Best Running Jackets Reviewed & Rated for Quality
As the temperatures outside plummet, it gets harder and harder to stick to your workout regiment. I myself have been guilty of waking up early with the noble intention of running a few miles before work only to be met with frigid winds upon opening my front door. Only one thing runs through your mind when this happens. “Nope”. If your one that has a new years resolution to start exercising and get fit I am happy for you. However, cold weather makes these resolutions hard to keep. It takes a little more preplanning when going outside to workout when it’s cold. You have to know how to dress. An absolute essential is a good running jacket.
- Adidas Essential Tricot
- Ribbed Cuffs
- The North Face Apex Bionic
- Zippered Chest Pocket
- Champion Performax Quarter-Zip
- Thumb Holes at Sleeves
While there are other alternatives to running outside, very few of them give you the same benefits. Treadmills are cool. Except they take up space, work different muscles, and can make for an awfully boring run. Running is not only good for exercising the body. There is another factor entirely. The serenity you feel when you are present in surroundings you typically don’t witness unless you are behind a windshield cannot be replicated on a treadmill. While outside workouts take more resolve and discipline to complete during the winter, the benefits make them worth it.
Having the right apparel makes all the difference when dealing with cold weather in general. A good running jacket will make it that much easier to stick to your regiment, your new year’s resolutions, and goal to become a healthier fitter you. Fortunately, we have compiled a comprehensive buying guide. This will educate you on some important features of running jackets and make it easier to choose the right jacket for your needs.
15 Best Running Jackets
1. Adidas Essential Tricot
The adidas Tricot Jacket is a nod to tradition. Style is reminiscent of athetic wear from the 70's and 80's. This shows that some characteristics never go out of style. The Tricot is available in several colors.
One of the things that have kept adidas going over the years is the development of new and different products and materials. adidas invented the shower shoer and now they have Climalite. This synthetic cotton blended material is comfortable and functional. Synthetic materials help with moisture management and the cotton makes soft and pleasant to wear.
Cost and Value
adidas is a brand that is well known to consumers and endorsed by elite athletes. Other brands that have Adidas' notoriety will sometimes cash in on it and charge you for the brand rather than the product itself. This is not the case with adidas. They make quality products that usually are fair prices. The Tricot Jacket is no different. This running jacket is well worth the number on the price tag.
- Side seam pockets
- Variety of colors
- Ribbed cuffs
- Made with "Climalite"
- Inconsistent sizing
2. The North Face Apex Bionic
When it comes to the construction of their jackets, North Face does not mess around. Anyone who has worn a North Face jacket before can testify to their durability that can be felt as soon as you put it on.
While some running jackets seem to only be good for certain situations, the North Face Apex can stand up to almost any obstacle that you'll encounter while running. The outter layer is made from a stretchy, wind resistant elastane. It is then finished off with a coating of water resistant material. The inner layer is a warm and comfortable fleece.
Cost and Value
The Apex Bionic Soft Shell jacket is one of the more expensive items on the list for running jackets. Which is to be expected with anything from North Face. High-end construction and materials typically yield high-end prices. However, the company offers a lifetime warranty so if you don't absolutely love your North Face products you can send them back.
- Made from elastane, polyester, and fleece
- Literally dozens of color combinations
- Wind and moisture resistant
- Lifetime Warranty
- Suggested for temperatures above 35 degrees.
3. The North Face Venture 2
North Face products have been the go to for outdoor hobbyists as well as professionals for years. They never sacrifice quality and this is evident in the Venture 2. This versatile jacket can go from being an extremely effective windbreaker to being the final touch on layers of clothes for extremely frigid environments. The adjustable hood allows for multiple layers underneath and leaves room for a helmet for more extreme ventures.
Wind and Water Resistant
The venture 2 is made from ripstop nylon and other synthetic materials. This plus cinching cuffs and waistband means that you are better protected from the elements.
Cost and Value
As with other North Face products, the Venture 2 sits at the more expensive side of the price spectrum than other running jackets. Although it is a bit pricey the sheer functionality makes the Venture 2 a good buy. Plus, with North Faces Lifetime warranty you can make the purchase without feeling like your taking a risk.
