The Best Windbreaker Jackets Fully Reviewed

Whether you live up in the Mountains, or by the ocean, one thing we all have in common is a hate for wind. Convective heat loss is due to air movement and especially wind sweeping heat away from your body. When combining sweating and evaporation this can lead to hypothermia body conditions without the freezing temperatures outside to match. Windbreakers are able to cut convective heat loss and other effects of wind by blocking out the wind. This can be done with a very tightly woven fabric, a non-porous material, or a coating over a fabric. So, if you want to protect yourself from the elements this year, you’ll want to make sure you pick up a great windbreaker jacket.

Windbreakers can be so variable in features and uses, they can be tricky to shop for. There are many options available on the market today, so to help save you time, we’ve narrowed down your choices and created a list below. These are the top ten brands and models on the market, which are available in both Men’s and Women’s sizes. These jackets represent a range of activities but are also very versatile, all while having great ratings and reviews. After covering the jackets, we’ll cover some criteria points for evaluation to help you make the best decision possible so you can purchase the right windbreaker jacket for you.

Last Updated: December 13, 2017
By Brian:

Take a look at our new picks, which include jackets from OR, Patagonia, Salomon and Marmot.

Rab Windveil Jacket
  • Rab Windveil Jacket
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stylish & lightweight
  • Price: See Here
The North Face Eragon
  • The North Face Eragon
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Incredible value
  • Price: See Here
Marmot PreCip
  • Marmot PreCip
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Water resistant
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Windbreaker Jackets

 

Rab Windveil

The Rab Windveil Jacket offers ample wind and water protection since it is designed to be both fully windproof and waterproof. You’ll get a lightweight jacket made from high-quality materials that also brings you plenty of pockets and other features. Plus, this jacket is also very breathable, which is great when you are active.
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Breakdown:
Weight: 145g
• Rating: 4.9
• Colors Women’s: Ebony with blue zippers, or Koi
• Colors Men’s: Ebony with grey zippers, Koi, and Maya
Materials: This Lightweight Wind shell is made with Pertex Microlight super DWR fabric. Because the Pertex fabric is DWR and it is not a coating, the Water-Repellency lasts for the life of the Garment, and can’t be worn off. So, you get some excellent waterproof protection and won’t have to worry about the elements when you are outside.

Breathability: This jacket will keep you completely dry, even standing in a shower if you so choose. While it blocks moisture from coming in, it still allows moisture vapor and heat to pass through freely for ventilation so it doesn’t get clammy. You’ll get a great ventilation system combined into this jacket’s weather protection.

Extra Features: A venting control snap in the front allows the coat to be fully unzipped without falling off your chest for ventilation during high energy sports, or sweaty activities. It features a YKK full front zipper, and two YKK zipped A-line pockets which can be left open for venting. The inside pocket doubles as a stuff sack and can be secured to your pack or harness for quick access. You’ll have plenty of pockets to store and organize yourself your stuff when you are on the go.

The hood rolls down for storage and is buckled in for ease, no more stuffing a hood into a tiny pocket and not being able to close the zipper. The hood can be secured down without having to take the jacket off! Overall, this jacket is great for on the go in variable weather.
Pros
  • Great for variable weather
  • Great moisture management
Cons
  • A bit uncomfortable elastic hood

The North Face Fuseform Eragon

The North Face’s Fuseform Eragon Jacket comes with a nice alpine fit that makes it a very versatile jacket that’s perfect for any outdoor activity. You’ll get a lightweight jacket that brings you great weather protection and comfort. Plus, this jacket is designed from high-quality materials that will make it last for years.
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Breakdown:
Weight- 130g or 4.59oz
Center back length 26”
Rating: 4.4
Colors Men’s: Fiery Red Fuse, Black, Grey
Color Women’s: Budding Green, Medium Budding Green, Clear Lake, Medium Blue
Materials: The Eragon has an alpine fit and is great for any type of activity from backpacking to trail running or mountain biking. The jacket is made of 15-denier 35g/m^2 WindWall- 100% nylon engineered from ripstop and weave in areas for mobility. It is ultralight with a very durable FuseForm construction, and DWR finish that will last for years. The materials combine to form a very durable jacket that can resist abrasions and also offers you a lot of weather protection.

