Best Winter Running Jackets
Some runners hang up their running shoes when the weather starts to get colder, while others are hardcore about keeping their training going year-round. Regardless of whether you are a trail, marathon, or casual runner, you will need the necessary gear to continue to run in the winter, and the most important piece of gear aside from your running shoes is a great winter running jacket. Our inclusive list includes a few lightweight options for those chilly spring or autumn mornings, as well as more insulated jackets for frigid temperatures.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Impressive weather resistance
- Baleaf Woven Hooded Windproof
- Mizuno Breath Thermo Softshell
- New Balance Heat Hybrid
- Salomon Bonatti
- Nike Shield Flash
- Sugoi 180 Firewall
- Adidas Essential Tricot
- Saucony Nomad
- Pearl iZUMi Jacket
- Tsla Performance
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Baleaf Woven Hooded Windproof
Impressive weather resistance
Limited color options
Some say that it isn't the best jacket for wind
The Baleaf Woven Hooded Windproof Jacket is a fantastic option for runners throughout almost any season, because it is light, durable, and still offers protection from the cold when layered.Read more
If you are looking for a layer that is light, breathable, weatherproof, and a good price, this is a wonderful running jacket option for you. The fit of this jacket is quite snug; however, it's not too tight, so you can still move freely.
This Baleaf Woven Hooded Windproof Jacket is waterproof, which is fantastic when snow or rain begins to fall. It is made from 100 percent polyester, and it's lightweight and weatherproof. The construction of this jacket makes it a great option because it is breathable due to the mesh the mesh, which allows air to flow in and out. However, don't let the mesh fool you; it's still a fantastic weather protective layer.
This jacket features zippered pockets as well as an adjustable hem and elastic cuffs. It is available in sizes ranging from Small to 3XL. The only aesthetic downside to this jacket is the fact that it is only available in black or gray.
2. Mizuno Breath Thermo Softshell
Water and weather resistant
Can take time for insulation to create warmth inside the jacket
Could come in more color options
Mizuno’s Breath Thermo Softshell looks like a softshell jacket in its design, but it’s packed with a lot of unique technology that will help keep you warm any day you hit the trails when the weather is cold. The focus on the design of this jacket is excellent insulation formed from lightweight materials so that you’ll be able to stay warm and run as much as you want no matter how cold the weather gets.Read more
Inside the Mizuno Breath Thermo Softshell, the jacket is designed with Breath Thermo fabric, which is made to help generate heat as it absorbs moisture, keeping perspiration out and using your own body heat to generate warmth. The jacket gives you great insulation once you’ve warmed up, and will continue to provide you with warmth as you move.
The Mizuno Breath Thermo Softshell’s outside shell is made with 100% polyester Impermalite materials which create solid wind and water resistance for the worst winter weather conditions. Plus, the jacket comes made to ventilate well and also designed for flexibility, with a stretch quality that will move as you move and never restrict you when you are on-the-go.
The Mizuno Breath Thermo Softshell also comes with two side pockets that have 360 reflectivities and a lockdown zipper to keep the warmth in and the moisture out. There is also a vertical chest zip pocket and reflective overlays on the sleeves of the jacket.
3. New Balance Heat Hybrid
Decent weather protection
New Balance is a well-known brand in the running world. More known for their shoes, their apparel has been making headlines in the last few years. This Heat Hybrid Jacket is a perfect example of New Balance's dedication to craftsmanship and exercise apparel.Read more
This hybrid jacket is the perfect balance between style and function. It provides a slim athletic fit while still leaving room for movement. As any running jacket should, the hybrid wicks away moisture, keeping you comfortable while running without feeling clammy. The lining of this jacket is made from polyester and the exterior is a polyester/spandex blend. This lightweight jacket weighs less than one pound and is a great addition to your winter wardrobe.
New Balance’s Heat Technology features a quilted Polartec Alpha filling. This filling provides great insulation and will not become clumpy. The zipper along the front of the jacket is full-length and the knit cuffs feature thumbholes to avoid letting in the frigid air. Even on a windy day, you’ll be safe with this hybrid. This jacket is water resistant but isn’t recommended for heavy rainfall.
One of our favorite features about this product is the reflective trim. If you will be running in the early morning or late evening, this is very important. This jacket features two zippered front pockets to keep your phone and keys safe. Even with the quilted filling, this jacket is still lightweight and easy to pack.