- Many color options
- Made from 100% windproof material
- Ripstop nylon
- Adjustable hood
- Unlined jacket made for layering
4. Under Armour Storm ColdGear
There have not been many advancements in zipper technology over the years. All zippers pretty much follow the same basic operation and function. Under Armour has developed a zipper system that was originally created to help an individual with Myotonic Dystrophy. This disease causes progressive muscle weakness and can make simple things like zipping up a coat a difficult ordeal. The Magzip system features a magnetic base that clasps the two pieces of the zipper together. Then all you do is pull the tab to zip up the jacket. This is an awesome feature for parents who are trying to get kids ready in the morning.
Shelter from the Rain
The Infrared Werewolf jacket is made specifically to withstand the wind and the rain. The outer shell has been coated with a waterproof finish. It also features UA's infrared material in the lining. This material helps you retain heat to keep you warm. Although this insulation is very good at retaining heat, it is also thin so extra layers will be needed to stay warm if the temperature drops below about 40 degrees.
Cost and Value
On the price spectrum for running jackets, the UA Infrared Werewolf is on the more expensive side. This running jacket has a lot of interesting features such as the MagZXip but some people are a little turned off by the relatively high price tag.
5. Champion Performax Quarter-Zip
A common design flaw in a lot of running jackets is he loose cuffs. This allows the sleeve to move and cold air to enter the jacket itself. Some running jackets have synching or elastic cuffs to prevent this. Champion takes it a step further and provides thumb holes. These holes keep the sleeve in place and allow for greater movement and performance.
There are few things more annoying than a heavy zipper on a jacket that is meant to be worn during intense physical activity. While you may be able to use the constant clanging sound as a pacesetter, the level of frustration you'll feel when that sucker flips up and hits your lip or tooth in unrivaled. Performax zippers are lightweight and made for movement.
Cost and Value
Champion is known to be a budget-friendly brand. Some of the products can be a bit hit and miss. However, there are some Champion items that have features that can be seen on more expensive running jackets. In this case, the Performax Quarter Zip Pullover is a total hit. Made of polyester and spandex, the Performax pullover feels and functions like many other higher ended running jackets.
- Machine Washable
- Thumbholes on cuffs
- Performax zipper
- Extended tail
- Too thin for extreme cold
6. Outdoor Research Helium II
If your doing a long distance trail run you want to bring the bare essentials with you. If you bring to many things you begin to be weighed down. The Helium II jacket can be folded down to the size of a granola bar. This means that you can easily fit in a backpack or even in a pocket.
Pertex is a fabrics company that has developed many of the materials that outdoor apparel companies use in their products. Outdoor research is just one brand that uses the Pertex shield system. This shield system features hydophobic material that is also wind resistant and breathable at the same time.
Cost and Value
I won't lie. The cost of this jacket may scare some potential buyers away. Especially since it is not particularly warm. However, it really depends on what you're looking for. In terms of wind resistance and compact folding capabilities, the Helium II is one of the best jackets available.
- Fully seam taped
- Stuff pocket
- Zippered chest pocket
- Reflective material on adjustable hood
- Additional layers needed for frigid weather.
7. The North Face Resolve 2
The North Face Resolve 2 is made from polyester and nylon which make it very efficient in repelling water. Plus, sealed seams keep water from leaking in and keeps frigid air out.
One of the problems with running in a jacket with a hood is the fact that it will keep blowing off of your head. With the Resolve 2 the hood adjusts to your head so it does not blow off as easily.
Cost and Value
As with all North Face products, the price is kinda up there. While North Face does have a pretty good warranty, you may have to shell out kind a bit of money initially for a jacket that is made mostly for wind and light rain.
- Adjustable hood
- Nylon & Polyester mesh
- Lifetime Warranty
- Velcro Sticks to mesh lining
8. Outdoor Research Deviator
The torso section is stuffed with a combination of 70% treated down and 30 percent PrimaLoft insulation. This combination helps you trap heat generated by your body to keep you warm despite the slim appearance.
Fit for Variable Weather
Not only is the Deviator Hoodie warm for its compact size but it is also water resistant. The wicking and moisture management of the materials used during construction means it will also dry fast if it gets wet.
Cost and Value
Buying this jacket could be seen as an investment. If you are looking a buying a jacket that you can abuse on a regular basis during intense outside workouts, you might want to look for a cheaper option. After spending what this jacket costs I know I'd have a small heart attack if I got mud or spilled something on it. However, it is made with pretty high-quality material and has a great design that makes it an exceptional part of your athletic wear.
- Flat-Seam design
- Thumb holes for better fit
- Insulated core
- Variety of color options
- Slim design might seem constricting to some
9. Tesla Performance Long Sleeve Full-zip
Tesla Performance has a wide variety of compression apparel that is designed specifically for training. This hoodie is made from compression like material that moves with you. Thumbholes on the cuffs ensure that the sleeves stay in place and keep cold air out.
