The best running jackets 2024: ultralight windbreakers and waterproofs

The best running jackets have a fine balance to strike between protecting you from the elements while still being light and comfortable enough to run in. With this in mind, selecting a single best running jacket is almost impossible, as the ideal option for a day running through intermittent drizzle is not going to cut it on days where it absolutely buckets it down for hours on end.

Of course, the primary function of the best running jackets is to repel wind and rain. If you're running, keeping warm shouldn't be too much of an issue but a cocktail or cold conditions, gusting winds and driving rain is a dangerous one, which is why adventure racers always have a lightweight running jacket in their pack.

We've braved a wide variety of challenging conditions to test the running jackets in this guide. Some rival the very best waterproof jackets in terms of performance, while others are basically ultralight windbreakers.

For fully waterproof protection on our runs, we love the R7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Trail Hooded Jacket, while for staying safe when running the streets at night we'd recommend the Evadict Waterproof Trail Running Jacket, which is also great value for money.

Meet the expert

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

best running jackets: inov-8 Stormshell
Tom Room

After competing professionally in triathlon from 2006 to 2011 – including two appearances in the 70.3 World Championships in 2008 and 2009 – Tom turned to writing and adventure-style event management. He organises trail, road, night and mud races in the UK under the name Relish Running, a company he set up to share his love of running, and all the secret trails he’d found while exploring the wilderness. He also wanted a career which was less tiring than being an athlete, it turns out being a race director was a terrible choice, it’s exhausting.

The quick list

This is the quick list, a snapshot of the best running jackets available in 2024. To delve deeper into the features and qualities of each featured jacket, see our more detailed reviews further down the page in this guide.

The best running jackets 2024

The best running jacket overall

R7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Trail Hooded running jacket on white background

When you need to train in inclement weather, the R7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Trail Hooded will ensure your top half is comfortable and dry (Image credit: Gore)
The best running jacket overall

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 5.64oz/160g
Colors: Black
Best for: Running, hiking, and fastpacking for long periods

Reasons to buy

+
Fully waterproof
+
Excellent windproofing
+
Breathable for warmer days
+
Suitable for use with a vest or bag

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared to some
-
Only available in black

"For longer runs (and hikes) when the weather is looking unpredictable, we grab the Gore-Tex Shakedry. It is super reliable, keeps us dry and warm, and breathes well," say our wild running experts, which sums up the appeal and quality of this jacket perfectly. It's completely windproof and fully waterproof. Full stop.

The jacket also has an adjustable hood with a visor that we found effective for keeping the rain off our face, and a drawcord at the waist for a snug fit that doesn't billow in the wind. Nobody needs extra air resistance when they're running. We also appreciated the elasticated cuffs, which keep the sleeves in place and allow easy access to your GPS watch, plus the large pocket on the back that's roomy enough for your running gels and other essentials.

This jacket really is all singing and dancing.  Although it’s the most expensive jacket we’ve reviewed, we think it's definitely worth the money if you need something that'll resist the rain for long training sessions. If the majority of your runs are less than an hour then we would say stick to a cheaper model, but if you’re going to be out for hours then this is the jacket for you.

Read our full R7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Trail Hooded Jacket review

The best running jacket for protection

best running jacket: North Face Summit Superior FutureLight trail running jacket

The super-lightweight The North Face Summit Superior FutureLight is a packable running jacket offering excellent breathability and protection from the elements (Image credit: Craig Taylor)
The best running jacket for protection

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 230g / 8.1oz
Colors: TNF Black / Deep Grass Green / Optic Blue / Summit Gold
Best for: Running, hiking, and fastpacking for long periods

Reasons to buy

+
Very packable
+
Looks great
+
Eco-friendly manufacturing practices
+
Adjustable hem and hood

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive when compared with similar competing models

The North Face Summit Superior FutureLight trail running jacket is a great-looking, slim-cut waterproof. As a part of the brand’s Summit Series line, it’s a jacket designed with the clear intention to solve the age-old issue of keeping runners dry in the rain. And while that means it comes with all of The North Face’s leading technology – a FutureLight membrane, for example – it still delivers on the type of optics you’d expect from a brand that’s as renowned in the outdoor space as it is in the fashion world.