Breathability: Wind Resistance is great with a CFM less than 20. Limiting air penetration will reduce the effects of wind chill factor to keep you warmer. The fitted hood will fit underneath a helmet comfortably without excess fabric or bulky seams, it has an exposed molded-tooth center front zipper, and elastic-bound cuffs and hem. The North Face also includes a reassuring Lifetime warranty for peace of mind. While the breathability on this jacket isn’t as strong as the breathability on others, this jacket is made to add a boost of warmth when you need it.

Extra Features: The sizing on the jacket lean towards the smaller size, so be sure to try on a jacket in the store before deciding to purchase. The downside with a DWR coating rather than fabric is that it can age and wear off, but time will tell if North Face will live up to their lifelong claims. The features are great, however, some extra pockets could go a long way without much or any added weight. Still, you’ll love this jacket and all of the protection you get from it each time you put it on.
Pros
  • Ultralight
  • Durable fabric
Cons
  • Size tends to be smaller

Marmot PreCip

The Marmot Precip Jacket brings you good water resistance and excellent wind protection because of the high-quality materials designed into this jacket. With the jacket, you’ll get a great ventilation system and a lot of comfort. Plus, this jacket includes several extra features that help make it an excellent decision for anybody that decides to purchase it. You’ll love everything you get out of this one-of-a-kind, affordable jacket.

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Breakdown:
Weight: 9.6oz
27in center back length
Rating: 4.6
Colors Men’s: Alpine Green, Artic Navy, Black, Blue Granite, Denim, Light Khaki, Slate Grey, Team Red, Team Red/ Brick, True Blue, True Blue/ Artic Navy, Cinder/ Slate Grey, Citronelle, Grey Storm, Mars Orange, Terra, Dark Crimson, Greenland, Sunset Orange, Rocket Red/ Moon River, and Cinder.
Colors Women’s: Black, Celtic/Deep Teal, Deep Teal, Dew Drop, Golden Sun, Magenta, Magenta/ Dark Purple, Persian Red, Poppy, Royal Night/ Artic Navy, Cherry Tomato, Dark Raspberry, Gemstone, Platinum, Dark Purple, Artic Navy, Royal Night, Celtic, Blue Sea, Citrus Ice, Green Forest/ Green Garnet, Pop Green, and Artic Navy/ Sea Breeze.
Materials: The newest PreCip has been updated with NanoPro Waterproof/ Breathable Fabric and Nylon Ripstop. All of the seams are taped for weather repellency. You’ll get a lot of great weather protection plus a lot of ventilation and breathability whenever you wear this high-quality jacket. The new NanoPro fabric is a higher maintenance fabric, the pores are susceptible to clogging with sweat and/or dirt, and provided care instructions should be followed carefully to ensure longevity. Hood storage options are always a plus, the storage of this hood is on the collar of the jacket which can be hard to access while wearing the jacket. This hood is not simply easy on and off with the added difficulty of the storage area, a simple buckle is much easier to manage while cycling, climbing, etc.
Breathability: Micropores in the fabric allow for air permeability and to be able to exchange more air. The awesome breathability makes it great for more aerobic or sweat-inducing activities like running or biking.

Extra Features: The zipper is very thick and is sleek and protected with Velcro covering. It also has pack pockets, can be folded and stored in its own pocket without getting too wrinkly and has a carabiner clip loop to attach to a harness or pack. Marmot is very proud of their coined Angel-Wing Movement, which allows for a full range of motion during activities and sports. Lastly, the cuffs are adjustable with Velcro, and the hem has an elastic drawcord. The PreCip is heralded as the best value on the market. This jacket has the most versatility, weather protection, and is the most reliable all for a very reasonable price. An attached Velcro-Adjustable Hood rolls into the collar for storage and is helmet-compatible. This one features a DriClime Lined Chin Guard, which is microfleece on the collar to protect the face from abrasion. PitZips and mesh pockets offer ventilation during high aerobic activities. You’ll love how versatile this jacket is, and enjoy all of the bonuses you get with the extra features.
Pros
  • High quality zippers
  • Adjustable cuffs
Cons
  • High maintenance fabric
  • Hard to access hood

Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody

Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody
The Arc’Teryx Squamish Hoody offers you a great jacket that’s very lightweight and versatile, and it’s also very easy to pack down and compress while you are on the go. If you want something that has great weather protection and is still great to pack down and take with you, then this jacket is a great choice. It’s got a great ventilation system and is developed from several high-quality materials, so you’ll get a lot of use and great weather protection if you select this jacket.
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Weight: 140g /4.9oz
Rating: 4.5
Colors Women’s: Black, Rad, Golden Poppy, Mystic, and Castaway.
Colors Men’s: Black, Hemlock, Magma, Rigel, and Stingrey.
Material: The Squamish hoody is considered a wind shell setup for any activity from rock climbing to trekking. The hoody is lightweight compressible and packable making it perfect for a backpack essential or to hang on your harness or pack as a precaution. It has 30-denier wind resistant fabric with a DWR finish to repel water. If you want something that is simple and easy to pack no matter what you plan to do while you are outside, then you’ll love everything that this jacket has to offer.
Breathability: This jacket was made for moving, the athletic fit also has articulated elbows, gusseted underarms, and great breathability so it won’t be clammy or turn into a personal sauna on your run. The sleek StormHood has adjustable drawcords for a customized fit, a soft hood brim, and is helmet-compatible. You’ll get plenty of great ventilation from the design of this jacket, so you won’t need to worry about overheating or feeling your sweat accumulate inside of your jacket whenever you are active.

Extra Features: The drop back hem will cover your butt if you are sitting on a wet surface, or standing for modesty. It also has an adjustable draw cord to be kept out of the way when it is not needed. Finally, the jacket features a full front zip with micro corded zipper pulls, laminated die-cut Velcro cuff adjusters reduce bulk, and won’t catch or tear off during contact. The jacket Stows away in its own chest pocket with attachment point, but won’t wrinkle up, and has a reflective logo for nighttime visibility. Like any windbreaker, it does just that, breaks wind. It is not designed to be a warm winter jacket, but this jacket will keep you warmer than the rest of the list. Outdoor Gear Lab even recommends this jacket for backcountry skiing. This is a great jacket that offers a lot of features that are well worth having, so you’ll certainly enjoy having it on your outdoor adventures if you decide to purchase it.

It is not a top pick for high aerobic activities like running or biking, but for backcountry skiing, hiking, climbing, backpacking, or peak bagging it is a great versatile jacket with so many applications. This jacket is not designed as a rain jacket, it will repel a light drizzle but a full rain for a longer period of time will leave you wet and cranky. The last downside is the features, it only has a small chest pocket to fold into, and also does not have underarm vents which is why we do not recommend it for highly aerobic activities.
Pros
  • Athletic fit
  • Great for backcountry skiing
Cons
  • Not a rain jacket
  • Only one chest pockets

 

Patagonia Houdini

Patagonia Houdini
The Patagonia Houdini windbreaker is a very durable, very lightweight jacket made to be easily packed down and carried with you when you are on the go outside. It is a versatile jacket and offers some great weather protection, but it is not quite as breathable as some of the other choices on our list. Still, if you do decide to purchase this jacket, you’ll wind up with a durable jacket that can work well for you depending on what you plan to do outside. So, it’s still a good jacket option to consider as long as you do less aerobic activities while outside.
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Weight: 3.3 oz
Rating: 4.3
Colors Women’s: Black, Big Sur Blue, Craft Pink, Galah Green, Petoskey Purple, Yoke Yellow, Epic Blue, Sulphur Yellow, and French Red.
Colors Men’s: Black, Andes Blue, Buffalo Green, Campfire Orange, Fire, Nouveau Green, Navy Blue w/ Navy Blue, True Teal, Forge Grey, and Grecian Blue.
Also available in the Houdini Alpine
Material: The Houdini is a Featherweight 15-denier 100% nylon ripstop fabric with a DWR finish, it reportedly even withstands the shower test for water repelling. So, you get not only fantastic wind protection with this jacket, but also a jacket that can repel water very well. The hood adjusts easily with one pull and won’t block your peripheral vision for safety road biking or during other activities. A zippered chest pocket converts to a stuff sack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop. You’ll be safe and sound with plenty of weather protection anytime you wear this jacket outside.