4. Salomon Bonatti
Good weather protection
Torso area is short and slim
Hood is not adjustable
Cuffs and hemlines are not adjustable
For those outdoor enthusiasts looking for a lightweight, waterproof shell jacket, the Salomon Bonatti Winter Running Jacket was made with fast, active travel through the mountains in mind. Salomon Bonatti’s Winter Running Jacket is one of the lightest jackets on the market and easily compresses inside of its own chest pocket, making it a jacket that’s efficient to carry along with you when you don’t need it.Read more
The Salomon Bonatti Winter Running Jacket is made with Salomon Skin Dry Advanced technologies, making the jacket weather resistant while it also provides plenty of ventilation so you won’t overheat. The interior of the jacket is designed to transfer moisture from the inside of the jacket to the outside of the jacket so that you don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable as you sweat.
As mentioned, the technology embedded in this jacket makes this jacket strong enough to withstand heavy rainfall and inclement weather. The Salomon Bonatti Winter Running Jacket also comes with a waterproof zipper, so that water can’t get through the interior of the jacket once you’ve zipped it close. The jacket is designed to be flexible and can handle a wide range of movement, so it won’t restrict your outdoor activities no matter what you do.
Designed with Skin Fit large hood and a pretty thin visor to help keep the rain out of your eyes, the hood has an elastic hold to keep it in place so your head stays warm even when it’s cold outside. Also, the jacket has articulated sleeves to help with full arm swing movement, making it a versatile outdoor jacked for the avid winter runner.
5. Nike Shield Flash
Excellent hood protection
Designed with runners in mind
Good weather protection
Sizes can run small
Could come in more color options
Another great, high-quality jacket made to protect you from the elements is Men’s Nike Shield Flash Running Jacket, made to keep you warm and safe from the cold weather and packed into a lightweight design. With the Nike Shield Flash Winter Running Jacket, you’ll get a lot of warmth, comfort, and weather-resistance that will keep you running even when temperatures drop to freezing.Read more
The Nike Shield Flash Winter Running Jacket is made just for runners and comes with a media pocket to fit your phone or MP3 player so you can listen to your tunes as you run. Plus, it has a back vent and fitted hood that you can easily adjust to fit you correctly while you’re on-the-go.
The Nike Shield Flash Winter Running Jacket is designed with Nike Shield fabric, which is a polyester combination of materials made to repel wind and water. The jacket also features a print that is designed to make you visible when you run in lower lighting conditions, keeping you safe from oncoming traffic.
The Nike Shield Flash Running Jacket has an elastic trim to hold your hood in place, and a runner-specific hood with a brim that will help keep your head warm without interfering with your ability to see. The jacket also has zippered pockets on each side so you can easily and safely bring your items along with you on your run.
6. Sugoi 180 Firewall
Good weather protection
Fits tight and runs small
Could offer more colors
The Sugoi 180 Firewall Winter Running Jacket is designed to keep you warm during the coldest of winter days and is designed to be windproof and water resistant. The comfortable fleece-like interior on this jacket provides a lot of warmth on cold winter days, and the flexibility of the jacket will help keep you going all day long.Read more
This jacket has four-way stretch technology designed into it, meaning it moves as you move and won’t restrict your activities while you are on-the-go. It has a slim fit and a tendency to run a bit small.
The Sugoi 180 Firewall Winter Running Jacket is made to protect you from the elements, designed with 100% nylon and a lightweight thermal knit laminate that will ward off both the wind and the rain. It is also made with Lycra cuffs that keep the wind and snow out, and also hold the sleeves of the jacket where they need to be. The jacket also features thumbholes, which will help keep you warmer when the weather gets below freezing temperatures.
Designed with a reflective stretch ribbon, this jacket will keep you visible to oncoming traffic even if you run when the light outside is low, adding a bonus safety feature. Plus, you get three total pockets and plenty of room to hold your items safely in your jacket.
7. Adidas Essential Tricot
Some find that the fabric is a tad shiny
Not water resistant
Here is a jacket that boasts the classic tried and true Adidas three-stripe track look, but this jacket is so much more than that. It has many added bonuses that will have you ready to clock miles in style and comfort.Read more
This jacket is made of a pure blend of poly tricot fabric, which allows it to be breathable and flexible. Not to mention, the fit of this jacket is sleek and looks great while you hit the trails, track, or road.
The stand-up collar on this jacket, paired with the full-length zipper and snug fitting cuffs, help to hold in warmth and keep your comfortable while jogging. This jacket is ideal for brisk mornings but is not recommended for freezing temperatures nor rain. There is no need for you to worry about feeling clammy or sweaty, as the fabric easily wicks your sweat away.
