Best Waterproof Running Jackets Compared

Last updated: September 4, 2021

Running Apparel / Best Waterproof Running Jackets Compared

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A waterproof running jacket should be an essential part of your wardrobe. It provides extra protection against the rain and can act as a windbreaker. It will generally keep your outdoor training more comfortable hence, you are more focused on building your strength and working out. 

Here’s a list of some of the top-rated waterproof running jackets and below that there’s a full guide on what to look out for if you’re considering buying one. We’ve compared them based on waterproofing, weight, purpose and more.

Gore-Tex Material
The North Face Apex Flex GTX 3.0 Jacket
The North Face Apex Flex GTX 3.0 Jacket
Most Lightweight
Arcteryx Norvan SL Waterproof Running Jacket
Arc’teryx Norvan SL Waterproof Running Jacket
Most Warm
Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket
Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket
Best Value
Columbia Watertight II Jacket
Columbia Watertight II Jacket
Most Stylish
Black Diamond StormLine Stretch Waterproof Jacket
Black Diamond StormLine Stretch Waterproof Jacket

Best Waterproof Running Jackets Compared And Reviewed

1. The North Face Apex Flex GTX 3.0 Jacket

Key Features

  • Gore-Tex material is both waterproof and windproof. 
  • Adjustable velcro cuffs
  • Multiple storage compartments

Reasons to buy

  • Water and wind protection with no weather limits
  • Provides additional warmth
  • Its 3-layered Gore-Tex makes it durable

Reasons to avoid

  • Not very affordable
  • Bulky and not lightweight

We know the feeling of regret when you purchase a very expensive product and not getting the worth of your money. However, this North Face jacket, despite being one of the most expensive choices on our list, has justified its price.

This slim-fit, breathable jacket is not only waterproof but it’s also 100% windproof. This jacket will surely block the wind and help you thrive against the harsh weather conditions during your outdoor experience.

Though I haven’t experienced having my hands on this piece of gem, reviews have declared that this jacket really was not made to disappoint. Its versatility is a good justification for its price. This jacket is said not to only fit into any one category because it can stand out in every aspect; water and wind protection, warmth, and other categorical features.

I believe that this is the best one yet, as far as I’ve read from the multiple reviews because it surpasses the definition of a jacket—this is rather a shell layer that totally protects you from all sorts of harshness from nature.

North Face really wasn’t kidding when they prided themselves in its premium quality material by using a 3-layer Gore-Tex build. 

This membrane fabric stops any liquid vapor from the outside and also from the one that you perspire to pass through, keeping you dry and comfortable. Since it’s a 3-layer, the jacket is surely durable because the membrane fabric is used for the outer textile and the lining.

Warmth isn’t really the top priority of rain jackets, but the versatility of this North Face Apex Flex FGTX 3.0 jacket includes this standard as one of its features. Though it is not entirely insulated, there’s still a noticeable difference in the warmth it gives!

The hood has a good rear cinch which gives extra security around the sides of the head and provides solid coverage overall. However, other than the price, this jacket is quite bulky and quite heavy, hence, packing this could be extremely challenging.

2. Arc’teryx Norvan SL Mens Waterproof Running Jacket

Key Features

  • Gore-Tex material for waterproof and windproof features
  • 125-gram lightweight hoodie
  • Easy to pack away and store

Reasons to buy

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof and windproof

Reasons to avoid

  • No storage capacity
  • Not as warm as the other options

The Arc’teryx Norvan SL Waterproof Running Jacket isn’t the cheapest waterproof running jacket available out there however it does boast impressive features such as a hoody that only wears 125-grams. A lot of people have struggled with different running jackets by having a hoodie that is way too heavy for running, especially when wet! 

It also boasts Gore-Tex material meaning it’s both waterproof and windproof. The textiles designed around the jacket are however breathable whilst providing protective reflection.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, breathable jacket that boasts waterproof and windproof properties then this jacket is definitely one that tops the list. Due to its lightweight nature, it won’t be as warm as the other options on the list.

If you’re after a jacket that contains storage capacity then this won’t be the best waterproof running jacket for you, this is designed for those that need a very minimalist running jacket for wet runs or trail runs.

3. Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket

Key Features

  • Zip closure
  • Waterproof, windproof and lightweight

Reasons to buy

  • Extremely Durable
  • Its water repellent feature does not get you drenched
  • Easily packable

Reasons to avoid

  • Not slim-fit
  • Not very affordable
  • The drawcord connected to the bottom of the hood is not user-friendly when loosening the hood

You may be eyeing a waterproof jacket that does not only has good protection features but also has good outer features. I personally also would want a jacket that can spice up my wardrobe without having to worry about looking “too much”.

This multipurpose Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket has two zips along the sides that could transform the jacket into a poncho-style outwear. This gives superior protection when you’re engaging in outdoor activities, while still being able to be breathable to give you enough comfort that you need.

To enjoy your lengthy training or trips, this jacket has a dual-pull adjustable hood and a hand and chest pocket for your valuables. A catch, isn’t it? Moreover, this is only 0.96 pounds and is lightweight, easing your worries when packing!