Breathability: Like most wind-specific jackets, the Houdini is not insulated, it should be paired with base layers for added warmth in cold winds. While it is not great in very cold situations, it is not great for very aerobic activities either. The jacket does not have underarm venting or mesh pockets to aid in ventilation. The non-breathable fabric can trap in heat and moisture making it too clammy for running or biking. One other complaint with the jacket is that the hood does not have a draw cord or store away, so in the wind, it can act as a parachute holding you back, or smacking you in the back of the head. If you are considering this jacket, try it on in a store first, reviewers have collectively noted that they do run on the small side. While the venting is not great and the jacket is not insulated, if you use it for the right types of activities, it can still be a good jacket that provides you with what you need whenever you run into incremental weather conditions.
Extra Features: This is the Perfect jacket to fold up and clip on as a weather precaution. It features durable half-elastic cuffs, a draw cord hem and reflective logos on the left chest and center-back neck for nighttime visibility. This jacket is great for rock climbing because you will not even notice it hanging on the harness at only 3.3oz. It is very lightweight and easy to pack down, which allows it to be a very good and versatile jacket for many outdoor activities that aren’t too aerobic or don’t cause you to sweat too often. Patagonia promotes fair labor practices, safe working conditions and environmental responsibility, which makes you feel good about your purchase.

Pros
  • Water repelling
  • Adjustable hood
Cons
  • Doesn't have underarm venting

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Lite

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Lite
Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Lite jacket is made to offer you a very thin, lightweight jacket that comes with minimalist features and protects you well from the wind. You will get decent wind protection from this easy to carry jacket, but you won’t get the same amount of wind protection as some of the other options on our list. Also, the fit could be better, but the jacket is stylish and very packable, so it all depends on what you are looking for in a jacket if you decide to purchase this one.
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Background:
Weight: 5.4 ounces
Rating: 3
Colors: Turquoise, Grey, White, Orange
Material: This jacket is comprised out of as 15-denier face fabric, and is manufactured to be both water and wind resistant. While the materials in this jacket are decent, the fabric is loud when you move, and the fit is a bit odd with this jacket. Also, the wind and water protection isn’t as strong in this jacket as it is with some other options.
Breathability: The 15-denier fabric that this jacket is comprised out of is very breathable, so you’ll get a lot of great ventilation with this jacket. The jacket’s material offers plenty of ventilation, which helps keep you comfortable on your outdoor adventures. Given how thin and windproof the material in the jacket is, this jacket features excellent breathability.
Extra Features: This jacket comes with some great features. First, you’ll get a jacket that can compress down easily and stow it away in your pocket to help you pack your jacket down easily. You’ll also get a single zippered chest pocket, which can securely hold all of your important items. Plus, you get a hood stow system at the back collar. The hood is very low profile, and includes elastic bindings to seal out the cold and moisture more easily.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Compacts well

