8 Best Winter Running Jackets Compared And Reviewed

Last updated: November 29, 2021

Running Apparel / 8 Best Winter Running Jackets Compared And Reviewed

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One thing that a lot of us tend to do when the weather gets colder is start running less because of the unpleasant feeling some of us experience when getting cold.

However, running in the cold comes with numerous benefits such as losing less fluid due to not perspiring much as well as needing to drink less because of that fact. You’ll also be in a better headspace because you haven’t stopped your exercise regime just because it got a little bit colder ensuring you stay in a good headspace.

Winter running jackets are a great apparel option to get because they will keep you warm as well as some of them providing some form of waterproofing which is great for the extra blistering cold. We’ve compared some of the best winter running jackets and compared them against features such as weatherproofing, durability and more.

Best Value
Salomon Agile Softshell Jacket
Salomon Agile Softshell Jacket
Best Waterproofing
Arc'teryx LT Hoody 
Arc’teryx LT Hoody 
Budget Option
New Balance Accelerate Jacket 
New Balance Accelerate Jacket 
Lightweight
ASICS Accelerate Jacket
ASICS Accelerate Jacket
Best Warmth
Smartwool Smartloft-X 60
Smartwool Smartloft-X 60

Best Jackets For Winter Running Compared And Reviewed

1. Salomon Agile Softshell Jacket

Key Features

  • Features two-sided zippered pockets 
  • Reflective properties 
  • Water-resistant 
  • Fantastic moisture-wicking qualities

Reasons to buy

  • Great feel 
  • Weather-resistant 
  • Lightweight 
  • Warm 
  • Offers great movement

Reasons to avoid

  • Doesn’t have a hood 
  • The jacket runs small

Salomon has delighted runners with a versatile jacket ideal for various activities, including running, hiking, cross country skiing, and cycling. The jacket is a beautiful addition to any runner’s wardrobe since it is incredibly lightweight and keeps you warm and protected against the wind. 

Although the jacket keeps you toasty on those cold runs, it prevents you from overheating because the back of the jacket features a mesh layer that makes it remarkably breathable. In addition, it has excellent water resistance, and it can keep moisture out very well.

The jacket is well-designed and gives runners enough movement to move comfortably. The stretchability of the jacket makes it pleasant for runners to move freely while wearing this jacket. 

Lastly, if you enjoy early morning or late night runs, this jacket is perfect for you because of its reflective details. The jacket will keep you warm, comfortable, and safe. In addition, it is a very flattering cut that looks great. The soft-shell outer makes the jacket perfect for most weather conditions.

2. Arc’teryx LT Hoody

Key Features

  • Lightweight 
  • Slim cut 
  • Hoody jacket 
  • Back and interior pockets with zippers 
  • Wind and water-resistant

Reasons to buy

  • Beautiful design 
  • Warm and lightweight 
  • Offers incredible wind and rain protection

Reasons to avoid

  • Doesn’t offer complete protection against heavy rain

If you are looking for a jacket that will offer you a comfortable and stylish fit, look no further than the Arc’teryx LT Hoody. The jacket is excellent at protecting against rain and wind, especially since it has a hood that not all running jackets have.

Another feature that not all running jackets have is the drawcord. It keeps cold air from penetrating the jacket by cinching at the waist. By keeping the jacket tight around the waist, the runner feels the support of the jacket while enjoying a warm running experience. 

The LT jacket gives runners phenomenal insulation while still being breathable and lightweight. In addition, there isn’t any restriction on movement. With its minimalist design, the jacket is fashion-forward and fits any running outfit. 

Another attractive feature is the fact that the jacket dries exceptionally quickly after being washed. This means you don’t have to go any runs without it because it is still wet from washing. Therefore, it is easy to give your jacket a quick rinse between runs, and you can enjoy peace of mind since it will be dry within a half hour. 

Runners enjoy the softness and warmness that the synthetic insulation of the jacket offers. The LT gives runners more than enough storage space by providing zippered pockets located in the back of the jacket. In addition to the back pockets, an interior pocket is ideal for storing smaller and valuable items.

3. New Balance Accelerate Jacket

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • Zippered hand pockets 
  • Insulated in the front and back 
  • Adjustable vent

Reasons to buy

  • Back and front panels are insulated 
  • Vent in the back is adjustable 
  • Water and wind-resistant

Reasons to avoid

  • The jacket’s all-black appearance isn’t ideal for night runs

New Balance created an excellent running jacket that offers runners exceptional warmth and comfort. In addition, the jacket is lightweight and perfect even for icy runs because of its snug fit. The Accelerate has a high collar with long sleeves that work wonders to keep the chilly winds out. The jacket offers incredible stretch making the runner feel free to move. 