This is made up of 2-Layer Gore-Tex that is bonded to the outer textile which creates a separate lining in your jacket which can be combined with good insulation. Moreover, the side-zippers do not only provide good poncho-style, but it is also for extra ventilation.

I couldn’t help but compare this to other jackets that offer a 3-Layer Gore-Tex, but looking more into the reviews regarding this jacket, its 50-denier polyester material is outstanding quality for a jacket. 

Since it’s 50-denier, it surely is thick enough to provide its protective features. Moreover, polyester is also known for being the better option for wardrobe pieces that are made to be exposed to the elements, making it water-resistant.

4. Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket

Key Features

  • Zip closure
  • 100% waterproof nylon shell

Reasons to buy

  • Doesn’t make you drenched even when it’s raining
  • The mesh liner serves as a 2-layer construction for extra comfort
  • Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

  • Doesn’t fit well for some when wearing a bike helmet
  • Sleeve ends start to fray very lightly after a few months of use according to some reviews

From the very rainy weather during your hike to the city streets, and every corner in the region, this jacket is your best friend. This Columbia Watertight II Jacket is made up of 100% polyester, which is the perfect material for extreme weather clothes. Not only that, but this jacket is my favorite because of its very affordable price, yet not compromising any of its qualities.

Polyester is moisture-wicking so it will definitely keep you from being drenched in rain (your perspiration also included!). The tight weave of the polyester also keeps the heat inside, giving you just the right amount of insulation to keep you warm. 

Although it is made up of Polyester, I personally don’t like the fact that its lining is made up of polyester. It lessens its breathability feature when you have the lining made up of polyester.

However, the outer shell is made up of nylon which is generally tough abrasion resistant, making it hydrophilic—meaning, it can absorb water. This means that your jacket is definitely waterproof and you don’t have to worry about getting drenched under the rainy weather.

Your Columbia Watertight II Jacket is definitely packable because of its lightweight feature, with only a weight of 0.9 pounds. Moreover, its adjustable hood, cuffs, and hemline are the best additional features that you must have been eyeing!

5. Black Diamond StormLine Stretch

Key Features

  • 100% Nylon
  • Built to take on the worst downpours

Reasons to buy

  • Lightweight and stretchy
  • Soft interior lining provides warmth
  • Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

  • Not the best breathability for some

Weather that is totally intimidating because of how harsh it is requires a good jacket that will give you the high-quality protection you need. This Black Diamond StormLine Jacket is very lightweight, thus packable and easy to store.

This windproof and waterproof jacket has a four-way stretch design which gives you the assurance that it’s durable and it won’t immediately fray after constant use. A four-way stretch design gives the material the ability to stretch in both lateral and vertical directions.

This is also made up of 100% Nylon, an extremely abrasion-resistant material that is perfect for absorbing wetness. It has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating that will help the jacket to stop penetrating water, making you nice and dry.

This jacket has an adjustable hood, cuffs, and hem to keep it snug around your torso. Moreover, its underarm has gussets for restriction-free movement. This only weighs 0.71 pounds, assuring you of the freedom of movement even when under the rainy weather!

6. Fjällräven Mens Keb Eco-Shell Jacket

Key Features

  • 100% Polyester
  • Zip closure
  • Wind and waterproof

Reasons to buy

  • Lightweight
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Wired-peak hood

Reasons to avoid

  • A bit expensive

Looking for a jacket that’s designed to protect you and the environment? Fjällräven Men’s Ken Eco-Shell is made up of recyclable Eco-Shell fabric that is also wind and waterproof perfect for the varying weather conditions.

This material is made up of 100% durable yet lightweight G-1000 Eco-Shell in polyester, which is partially recycled. This Durable Water Repellent jacket also underwent fluorocarbon-free treatment, perfect for environmentally friendly and waterproof outdoor clothing.

Though I haven’t bought this product for myself, the reviews really did impress me. According to Daniel Neilson, a blogger who thoroughly reviewed this product, this Swedish-made jacket is extremely impressive because every detail is very well thought out.

The pockets are not found at the sides because this is specially made for those who hike and the hip-belt of hike backpacks often block access to hand pockets. So, they innovated the idea by putting chest pockets instead, yet still making it as deep as hand pockets.

How To Choose The Best Waterproof Jacket For Running

When looking for a waterproof running jacket it comes down to the level of warmth and water protection you need, of course, there are options such as storage you should consider and whether or not you need a hoodie.

Below are some of the guidelines we considered when searching for the best waterproof running jacket.

Construction

There are several types of construction out there in the market. You could be looking between the lightweight and highly breathable jackets which are perfectly great for cycling or running, and more hardwearing jackets which are great for mountaineers and hikers.

Well, to start, there are different layers of waterproof jackets. Most use a 2-layer, 2.5-layer, or 3-layer construction. Regardless, these are all coated with Durable Water Repellent (DWR), which helps protect you against moisture. The waterproof part is the 2nd layer which is sandwiched between the DWR and a specific layer.

