all the right attributes for long-distance running in challenging conditions. We see it as being perfect as a running jacket for runs that you know will be wet from start to finish. It’s also excellent for trips to the mountains when you’ll need something very protective but still light and packable.
Related: Best Trail Running Caps
True to its name L.I.M (less is more), this has a simple design, the idea being that it’ll keep you protected and comfortable but without weighing you down. There’s a small zipped chest pocket, a toggled hem, elastic cuffs and a protective hood and that’s just about all there is to say in regards to its feature set.
Chosen for our Outdoor 100 2021. Read our full Haglöfs L.I.M review.
|BUY NOW: HAGLOFS.COM|
Best Value Running Jacket
Montane Featherlite Smock
Attributes: Lightweight, packable, stretchy, breathable
Best for: Short to medium distances
This jacket is so light and packable, you could tuck it away in a pocket in your shorts and barely notice it’s there. It’s perfect if you just want something that’ll keep the wind off you and provide a touch of warmth when you start out on your run. The water resistance is adequate enough to keep light rain off and it dries quickly too.
The features, as you might expect from such a light jacket, are very light and basic. You get a zipped chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack, toggled hem adjustment and a ⅓ length two-way zip for ventilation.
The fabric it’s made from is Pertex Quantum and this has a four-way stretch built into it, meaning the jacket will stretch and adapt to your movements.
Chosen for our Outdoor 100 2021. Read our full Montane Featherlite review.
|BUY NOW: TREKITT.CO.UK|
Best Packable Running Jacket
Rab Phantom Pull On
Attributes: Lightweight, packable
Best for: Ultra running, long-distance running, mountain marathons
This is almost identical to the Montane Podium Pull On only it has the added benefit of giving you a pocket to keep your phone in. It’s also fractionally lighter too. In fact, at 90g this is one of the lightest waterproof jackets you’ll find.
We reckon this will appeal to two types of outdoor enthusiasts. First of all, it’ll suit mountain runners; any people who are after kit that could give them a competitive edge while still meeting the waterproof jacket criteria for a race.
It’ll also suit just casual trail runners who want something that’s light and compact enough to stick in their running vest or even the pocket of their shorts just in case the weather suddenly turns on them. “The ultimate stash and forget waterproof”, Rab call it.
Chosen for our Outdoor 100 2021. Read our full Rab Phantom Pull On review.
|BUY NOW: RAB.EQUIPMENT|
Best Breathable Running Jacket
On Weather Jacket
Type: Windproof with water resistant panels
Attributes: Lightweight, packable, very breathable
Best for: Short to medium distance runs
This is an incredibly well-made jacket with excellent fabrics and an innovative design. The key thing we like about it is the fact it has loads of clever little hidden vents that keep wind and rain out while still allowing hot, moist air to escape. And you also got a good degree of wet weather protection from this thanks to its clever water resistant panels located across the shoulders. It’s by no means a waterproof jacket, but you could wear this for a 20-minute run in light rain and still feel adequately protected.
Features include a little zipped pocket that doubles as a stuff sack, semi-elasticated cuffs, reflective details and then a protective hood with a neat little peak.
Lightweight, stretchy, windproof and water resistant and very breathable. There’s a lot to like here.
Chosen for our Outdoor 100 2019. Read our full On Weather Jacket review.
|BUY NOW: ON-RUNNING.COM|
Best Jacket for Racing and Training in Winter
Patagonia Storm Racer
Attributes: Innovative design, compatible with race vest
Best for: Ultra running, long-distance running, mountain marathons
Take one look at this jacket and the first thing you’ll notice is the pretty unique, two zipped design. By throwing this jacket on when wearing a trail vest, the two zips allow you to fold down the font collar of the jacket, improving ventilation and providing access to your hydration flasks. The jacket has also been built with a loose fit to accommodate this, so there’s no need to size up.
The Storm Racer ain’t no slouch in the waterproofing department either, thanks to its three-layer H2No fabric. H2No is, of course, Patagonia’s own in-house waterproof material, which boasts a 100% recycled 30D nylon ripstop face fabric.
Chosen for our Outdoor 100 2020. Read our full Patagonia Storm Racer review.
|BUY NOW: EU.PATAGONIA.COM|