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We have all heard about singing in the rain but can running in the rain be as enjoyable? Well, with the right jacket, it can be. It does not matter if you are training for your first marathon, have been running for years, or are about to step out for the first time, a run in the rain can be a pain (and we know that is true because it rhymes).
Running in the rain doesn’t need to be unpleasant. With a waterproof running jacket, running with water cascading all around you can be a fun and rewarding experience. Imagine the feeling of being a child again as you hop through the puddles and not have to worry about where the water is splashing. Think about the feel and sound of the rain as you engage in some mindful running.
So, what does the best rain jacket for running look like? Well, we have spent some time compiling criteria for a great waterproof running jacket and have used it to compile the best ones out there. Let’s take a look.
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant
When it comes to running in the rain, it is good to know just how much rain you are going to be running in. Generally, if you run for long periods of time, then you want a waterproof jacket. If you run for brief periods, or there is not a lot of rain where you live, then a water-resistant jacket may be fine.
There are two types of waterproof jackets: breathable and non-breathable. Breathable jackets stop the water getting through to your skin while also moving the sweat out in the other direction. For running long distances, this is ideal. Non-breathable keeps the rain out but does not let the air circulate. These are generally the cheaper option.
Water-resistant jackets will keep the rain out to a point. They are usually lighter and cheaper than waterproof jackets but will not hold up in heavy rain or precipitation when it is coming at you from a sideways direction.
The weight is a big factor in a running rain jacket. You are going to be wearing it and moving in it for long periods of time. The benefit of a light jacket is that you are not going to be weighed down by it when on a run. A lighter jacket is also easier to carry should the weather change, and you want to roll it up to carry it on your belt. The only downside to ultra-light jackets is that they are usually water-resistant and not waterproof.
When you are out running, you are often running alongside a road or at times when the light levels are low. You want a jacket which can help you to be seen. A bright and colorful jacket will do that. The brighter, the better, in our opinion. You also want to think about reflective detailing. Find a jacket which will reflect light when it is shone on you, especially important if you are running near to a road at night.
The Outer Shell
When choosing a durable running jacket, you need to choose one which is going to protect you from the elements. There are more than only a hard and soft shell to choose from, with hybrid and insulated shells being developed.
A hard shell is durable and tough and will keep the water out. They are more rigid than soft shells. They are not insulated and usually worn over insulating layers.
Soft shells generally have an insulating layer underneath. They are usually water-resistant but will let the sweat out when you are exerting yourself.
Hybrid shells are a combination of the two. If you want something which is extra-durable, then look for hybrid shells on high-wear areas.
Insulated shells are filled with an insulating material. They are generally water-resistant and breathable.
For a tough running rain jacket, you want to ensure that the weak points of the jacket are protected. Seam taping will cover the weak points (the seams) and give extra durability. Seam taping also helps a jacket to be waterproof.
A hood will keep your head dry when running in the rain. Look for a hood which is comfortable and can be adapted so that the rain is kept off of your face. We recommend looking for a way to keep the hood tethered to your head so that it does not blow off in the wind. You should also look for a hood which rolls up and can be stowed away. This stops the hood from flapping around when you are not using it to cover your head.
Pockets are especially handy if you need to carry an item and keep it dry. Look for pockets which are double-stitched if possible, as they will take a lot of stress when you are running with your pockets full. Also, check to make sure that they seal tight and no water can get in.
If you cannot adjust your jacket, then it is going to become uncomfortable, and you will wear it wrong. If you are not wearing your jacket comfortably, you may wear it down quicker. For a tough and durable running jacket, you should be able to adjust it for optimum comfort. Look for closures which can be adjusted, along with draw cords on the waist and hood. You can often find wrist enclosures which are adjustable too.
Our Top Picks
Przewalski Men’s Winter Thermal Jacket
This jacket looks elegant and stylish. You will love to run in this jacket, even when it is raining, and you will see yourself wearing this even when you are not out for a run. It comes in a choice of red or black, and both colors will look great with any outfit. While looking good, this is a jacket which will also keep you warm and dry.
