A flexible and breathable running jacket is a must-have to keep the wind and rain out. Jack Sexty and Emily Thorne put 10 options to the test
Five men’s and five women’s jackets are rated for comfort, breathability, waterproofing, windproofing and weight
THOW WE TESTED
hanks to modern run apparel, long gone aree the days when runners needed to head out looking like thhe Michelin Man on a chilly day. So much so,, jogging bottoms are now effectively obsolete for runners – there’s no need to wear sweatpants for anything other than lounging about the house when a pair of good quality running tights are more functional, breathable and and fit like a second skin.
The same is true of the top half, with baggy sweatshirts making way for stretchier materials that offer a closer fit, and differing panels to give breathability where you need it and warmth elsewhere.
You’ll want your running jacket to have a looser fit than a cycling jacket because there’s a lot more lateral movement during the run motion, even for those with the most rigid of running styles. As running is strenuous, breathability is a key factor, and a high level of sweat build-up inside will be uncomfortable but will also make you cold when you stop or lower the intensity.
There are 10 jackets on test here, five each from our male and female reviewers. There’s a broad mix and not all of them are designed to perform exactly the same functions, so we’ve either compared or judged the jackets on their own merits to reach our verdicts. All of the jackets were put through test runs in the wind, rain and cold to gain an understanding of how each jacket performs. Value for money was assessed, as were features such as pockets and hand warmers. We were also looking for how true to size each jacket was and any restrictions of movement that would hinder our run. Breathability and wicking properties were assessed on higher tempo runs.
The ability of a garment to keep wind and water out. Most running jackets are windproof and/or offer shower/ waterproofing.
Wicking materials move sweat away from your body to avoid that cold, clammy feeling when too much perspiration has built up inside the garment.
The cuffs are often n elasticated for a sn nug fit and to deflect cool l air.
The collarrs on most running jaackets are high to stopp the wind and rain ggetting in.
A necessary and often styllish safety feature of jackets that’ll bbe used in the dark months.