The Summit Superior is an excellent piece of kit that we found performed valiantly out on the trails, offering best-in-class waterproofness and mind-blowing breathability, regardless of our pursuit. All in all, an incredibly lightweight, waterproof running jacket with above-average breathability and an impressively small pack size, the Summit Superior FutureLight jacket is perfect for stashing in your bag on longer trail runs.  Although it's quite an investment, our expert reviewer insists that "it’s worth the high price tag."

Read our full The North Face Summit Superior FutureLight trail running jacket review

The best running jacket for versatility

Berghaus Hyper 140 Waterproof running jacket on white background

Lighweight, rainproof and windproof, the Berghaus Hyper 140 Waterproof is a nearly perfect running jacket (Image credit: Getty)
The best running jacket for versatility

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 138g / 4.8oz
Colors: Men’s: blue / light gray / light blue; women’s: gray / red
Best for: Running and hiking in wet and windy weather

Reasons to buy

+
Very lightweight at just 138g
+
Surprisingly thin and flexible material for a waterproof running jacket
+
Works well for running and hiking

Reasons to avoid

-
Small carry bag
-
Hood lacks a flexible rain peak

"A fantastic, lightweight, highly waterproof jacket with good features for running and also hiking in the mountains," says our trail running expert. The Berghaus Hyper 140 jacket strikes the perfect balance between weight and waterproofing. We weren't expecting much from such thin, flexible fabric, but it did a fantastic job of repelling rain on test.

The cuffs and hem are close fitting, and we found that the high front zip offered great protection to keep your top dry. However, the hood lacks a flexible peak to direct the water out of your eyes, so we found it works best if you have a water-resistant baseball hat underneath. The jacket comes with a separate stuff sack, which would benefit from being slightly larger as it is not easy to achieve perfectly economical folds on the move. 

This jacket is great for people who love the outdoors, be it hiking or trail running. It's comfortable, lightweight, will fight the elements and offers good breathability for a genuine waterproof jacket. Saying that you will need to provide additional ventilation on warmer days and on runs where you are making more effort.

Read our full Berghaus Hyper 140 lightweight running jacket review

The best running jacket for long distances

best running jackets: inov-8 Stormshell

The Inov8 Stormshell has a particularly snug-fitting hood that won't budge in strong winds (Image credit: Tom Room)
The best running jacket for long distances

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 6.2oz / 175g
Colors: Black / blue / red
Best for: Trail running on wet and windy days

Reasons to buy

+
Soft, high quality waterproof fabric
+
Sleeves with thumb holes pull down over hands for protection
+
Close-fitting hood for warmth

Reasons to avoid

-
Not many reflective details

The Inov-8 Stormshell is as close as it gets to an all-round running jacket. This well considered design has extra features that make it handy for an array of climates throughout the year, but we found that it really comes into its own in challenging conditions. Small thumb holes at the end of the sleeve meant we could easily pull the jacket down over our hands to help keep warm on chilly mornings, and we didn’t have to burden ourselves with carrying gloves around in our pockets for most of our runs.

The snug hood and high front zip kept us nice and snug when the weather took a turn for the worse, with only a small part of our head exposed to the elements. The lightweight and breathable fabric means this jacket is very easy to wear.

It does come at a price, and for a new runner there are probably better entry options. However an experienced, long-distance runner will certainly appreciate all the features that it offers. Plus, our expert tester pointed to its versatility, saying: "the inov-8 Stormshell also kept me dry during a lot of hikes in the Lake District."