The jacket is composed of three layers. On the outside, you have a knitted soft-shell fabric which is soft and pliable, bringing you the ultimate in comfort. The middle layer has anti-penetration technology to keep the wind and water out. On the inside, you have micro polar fleece fabric to keep you warm and to wick the moisture away. The three layers work in harmony to keep you warm and dry and remain light for your longest runs in the rain.
In addition to the fibers used, there are also breathable vents to allow the air to flow around your body and keep you cool when you need it. This also helps to remove any build-up of sweat, prolonging the life of your jacket. Reflective elements will help you to be seen in low-light conditions.
A front zippered pocket gives you somewhere to stow your gear and keeps it dry. You will also like the free-moving zipper on the front which protects you from the cold while having a fluid motion — a wonderful jacket which can be used for running, cycling, and hiking.
Baleaf Men’s Running Jacket
This jacket comes in a choice of two colors, a classic black to match with any outfit, and a fluorescent yellow to help you to be seen. On the material, you have a variety of reflective elements. Even when it is dark, you will still be seen. The full-length zipper makes it easy to get this jacket on and off, and there is a zipper garage where your zipper sits when wearing the jacket. This helps to seal up the front of the jacket and keep in the warmth.
There is a ventilation system on the back of the jacket which is welcomed and helps to keep you cool and dry. The fabric is also light, making it easy to pack the jacket up when the weather changes, but still have water-resistance when you are in heavy rain. You will like the elastic cuffs which help to create a seal and keep the rain and wind out.
There are two zippered pockets on the front and a back pocket to seal in all of your belongings when you are out for a run – a light jacket which gives you warmth and keeps you dry.
Adidas Supernova Storm Jacket
You expect something classy from Adidas, and that is exactly what you get. There is a choice of two colors, a classic black, and a visible bright orange. The running jacket also looks so good that you will want to wear it all of the time and not just when you are running.
The Climalite fabric is great for helping you to regulate your temperature. When the weather is cold, the fabric will keep out the rain and wind while wicking away your sweat as you run for miles. In warmer weather, the fabric will allow the air to circulate, creating a breathable climate which keeps you cool and dry.
The full zip and collar allow you to regulate your own temperature. On the arm is a sweat-guard pocket. The zip helps to keep out any moisture, either from the rain or from your forehead as you wipe your hard-earned sweat away. Side-arm zips allow you to create more breathability when you are mid-run.
A great jacket which looks stylish and classy but is also extremely functional.
Saucony Men’s Speed Of Lite Jacket
With two color choices, you will be able to find the perfect jacket for you. Both colors are bright and visible while remaining stylish and elegant. Both come with patterned fabric which elevates the jacket above the boring plain styles which we are all used to. The zippers on the front and the pockets are functional but also form a part of the jacket’s design, highlighting the jacket and drawing your eye to it.
Laser perforations at the upper back help to create air circulation through the jacket, wicking away any moisture which accumulates inside. There is also a mesh panel on the back panel and underarms, further enhancing the breathability of the jacket, and prolonging the life of the jacket.
The jacket is lightweight, and you will be able to roll it up and stow it in a bag or a belt when you are running. The perfect jacket to pack when you do not know what the weather is going to be and want to be safe. The front panel and sleeves are water-resistant, so you can run into the rain without it soaking you through.
The envelope-style openings on the cuffs allow you to hook your thumbs through to keep your sleeves from moving and provides warmth for your hands — a great all-around jacket.
Coofandy Unisex Lightweight Running Jacket
This jacket comes in a choice of four colors, with two classic muted tones and two bright tones for visibility. The jacket is crafted from 80% polyester and 20% nylon for a jacket which is lightweight and can be rolled up small. The classic design comes with a drawstring hood so that it is not flapping around when you are not using is, elastic cuffs, to create a seal and keep the breeze out, and a high-zipper neck, which keeps your body dry and warm in rain and wind. The jacket also comes with its own carry-pouch for you to stow it in when not in use. This extra protection keeps the jacket in optimum condition.
The one thing which you will love about this jacket is the price. It is one of the most affordable running jackets out there while still being functional and deserving of a place on our list. It is light, durable, and protective.