Take Your Music With You
One of the unique features offered by this Tesla Hoodie is a zippered pocket with an earphone outlet. This keeps the cord from bouncing around while you run. It also secures your phone.
Cost and Value
The Tesla Performance Zippered hoodie offers unique features and is made from quality materials. Many of these attributes are only seen in jackets at the more costly side of the price spectrum. However, this hoodie sits at a mid-range price and gives you a lot of bang for the buck.
- earphone outlet
- Zippered pocket
- Warm enough for fall and slim enough for layering
- Thumb hole cuff
- Zipper is on the "womans" side
10. Under Armour Storm Softershell
The Softershell Jacket has a fourway stretch design that moves when you do. This allows for greater range of motion during your workout routines.
Three Layers of Protection
THe outter layer of this jacket is wind resistant but it is made from a material that doesn't crinkle or make noise. The inner layer is a thermal conducting material that helps trap heat.
Cost and Value
For what this jacket has to offer the price is kind of crazy. It is one of the most expensive items listed. We've come to kind of expect high prices from UA but for what they're asking for this jacket one would expect it to be more versatile and better suited for colder temperatures.
- MagZip technology
- Four way stretch design
- Secure pockets
- Earphone outlet
- Not very warm for something in the ColdGear line.
11. Queenie Ke
This running jacket is made from a blend of 88 percent polyamide and 12 percent elastane material. These materials provide you with lots of moisture wicking capabilities and they resist bacteria which allows you to stay dry and continue to smell fresh.
The jacket's sleeves have built-in thumbholes which keep your sleeves from sliding up on your arms while you are running. You can also keep your wrists warm since the arms will cover your wrists and will stay where you need them too.
Cost and Value
You will see this jacket sold at a price that is around average for running jackets. This makes it into a great value because the jacket has all of the features you would expect to find at an affordable price.
- It is a fitted jacket that maintains a snug fit so that it doesn't feel bulky.
- There are thumbholes on the sleeves so that your arm sleeves do not pull up while running.
- The cuffs on the sleeves can be folded over your hands to help you stay warm.
- There is built in ventilation throughout the entire jacket to help you stay dry while running.
- The material of the jacket resists bacteria so that you can continue to smell fresh.
- Some reviewers have reported that the jacket is too small for them so you need to purchase a size up.
- Other reviewers have mentioned that the jacket has a strong chemical smell when it is brand new.
12. Charles River Apparel Rain
The jacket comes with reflective stripes on the front and back of the jacket. These strips reflect light back towards drivers and help you stay visible to traffic when you are running in dark or low light conditions.
The underarms of the jacket have ventilation so that you do not get too hot and sweaty while you are wearing this jacket. The vents provide a breathing spot that allows air to enter into the jacket and also escape.
Cost and Value
You will see this jacket sold at a price that is higher than average for running jackets. The extra price comes from the fact that the jacket is fully waterproof and keeps you visible to traffic while you are running.
- The jacket is made out of 100 percent polyurethane so it is completely waterproof and windproof.
- It has reflective stripes on the jacket which keeps you visible to drivers of cars and trucks.
- The seams are heat sealed so that water and wind do not penetrate the jacket.
- The interior of the jacket is lined with mesh so that you can still have air circulation.
- There are vents located throughout the jacket which provides the jacket with a way to breath.
- This jacket is not moisture wicking due to its waterproof membrane which can make you feel hot.
- Reviewers have reported that the sizing of the jacket is not accurate resulting in it fitting abnormally.
13. Inbike Cycling Jacket
The jacket is cut in a way that aligns it with the shape and curve of your body. This allows you have plenty of freedom of movement while you are running without the jacket feeling big and bulky.
If you need to protect your neck from cold wind, you can stand the collar up on the jacket. The collar is long enough to fully protect your neck but it isn't so long that it starts to rub against your chin.
Cost and Value
You should plan on seeing this jacket sold at an average price for a running jacket. It is a great value for runners because the jacket can keep you warm and dry in cold and winter weather without trapping moisture or sweat.
- The jacket is made from polyester fabric which blocks the wind and causes water to bead.
- There is a fleece lining in the interior of the jacket which allows for moisture wicking.
- The pockets of the jacket are made out of mesh for extra breathability and comfort.