The specific layer is depending on the construction that you’ve chosen. The 2-layer construction is the most common construction method. A laminate layer is applied to the face fabric, leaving the interior bare. There is, however, a semi-loose hanging layer (usually mesh) to provide protection.

The 2.5-layer has a thin polyurethane (PU) that helps protect the waterproof layer from being clogged up with sweat, oils, and other kinds of moisture. This jacket is usually lighter and more affordable. The 3-layer jackets, on the other hand, have a thicker PU layer, making it extra-durable, it’s also usually the best at breathability and the most lightweight.

It is true that having a 3-layer construction is better than having a 2-layer, however, you should know that having a jacket that has one of these three construction methods is already better. You don’t want to be spending too much on a 3-layer construction jacket just to have it be used in a city walk setting.

If you’re only looking for a jacket that is best suited for urban environments, brief travel, and low exposure to wet weather conditions, then you should look more into Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket because it is a 2-layered construction jacket.

However, if you’re a mountaineer or you’ll be using the jacket for extreme weather conditions, then The North Face Apex Flex GTX 3.0 Jacket is recommended because of its 3-layered construction.

Weather Protection And Waterproofing

This totally depends on the type of jacket you want and where would you be using it for. Each jacket offered in the market has some level of water resistance and understanding which best suits your needs will give you a clearer perspective on your options.

There are jackets that are waterproof yet non-breathable. If you just need a jacket that will keep you dry while sitting or standing around, then this might be for you. Though I don’t personally like waterproof/non-breathable jackets, this type is still available in the market.

Your jacket could be waterproof and breathable at the same time. This type of rainwear can keep you from getting drenched from the heavy rainfall and also your sweat. If you’re looking for a jacket that is really for an activity that can soak you from your precipitation and perspiration, then you might want to look into Fjällräven Men’s Ken Eco-Shell.

Fit

Getting the right fit and size will help you maximize comfort and also will help you perform better during your outdoor activity. There are two factors that you should consider and look into before buying the jacket: your body shape and the fit of the jacket.

When you lift your arms, the jacket should still be able to cover your torso. There are jackets, however, that offer adjusters that can give extra protection and security that you need. Black Diamond StormLine Stretch and Columbia II Watertight Jacket both offer this feature and you might want to check it out!

The fit of the jacket is just as important as your body shape. The types of fit totally depend on the activity they’re intended for. Relaxed Fit is the everyday jacket that is usually the longer fit for extra protection.

Active fit is neither snug nor baggy and this provides room for another layer underneath. Lastly, the technical fit is for hiking and climbing jackets. This, like the Fjällräven Men’s Ken Eco-Shell, offers better mobility.

Features

Brands nowadays always come up with different gimmicks to lure consumers into buying their products. I could only list down a few features that I personally look for. Regardless, the features part is already depending on your taste and your specific interests.

I first look at the hood and if it’s snug around my head or if it is adjustable. Of course, I don’t want to purchase a jacket that I have to keep putting the hood on most especially when I’m running during my training under rainy weather. I personally commend the Columbia Watertight II Jacket for its durable adjustments for its hood.

Adjustment features in general are also something I’m looking for. I like to adjust, not only the hood but also the hemline and the cuffs for extra protection. Black Diamond StormLine Stretch is something you should look into, not only because of its good stretchability but also of its adjustment features!.

Lastly, I like it when my jacket is packable because I can just carry it inside my bag after training or store it in my duffel before the competition. Ultralight and the non-bulky fabric are always a bonus point for me

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Waterproof Running Jacket need to be GORE-TEX?

It is no doubt that this is the most well-known waterproof membrane, however, there are other options out there. There are other brands that offer other waterproof membranes and there will only be slight differences when it comes to the benefits. 

What are the differences between waterproof, water-repellent, and water-resistant running jackets?

Waterproof materials are treated with a DWR coating, have layers, have sealed seams, and definitely the most expensive. Waterproof jackets are enhanced water-resistant features to make them the highest quality of protection. This can be used in extreme conditions like heavy rain and snowstorms.

Water-repellent is when DWR is applied hence, it repels water on contact. Moreover, water resiliency measures how much the material can withstand the water pressure before the water begins to pervade. Lastly, water-resistant is just like waterproof, however, it can only be used in light to average conditions.

Source: https://triplefatgoose.com/blogs/down-time/waterproof-vs-water-repellent-vs-water-resistant

What’s the difference between windproof and wind-resistant running jackets?

All waterproof jackets are usually windproof too. Windproof means that it can block the wind because of its windproof technology. Windproof technology is typically a type of laminate that is attached to the jacket.

On the other hand, wind-resistant jackets are similar to water-resistant jackets. This is usually ultralight and is made for short trips, but won’t last under a strong storm.

Source: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/rainwear.html

Conclusion

Choose the waterproof running jacket that will give you the best comfort for the type of run that you’re going for. If you’re doing a trail run and don’t need much storage then going for something lightweight and breathable is recommended.

If you’re running through snow and need something a little warmer then look for a thicker waterproof running jacket that may not be as breathable.

Weigh out the options to find out which one you may need the most.

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