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Best running jacket 2021: Keep on running, whatever the weather


Wind and rain won’t spoil your workout when you’ve got the right running jacket on your back

There is an oft-repeated phrase that there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. This is clearly not the case for runners – a thunderstorm is never going to be a barrel of laughs when you’re trying to run through it – but if you do protect yourself with one of the best running jackets from our roundup below, it can make the experience much less of a chore.

Do yourself a favour and make your winter training more enjoyable with our running jacket buyer’s guide and round-up of the best jackets available right now.

Best running jacket: At a glance

How to choose the best running jacket for you

Do you want a waterproof jacket?

Yes might seem like the obvious answer here, but hold your horses. Fully waterproof jackets are by design less breathable, and if you’re heading out for a hard run it could result in you getting so sweaty that you might as well have got rained on anyway. Indeed, cheaper waterproofs can end up being little better than bin bags in terms of breathability, while those that are both waterproof and breathable cost a lot of money.

As a result, many runners opt for a windproof and water-resistant jacket instead of something fully waterproof. This will help you shrug off a light shower while still being breathable enough you can wear it when it’s not raining without fear of overheating.

If you get caught in a real downpour, it won’t be enough protection – some races with a kit list will demand that you have a full waterproof with taped seams for this reason – but for your everyday training runs a windproof, water-resistant jacket is usually most comfortable.

What other features do you need?

Once you’ve selected the level of protection from the weather you want, you can dive into the finer details of your jacket. What storage options does it have, for one, and how well placed are the pockets so that anything inside them won’t bounce around annoyingly when you’re running? You also want some reflective details on the jacket to increase your night-time visibility, because most jackets will be worn in the winter months when the days are shorter.

Another useful feature is if a jacket is packable into its own pocket. This means you can carry it with you in a nice, compact form just in case the heavens do open. Some jackets even have a handy strap on them which means you can carry them on your arm after you’ve packed them into their pocket.

How much do you have to spend?

With most running jackets, you can opt for budget gear knowing that while it might not be as good as the pricier stuff, it will do its job well enough. However, with jackets the saying “you get what you pay for” certainly rings true. The more you spend, the better the rain protection the jacket will likely offer while also being more comfortable in terms of fit and breathability.

An excellent running jacket will set you back over £150, and there are some that are significantly more expensive than this. Indeed, if you want the best in breathability and waterproofing in the same piece of kit you can expect to pay around £250.

If you don’t need a waterproof jacket then you’ll find great options for around £100, however, which is another reason why opting for water-resistant rather than waterproof is often the way runners go. Budget jackets can cost as little as £10, but be aware wearing these for runs longer than around half an hour will likely be an uncomfortably sweaty affair.

The best running jackets to buy

1. Kalenji Run Wind: Best budget running jacket

Price: £15 | Buy men’s from Decathlon | Buy women’s from Decathlon

Decathlon makes budget waterproof running jackets, but in our experience they become so uncomfortably clammy that we’d rather go without in the rain. As such, if you are looking for a cheap option, it’s usually best to opt for a windproof jacket instead. You get a good level of protection from the weather with the Run Wind, which is water-resistant as well as windproof, but there’s also plenty of ventilation to keep you cool and comfortable.

The windproof material is placed on the front of the jacket to help you power through headwinds, while the back has ventilated panels to let hot air escape. There are reflective details on the front, back and sides of the jacket, which can also be packed away into a pocket.

Buy men’s from DecathlonBuy women’s from Decathlon

2. Brooks Canopy: Best running jacket under £100

Price: £80 | Buy men's from Brooks | Buy women's from Brooks

The Canopy is a featherlight jacket that provides the perfect amount of protection for runners who are as concerned about overheating as they are about getting blasted by wind and rain. The jacket fends off the wind and is water resistant, and in spring and summer showers we found it kept us dry on the run, though it might not stand up to a proper deluge for long.

You can feel how lightweight the material is as soon as you touch the Canopy. It can be worn even in mild temperatures without causing you to sweat buckets, and there’s enough warmth there for runs in the low single digits as well. The jacket packs neatly into a pouch on its own hood, and you can roll up and tie the hood down when you’re not going to need it.

Buy men's from Brooks

Buy women's from Brooks

3. On Weather Jacket: Best all-round running jacket

Price: £190 | Buy now from On

Our top pick is not actually waterproof, but rest assured if that’s a must for you we have several great options coming up. We rate the On Weather Jacket as the best all-round option because of its versatility and comfort. Owing to the fact it’s water-resistant rather than waterproof, you can wear it on practically every run from autumn through to spring.