It boasts the classic three-stripes that Adidas jackets are known for, and one of its main benefits is that it comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can match with anything you may want. Because of the fabric, you will feel complete freedom to move in absolutely any way that you want or need, which makes any run a heck of a lot more fun and comfortable.
If you are looking for a jacket that looks fantastic, is breathable, sweat wicking, flexible and is priced fairly, look no further. This jacket hits all of those points easily.
8. Saucony Nomad
Good weather protection
Could come in more colors
Could feature a waterproof zipper for better weather protection
The Saucony Nomad Winter Running Jacket is water resistant and very warm, designed with a fleece-like, soft liner that will keep you warm even when the winter weather hits freezing temperatures outside. Designed with snowy days in mind, this jacket works well to keep you comfortable and warm while protecting you from the winter weather elements.Read more
This jacket is made to ventilate well and has thermal, stretch fabric on the back and underarms. It is also made with an ultra-breathable fleece lining which is made to push sweat to the outside of the jacket. The jacket also has a zipper garage, which helps produce chafe-free comfort.
The Saucony Nomad Winter Running Jacket is designed from 92% polyester and 8% spandex materials, and includes a wind and waterproof flex shell laminate on the exterior of the jacket to help keep you as dry as possible. Plus, the jacket is very lightweight, and the spandex in the jacket helps to keep it flexible so it moves with you without creating a restrictive feel.
The Saucony Nomad Winter Running Jacket also has a lot of reflective features over the outside of the jacket, making you visible to oncoming traffic even when there isn’t much light outside, helping you to stay safe. This jacket is available in two colors, black or persimmon.
9. Pearl iZUMi Jacket
Excellent protection from rain and wind
Tends to run small
The Pearl Izumi Jacket is made from 100% polyester and is a great thermal jacket to maintain warmth and transfer unwanted moisture. Other great features that this jacket brings to the table are solid wind and water resistance. This jacket retails at a very reasonable price and is an all-around durable and dependable winter running jacket.Read more
The Pearl Izumi Jacket is very breathable and made with elite thermal fleece, so it can transfer moisture out of the jacket to ensure sweat won’t build up on the interior, meaning you stay warm, dry, and comfortable even as you sweat and move.
The design of the Pearl Izumi Jacket focuses on great insulation and water-resistant features that make this jacket one of the best options on the market today. Waterproof and windproof, the Pearl Izumi has you protected in a variety of less-than-ideal weather conditions.
The Pearl Izumi Jacket is lightweight and packable; it can fit easily into a back zip pocket for easy storage.
10. Tsla Performance
Thumb hole for hand warmth
Zipper pocket for earphones
Available in many colors
May run small
Doesn't hold up well in wet weather conditions
This winter running jacket is made designed for performance and brought to you by a company that prides themselves on technology. This jacket not only fits great and maintains body heat but also is stylish and lightweight. Welcome to the next age of running jackets.Read more
This jacket is not just extremely comfortable, it also has state-of-the-art insulation technology and maintains body heat to ensure you are warm enough while running this winter. This jacket comes with a variety of pockets for storing and easily accessing your personal items.
This jacket is absorbent and will help to wick away sweat but it is not water resistant. However, it is wind-resistant. With its high-end insulatin, this Tsla jacket is the ultimate defense against the cold temperatures while running this winter season.
The Tsla offers a variety of benefits including a zip hoodie to make sure your head and upper body stay warm, and thumb holes in the sleeves prevent ride-up sealing in your body heat, but also providing partial coverage for your hands.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You want to focus on comfort when selecting your winter running jacket because chances are, if you don’t think the jacket is comfortable, you won’t wear it—and you might not run in the winter weather, so you’ve defeated the whole purpose of buying one and wasted your money. To avoid this, make sure you get a winter running jacket that fits well—and that means streamlined with some flexibility to move as you move, so you don’t feel the jacket slows you down at any point of the run.
Warmth is another factor that adds to the comfort and as far as warmth is concerned, there are three different insulation types you’ll usually find in winter funning jackets. Many jackets come with layered thermal insulation, while others use fleece and still others use down.
With insulation, remember that when down gets wet, it tends to bulk up and won’t dry out as easily. So unless the jacket has decent exterior weather-proof and water-resistant protection, down might be an insulation type to avoid.
Fleece and thermal insulation materials typically dry out quicker if they get wet, and also don’t bulk up if moisture builds up. So, with either one of those insulation types, you’ll have an advantage and probably feel more comfortable as you run.