- The collar can be stood up or folded down so that you can keep your neck warm.
- It is cut to match the curves and lines of the human body so that it fits great.
- Some reviewers have reported that the sizing is small and you have to order larger sizes.
- Other reviewers have mentioned that the jacket's zipper is low quality and get's stuck and jammed.
The jacket is made from three composite layers which are combined to keep you warm. The innermost layer is made out of fleece so that you feel warm and it helps you stay dry. The outer layers are designed to block the wind.
The jacket maintains a slim fit which makes it great for running because it won't feel bulky or baggy. This allows you to have plenty of freedom of movement without adding a bunch of extra weight to make running in this jacket enjoyable.
Cost and Value
You will see this jacket sold at a price that is well above the average for running jackets. The extra price comes from the fact that it is a three-layer composite jacket which adds to the materials used to make it.
- The jacket is made from a stretchy knit fabric that stretches with your body while you are running.
- The interior of the jacket uses a fleece lining so that you feel warm and dry.
- Its middle layer is made from a breathable material that is also wind blocking for warmth.
- You will notice that the exterior layer is made from a water-resistant soft shell material.
- The jacket has a full zipper which makes it easy to put the jacket on and take it off.
- The zipper has a left-hand orientation which can make it harder to use for right-handed people.
- Other reviewers have reported that the jacket is too small for them and they have to order a larger size.
15. Global Blank Jacket
The 100 percent poly fleece material allows this jacket to feel soft and comfortable while keeping you warm and dry. This makes this jacket into a great choice for running because the jacket is lightweight, warm, and will help wick away moisture.
It is designed to have a slimming fit. The slimming fit will not only help you look your best while running, but it also helps the jacket stay more breathable since it will hug your body and act like a second skin.
Cost and Value
You can save some money when you purchase this jacket because it has a price that is lower than the average for running jackets. The lower price comes from the fact that the jacket is thinner so it is useful for cool but not cold weather.
- It is made out 100 percent fleece material which allows the jacket to remain warm and lightweight.
- The are thumbholes in the sleeves so that the sleeves do not creep up your arms while running.
- It is made out of a water-resistant material which will help you stay dry in light rain.
- The jacket offers a great style and can pair with many different bottoms such as leggings.
- All of the seems are double stitched to provide this jacket with extra durability and long lifespan.
- Many reviewers have reported that the jacket is too small for them so you should order a size up.
- Other reviewers have reported that the jacket is thicker than what they expected it to be.
Creating good habits can be a hard thing to do. It takes mental resolve and discipline. Its easy to find excuses when that internal voice keeps saying ” Go back to bed, it’s warm there.” and ” We’ll just start tomorrow.” This is especially true when internal battles are effected by external elements like cold weather. The right running jacket can eliminate one of these obstacles that will keep you from becoming a better you. Discipline ultimately equals freedom. Its not easy to maintain. But nothing worth having ever is.
Criteria Used in Evaluation
We wear jackets of all kinds to keep us warm in cooler or cold weather. A jacket that is unable to keep up warm in such circumstances is not performing its intended function and therefore has little value. When you are picking out a jacket for running, you will need to consider what temperature range you plan on running in and then pick out a jacket that is suitable for that purpose. Since most running jackets tend to be thin and lightweight, you will need to consider the materials they are made from and the properties of those materials. In particular, you will want to make sure that the jacket’s materials are insulating so that you can stay comfortable while you are running.
Your body temperature will rise naturally while you are running, which helps you stay warmer in the first place. This part of the reason that running jackets tend to be thinner since they only need to trap your additional body heat. It is much easier to run in a tight-fitting jacket that is comfortable rather than a heavy-duty jacket that is bulky so running jackets do not have as much insulation. Instead, running jackets tend to rely on materials to help keep you insulated and warm while you are running. Fleece is one such material that tends to be popular with running jackets due to it’s lightweight, breathability, and flexibility.
Fleece is a synthetic material that is designed to mimic the characteristics of wool. Since fleece fibers act like natural wool, the material ends up becoming a great insulator of body heat. However, since fleece only weighs a fraction of wool, it becomes an excellent material to use on its own as a running jacket or as a blend of other fabrics. It is not uncommon to see fleece used as an interior liner for a running jacket either because it is thin yet highly insulating. You can purchase fleece in different thicknesses depending on how cold of temperatures you are planning on running in. If the jacket is not made out of fleece or does not have a fleece lining, you should investigate the material to see how the jacket will keep you warm. Some jackets are thicker and use synthetic down as a way to insulate your body rather than relying on thin fabrics such as fleece. Keep in mind that such jackets may be thicker and therefore heavier which can impact your running performance.
