Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy, and the best part about it is that you can do it almost anywhere at any time of year.
If you want to get better at running, then it is something you need to work at every day.
This is the best way to gradually increase your mileage and improve your overall fitness, but it does mean you will have to go running even when the weather isn't great.
Winter is one of the worst times for running because it is often very cold outside and the weather can be far from welcoming.
Running in the cold can be a great way to get out of the house during the winter months, but it can also be very dangerous if you don't have the proper equipment.
Exposing yourself to the cold even when running could lead to a bad case of the flu, or worse, so it is important to dress appropriately for winter exercise.
Winter running jackets are designed to keep you warm and comfortable during outdoor activities, without being too insulated and causing you to overheat.
A good one can go a long way towards deflecting both wind and rain, so you can still go for your morning jog in adverse weather conditions.
These jackets come in various styles and materials, so choosing the right one depends on your personal preferences.
In this article, we will show you some of the best jackets for winter running.
OUR TOP PICK
The Brooks Canopy jacket is made from 100% polyester, which makes it both lightweight and breathable.
It is coated with Drilayer Seal fabric to make it both waterproof and wind resistant.
While it may look very thin, this is a jacket that will keep you protected from the elements, so you can run in any conditions.
It has a no-bounce hood that covers your face without moving around as you run.
When you don't need it, this hood can be stowed away in a top pocket to keep it out of the way.
The sleeves have elasticated cuffs to provide a snug fit that won't let any snow or wind creep into the arms.
This jacket is ideal for those who like to run outdoors in all kinds of weather, as it offers excellent protection from the elements.
It's not only stylish, but is also very practical, and the entire thing can fold away to be stored in its own left pocket!
There is even a handy carrying strap on the inside for tying the rolled up jacket to your backpack or carrying it in your hands.
It features two front pockets, with a smaller one located on the chest with a zip for protecting small valuable items such as your keys and wallet.
- Machine washable.
- Offers great protection against both rain and wind.
- No bounce hood can be stowed away when you don't need it.
- This jacket isn't very padded, so you may need an extra layer for running in extremely cold climates.
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The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is made from a blend of nylon and polyester, making it both durable and flexible.
It comes with a Stormhood that provides excellent coverage and keeps the wind off your head, while still allowing you to see where you're going.
This hood has a drawstring, so you can adjust it to fit around your face without moving around while you run.
It has a full length No Slip zipper that won't snag on the fabric of the coat while you are doing it up.
The Coreloft compact 60g insulation isn't too thick that you will overheat while exercising, but it is definitely enough to keep you warm in cold winter weather.
The outer layer of this jacket has been DWR treated to make sure it won't get soaked through, even in heavy rain.
There are two side zippered pockets that offer plenty of space for storing your valuables.
They are large enough to hold your headphones and ear buds, so you won't have to worry about losing them when you're running.
This coat also has a concealed internal pocket that is a great place to keep essential items like your keys that you can't afford to lose.
The Atom LT Hoody is perfect for anyone who likes to run in inclement weather.
It is highly versatile and can be worn with almost any combination of base layers to keep you comfortable in cold climates.
This jacket doesn't get too hot, either, thanks to its lightweight, breathable material.
- Coreloft 60g insulation keeps you warm without causing you to overheat.
- The outer shell is DWR treated to protect against rain.
- The internal zipper pocket is a great place to store valuable items.
- Be very careful when washing this coat.
Also available at
If you want to be able to move your arms freely while exercising during the winter, then this Nike Aerolayer Running vest may be just what you need.
This insulated bodywarmer is great for keeping your core temperature up without making you overheat in the process.
The lack of sleeves means you may need a good base layer to go with this jacket, but in return you will be able to swing your arms while you run without your jacket getting in the way.
The insulation in this jacket is perforated with strategically placed holes that make it very breathable.
These holes let just the right amount of heat escape, so you can exercise outside without becoming too clammy or sweaty.
This also makes the Aerolayer incredibly lightweight, so it won't hamper you at all while you run.
There is a lighter section of fabric located under the arms, which is intended to make sure this jacket won't limit your movement at all.
Unlike the main outer shell, these sections are not fully waterproof, so don't expect this jacket to keep you completely dry in heavy rain or snow.
That said, for areas that experience mild winters, this Aerolayer is all you need to stay warm while exercising in cold weather.
- Keeps you warm without inhibiting your arm movements.
- The waterproof outer shell prevents you from getting soaked through.
- Perforated insulation traps heat while still being very breathable.
- You will need a good base layer to wear under this jacket.
Also available at
This Salomon Men's Bonatti jacket is one of the best jackets for anyone who wants to run outdoors in colder climates.
It features a windproof and water-resistant outer layer that helps prevent moisture from soaking through the jacket.
This means you can run in almost any conditions, from light rain to a full on blizzard, while still feeling perfectly dry and warm.
The ventilation system on this jacket allows air to flow easily through the garment. As such, you won’t risk overheating while you workout.
Its motion fit design is built to hug your body in all the right places, without inhibiting your movement, so you can exercise freely and efficiently.
The Bonatti jacket features an insulated collar that will keep your neck and face warm while protecting them from wind chill.
It also has reflective branding, so you can run at night while still being visible to cars.
One of the great things about this jacket is that you can pack the whole thing into the chest pocket, making it super compact and easy to store or pack in your suitcase for a trip.
- Windproof and water-resistant outer shell keeps you dry and comfortable.
- Can be folded away to fit in its own chest pocket.