However, a key thing to remember when you’re testing out the warmth and comfort of your winter running jacket choices, all of this is really subjective. What one of your friends or family members thinks is warm and comfortable may not feel warm and comfortable for you.
So, a jacket that’s preferred by a friend may simply not feel great to you, since warmth and comfort, in many ways, depends on personal preference. The best thing you can do is create a list of the winter running jackets you are interested in, go to a local sports store, and try the jackets on. Move around in the jackets and feel them out, and you should be able to tell if the fit, warmth, and comfort is just what you need.
When the weather gets cold, rainy, icy, windy, or snowy, you don’t want those types of days to deter you from hitting the trails. What’s nice nowadays about most winter running jackets is that most brands have figured out ways to create jackets that protect you from bad weather conditions, like wind and moisture protection features.
Different brands have different methods for providing weather protection in their winter running jackets, but the concept is basically the same—they all want to create some level of weather protection in their jackets. For instance, Nike uses what’s called its Shield technology, Saucony uses DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finishes on their jackets, and many other brands use Gore-Tex, a well-known way to weatherproof a jacket. Regardless of what the manufacturer calls their weather-proofing technique, the goal is basically the same—to keep moisture and wind out so that you stay warm.
The best types of running jackets usually have a unique membrane on the exterior of the jacket that’s made to repel rain out of the jacket, and it’s almost always better for a runner when that membrane is waterproof instead of simply water-resistant. A water-resistant jacket will help keep moisture away from you, but can’t fully repel all water and can, still, get wet. A waterproof jacket, on the other hand, is built to keep you warm and dry, and moisture won’t absorb into the jacket.
The highest-quality running jackets usually have flat, taped seams and a hood included with them that uses a built-in visor for runners—all of these maximize the jacket’s ability to keep water out. Flat seams and waterproof zippers help seal you into the jacket so moisture won’t creep inside, and hoods with visors help to protect your head and eyes (keeping your vision clear) if you encounter rain or snow on your run.
The type of weather protection you decide you need will depend a lot on when you’ll be running, where, and what the weather will be like. The better the weather protection is in your jacket, the more expensive the jacket will be.
So, if you’re shopping for a winter running jacket on a budget, you want to consider how much weather protection you really need. If you know you don’t run on windy days because you simply don’t like it, for instance, you could skip worrying about a drop tail hem. So, review what you’ll be doing, and use that to make your selection so that you can save a little bit on cost.
While you certainly want a nice winter funning jacket that makes you warm and keeps you protected from the elements, you still need something that can breathe so you don’t overheat or find that your sweat is trapped inside your jacket, making you less than comfortable during your run. Good winter running jackets come with air vents that let air flow through so that the jacket can effectively regulate your temperature.
As most runners know, you’re going to sweat when you’re running since the activity level is high, and you want to make sure you get a jacket that can push that moisture away from your body and to the outside of the jacket so that you don’t overheat. Purchasing a jacket that’s able to breathe decently while you run is going to be a huge factor in your comfort level.
While the idea of finding a jacket that can breathe and ventilate might sound easy, a lot of jackets offer ventilation properties but sacrifice levels of weather protection. You want to make sure you buy a jacket that balances out both features well so that your jacket can breathe while still giving you the weather protection you need.
Versatility is a nice feature to have even when you’re in the middle of the coldest winter, because you might need to adjust your jacket to feel comfortable. A lot of winter running jackets nowadays come with 2-in-1 construction, meaning they function as a standard jacket when you need it, but also include removable features—like removable hoods, sleeves, and other items.
Jackets that are more versatile also tend to be a bit pricier, so it’s yet another feature you’ll have to decide upon. If you feel you’ll need to be able to remove parts of the jacket, then this might be a great feature to have for you. But if you don’t feel that way and are shopping on a budget, then you can overlook this feature as a necessity.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When selecting the best winter running jacket that will meet all your needs, you want to first think about where you’ll be running, how often, and what the weather will be like when you hit the trails. After that, consider the features you actually need to get out of your jacket; some features like warmth, weather protection, and comfort are pretty standard, while others are really up to your judgment.
Some jackets feature a reflective zipper or strips to keep you safe while runnning in the snow or the dark. If your jacket of choice does not include any reflective areas, you should attach them yourself, or attach a small light to the jacket to ensure your visibility. Driving in these conditions can be difficult and you want to make sure you will be seen.
Other Factors to Consider
Finding a winter running jacket that’s lightweight is a feature a lot of runners want since many feel that the lighter they are, the faster they can move. Typically, the best winter running jackets provide you with the best protection and are still made to be lightweight.