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Poor fit

  • Not fully waterproof

Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie

Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie
If you’re looking for a very effective, high-quality windbreaker that is very air and water tight, you’ll love the Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie. This is a great jacket but it is not quite as versatile as some of the other products on our list, mainly because it’s built for trail running while you are outside. It is an excellent trail running jacket, but it’s not designed to be as effective when you are performing other activities outdoors. However, it is very lightweight and could be an excellent choice for people planning to run on the trails.
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Weight: 3.0 ounces
Rating: 4
Colors: Pink, purple, orange, black, lime, blue
Material: Comprised mostly of a paper-thin nylon material, this jacket is one of the lightest windbreakers you’ll find on the market today, but it is still very wind and water resistant. You’ll get a lot of weather protection from this jacket, and it keeps the wind out very effectively for something that is so lightweight. Plus, this jacket is also very packable and compressible, and can fold down so small it can easily fit in your pocket. If you plan on carrying a jacket along with you when you complete your trail running, this jacket will probably offer everything you need.
Breathability: The way the fabric of this jacket is woven means it is made to not allow a lot of air in. It doesn’t have a lot of great breathability, but it does feature a lot of venting options that should match up with what every runner will need when on the trails. You’ll get armpit vents and a button on the front so you can unzip the jacket and still keep it on. However, even with these features, this jacket can be a bit difficult to handle if you sweat a lot as you run, since it doesn’t breathe as well as some of the other jackets on our list.
Extra Features: This jacket doesn’t feature a lot of bells and whistles since it’s design is simple and focused on reducing the overall weight you’d have to carry if you were to compress and pack the jacket. You only get a small chest pocket, and you can also stuff the jacket into this pocket. You also don’t get a clip-in loop on the stuff jacket. Most of the features that are designed into this jacket include waist and wrist enclosures, and an elastic hood.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Good water protection

  • Good wind resistance

  • Great venting

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Not breathable

  • Can’t clip-in into stuff sack

  • Only for trail running

Patagonia Alpine Houdini

Patagonia Alpine Houdini
The Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket is made to be a solid jacket that is well-built for poor weather conditions. You get a lot of warmth and protection in this jacket, and you can also pack it down easily to carry it. Plus, you get 2.5 layers of waterproof protection that is also very breathable. This is a great jacket for a lot of outdoor adventures, but if you like doing very aerobic activities, you’ll notice that it doesn’t ventilate as well as some other options.
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Background:
Weight: 6.9 ounces
Rating: 4
Colors: Blue, navy blue, red, turquoise, black, neon green, grey, green
Material: Made with very light 100% ripstop nylon fabric, this jacket is designed to resist abrasions and remain highly durable, so you’ll get a lot of use out of this jacket. Also, this jacket includes 2.5 layers of waterproof protection, which is far more protection than what just a basic DWR coating offers. Plus, it’s very lightweight and designed to be very simple to pack down.
Breathability: This jacket is designed to provide you with decent breathability, and the 2.5 layers of waterproof protection in this jacket are also made to be highly breathable. You’ll get decent ventilation when you are not doing anything aerobic, but remember that this jacket is very warm. It’s still a nice, versatile outside jacket, but if you prefer activities that are very aerobic, you might not like the way this jacket ventilates.
Extra Features: This jacket comes designed with a zippered closure and features a zippered chest pocket that you can also use as a stuffsack to pack the jacket down. The stuffsack comes with a reinforced carbiner clip-in loop. You’ll also get an easy-to-adjust hood you can adjust with one simple pull, and the hood will never interfere with your vision. The cuffs are also made with elastic and you get a drawcord hem.
Pros
  • Good rain protection

  • Great wind resistance

  • Packs small

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not very breathable

  • Fits bulky

Outdoor Research Tantrum

Outdoor Research Tantrum
If you’re looking for a great jacket made for both running and biking, then you might want to consider the versatile Outdoor Research Tantrum jacket. This jacket is easy to stuff away into pockets when you need to carry it with you, and it has a nice little wrist strap to make carrying it along with you easier. It’s got a lot of versatility and you can easily carry it however you want. This jacket isn’t great for packing down into a backpack, but with its easy pack down option you can always clip it somewhere to make it more portable.
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Background:
Weight: 5.4 Options
Rating: 4
Colors: Grey, blue, neon green, neon turquoise
Material: Made with a soft, quiet fabric, you’ll love how silent this jacket is when you wear it. It is comprised out of nylon materials, and designed to fit very well. It’s fabric is very flexible and stretchy, so the jacket is designed to move with you as you move, and you won’t have to worry about feeling like your movements are restricted while you are on the go. The fit of this jacket is great, and it is so quiet compared to some of the other competitive options on the market that it is a nice bonus. Also, while this jacket is designed with plenty of weather protection, the one downside is that the weather protection on this jacket isn’t as great as what you’d find on some other jackets. The water resistance isn’t great, and the wind resistance performs well but isn’t as strong as some of the other jackets on our list.