In addition, to see what materials the jacket is made from, you will also want to make sure that it can cover all of the important areas of your body. One area that you may want to cover while you are running in cool or cold weather is your neck. Some running jackets have a flip up collar which you can use to cover your neck and provide a thermal barrier around this area. If your jacket does have such a collar, you will want to make sure that it fits tightly around your neck so that you do not lose body heat through your neck area. It is also important that the collar is made from soft material that will not rub against or scratch your chin while you wear it in an upright position. Finally, you should make sure that the collar is not restricting around your neck so that you can still breath well with the collar up. Having a running jacket that has a stand-up collar can go a long way in trapping body heat and helping you feel warm.
You will also want to check out the sleeves and the arm cuffs when you are picking out a running jacket. You should expect that the sleeves are long enough to cover your arms completely. The cuffs should be snug enough to keep cold air out of the jacket and trap the warm air inside of your coat. It may be helpful to look for a running jacket that has thumbholes built into the sleeves. Thumbholes help the sleeves of the jacket stay in place so that they do not creep up your arm during your run. They will also help keep the jacket’s sleeves over your wrists which can be helpful while you are wearing gloves since you will not have any exposed skin. You should also make sure that the sleeves allow for freedom of movement so that you can run naturally while you are wearing the jacket. The final area to check is the bottom of the jacket. You should look for running jackets that fit tightly around your waist. This will prevent cold air from blowing up into the jacket and it will help make sure that warm air does not escape.
These are just a few different tips that you can use to make sure that your running jacket will perform and keep you warm while you are running. You should always check that the jacket is made from insulating materials such as fleece since you want the running jacket to be warm and lightweight. It is also important to check that the collar of the jacket can keep your neck warm. The sleeves should be long enough to cover your arms and they should have cuffs that fit snugly around your wrists. Lastly, you should make sure that the jacket maintains a snug fit around your waist. If you look for all of these features in a running jacket, then you should have no trouble staying warm.
Sweating is the way that our body naturally cools itself. While we are active, our body generates additional heat through working out and increased blood flow. The excess heat has to be removed from our bodies or we will start to suffer from illnesses such as heat exhaustion or even worse conditions such as heat stroke. The body protects itself by creating water on the surface of our skin. Evaporation removes heat energy away from our body which naturally cools our body. This is the reason why we sweat while we are running or exercising.
Sweating is important, but if our clothing interferes with our body’s means to cool itself, then we end up feeling worse as we sweat rather than better. Water is a great insulator, so if our sweat doesn’t evaporate into the air, we actually end up becoming hotter and not cooler. This can lead to your feeling sick and it will impact your performance as a runner. This is why it is important that all of your athletic clothing, as well as your running jacket, is breathable and moisture wicking. Your clothing should work with your body to remove moisture by first absorbing it away from your skin and then allowing it to evaporate. In this way, your body temperature stays regular while you are running and you will end up feeling better.
Most running jackets are made from synthetic materials. This is because synthetic materials are polymer based and therefore do not retain water. This is why you will see water bead off of your clothing in a light rain rather than having the water soak into your clothing. Natural fibers tend to absorb water while synthetic fibers repel it. Since synthetic materials do not absorb and hold moisture the same way that natural fibers do, clothing made from materials such as nylon, polyester, or fleece tend to do a much better job of wicking away moisture than clothing that is made out of cotton or wool. You should always look for a running jacket that is made from synthetic fibers since they will breath much better and will not retain moisture from your sweat.
Not only does moisture wicking keep your body temperature regulated, but it also helps you smell better. Sweat has a natural odor on its own, but heat and sweat also create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. As your clothing pulls moisture from your body, bacteria are supplied with water. The heat that your body produces and your jacket traps will give the bacteria the proper temperature that it needs in order to breed and multiply. The more bacteria can live in your clothing, the worse you will smell. However, your clothing can also work against the bacteria by allowing sweat to evaporate. As your sweat evaporates out of your athletic clothing, you are removing water from the bacteria. This will slow down the growth of bacteria in your jacket and will reduce the amount of odor that you may develop during your workout.
