The Best Running Jackets of 2024 for Any Kind of Weather


Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services.  If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.

There’s nothing quite like running in perfect weather. But the reality is, if you’re serious about logging consistent mileage, there are going to be bad weather days when you need a bit of protection—especially as unpredictable spring weather throws rain and wind at you. On those unavoidable days, your running shoes can only take you so far. You need to pick up a running jacket.

A great running jacket serves many purposes. It protects you from the rain, keeps you warm, and breaks the wind. But it also needs to be breathable, so you don’t heat up so quickly that you tie it around your waist within five minutes. Therefore, we rounded up the best running jackets you can buy, saving you hours scouring online retailers for the perfect layer for your running needs. Our favorite turned out to be Patagonia’s Houdini jacket, which is lightweight, windproof, and has enough water-resistance to shed any drizzle encountered mid-run.

Related: We Tested 16 New Balance Running Shoes. These Are the Best

Best Overall Running Jacket: Patagonia Houdini Patagonia Houdini

Courtesy Image

The Patagonia Houdini is so popular because it’s truly that good. The magic is in its simplicity; it’s a minimal jacket that works well for a variety of needs.

It’s windproof. The DWR finish works well, and I found it to work great in a light but consistent drizzle. And it’s so breathable. For a jacket that cuts wind and sheds light rain, you’d expect it to be somewhat stuffy inside. Not so, the jacket really allows moisture to escape even as you ramp up intensity.

There’s one simple pocket (which the jacket packs into, great for long runs when it’s time to shed), and two simple cinch cords—one in the hood and one in the waist, but the cord slips out of the plastic cinch track for me, which was a mild annoyance.

That said, the Patagonia Houdini is the clear choice for a basic, do-it-all running jacket. Even in cold weather, layering with this as a shell would work great, but be warned: The Houdini fits slim, so size up if you intend to do heavy layering.

$109 at Patagonia

Most Comfortable Running Jacket: Roark Secondwind 3.0 Roark Secondwind 3.0

Courtesy Image

The latest Roark Secondwind 3.0 running jacket is super breathable, soft, and stretchy, which makes it comfortable layer for spring. I love the thumb loops on the cuffs, because while I’m not a fan of running with gloves, I like that my hands are covered when warming up. The jacket does feature a DWR finish, and while the material is much softer (but slightly more absorbent than the Houdini above), it performs just fine in light rain. When you feel how nice the material is, you won’t want to take it off.

$87 at REI

Most Versatile Running Jacket: Rabbit Treeline Rabbit Treeline

Courtesy Image

The Rabbit Treeline is a versatile jacket that looks great and performs well for most of my needs. It’s waterproof and water resistant, but it doesn’t have crazy high proofing expectations. Indeed, the company prioritized a balance between water protection and breathability, and I think they’ve found a perfect sweet spot between the two.

$185 at Rabbit

Related: The Best G-Shock Watches of 2024

Best Rain Jacket: Goldwin Pertex ShieldAir A/L Goldwin Pertex ShieldAir A/L

Courtesy Image

Ever since I saw Dylan Bowman wearing a prototype of it last fall, I’ve wanted to try this jacket. Luckily, the Goldwin Pertex ShieldAir A/L delivers everything I hoped, and perhaps more. While it’s certainly a premium shell, it’s extremely capable.

Historically, great waterproofing meant terrible breathability and vice-versa. Pertex ShieldAir has helped bring a better balance to that ratio, especially as it pertains to endurance sports. The A/L jacket, made in partnership with Bowman’s company Freetrail, is an excellent piece if you run a lot in rainy weather but need your jacket to breathe well and keep you cool.

I wore it during a 45-degree, steady downpour mountain run. I started off the effort cold, but as I warmed up I never felt like I needed to shed the jacket. Underneath, I was wearing just one long sleeve base layer that remained surprisingly dry. 

My only qualm with this jacket—especially for the price—is that there’s no pocket. The jacket packs down super small, but not into itself like the Houdini, rather into a separate stuff sack. 

$380 at Goldwin

Most Breathable Running Jacket: On Weather On Weather Jacket

Courtesy Image

The On Weather Jacket was designed with breathability top of mind. The latest version features a blend of materials that protects you from the elements, specifically cold, wind, and very light rain. The sizable vents along the back of the jacket help keep your body temp in check, and the stretchy, soft underarm material is both breathable and flexible in motion.

It’s great for fringe-weather runs and ideal for mild weather—think mostly dry, breezy, sub-50 degree temps. I do get a little caught up on the price, however, as I think for over $200, it doesn’t quite provide the full range of features as some competitors.

$240 at On Running

More Running Jackets We Love

Best Jacket for Night Running: Nathan HyperNight Stealth

Courtesy Image

The Nathan HyperNight Stealth is an ideal jacket for night running or early morning running when visibility is key. It features a camo reflective material contrasted against its black fabric, and is surprisingly easy to see at night. It makes a great city running jacket.

But it’s not just visibility that the jacket does well. I love the material feel on this Nathan Stealth. It reminds me a lot of the Roark as far as softness and stretch, and it has great breathability with back vents cut in. There is a hood cinch and a chest pocket as well, which help round out a solid feature set for the price.

$120 at nathan sports

Best Breathable Windbreaker: Adidas Terrex Xperior Windweave

Courtesy Image

The Adidas Terrex may be the most supple windbreaker I’ve ever tried. The material feels futuristic, almost impossibly soft for a proper shell. And for something that cuts wind so well, I can’t believe it sheds my internal heat effectively. It’s become my favorite option when running on blustery mountain trails. Aside from the excellent material, the jacket also has clever zippered pockets with breathable backing to act as cooling vents—or, you know, they can be used as pockets. 

$150 at Adidas

Best City Running Jacket: Ciele OTFInsulator

Courtesy Image

The Ciele OTFInsulator is perhaps the most innovative jacket on this list, at least in terms of trying something new. Rather than designed to be shed once you warm up, the OTFInsulator is a short sleeve insulated jacket, so that as you warm up you don’t have to take it off. Instead of a zipper, snap buttons make it easy to pop it open in different places if you need to cool yourself down.

This Ciele jacket features warm Polartec Alpha insulation that keeps the core feeling protected but doesn’t cause you to overheat. The dual zipper pockets are perfectly placed to warm your hands while waiting at stoplights, and the neck cuff is super soft. It nails chic, city running style, too.

The drawbacks are water-resistance and versatility. This jacket just isn’t designed for wet conditions. It’s perfect for running in the winter, through the city, when you know the conditions.

$280 at Ciele

Best Running Jacket for Warm Weather: Patagonia Airshed Pullover

Courtesy Image

The Patagonia Houdini has a high tech sibling: the Airshed Pullover. It has amazingly soft material and boasts many of the same features as the more traditional Houdini. It fits close to the body, and I’ve even worn it as my sole layer for breezy trail runs. The jacket flexes to provide an ideal range of motion for running, and the stretchy hood is comfortable. If you run in a warmer climate or really just need a simple, stashable windbreaker, the Airshed Pullover is the optimal pick.

$140 at Patagonia

Best Jacket for the Coldest Runs: Timberland Caps Ridge Waterproof Motion

Courtesy Image


You Might Also Like