Running is all about consistency. It doesn’t matter where runners are, the time of day, or what the weather is, successful runners understand the importance of consistency. Consistency can be achieved by having a decent running jacket to hand.
Why do you need to use a running jacket?
Unless you’re an inside runner, on the track or a treadmill, you’re going to be outside most of the time. Being exposed to the elements means sooner or later you’ll come across adverse weather like rain, wind, the cold, and even snow.
Runners don’t have to stop just because of bad weather. Wearing proper clothing, like a decent running jacket, can protect you against the environment and let you get on with your run.
Running jackets are a fundamental part of a runner’s kit, and there’s a tonne of them available on the market. In this article, we make it easier for you and narrow down the top running jackets, so you know you’ll be getting the very best for your runs.
What criteria is important for a good running jacket?
Without a doubt one of the most important features for a running jacket, protection from a range of weathers is crucial. Whether you’re in the rain, wind, snow, the cold, or even hailstones, you want to have a jacket which will protect you.
- Waterproof/ Water resistance
There’s a difference between water-proof and water-resistant running jackets. A waterproof jacket will keep the layers of clothing under your jacket, and your skin, protected and dry from the rain.Though waterproof is ideal, it limits breathability because of the common polyurethane or GORE-TEX components inside the fabric. On the other hand, water resistant jackets only offer limited protection against moisture and cannot protect for that long.If you’re really not up for getting wet, re-considering getting a water-resistant jacket and make sure you get a waterproof jacket. It’s always worth checking what you’re getting.
- Windproof/ Wind resistance
Wind can be a huge problem for runners, which is why it’s worth getting a decent running jacket with wind protection in mind.Not only does wind slow you down whilst running, but it also contributes to higher Windchill which can make you feel colder.Being too cold, whilst running, is a risk to your health so make sure you invest in and wear a good jacket when there are strong winds and cold weather.A wind resistant jacket won’t offer as much protection as their windproof counterparts but will be more compact and easier to travel with. Windproof jackets, however, are great protection against the wind, keep you insulated, yet they are more difficult to travel with due to their bulky design (which makes them windproof).
When we speak about something having high ‘breathability’, it refers to the amount of air that can pass through a runners clothing to help regulate a healthy temperature.Running is hard work and its sweaty business. Being a high-intensity aerobic activity, there’s going to be a lot of moisture coming from your skin, so breathable clothing is a must.Having a breathable jacket means sweat can evaporate out of it whilst you run, so you can stay cool and not get sticky from sweat.If you don’t run in breathable clothing, like a running jacket, and opt for a traditional coat there’s a good chance it will result in overheating. When this happens, you not only feel hot but might develop skin rashes too.
Whilst it’s important to make sure science is built into your jacket (waterproof, wind-resistance, breathability etc.), it’s equally important to have some style. Humans like to look good wherever they are, whatever they’re doing. Whether we’re out for a family meal, a night out, at work, even just chilling at home, we like to dress stylishly. That’s why running jackets (including the ones on this list) are designed with style in mind.
- Reflective features
Though running is an incredibly enjoyable sport, staying safe is a priority. The manufacturers of running jackets know this and bare it in mind when they design and make their garments.Most running jackets are built with reflective features, which make them illuminate and reflect light. Wearing reflective clothing means you can be clearly seen when running in the dark, by traffic, and anyone who might stray into your path.
It’s very rare you’ll see running jackets in the summer, and for good reason. The primary reason runners wear them is to keep out the cold and keep them warm during the winter months. There’s nothing more satisfying than going for a run on a beautiful, crisp winter’s morning. Wearing a decent jacket means this is possible, and you’ll be warm and comfortable throughout your run.
Without further ado, here are 10 great running jackets for men
1. Salamon Bonatti
This jacket from Salomon is eye-catching due to its slick, stylish appeal. It’s waterproof, features Salomon Motion Fit technology, and has a stow pocket so you can carry important items on your runs (like a phone, water or energy gels).
It provides extreme weather protection on the outside, with optimal breathability on the inside, for a comfortable yet efficient fit. Thanks to the motion fit technology on the Bonatti, runners wearing the jacket are able to move freely with a great range of motion. The jacket feels effortless and provides a close and snug fit.
2. Ultimate Direction Breeze
This fantastic jacket is lightweight, has massive air vents for maximum breathability, and comes in a very stylish finish.
The Ultimate Direction jacket is ultralight, windproof and waterproof, making it ideal for running in a range of weather conditions. The waterproof front zipper and 10D High-Strength Nylon 2.5L fabric make the jacket extra durable when it comes to resisting water penetration.
For a lightweight, and stylish run, the Ultimate Direction Breeze is a good option.
3. Under Armour True SW Jacket
This reputable brand is well used in the running community, due to their stylish and effective designs which come at affordable prices.
The Under Armour True SW jacket is incredibly light, features stretch-woven fabric for unrestricted movement, and mesh insets across the arms for maximum ventilation.
It contains a moisture transport system to allow the evaporation of sweat whilst you run, ensuring you don’t risk overheating. The hand pockets on each side allow you store important goods or even keep your hands warm when you’re not running.
Overall, it’s a fantastic jacket. It has functional pockets, it breathes, keeps you cool on a run, but also protects against the elements. All this whilst not weighing you down. A worthy investment for a runner looking to buy a running jacket.
4. Karrimor Zipped Running Jacket
This exceptionally good value for money jacket is designed for fashion, safety, and protection against the elements. Featuring reflective panels on its sides, 2 zipped pockets for convenient storage and an adjustable zip, this running jacket is a decent all-rounder.