The material that the Accelerate has been made with makes the jacket wind and water-resistant. In fact, the jacket is perfect for any weather conditions, even snow. The unique Heat fabric New Balance created keeps runners warm without feeling overdressed or weighed down. The jacket offers warmth while being breathable. 

There is a vent on the back of the jacket that is adjustable. This vent helps the runner from overheating. Runners get to enjoy proper storage space with hand pockets that have zippers. The jacket has remarkable features, and it has a stylish design that makes it a fashionable piece of running apparel.

4. ASICS Accelerate Jacket

Key Features

  • Removable hood 
  • Rain-safe zippers on side pockets 
  • 360-degree reflection 
  • Lightweight

Reasons to buy

  • 360-degree reflective details 
  • Waterproof 
  • Wind and rain protection 
  • Removable hood

Reasons to avoid

  • Not warm enough on very cold runs

ASICS is a strong contender when it comes to running merchandise, and the Accelerate doesn’t disappoint. The jacket is phenomenal at keeping runners dry in severely wet conditions.

This is due to the water-repellent finish found on the jacket’s outer shell since every single seam of the jacket has been sealed to offer the best in cold and rain protection. The dedication to the water-repellent features of this jacket is without a doubt its best feature. 

Runners who enjoy early morning or late night runs will love the enhanced safety feature of the jacket’s reflective quality that is 360-degrees on the jacket’s back and front.

This makes the visibility of the runner truly remarkable. The water-resistant front zipper keeps cold air out along with the tapered cuffs. Runners who want to store their belongings will love the side pockets with rain-safe zippers. 

The ASICS Accelerate provides warmth against chilly weather while still being breathable and lightweight. It has a removable hood that is very convenient and provides extra protection and flexibility in unpredictable weather conditions. Runners who don’t like running with a hood enjoy the fact that they can easily remove the hood without altering the look or effectiveness of the jacket. 

5. Smartwool Smartloft-X 60

Key Features

  • Merino wool 
  • Hooded jacket 
  • Insulated panels 
  • Interior and exterior pockets 
  • Great stretch for outstanding movement

Reasons to buy

  • Phenomenal insulation
  • Odor resistant 
  • Great freedom of movement

Reasons to avoid

  • Too warm for mild weather

Runners who are looking for a running jacket that will give the utmost warmth have found what they are looking for with the Smartwool Smartloft-X 60. The jacket offers remarkable versatility and warmth by combining merino wool and wind-blocking insulation, making it the ideal jacket for runs on chilly days. 

The jacket’s merino lining provides runners with incredible warmth while giving enough movement for an enjoyable running experience. There are insulated panels on the jacket’s back and front. These panels add even more warmth and make the jacket exceptionally water and wind-resistant. The jacket comes with a hood for added protection against unexpected weather conditions. The hood is comfortable and helps to keep the runner warm without offering too much heat. 

Runners who enjoy a bit of extra storage in their running jackets will love the multiple pockets that the Smartloft-X 60 provides. The jacket features a chest pocket and two hand pockets, all of which are zippered. On the inside of the jacket, two pockets don’t have zippers. Another attractive feature of the jacket is that merino wool is odor resistant, meaning that runners can enjoy their jacket for much longer without washing. 

6. ASICS Lite-Show Winter Jacket

Key Features

  • Reflective details 
  • Interior and Exterior pockets 
  • Thumbholes 
  • Great stretch

Reasons to buy

  • Warm and soft outer layer 
  • Great reflective details 
  • Affordable

Reasons to avoid

  • Less rain-resistant than competitor jackets 
  • Several colors to choose from, but men don’t have the option of a black jacket

Early morning and evening runners love the features that this jacket provides. Runners can enjoy the warmth and reflective details, making them comfortable and keeping them safe. The reflective elements of the jacket make it easier for everyone passing the runner to notice them, which keeps everyone safe. 

The Lite-Show has a layer on the outside that is exceptionally soft yet thick enough to protect against the cold. It is stretchy enough to provide runners with sufficient movement. This jacket is pretty breathable and offers excellent moisture-wicking. The Lite-Show gives runners thumbholes to keep cold air from coming in through their sleeves.  

The jacket has received great praise regarding its reflective qualities since it offers these elements on the sleeves, back, and front. This makes it easy for anyone to spot the runner, even in the middle of the night. In addition, runners can enjoy storing their items because of the internal pocket and two pockets on the front of the jacket. This is an impressive amount of storage in a compact and slim-styled jacket.

7. SUGOi Firewall 180 Jacket

Key Features

  • S-Tek Lite inserts 
  • Moisture-wicking design 
  • Adjustable hood

Reasons to buy

  • Moisture-wicking properties 
  • Lightweight 
  • Outer shell features S-Tek Lite inserts 
  • Water and wind-resistant

Reasons to avoid

  • Priced much higher than competitor jackets

Runners who live in windy areas will love this jacket since it is made out of superior wind-resistant materials. In addition, it features an adjustable hood offering excellent wind protection. This makes it a great addition to any runner’s apparel since it is versatile, waterproof, and comfortable. 