Breathability: This jacket is made to be very breathable, and it gives a lot of great ventilation. You’ll get a soft interior fabric that absorbs water and then moves the water to the interior of the jacket. The fabric this jacket is made with is one of the most breathable options we’ve had on our list. It won’t allow any sweat to build up or create other problems for you, like overheating, when you are active and on the go.
Extra Features: One of the best extra features this jacket will bring you is the extra waist strap on the stow pocket. That makes this jacket very portable and easy to carry along with you just about anywhere. Also, this jacket includes waist closures and thumb loops to help keep your sleeves in place. You’ll also get a hood that is lined with elastic and made with a draw cord to protect your head from the weather. However, you only get one chest pocket and no hand pockets with this jacket.
Pros
  • Wrist strap on stuff pack

  • Very breathable

  • Stretchy

Cons
  • Water resistance isn’t great

  • Wind resistance isn’t as good as some other options

  • Doesn’t pack down well

The Marmot Ether DriClime

The Marmot Ether DriClime
If you are looking for a great windbreaker jacket that will keep you very warm when the weather gets cold, then you might want to consider purchasing the Marmot Ether DriClime jacket. Made with a liner that adds a boost of warmth, this jacket is very comfortable and does a great job of blocking out wind. Plus, you get good ventilation and weather protection as well combined into this jacket.
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Weight: 8.8-ounces
Rating: 5
Colors: Black and blue
Material: Made from 100% polyester materials, this jacket features a DWR coating that adds to the weather protection build inside the jacket. With the DWR coating, you’ll be getting a jacket that can both repel water effectively and also help block out wind. Also, this jacket features an interior liner that is soft and helps to boost warmth when you are in very cold weather.
Breathability: This jacket comes with a versatile liner that can block out the wind while still offering plenty of ventilation. The jacket breathes well while providing excellent warmth, and also does a great job of wicking moisture away from the interior of the jacket. You’ll get great ventilation, but keep in mind, this jacket is made for the colder weather. If you wear it when the weather is warmer, you might feel too hot in this jacket.
Extra Features: This jacket is designed to be very lightweight, and it also brings you a lot of versatility. You can wear it for a wide variety of outdoor activities when the weather is cold outside. The jacket features a DriClime-lined collar and chin guard, and also has a wind flap behind the front zipper. You’ll also get elastic cuffs and zippered chest pockets with this jacket. Plus, this jacket features Angel-Wing Movement, meaning the jacket is very flexible and will move with you, so you never have to worry about feeling like your movements are restricted. Also, you get a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty if you decide to purchase this product.
Pros
  • Warm liner

  • Good wind coverage

  • Good moisture wicking

Cons
  • Hot for summertime

    Not very compressible


The Criteria We Used To Find The Best Windbreaker Jackets

A big road block with sports windbreakers is by blocking air movement like wind, it also blocks important movement out for ventilation. Without a way for air to leave the jacket, moisture will have no way to escape leaving you with condensation trapped in the jacket alongside you. The Wind will only worsen the effects of the moisture and still make you feel chilled and cold. Basically, without proper technology to block the wind but still allow some air movement a windbreaker jacket can be virtually useless at reducing convection heat loss.

Every company utilizes different innovations, features, and fabrics to cater to different activities all with the goal of blocking the wind. Some ventilation features may be well suited towards biking or running, while others specifically for climbing or backpacking. It is important to know which features you expect out of a jacket before buying one so that you can find the jacket suited to you and all of your activities. Jackets can be labeled as specialized for rock climbers, but still not be perfectly tailored to where you climb, but another running jacket may be. Even such different activities like triathlons and bird watching can be combined into a jackets features to suit your needs.