You will also want to check out how snuggly the jacket fits in addition to what materials it is made from. Whenever you are picking out running clothing, you should make sure that it fits you snuggly. The reason is that clothing that fits tight is closer to your skin and can pull away moisture faster. The faster your running jacket can remove moisture from your inner layers of clothing such as your t-shirt, the faster moisture can evaporate from your body. Loose fitting running jackets might seem ideal for running, but they keep the jacket from being able to remove moisture from your body. Instead of looking for a loose fitting running jacket, you should look for a tight-fitting jacket that is made out of material that stretches with your body. That way you can retain moisture wicking properties without having your movement interfered with during your run.
It is always best to consider moisture wicking when you are purchasing a jacket for running or jogging. If the jacket does not have a means with which to remove moisture from our bodies, then we will end up becoming hot and sweaty while we are running. Not only does an excessive amount of sweat feel uncomfortable, but it can also lead to your body starting to overheat and make you feel sick. The more sweat your clothing ends up absorbing, the more you can end up smelling during and after your run. You may even notice that your clothing will start to feel heavy after a while because the water from your sweat will add weight to the clothing. These are just a few reasons why you want a running jacket that wicks away moisture rather than retains it.
Moisture-wicking jackets will almost always be constructed out of synthetic materials. These materials are polymer based and therefore do not absorb water. They are also breathable and will allow sweat to evaporate quickly from the jacket. Additionally, you will want to make sure that the jacket fits your body tightly as this will allow it to draw away moisture from your body. When your clothing works with your body rather than against it, you will feel better and will perform better as a runner.
Overall, running and jogging are sports that are both enjoyable and do not have a lot of hazards. However, there are a few hazards that any runner should be mindful of and aware of when they are running. Runners will face hazards from the cold, the sun, and from traffic. There are a few different strategies that will help you address such hazards and one of those strategies is to pay attention to the kind of clothing that you wear while you are running. You should always look for running jackets that will keep you warm in cool and cold weather. They should also protect your skin from UV radiation on bright days so that you do not get a sunburn. It is also important that your clothing allows you to be seen by traffic.
Many people love to run on the sidewalk or the side of the road. However, the obvious hazard that runners or any pedestrian need to be concerned with is traffic. Many people end up getting hurt every year because there were hit by a car or a truck while they were running. Although accidents are not completely preventable, there are steps that you can take that will help make sure that you are running as safely as possible when you are in traffic. The main reason people end up getting hit by cars or trucks while they are running is that drivers do not see the runner until it is too late. For this reason, you should look for a running jacket that helps you stay visible to drivers so that they can avoid hitting you.
Many running jackets are sold with reflective bands that reflect light back into the eyes of the drivers. If you are looking for a running jacket, you should definitely consider looking for a jacket that is reflective. The reflective features found on many running jackets can go a long way in avoiding an accident with traffic. In addition to reflective bands, you should always look for running jackets that have bright colors. Bright colors tend to stand out are much more noticeable to drivers than dark colors. You should try and look for colors such as bright red, yellow, or green. Many drivers will easily spot such colors because they are the same colors that are used by traffic lights and signs. Of course, you are not limited to just those three colors if you want to stand out. Many runners will wear bright shades of pink, orange, or another color. You should try and avoid dark colors such as grey, black, or brown as these colors will make you blend in and therefore hard to see.
It is also important that you try and run during brighter times of the day rather than cooler times. The sun is brighter during the day as opposed to morning or evening. The extra light from the sun will help make you more visible to drivers and traffic and it will also raise the outside temperature. A higher outdoor temperature is beneficial in the fall, spring, or winter because you are less likely to get too cold while you are running. It is always important that you maintain a proper body temperature while you are running. If your body is too cold, you will see your performance as a runner suffer because your muscles will not be loose. Tight muscles can end up leading to injuries such as sprains, cramps, or torn ligaments. This is part of the reason why you should make sure that your running jacket is able to keep you warm while you are running. Being too cold during a run or jog turns into a safety issue just like getting too hot turns into a safety issue in the summertime.
You should always make sure that your skin is protected when running outdoors. Cold and cool weather can cause your skin to chap or windburn, which can become uncomfortable or mildly painful. If you are running in cold, winter-like weather, then you will need to make sure that all of your skin is covered so that it is not damaged by the cold weather. Another issue that your skin will face is UV radiation. Even in cold weather, it is still possible to get a sunburn. Clothing is the best way for you to prevent a sunburn so you should make sure that your jacket covers as much of your skin as possible in order to block UV radiation from hitting your skin.