Being lightweight, the Firewall can keep you warm and comfy without making you feel weighed down. The outer shell of the jacket has been combined with S-Tek Lite inserts that provide additional moisture-wicking abilities. This means the Firewall keeps you feeling fresh and warm. 

Runners can store their valuables comfortably using the small pocket found on the inside of the jacket or the two hand pockets. In addition, the jacket has a high collar to assist even more with keeping the elements from affecting your run. Fortunately, runners who prefer running with a lower collar won’t feel uncomfortable if they don’t zip up all the way.

8. Nike Aerolayer Jacket

Key Features

  • Hooded jacket 
  • Men’s sizes only 
  • Zippered pockets 
  • Great insulation layers

Reasons to buy

  • Great warmth 
  • Breathable 
  • Wind-resistant 
  • Adequately water-resistant

Reasons to avoid

  • Limited color options

Although this jacket is only available for men (although women can wear it too), it deserves mention because of its incredible design and phenomenal insulation. The Nike Aerolayer uses a combination of woven fabric with insulation to give runners a lightweight and warm jacket. 

The jacket’s outer layer can repel moisture, making it suitable for runs on rainy, cold, and windy days. In addition, the jacket’s front features extra insulation keeping you warm as you move. The jacket has a well-designed hood that offers even more resistance against the elements. 

This jacket has adequate storage with two side pockets that are zippered. Lastly, the jacket offers some reflective details that will make it easier for people to see the runner at night or in the early morning.

How to Choose the Best Winter Running Jacket 

Runners must keep themselves warm during colder months, but of course, they don’t want to be overheated while running. Therefore, investing in a good winter running jacket can be very beneficial for runners.

A well-designed winter running jacket will offer warmth and comfort while giving the runner enough stretch for movement. 

With so many great winter running jackets on the market today, picking the most suitable one might be challenging. Therefore, it is good to know what to look for in a good winter running jacket.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are browsing for prospective winter running jackets: 

Running jackets have hard and soft shells 

A running jacket that is hard-shelled will be wind and waterproof. They also commonly come with a hood. In addition, these jackets are frequently insulated to offer additional warmth and protection against rain, wind, and cold.

These jackets are called hard-shelled because they tend to have less stretch, and they have a distinctive sound when the runner moves. 

Soft-shell jackets provide a lower level of protection against rain because they are water-resistant. However, these jackets tend to offer much more breathability, which can be very beneficial for runners.

They also offer more incredible stretch allowing the runner a more fantastic range of movement. Because of the flexibility and breathability that the soft-shell jackets provide, they make better running jackets. 

The thickness of the jacket 

When you think about running in cold weather, it might be logical to prefer a thick jacket. However, thick jackets can be bulky and restrict movement.

Suppose you are not living in an area that has freezing temperatures during the winter months. In that case, a thinner jacket might be a more comfortable choice since it will give you greater flexibility and breathability.  

Storage 

Most runners prefer to have their hands free while running. Therefore, you should consider pockets when you are looking at running jackets. The placement of the pockets and additional features such as zippers matter greatly.

After all, you don’t want your valuables falling out mid-run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it really worth it to get a running jacket?

There is a great variety of running jackets, with some coming in at budget range while others are expensive. Commonly, the high-end running jackets offer runners great features and technology to keep them warm and comfortable on their runs. 

So whether a running jacket is worth it will depend on where you live, how keen you are to run in the winter months, and the price you are willing to accept. If you run frequently, come rain, cold, or shine, it is worthwhile investing in a good quality running jacket.

Should I choose a jacket that is water-resistant or waterproof? 

Many runners aren’t familiar with the difference between the two. It comes down to the fabric used to make the jackets. Water-resistant jackets are most commonly made with nylon or polyester. This means that rain might not be able to penetrate it initially, but if you are running in persistent rain, you will get wet after some time. 

Waterproof jackets are made with materials that offer a solid barrier against water, so even in heavy rain, your body will remain dry. Whether you should choose a waterproof or water-resistant jacket will depend on how much it rains where you live. If you live in an area with little rainfall, a water-resistant jacket should be fine. However, if you live in an area with heavy rain, invest in a waterproof running jacket.

How important is sizing in a running jacket? 

You want a snug fit that won’t allow cold wind to penetrate your running jacket when it comes to keeping you warm. Therefore it is best not to choose an oversized running jacket.

Of course, you don’t want a jacket that is so tight that it restricts your movement. Therefore, look for a jacket that fits comfortably enough for you to move freely without being too loose.

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