Read our full inov-8 Stormshell running jacket review

The best running jacket for winter

Columbia OutDry Ex Lightweight Shell running jacket on white background

The Columbia OutDry Ex Lightweight Shell is white for visibility, and is fully waterproof (Image credit: Columbia)
The best running jacket for winter

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 6.7oz / 190g
Colors: White
Best for: Short training sessions and races

Reasons to buy

+
Fully waterproof
+
Stylish design and great for visibility
+
Easy to wipe clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for use with a running vest due to rear ventilation panel
-
Only available in white
-
Hood isn't adjustable

"If you are looking for a stylish waterproof at a great price then this jacket is a great option," says our running experts. This smart running jacket from Columbia only comes in white, which won't suit everyone's preferences, but means you'll be nice and visible at night. 

It's fully waterproof with sealed seams, making it a solid choice for rainy training sessions, and has a vented back to allow airflow. It's a smart design, but we found that it doesn't work well when worn with a running backpack or hydration pack that blocks the vent.

Also, the hood isn't adjustable, but in our tests it stayed in place even in high winds. On dry days, you can stash it out of the way to minimize wind resistance. The jacket can also be packed into its own chest pocket if you start to warm up.

We’d recommend it for shorter sessions when you don't need to carry additional water, gels, and other gear.

Read our full Columbia OutDry Ex lightweight shell jacket review

The best reflective running jacket on a budget

Evadict Waterproof Trail Running Jacket on white background

The Evadict Waterproof Trail Running Jacket is weatherproof, reflective, and won't break the bank (Image credit: Evadict)
The best reflective running jacket on a budget

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 7.4oz / 210g
Colors : Black (men's) / honey (women's)
Best for: Chilly trail runs

Reasons to buy

+
Waterproof 
+
Good reflective features
+
Snug hood to prevent drafts

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as breathable as some
-
Quite noisy

We tested this running jacket on several sub-zero training sessions, and once we eased into the run, the jacket retained our heat very nicely. The fabric has a reassuring, yet sometimes distracting rustle, akin to a full on waterproof coat so you know it will put up a good fight against the elements. The flip side to these insulating properties is that you can easily get quite hot and sweaty as the fabric isn't as breathable as that of higher end jackets, but you could argue that a quick unzip to let air circulate will help restore homeostasis.

The jacket has simple yet stylish reflective lines on the front and some smaller lines on the back that are wonderfully illuminated by the light of a headlamp. A tight-fitting hood, along with a high front zip will offer your face a lot of shelter on wetter days. When you try the jacket on you will soon find a small carry bag nestled in one of the two front pockets, which is a nice addition. These features are often reserved for higher end jackets, finding them all in this very well priced jacket makes it a strong buy in our book. In fact, our trail running expert exclaimed "Wow, what a bargain!" when she first got hold of it.

Read our full Evadict Trail Running Waterproof Rain Jacket review

The best value running jacket

Rab Vital Windshell running jacket on white background

If you're watching your spending, the Rab Vital Windshell is an excellent option (Image credit: Rab)

8. Rab Vital Windshell Jacket

The best value running jacket

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 4.4oz / 125g
Colors: Shadow, acid, ink, pine and more
Best for: Runs and short hikes in light rain and wind

Reasons to buy

+
Packs into its own pocket
+
Shower-resistant
+
Can be unzipped and secured with buttoned tab for ventilation

Reasons to avoid

-
Few reflective details

When the weather is turning and you want to head out for a 30- to 60-minute run, the Rab Vital Windshell Jacket is a good choice. It's also well suited for the mountains and trail walking as a lightweight layer that won't take up loads of space in your bag, as it packs down into its own pocket.

In our tests, the jacket kept the wind at bay, and although it's not fully waterproof, its hydrophobic coating shrugged off light rain showers. To help you keep cool on the move, when you unzip the jacket you can secure the two sides together three quarters of the way up with a little buttoned tab, which stops the sides flapping around, while at the same time making the jacket nicely breathable.

Aside from a couple of small logos, there are no other reflective markings, which makes this a jacket best used on traffic free routes and trails if you are running at night.