Key features to look for:

  • Packable- Can the jacket fold and store in a small area to save space backpacking or to hang it on your harness while rock climbing?
  • Waterproof- Rather than having separate rain and wind jackets, a water-resistant wind jacket can kill two birds with one stone. Windproof and water resistance commonly go hand in hand. The tight weave and/or coating for a windproof jacket can easily double as protection from precipitation as well. Windbreakers are already being outfitted with a durable water resistant (DWR) finish or coating.
  • Insulation– While a windbreaker can help cut the wind chill, most are not designed to help with particularly cold air temperatures. Wind breaking jackets are a thin layer of material that solely breaks the wind and provide some level of water protection. They can always be paired with base layers and other layers to keep warm.
  • Moisture wicking Especially useful for highly aerobic activities, moisture wicking is a necessity. The wrong jacket can turn into a personal swimming pool without the ability to pull moisture away from the body.
  • Ventilation- If you would like a personal sauna instead of a swimming pool, then consider a jacket with no ventilation. Long gone are the days of sweaty abrasive windbreakers. Venting comes in countless shapes and sizes, mesh pockets allow for air to escape through open pockets without having to open the jacket completely or lose function of the jacket. Another option is underarm zip vents where a zipper controls the exposure of an area of mesh fabric which increases air flow.
  • Quick drying- For any activity outdoors, a quick dry option could be crucial. Once you already get stuck in a rainstorm, staying in a sopping wet jacket is very uncomfortable and can even be lethal if temperatures drop or heat is lost from the body too quickly. During sweat-inducing activities, it is fundamental that the material will not stay saturated and moist to keep you comfortable throughout the duration of the activity.
  • Hood- Our heads contain so many important factors to our health and performance and safety that it just makes sense that a jacket should also protect the head from the wind. Hoods can have full adjustability for customization and comfort, as well as fit comfortably under or over helmets. When not in use there are a variety of ways that they can be stored on/in the jacket which keep them out of the way.  Some hoods are stored in the collar while others are buckled down, there are aesthetic and functional pros and cons to each hood storage style. In the collar, a hood is nicely hidden and is totally out of your way but can be hard to access when wearing the jacket, and hard to return to the collar. A Buckled hood may not be as pretty for a casual jacket to work or traveling, but when you need to access your hood quickly in a sudden rain, a buckle will be the fastest and easiest method out there.
  • CFM ratingWind resistance can be measured by the amount of air that can pass through the material per minute. CFM is in cubic feet per minute, a 0 rating or lower is considered to be 100% windproof. Not many companies report a jackets CFM rating, but where it is available, it is an invaluable tool for comparing jackets.
  • Pockets- It may seem silly to be factoring in how many pockets a jacket has and where they are located, but for certain activities or uses it is crucial. While cycling, things like energy bars, water, and sunscreen need to be front and center with very easy access. No one would want to stop biking every time to reapply sunscreen or grab a bite of electrolytes. Or for everyday use, it is handy to have pockets that can hold at least your phone and keys if not more. Windbreakers can range from three exterior pockets and two interior pockets, to a single chest pocket that the jacket will fold into. It is better to take the time and really think about what kind of pockets you need rather than be stuck without them down the road.
  • Jacket Storage- Almost all of the top wind breaking jackets now have the ability to fold up and store in its own pocket. For some, this may seem useless in a casual use jacket, but for rock climbers or backpackers it couldn’t be more important. A jacket with the ability to store itself in a small pocket will pack easily for travel, camping, etc. and can be taken along as a precaution without added weight or space.
  • Fit– A slimmer tailored jacket can keep you looking stylish as well as warm by reducing cold air trapped inside the jacket. On the other hand, a loose fit allows for more layers to be added underneath and is less restricting to movements.

 

Other Factors To Consider

Never let inclement weather ruin you recursion by being prepared and purchasing the right gear at the right price. Always take into consideration what features will be most important to you, and what features you can live without. If you are shopping for a jacket to use for a specific activity, it is never a bad idea to branch out and look at many options across other specialties also.

Why not get more bang for your buck with a windbreaker for trail running, by picking a versatile jacket that also can be used for mountain biking or everyday wear. It is much more budget friendly to buy a single more expensive jacket that can do it all, rather than a separate jacket for each activity. Not to mention having the jack of all trades windbreaker will be like your new little black dress, you will know what to pack before you even pick the destination.

