A high-quality running jacket for women improves the comfort and enjoyment of their runs. However, there are numerous options available, including waterproof running jackets, lightweight running jackets, and windproof running rain jackets.
What features do you need in a running jacket for women?
You will have different demands and expectations from your running gear depending on the type of running you do.
For example, if you run long distances off-road, you may need food carrying capacity, whereas road runners who run shorter distances can get away with something lighter.
Here are a few common characteristics to consider.
1. Levels of protection
There are three levels of protection provided by running jackets:
- Wind protection: Wind makes you feel cold, especially if you are sweating. This is commonly referred to as the windchill effect. A windproof running jacket will keep you warm by shielding you from cold air.
- Water repellency: a water-repellent treatment prevents moisture from entering the garment in light rain or snow.
- Waterproofing: additional moisture protection is provided by a Gore-Tex type membrane. Waterproof jackets are more expensive, but they provide the best weather protection. The Schmerber scale determines how waterproof a membrane is, and a result of 10,000mm or higher is considered to be waterproof.
A lightweight running jacket that fits into the corner of a gym bag or pocket is ideal to have on hand in case the weather changes. Most are water-resistant, which means they can withstand light rain but will eventually soak through.
Packable jackets that are fully waterproof and breathable were previously difficult to come by, but GORE has discovered the magic formula with their Shakedry fabric.
A running jacket’s breathability refers to its ability to wick away perspiration. This is critical for staying dry during physical exertion. In fact, if a jacket isn’t breathable, the water vapor produced by your body while moving condenses inside the garment. This means you’re getting wet from the inside of your jacket!
The breathability of a fabric is measured in millimeters per square meter (MVTR) (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate). Membranes with readings beginning at 10,000 MVTR are deemed sufficiently breathable for running.
Running jackets that do not have a membrane are generally thought to be breathable enough for active use.
While some runners prefer looser styles and others prefer a more streamlined fit, the important thing to remember is to wear something that allows you to move freely. Do you have a full range of arm movement when you try it on?
Look for jackets with stretch panels and flatlock seams that won’t irritate you if you’ll be scrambling up and down inclines or incorporating some mobility drills into your workout.
If you want a close-fitting jacket, make sure it zips up easily and doesn’t feel constricting when you take deep breaths.
If it’s jacket weather, it’s most likely during the colder months. Hi- Visible colors will make you stand out during the day; they work by reflecting what little light is available and can appear up to 200 times brighter than traditional colors.
When there is no daylight, hi-viz colors become much less effective, so make sure your jacket has some reflective elements. Retro-reflective materials reflect light back in the direction it came from, causing them to glow in headlights and street lights.
6. Choose your jacket according to the weather conditions
When moving in cool or cold weather, choose a windbreaker that provides effective protection.
Windbreakers are very breathable and allow perspiration to escape while you are active because there is no membrane.
Windbreakers are thin and compressible, making them suitable for use all year. Stuff one in your backpack while trail running and, to stay warm, slip it on over your t-shirt as soon as you start to feel chilly.
Although windbreakers do not have a waterproof membrane, they do have a water repellent treatment that is sufficient to protect you from light rain, and they are very affordable. If you want to run all year, this is the first jacket you should consider purchasing.
7. Other features to look for in your jacket
When shopping for a high-quality jacket, consider the following features and finishes:
- Waterproof seams are created by gluing a waterproof membrane band to the inside of the jacket’s seams.
- Waterproof zips or a waterproof flap over the zips are also necessary to keep a jacket completely waterproof.
- An ergonomic hood, preferably with a small integrated visor to prevent water from running down the hood and onto your face.
- A cord at the bottom of the jacket that can be adjusted to help regulate ventilation.
- Specific-purpose pockets (for example, pockets designed to hold your phone, credit card, or keys)
The perfect running jacket for women
The latest round-up of running jacket for women.
1. Saucony Drizzle Jacket
This smart-looking hooded jacket, which occupies the waterproof yet breathable sweet spot, will keep you dry and comfortable on rainy days. There is plenty of room for layers underneath, and the jacket is cut long enough that droplets are funneled past, rather than directly into, your underwear. Waterproof zip pockets keep your essentials dry, and the elasticated cuffs, hood, and high collar keep the wind and rain out so you can focus on your pace.
2. Sundried Women’s Recycled Quilted Gilet
Choose a quilted gilet for maximum warmth and freedom of movement. This one from Sundried is a great option that is inexpensive in more ways than one. It’s soft and stylish, and it’s made from recycled fabrics. A detachable hood, a high collar to keep your neck warm, and two zipped pockets are included. Its elasticated armholes, as well as toggle drawstrings at the hem and hood, will keep the wind at bay. It is not waterproof, but it can be layered with a shell jacket if it rains.
3. Brooks Fusion Hybrid Running Jacket
This fitted jacket has weatherproof panels where you need them most, as well as more breathable sections under the arms and across the lower back to keep you cool. A high collar and longer sleeves with thumbholes help keep the wind out, but its best feature is that it can pack away into its pocket, transforming into a backpack with adjustable straps. No more running around with your jacket flapping around your waist when the sun appears unexpectedly.
4. Kalenji Kiprun Light
Decathlon’s Kalenji windproof and showerproof running jacket is a practical and affordable option with taped seams, zippered pockets, and reflective detailing. The long ventilation flaps on the sides can be unzipped to allow you to cool down as you go. Once the rain has stopped, it can be stored in its own pocket, and it has handy elastic straps that allow you to wear it on your arm while running.
5. New Balance Fast Flight
If you’re looking for a stylish light jacket to throw on after a track session or during a pre-race warm up, this one might just be the one – we love the retro red and white colorway with contrast piping. Its cropped shape prevents it from riding up and keeps the wind and rain out. The pockets have zips, but because the fabric is so light, you won’t want to run with anything heavy in them.
6. Tribe Waterproof Morph
The Tribe Running Morph jacket, billed as a three-in-one, is made up of two pieces: a gilet and a bolero jacket. When worn together, these form a full jacket that allows for more airflow than a traditional one-piece. It’s completely waterproof, yet breathable and stretchy. The Morph jacket is a striking aqua color with reflective detailing, making it a nice change from all the black running jackets on the market. Zip pockets, a media port, a hood, and storm cuffs are included. This one isn’t cheap at £175, but it’s a versatile and fashionable piece.
7. Lululemon Dash Into Dusk
This close-fitting run jacket is made from Lululemon’s proprietary Luxtreme, a smooth and supple fabric, and is ideal for those who love Lycra. It keeps the wind out while also being extremely breathable and sweat-wicking. It is not waterproof, but in the event of a downpour, you could pair it with a light waterproof shell jacket. The jacket has a hood, a high collar, and several zip pockets, as well as fold-over thumbhole “cuffins” that reveal reflective details.
Finally, you’ve figured out how to choose a running jacket for women. Running outside in the wind and rain can be pleasurable, even refreshing. A good running jacket is an essential part of any runner’s kit, and if you find one that you really like, it can even be a great motivator to get out there and run even when the weather is bad.