With winter running jackets, there’s no real report on what a jacket needs to weight to make a difference, but most runners feel that a good, lightweight winter jacket should weigh less than five ounces. However, remember that even if the jacket is lightweight and doesn’t offer the level of weather protection you really need, how light that jacket is, doesn’t really matter in the long run—the weather protection matters more.
So, make sure your lightweight jacket selection also has good weather protection features and that the weight doesn’t detract from the jacket’s weather protection. If you know you might need to break down your jacket and pack it along with you, some jackets can also be packed right into their pockets, which is a nice feature to have if you know you might be removing the jacket here and there if the weather gets warmer.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I make sure my winter running jacket will protect me during the winter?
When searching for a winter running jacket with effective safety features, you want to make sure it includes reflective features on the jacket. How reflective your jacket needs to be, really depends on how often you plan to run in conditions when the light is low outside, and if the answer is often, then you’ll want a jacket with reflectivity.
During the winter, visibility for drivers can already be poor, and if you’re outside when the sun isn’t shining, you’ll be thinking about staying safe and visible to oncoming traffic. To help make sure runners are safe and don’t have to keep worrying about vehicles as they run, many running jackets offer reflective features, and some are totally covered with reflective material.
Some jackets also come with LED lights in them, in areas along the shoulder and zipper. Some other jacket manufacturers make jackets that are bright in color, like neon shades, so that runners wearing their jackets are very easy-to-see.
Since visibility for drivers is often poor during the winter, and if you do plan on running when the sun isn’t out, you’ll want to purchase a jacket with reflectivity in its design. Many brands nowadays offer these features, and reflective jackets will help keep you safe from any accidents.
q: What should a good winter running jacket provide?
A good winter running jacket should provide you with enough features so you stay warm and comfortable while being protected from the weather. That can be broken down into the following:
Make sure your jacket keeps you warm. There are many jackets on the market nowadays that are made to be lightweight for runners, but don’t sacrifice warmth inside the jacket. Most good winter funning jackets offer brush fleece lining, allowing for a lot of heat and comfort while still cutting back on bulk.
Make sure your jacket blocks the wind. If you know you’ll be running when it’s windy out, blocking wind is going to be an important feature of your jacket. Otherwise, you’ll cool down much quicker if the jacket can’t handle wind, and you’ll never feel fully comfortable.
Make sure your jacket ventilates well. All winter jackets offer different levels of ventilation features, but the best types of winter jackets protect you from the weather, keep you warm, and offer ventilation.
Make sure your jacket has reflective properties if you’ll be running when the sun isn’t out. Also, since low light conditions are poor visibility are more common during the winter weather, you want to be seen to stay safe.
Make sure your jacket fits you so you feel comfortable. If you find you are between two different jacket sizes, it’s almost always better to go with the larger jacket. Also, jackets that run longer in the back offer more warmth and heat than those that don’t. If your jacket fits too small, you might feel as if you are suffocating while you run.
Make sure your jacket has decent features like a hood, pockets, and thumb holes. Some jackets also come with places to hold MP3 players, and interior pockets. Figure out the extra features you need, and pay for what you need to save a little money.
q: When will I need an insulated winter running jacket?
If you plan on hitting the trails whenever it’s cold out, then you’ll want an insulated winter running jacket for the entire winter season (or whenever the weather gets cold). Almost all winter running jackets offer high-quality insulation of some sort, and since your goal is to stay warm as you run, you certainly need something with effective insulation.
While different jackets are made with a variety of insulation features, what you require really depends on your climate and running conditions. If you’re dealing with full-on winter weather, make sure the insulation is warm enough to keep you at a comfortable temperature throughout your run.
q: Is wind-resistance a feature I will need in my winter running jacket?
Another weather feature many jackets will advertise is wind resistance, since wind is an issue for many runners when the breeze is relatively strong. Some running jackets include a drop tail hem construction in their jackets, which helps to more effectively block and keep the wind out of the jacket. This will make sure you can run without the wind interfering, ensuring a more comfortable run. If you can find this feature included in your winter running jacket, it is a bonus.
q: Is a lightweight jacket a better winter running jacket, and will it offer the same protection?
As far as weight is concerned, getting a lightweight jacket is an excellent idea, especially if you want to be able to pack it down. However, you need to make sure the jacket isn’t sacrificing weather protection to make it lightweight, so keep an eye out as you make your selection. Check reviews to get other purchasers comments as they have used it in the field.