If you address safety hazards before you go running, you will find that your run is both safer and more enjoyable. You should always look for running jackets that will make you visible to cars and trucks. This will allow drivers to see you better and avoid hitting you while you are running. It is also important that the jacket keeps you warm enough while you are running and protects your skin from the sun. If you address this issues, you will find that your workout is much more satisfying.
A running jacket should be able to protect you from the wind and the rain. You are likely to experience both weather conditions when you are running in cool or cold seasons. A running jacket that isn’t able to protect you from the wind or rain will cause you to feel cold and uncomfortable while you are running. the last thing you want to experience is having your jacket soak up water from the rain or feel the icy breeze of a cold winter blast. Instead, you should look for a running jacket that resists water and is wind breaking. The better your jacket can protect you from the weather, the better time you will have while you are running outdoors.
Since it is likely that you will end up running in rainy weather at some point, you should look for a jacket that can protect you from this sort of weather. It isn’t necessary or desirable for a running jacket to be fully waterproof. A jacket that is fully waterproof will not breathe and this will interfere with your body’s ability to cool itself. You should only wear a waterproof jacket if you are running in a total downpour (which may be a good day to just not run in the first place). Instead of a fully waterproof jacket, you should look for a jacket that is water resistant. Most jackets that are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, or fleece will resist water. That is because these materials are polymer based so they are not able to absorb water.
You can easily tell if your jacket resists water by checking if the water forms beads and ends up sitting on the surface of the jacket rather than soaking into the fabric. This is the sort of jacket that you will want to look for because it will still protect you from a light or medium rain without preventing your body from breathing. These jackets tend to allow you to perform much better as a runner than a fully waterproof jacket because your body will still be able to get rid of excess heat and moisture thanks to the synthetic fabrics. You also do not need to worry about the jacket soaking up water which will cause it to feel heavy and make your clothes wet. Wearing a water-resistant jacket will help you stay comfortable and perform while you are running in the rain.
By the same token, you should also look for jackets that are wind breaking. Wind breaking jackets are jackets that do not allow cold air from wind to penetrate through the jacket. This is advantageous because you want the jacket to be able to keep you warm and maintain your body temperature so that you do not get hurt while you are running. The better a jacket is at wind breaking, the better you will feel. Most wind breaking jackets are jackets that are constructed from multiple layers. For example, you may see a jacket that has a nylon exterior layer for wind breaking followed by a fleece interior layer to help you stay warm. Nylon does not insulate, but fleece is not wind breaking either so it makes sense to use the two materials in layers.
However, you need to also check that the seems, zippers, and pockets are also wind breaking. Any of these areas on the jacket can become an entry point for the wind to penetrate into the jacket. You should always make sure that your zippers can zip tightly and that they stay where they are supposed to while you are running. The last thing you want is for your zippers to fall down while you are running which can cause warm air to escape. The zipper should also be tight enough to keep cold air from blasting through the zippers and into your jacket. This also holds true for the seams of the jacket. If your running jacket does not have tight seems, warm air may escape through the seems or cold air may penetrate through the seems and make you feel cold. If your running jacket has pockets, you should make sure that the pockets close tightly so that cold air doesn’t enter your jacket through the pockets as well.
The better your running jacket is at protecting you from the weather, the happier you will be while you are running or jogging in it. You should always make sure that your running jacket can protect you from both wind and rain. Wind and rain can cause the jacket to lose its insulating qualities which can make you feel cold while you are running. Cold muscles can lead to injury so it is important that your jacket is able to help you maintain a proper body temperature. The best jackets for wind and rain are double layered jackets that are made from synthetic materials. Such jackets will resist water and block the wind so that you feel your best.
You will want to look for running jackets that are long-lasting and durable. The longer your jacket can hold up to the elements, the better value you will have received from the jacket. There are a few different inspections you can make while you are deciding to purchase a jacket for running. You will want to consider the quality of stitching around the seams such as where the arms meet the torso of the jacket. It is also important for you to check how well the jacket fits you and that it maintains its fit after you have worn and washed it. The jacket should have dependable buttons or zippers, and it should also resist tearing and abrasion. Higher quality running jackets can handle such issues better than lower quality ones so it is worth your time to make sure that the jacket will perform.