Uses:

  • Aerobic- Aerobic activities include much more sweating, and require more breathability, venting options, and moisture wicking abilities. Paying close attention to the fabrics used on a jacket will be imperative in choosing the perfect windbreaker.
  • Running
  • Trail running
  • Fitness
  • Cross country skiing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Cycling
  • Backcountry skiing
  • Climbing
  • Touring
  • Peak Bagging

 

  • Moderate Intensity/ Long Term Wear – Activities that do not involve as much sweating, or are longer term trips. These activities should focus on weight, comfort, and water-resistance. For longer term wear, moisture wicking ability does not only affect you, but traveling companions also. A jacket that will wick moisture away from the body, and quickly dry itself will greatly improve everyone’s experience. A quick dry jacket can be washed quickly in a sink, or whatever water you have access to, to restore freshness.
  • Hiking
  • Fishing trips
  • Travel
  • Casual wear
  • Backpacking
  • Peak Bagging

 

FAQ

Q: Why do I need a good windbreaker jacket?

Windbreaker jackets are a great product to have if you like having a jacket that is versatile for all of your outdoor activities. Windbreakers are known to be very versatile as well as very beneficial, offering a lot of excellent features that protect you from the weather and also give you good ventilation. Windbreakers are usually designed to give you plenty of flexibility so that the jackets move with you as you move, and don’t restrict your movements while you are active. So, if you are wanting to get a versatile jacket that can help you perform a wide variety of outdoor activities with ease, you should consider purchasing a good windbreaker jacket.

Q: What are the advantages of a high-quality windbreaker jacket?

A high-quality wind breaker jacket can give you a lot of advantages and benefits over other types of clothing, including thermal layers, for many reasons. First, windbreakers are designed to be very lightweight and easy to carry, and most of them are designed to pack down easily. In fact, most windbreakers feature pockets you can pack the jacket into, and also allow you to clip the jacket onto various items to more easily carry it. Windbreakers are also very affordable when you consider how expensive rain jackets and hardshell jackets that provide both wind and water protection can be. Plus, you can use windbreakers almost any time of year, and they are a great option if you enjoy layering.

Q: How often can I use my windbreaker?

Windbreakers can be used for almost any purpose—of course, however, it does depend on the type of windbreaker and style of jacket that you buy. Still, to generalize about most of them, you’ll be able to wear your windbreaker almost any day, and you can usually wear it for a wide variety of purchases. All of the products on our list are decent windbreakers, and most of them can be used for a wide variety of activities as well as during various seasons. Windbreakers can handle just about any outdoor activity you decide you want to put them through, and you’ll also be able to more easily pack your windbreaker and carry it along with you than you could with other styles of jackets. Plus, windbreakers will give you a lot of weather protection, so you can wear them just about any time you want to.

Q: What is a single layer nylon jacket?

The wind breakers on our list include a few that are single layer nylon windbreakers. Windbreakers that are comprised of single layer nylon are usually made to be used with just one layer of protection. They also are typically more flexible and stretchy, and fit tighter to the body. They are designed to move with you as you move, and most of them won’t let you layer underneath them. So, if you like layering, you might want to stay away from this type of windbreaker. On the other hand, if you are looking for something that can keep you warm when the weather is cold, they might be the option.

Q: Do windbreakers come with insulation?

No, not all windbreakers come with insulation, but some of them do. We’ve included a couple of choices of windbreakers on our list. You’ll get a liner with these types of jackets that are made to help with wind resistance, and also helps to wick away moisture so that the jacket stays breathable. You’ll get decent insulation from windbreakers that have liners in them, and many of them also help bump up the amount of wind and water protection you get in the jacket.

Q: What do I need to know about outer shell jackets?

Outer shell jackets work well as lightweight outer shells, but shouldn’t be your only protection from the weather. They tend to fit large and resemble lightweight rain jackets. However, not all of them offer all of the weather protection you’ll want out of a windbreaker.