- Ventilation system allows cool air to flow into the jacket
- Due to its breathability, you may get cold fast when standing still.
Also available at
If you're looking for a great running jacket that is both durable and highly insulated, then the Columbia Men's Caldorado II is perfect for you.
This jacket offers a combination of warmth and comfort that will help you push yourself during your runs without overheating.
It features insulated panels on the front and lower back, which are intended to keep your core body temperature up.
The panels on the shoulders, arms and upper back are made of a moisture wicking fabric that is very breathable.
As such, this jacket will keep you warm while also allowing enough heat to escape, so you don't become too sweaty or clammy during your run.
One thing worth noting is that there isn't a hood, and this jacket won't offer much protection against heavy rain.
However, the lighter fabric along the arms will mean that you can work out without your winter layers inhibiting your movement.
There is a zippered chest pocket that is just the right size for holding essential items such as your wallet and keys.
While it isn't the most weather resistant jacket on our list, this product will keep you sufficiently warm and comfortable during those chilly winter runs.
- Lightweight and highly breathable outer shell.
- Insulated panels are strategically located to maximize breathability while maintaining your core temperature.
- Chest pocket for storing valuable items.
- Poor weather resistance.
Also available at
This Black Diamond equipment jacket is designed with a Gore-Tex outer shell that provides maximum protection against both rain and wind.
Combined with a fully adjustable hood that is compatible with most helmets, this is a coat that will let you go running in a blizzard while staying completely warm and dry.
As such, this jacket is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, biking, and more.
This is a product built for those who want to exercise outdoors, and it has lots of features to facilitate high levels of activity in low temperatures.
For a start, there are vents located under the armpits that can be zipped up when you need maximum waterproofing.
If you find you are getting too sweaty, then opening these vents will immediately improve the breathability of this jacket, so you can carry on running.
There are two zip up front pockets that are big enough to hold any items you want to take with you on your run.
Gussets located on the wrists will allow you to adjust the coat for a tighter fit, or a looser one, should you want to move more freely.
Overall, if you need a coat that can withstand any conditions, this product is very worth considering.
- Waterproof/ GoreTex outer shell keeps you dry and comfortable.
- Zip vents on the armpits to improve breathability.
- Fully adjustable hood that is compatible with most helmets.
- This premium jacket comes at a premium price.
Also available at
Finding the right jacket will depend greatly on the type of conditions you plan on running in.
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right item of clothing for exercising in cold weather.
In this section, we will show some of the most important things to look out for when buying yourself a new winter running jacket.
The insulation factor is an extremely important aspect when choosing a jacket for running in cold weather.
This is because the main purpose of wearing a jacket is to provide warmth, but also to protect your body from the elements.
When looking for a jacket, make sure it insulates well and that the insulation is in the right places.
The best way to check how much insulation you have in a jacket is to feel around the sleeves.
If you feel air coming through the sleeve, then you don't have enough insulation.
However, this won't work for some jackets as they might have a deliberate lack of insulation along the arms and shoulders.
This is usually to make the jacket more breathable and prevent you from overheating.
The main areas that you want to make sure are sufficiently insulated include the chest and lower back.
Insulation in these areas will help you to maintain your core body temperature, without getting too hot during your run.
When choosing a jacket for running, make sure that it breathes well. This means that it should not restrict airflow, which could result in overheating.
To test whether a jacket breathes well, try putting it on and standing still outside.
If you can feel the cold air moving around your body, and start to get cold fast, then your jacket is sufficiently breathable.
As you can see, insulation and breathability don't always go hand in hand, and ideally you want a jacket that offers you a bit of both.
Zip vents in the armpits, sleeves made from a lighter material and mesh linings on certain panels can all help to make a jacket more breathable.
However, some of these features can also make a product less waterproof, which is something you should consider if you frequently go running in the rain.
Another important thing to consider is weight. It's easy to underestimate just how heavy a jacket can become once you've put it on.
Make sure that the jacket you choose is light enough so that it doesn't weigh you down while you're running.
A good rule of thumb is to wear no more than 10% of your total body weight in clothes.
So if you weigh 70 kg (154lbs), then you shouldn't be carrying more than 7 kg (15lb) of clothing with you.
If you are running in freezing conditions, then you may need a slightly heavier jacket for the extra insulation.
However, it is worth remembering that it is better to have a jacket that is too thin rather than too heavy.
After all, you can always supplement a thin jacket with a thick base layer to make it warmer, but a jacket that is too padded will just cause you to overheat.
Finally, another very important consideration when buying a running jacket is weatherproofing.
You don't want to buy a jacket that isn't going to keep out the wind and rain.
Even if your jacket is very well insulated, that won’t matter if you get soaked through by some mild precipitation.
While there are many different types of waterproof coating available, none of them are perfect.
That said, outer shells made from GoreTex can withstand a lot of rain and snow before feeling even slightly damp.
It is also important to buy something that is windproof as well as resistant to moisture. Wind chill strips your body of heat much faster than a low ambient temperature.
As such, you will want a jacket that has a good collar, and well-designed panels to protect you from the winter winds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Wear Under My Winter Jacket?
What you wear under your winter running jacket will depend on how cold it is and how much insulation your jacket has.
Tight-fitting shirts like ski shirts make excellent base layers, as they will trap heat close to your body while still being very breathable.
If your jacket is quite thin, then you can always wear a simple jumper or fleece as well to pad it out and keep yourself warm.