When you are judging the quality of a running jacket, you should take the time to examine all of the stitching used to put the jacket together. In other words, you should make sure that the stitching on the arms, arm cuffs, pockets, zippers, or any other area that is stitched has high quality and durable stitching. You can tell if the stitching is durable by checking the number of stitches in the area and how tight the stitches are. High-quality stitching will be tight and there will be lots of stitches grouped together. You will not see loose threads or only a few stitches. If the threads are loose, they are likely to pull out of the jacket and become undone which can cause your jacket to fall apart. Likewise, a stitch that only has a few stitches isn’t as durable since it can pull apart when the seam is under stress.
After you have checked the jacket’s stitching, you should move onto how the jacket fits. A good running jacket should have a snug fit. It should not be too tight or too loose since a jacket that is too tight will be hard to run in while a jacket that is too loose will feel bulky. If the jacket fits ok when it is new, you should check and see what kind of materials it is made from. Jackets that are made from synthetic fibers such as polyester or fleece are unlikely to shrink in the wash so these materials should maintain their fit well. However, it is also important for you to make sure that the jacket will maintain a snug fit when you have finished washing and drying it. Sometimes synthetic materials start to lose their elasticity as they wear out, so you will want to watch out for this issue.
If your jacket has any buttons, velcro, or zippers, you will want to inspect these parts to make sure they will continue to perform. Any zippers should open and close freely without jamming or getting stuck. You should also make sure that zippers are tight so that they do not get loose while you are running or jogging. You don’t want to experience having to stop in order to fasten your zipper or have an important item fall out of your pocket during your run. If your jacket has velcro in any places, you should make sure that the hooks and backing are durable. High-quality velcro can withstand a lot of force before it starts to come loose, so you should try it out a few times to make sure that it has a secure hold. Should the jacket have any snaps or buttons, you will want to inspect these items as well. Snaps should lock securely when they are snapped into place. Any buttons should fit snugly inside of the button slots in order to create a secure fit.
Inspecting the quality of your running jacket is a sure way to make sure that you get the absolute best value for your jacket. You should check all of the trouble areas of a jacket prior to purchasing it. Some of the more important areas are the stitches, how the jacket fits, and any fasteners. The seems should be high quality and durable. That means that the stitching will be tight and secure without exposing any loose threads. The jacket should have an excellent fit that isn’t too tight or too loose. A jacket that is too tight will make it hard to run and move in while a jacket that is too loose will cause you to feel hot and may feel bulky. A high-quality running jacket will maintain a like new fit even after you have washed and worn it several times. Finally, if the jacket has any velcro, snaps, zippers, or buttons, you should make sure that all of these items are in working order. The better job you do of checking over the jacket prior to purchasing it, the happier you will be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How should I wash my running jacket?
A: The best way to wash your running jacket is to follow the directions that are provided by the manufacturer. If you wash your jacket according to the instructions, the jacket will last longer and look better. Generally speaking, you should try and wash a running jacket on cool or warm water with mild laundry detergent. When it has finished washing, you can dry it in the dry on low heat or hang it out to dry.
Q: Should I get a running jacket that has pockets?
A: Some runners may not want to have pockets in their running clothing, including their jackets. Pockets add more weight and items that you place into the pockets also add weight and bounce around. For a casual runner or jogger, this may not be an issue. After all, it is nice to be able to have a place for a wallet, keys, or ID card while you are running. You should always make sure that the pockets hold your items securely.
Q: Should I buy a jacket with a hood?
A: Hooded running jackets are a good idea if you are running in a climate where it remains a lot. You can flip the hood up over your head to keep water from entering the jacket through the collar area. If your jacket has a hood, then you should make sure that you can secure it tightly to your head so that it doesn’t fall down while you are running or jogging in the rain or wind.
Q: When should wear a running jacket?
A: A good time to consider wearing a running jacket is when it will be below freezing including wind chill. Many people can get away with dressing in layers as opposed to wearing a jacket when it is warmer out. However, if the temperature and wind chill factor making it colder than freezing, then you should run with a windbreaker jacket so that you do not get too cold. Some people may need to wear a running jacket when it is warmer out depending on their body.
Q: What are thumb holes used for?
A: Many brands of running jackets are sold with thumbholes. Thumb holes allow you to place your thumbs inside of the cuff of the arms sleeve. This locks the jacket into place so that the sleeves do not ride up on your arms while you are running. Another advantage of thumb holes is that they can keep your jacket sleeves over the top of your gloves which creates a seal between your jacket and your gloves which allows you to stay warmer.
Runners World, The Newbie Guide to Running When It’s Cold
Runners World, How to Choose the Best Running Jacket
The Wire Cutter, What is a Running Jacket
Runner Click, Best Rain Jackets for Running