These coats are water-resistant (they’re quick drying after a rainy run, too) and are incredibly lightweight, meaning you don’t have to worry about it impeding on your running swagger.
Ideal for runners on a budget, the Karrimor zipped running jacket is a great running jacket to get you running in the colder weather.
5. Mountain Warehouse Force Jacket
This popular jacket is fantastic for runners who want to stay safe and be seen on the go. Especially during darker or night time runs. Its high vis design means you’ll be extremely visible for other runners, traffic, and anything else that might pose a danger.
It’s water-resistant, meaning it will hold off rain for a while, but it won’t guarantee complete protection in heavy weather. Being extremely lightweight, it’s ideal for faster running and can be easily stored and transported which is handy for runners who travel a lot of even want to run in another country.
It’s important to note the jacket isn’t designed for cold weather. Whilst it’s an excellent high visibility jacket, a couple of warm base layers (such as running tees and vests) are advised to be worn underneath in colder weather. The jacket features two front zipped pockets, large enough for a wallet and a mobile phone, yet it doesn’t come with a hood.
Runners who buy the jacket report how safe they feel whilst wearing it, due to the high vis nature of its design.
6. Ultrasport Functional Jacket
One of my favourites on this list, the Ultrasport Functional Jacket is incredibly slick and stylish which makes it a jacket of choice for many runners.
It’s ultra-comfortable, lightweight and has a breathable mesh lining and large adjustable hood, making it a coat you’ll be comfortable in whilst training. It’s wind resistant and has a drawstring hem with high closing collar and chin protector, so you can protect yourself against the elements on the go.
The 2 zipped pockets make for convenient storage, with the reflective strips on the arms making you visible in reduced light and darker conditions. The inner perforated liner draws sweat away, keeping the moisture out and keeping you cool on your runs.
7. Ronhill Stride Windspeed Jacket
As the name of the jacket suggests, the Ronhill Stride offers great protection from windy weather and other elements like rain and even hail. Containing ‘activelite’ fabric, it makes the jacket lightweight, breathable and highly wind-resistant.
It features handy front pockets, fits snugly but not too tight, and gives you a stylish winter runner look. What’s not to like about this jacket?
8. Adidas Supernova Storm
From a brand that needs no introducing, the Adidas Supernova Storm is a great choice for runners. It features reflective details for great safety, is sweat resistant, features slim pockets for keeping valuables safe, and comes with a classy Adidas style.
It’s water repellent, streamlined and fits snuggly, meaning you can stay on pace and maintain focus. Whatever the weather throws at you.
The full-zip on the front with stand-up collar allows you to adjust for just the right amount of coverage, depending on personal preference. The Supernova Storm Jacket has its name for a reason, it’s ideal for adverse weather conditions allowing runners to get on with their training no matter what.
9. Asics Liteshow Winter Jacket
Who doesn’t love a good run on a crisp winter’s morning or a beautiful winters night? Make your winter running brighter with the Asics Liteshow Winter jacket.
It’s a jacket designed with keeping runners warm in cold weather. Being windproof and featuring a flee-lined collar (which you can zip up all the way for extra warmth), it’s a jacket that enables you to stay protected from the cold in harsher, cold runs.
The jacket is also water repellent, a tight and secure fit, and comes with front pockets to keep valuables safe on the go. It also looks great too, moulding comfortably to your body as you wear it.
A friend of mine has this jacket and he frequently comments how he loves wearing it for colder runs, so he feels comfortable to go exploring the countryside or on a trail.
10. Proviz Reflect 360 Jacket
This is a jacket designed with safety for runners in mind. It’s a highly reflect jacket that helps you stand out on roads during darkness and reduced light and looks incredibly cool.
It’s a very light jacket, meaning you’re not weighed down with it whilst running so you can run confidently and with full movement, making for a comfortable wearer experience. The reflective material is on every centimetre of this jacket, meaning light from any vehicles, buildings or lampposts will reflect back to its original source, helping you stand out and be seen.
It’s windproof, so you don’t get the chills during a windy run, and water repellent to help keep you dry. Featuring rear, side and underarm mesh for enhanced breathability, the Proviz Reflect 360 allows sweat to escape whilst keeping you cool on your run.
Thank you for reading, I hope this helped
There we have it, 10 fantastic running jackets for men. I became interested in running jackets after I had a bad experience without a running jacket, in very bad snow. Deciding to be a hero, I went for a run in the freezing temperatures. All I had on was a thin long sleeved top on, leggings and my trusty Asics Gel-Phoenix 8 shoes. Big mistake.
On mile 3 out of 7, I realised what a mistake I had made. Not only was the temperature freezing and the slowly falling snow adding to the problem. The wind was extreme and I was basically shivering whilst I ran. Having learnt my lesson the hard way, I decided to research running jackets and got a couple for myself. Now I won’t have to repeat this bad experience.
I hope this article can help other runners so they can equip themselves with the best equipment available. That way, runners can enjoy their running life. Whatever the weather. Happy running!
If you’re interested in more clothing and accessory related articles, check out the following blog posts:
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- 30 Great Gift Ideas for Runners
- 30 Great Fancy Dress Ideas for Runners
- The Benefits of Running Sunglasses
- 7 Signals You Need New Running Shoes
- 5 Best Men’s Running Shoes for 2018
- Top 5 Running Shoe Brands