It provides enough protection that you won’t get wet in a shower, with a water-repellent coating and an adjustable hood that can be used to keep any rain off your face. It’s also windproof, and you can pack it down into its own pocket. It’s even stylish enough to wear when not running, which only adds to the versatility of the On Weather Jacket.

Buy now from On

4. New Balance Printed Impact Run Light Pack Jacket: Best packable running jacket

Price: £49 | Buy men’s from New Balance | Buy women’s from New Balance

This is a lightweight jacket that won’t do much to keep you warm on really chilly days. However, it’s a very handy layer to have to hand and the fact you can fold it into its own pocket and wear it as a running belt makes it easy to take with you on the off chance you need another top.

The fabric is both wind- and water-resistant, and while the rain will get through if you’re out for a long run in a downpour, it’s the ideal option when light showers are in the air. It’s also great for those in-between days when you're not sure if it’s cold enough to really justify a jacket, but don’t feel happy about stepping outside in just a t-shirt, providing just enough warmth to beat the chill without getting too sweaty.

Buy men's from New Balance

Buy women's from New Balance

5. Berghaus Hyper 140: Best waterproof running jacket

Price: £170-£180 | Buy men’s from Berghaus| Buy women's from Berghaus

The Hyper 140 shows why Berghaus is such a trusted brand when it comes to outdoor gear. The jacket is incredibly lightweight so you’ll barely feel it. What’s more, the material is thin and fully breathable, so humidity is at a minimum and somehow it doesn’t stick to sweaty, clammy skin. The jacket has a snug, slim fit and the hood and cuffs are ergonomically designed, so there’s no irritating flapping in the wind and it keeps you well protected from draughts.

If you find yourself wanting to take it off mid-run, then don’t fret. The jacket easily packs away into its stuff sack, and carrying it won’t weigh you down as it’s so light. Despite this portability and breathability, the Hyper 140 is fully waterproof- no matter how heavy the rain. All the zips are also waterproof protected, which helps to keep you and any valuables safely tucked away from the elements.

Buy men’s from Berghaus Buy women’s from Berghaus

6. Gore R7 Shakedry Hooded Jacket: Best packable waterproof running jacket

Price: £175-£250 | Buy men’s from Sports Shoes | Buy women’s from Runnerinn

This lightweight, waterproof jacket will keep your torso dry in the worst of conditions, and then once the sun is shining again you can take the jacket off, quickly shake the water off it, and then pack it up into its own pocket to store in your bag.

The Gore R7 jacket is also very breathable and its close fit ensures that you can hit top speed while wearing it without feeling restricted or facing the annoying prospect of the material flapping around in the wind.

It’s a simple bit of kit – a lightweight, packable waterproof jacket – but one that’s been executed to perfection to give runners everything they need.

Buy men’s from Sports Shoes Buy women’s from Runnerinn

7. Best reflective running jacket: Proviz REFLECT360 Running Jacket

Price: £90 | Buy men’s from Proviz | Buy women’s from Proviz

If visibility is your key concern when you’re on the run, then you can’t do better than Proviz’s reflective gear. The front and arms of this jacket are made from a material that contains thousands of tiny glass beads that reflect light so you shine like a beacon when any light hits you during a run.

There are additional reflective patches on the back of the jacket to ensure 360° visibility, and there are also large mesh sections on the back to make the top more breathable. While it still isn’t as breathable as some of the other options on this list, the REFLECT360 is a great option for short runs at night when you’re especially worried about being seen.

Buy men’s from Proviz

Buy women’s from Proviz

8. Best for runners who cycle: Keela Saxon/Storm

Price: £105 | Buy men’s from Veela | Buy women’s from Veela

Whether you’re just as committed to your cycling as you are to your running, or only use the bike to commute, having a running jacket that will also work when riding is a bonus that will save you splashing out twice. The Keela Saxon is a waterproof but lightweight and breathable jacket with a high neck and an adjustable hood that can fit over bike helmets. It also has a scooped back design that stops water from dripping onto you when leaning forward over your handlebars.

As well as side pockets, there is a pocket on the back of the jacket that’s easy to access when cycling. It’s also a good place to put your essentials when running, because side pockets tend to flap around on the run when stuff is in them. The Saxon jacket also features reflective trims to increase your visibility at night and packs down nice and small so you can shove it into the side pocket of a backpack.

Buy men’s from Keela Buy women’s from Keela