The best lightweight running jacket

Man wearing Nathan Stealth running jacket

The Nathan Stealth is an excellent lightweight jacket for all but the very wettest conditions (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)
The best lightweight running jacket

Specifications

Weight (men's small): 125g / 4.4oz
Colors: black, bright lime, charcoal and more
Best for: hikes and trail runs in all but very wet conditions

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely light at 125g
+
No swishing sound
+
Packs into its own storage pocket
+
Moisture wicking and fast drying

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited reflective details
-
Not suited to really harsh conditions

The Nathan Stealth Jacket is well named. It lets you run light and silent on the trails, while providing a decent amount of protection against the elements. We found that the barely-there feel and ventilated back make it a great jacket for hitting the trails, whether you’re hiking or running.

It’s also wonderfully lightweight, weighing in at only 125g (4.4oz), packs down small, and is moderately priced too. Made from moisture wicking and fast drying nylon, it’s a great, minimal soft shell windbreaker, perfect for chilly winter and shoulder season runs.

Of course, being an ultralight soft shell, it’s not designed for taking on harsh and wet conditions, though there’s a DWR (durable water repellent) finish for the occasional drizzly spell or sudden shower. We found that the Stealth effectively stops windchill in its tracks. However, when persistent rain is forecast, you’ll need a running jacket that's more robust.

Nevertheless, our trail running guru asserted that "as a windbreaker, it’s adept and is much more pleasant to wear on a long run than a stiffer, stuffier hard shell."

Read our full Nathan Stealth Jacket review

The best running jacket for packability

Woman wearing Patagonia Houdini jacket

The Patagonia Houdini weighs around 100g, and packs down into its own pocket (Image credit: Future)
The best running jacket for packability

Specifications

Weight (variable by size): 3.5oz / 100g
Colors: Black, dried mango, lagom blue, night plum, and more
Best for: Cool weather road or train running, wind, light to moderate rain

Reasons to buy

+
Super lightweight
+
Compact and packs  into small pocket
+
Generously sized hood

Reasons to avoid

-
No reflective details

The Patagonia Houdini is a super compact and convenient running jacket that you can easily keep in the pocket of your backpack, hydration pack, or even a waist belt for those moment when you need a bit of extra warmth. "Anywhere you could fit a small water bottle, you can keep the Houdini," our reviewer said after two years of testing.

Despite having no lining (it's made from a single layer of recycled ripstop nylon), we found that the Houdini really cuts out the wind. It'll also keep you dry in a sudden shower thanks to its DWR coating and generously sized hood that's large enough to fit over your running hat. It won't keep you completely dry in a torrential storm, but for spring showers it's ideal.

Our only real complaint is that, unlike many of the running jackets in this guide, the Patagonia Houdini has no reflective details for visibility when running it night. It's a strange omission from Patagonia, but if you don't mind throwing on some lights, it's not a dealbreaker.

Read our full Patagonia Houdini Jacket review

The best running jackets comparison table

Swipe to scroll horizontally
JacketList priceWeightStyleCompatibility
R7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Trail Hooded Jacket$300 (US) / £299.99 (UK)160g / 5.64ozWaterproof running jacketWaterproof, windproof, breathable, all weather conditions
The North Face Summit Superior FutureLight trail running jacket$290 (US) / £270 (UK)230g / 8.1ozWaterproof running jacketWaterproof, windproof, breathable, all weather conditions
Berghaus Hyper 140 Waterproof Jacket$250 (US) / £200 (UK)138g / 4.8ozWaterproof running jacketWaterproof, lightweight and breathable, this is a real all rounder
inov-8 Stormshell$230 (US) / £160 (UK)175g / 6.2ozWaterproof running jacketTrail running, waterproof, windproof, reflective, breathable, lightweight, soft fabric
Columbia OutDry Ex Lightweight Shell Jacket $199 (US)190g / 6.7ozWaterproof running jacketWaterproof, Wind resistant, lightweight
Evadict Waterproof Trail Running Jacket$90 (US) 210g / 7.4ozReflective and waterproof running jacketTrail running, waterproof, windproof, reflective
Rab Vital Windshell Jacket$89 (US) 125g / 4.4ozWater-resistant running jacketTrail running, lightweight, windproof
Nathan Stealth Jacket$90 (US)125g / 4.4ozWater-resistant running jacketTrail running, lightweight, windproof
Patagonia Houdini jacket$109 (US) / £100 (UK)105g / 3.7oz Ultralight packable running jacketCool weather, wind and light rain

How we test the best running jackets

Our reviewers test runnning jackets during wet and wild weather in a range of environments, from hills and peaks to coastal paths and woodlands, on short runs and on longer adventure runs. Features (including waterproofing, breathability, ventilation, materials, style, pockets, freedom of movemnt and overall comfort) are tested against claims made by the brand, and we assess factors such as value for money, durability, functionality and environmental impact.

Meet the testers

best running jackets: Alex Foxfield
Alex Foxfield

As well frequently running his local trails in Bristol, Alex enjoys mixing running and scrambling in the mountains of the UK. His preference is always to be moving at speed in the uplands and, when he can't get to them, needs his regular a trail runs to burn off some energy. Like a dog.

best running jackets: Claire Maxted
Claire Maxted

The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races. 

Craig Taylor image
Craig Taylor

Growing up just south of the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig spent much of his childhood running around the hills. As he got older, the hills got bigger, his runs further, and his passion for spending quality time in the great outdoors only grew - falling in love with all forms of outdoor adventure. Having recently returned to the UK after almost a decade in Germany, he now focuses on regular runs and adventures in nearby Eryri (Snowdonia) and the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).


How to choose the best running jacket

The best running jackets can be quite an investment, so you need to consider what you will need from the garment. We've broken down some of the key considerations below and included a few frequently asked questions too, for good measure...

Waterproofing

If you are looking for the best running jacket for adventures in all weather conditions, and for long periods of time, then you should up your budget and look for fully waterproof and windproof jackets. Look out for products with durable water repellency (DWR), the layer that makes rain bead delightfully on your jacket. Even better still, a jacket with a membrane like Gore-Tex will stop water soaking through but also let sweat evaporate out as vapour, which is key for runners.

Waterproof qualities come at a price, both in terms of dollar and in terms of weight. Fair weather runners may be better served by getting a jacket that is water-resistant, rather than fully waterproof. A water-resistant jacket will fend off rain to a point but won't keep you dry if you're out for hours on end. On the plus side, it won't break the bank (quite as much) and it will probably weigh a little less.

Runner wearing jacket in mountains

If you're out in the mountains for long periods, a fully waterproof running jacket is a good option (Image credit: Getty)

Ventilation

As well as keeping rain out, we demand that the best running jackets also allow sweat to escape. However, on a long run in your jacket, you're going to get hot regardless of the conditions. The best running jackets have ventilation zips under the armpits that facilitate the flow of air, reduce condensation and cool you down.

Weight

Perhaps the biggest distinction between a hikers' jacket and a running jacket is the consideration that goes into its weight. Where speed is concerned, weight – or the lack of it – is key. There's often a trade off between a jacket's weight and its ability to repel the worst of the elements, but advances in materials mean that jackets like Berghaus' Hyper 140 strike a compelling balance. At just 138g, it performs the task of much heavier rivals commendably. If you're after something a little more featherweight, it might be worth checking out the best lightweight running jackets.

If you’re looking for the best running jacket for short runs, as an extra layer, then perhaps you don’t need to spend the big bucks. Water-repellent jackets are usually lighter, much cheaper and stow away more easily than fully waterproof garments. If you don't often find yourself running in the rain, garments like the Salomon Sense Jacket – which weighs in at just 80g – are a good option. Just don't expect it to keep you warm and dry on a mountain in January.

Runner wearing jacket approaching mountain

A hood is recommended for mountain running (Image credit: Getty)

To hood or not to hood

This decision may come down to the kind of running you intend to do. If you're pounding the city streets a few times a week for an hour at a time, you will probably be fine without a hood. On the other hand, if you're looking to do long trail races in the hills and mountains, or multi-day races, having a hood is as wise a choice as having a pair of