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MOTHER RUNNER

AMR Gears Up: Rain Jackets

Best Running Gear for Layering: the next edition of Another Mother Runner Gears Up. We have #motherrunners—put key running gear to the test, then deliver the results so you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body. 

By Allison Pattillo

When it comes to running, being drenched in sweat is a given. Unless of course you are one of the blessed unicorns, like my mother, who don’t perspire. Running in the rain though, is a different story. A cool drizzle on a warm spring day can be a lovely thing. A pelting March rain or cold and windy downpour in November, not so much. Choosing what to wear is a balance of staying dry from the elements versus ensuring you have the breathability you desire.

Your choice of jacket also depends upon the temperature and climate where you’re running. Meaning, there are lots of great jackets out there, it just depends what you need and what works with your budget. We seeded jackets with testers all around the country this past February. The result is a list of tried-and-true options to keep you comfortable from damp mornings along the southern coast to sloppy rain in the PNW or New England and general wet weather everywhere in between.

Tester Rating: 5

Review: We sent this to a Canadian tester in February, and she said it kept her dry no matter what the weather was doing. Not only did the jacket keep her comfortable, but it also offers enough room for layering, has generously sized zippered pockets and sleeves that don’t fall short when you bend your arm. Our tester appreciated the how the high neck zip closure was so soft. “I could tuck my chin into the jacket, and it felt nice against my skin.”

Price: $248

Perfect For: Running (and cycling) in cold, wet weather

Get It Here: shop.lululemon.com

Tester Rating: 5

Review: Our tester loved the feminine fit (note, it did run a bit large) and light weight of this new jacket from Nathan. She tested it during Denver’s blizzard, and greatly appreciated the fact that it was also windproof. The jacket has a DWR finish, meaning its water resistant, not waterproof, has a hood with ponytail port, thumbholes to keep sleeves in place, plus a zippered chest pocket. A ventilated back keeps air moving so you don’t get clammy on the run.

Price: $85

Perfect For: A three season water-resistant jacket at sweet price

Get It Here: nathansports.com

Tester Rating: 5

Review: Windproof, waterproof, lightweight, breathable, blissfully quiet with a soft hand feel, this jacket pretty much does everything except log the miles for you. Our Colorado tester wore this in rain and snow, finding it soft against here skin when wearing it with just a t-shirt (no terrarium effect) and a wool zip-t with a light vest. While it fits true to size, with an adjustable waist and hood for a dialed fit, the fit is athletic, and you may want to size up if you like to layer. And, when the rain stops, a deep, back, zip pocket (big enough for a phone and snack) turns into a convenient stuff sack with an elastic strap for easy carrying.

Price: $280

Perfect For: Big trail adventures (whether that’s around your neighborhood or exploring in the mountains)

Get It Here: thenorthface.com

Tester Rating: 4.75

Review: One of our testers for this slim-fitting jacket lives in the Pacific Northwest, and much to her wonderment, this is her first rain jacket for running–she has no clue what took her so long! She tested it in rain, wind and light snow, including a run in the pouring rain, followed by two hours spent coaching the youth cross country practice as the rain continued. Not only did she stay warm and dry, the jacket’s lightweight material dried as soon as the rain stopped. Snaps along the zipper let you unzip without flapping for increased airflow. It also has zip pockets and a built in stash pack to carry it when the sun starts to shine.

Price: $120

Perfect For: High performance at a nice price

Get It Here: brooksrunning.com

Tester Rating: 4.75

Review: One of our Rhode Island-based tester’s runs was an eight-miler in the rain. After which she said she was “totally impressed with how dry I was,” plus she loved the way the hood fit. She also shared, “I’m someone who suffers from Raynaud’s disorder, so the fact that my hands stayed dry under the jacket’s Flip Mitts kept my gloves dry and hands warm.” The only reason she didn’t give it a five is because she would have liked one more pocket. The jacket does have one internal pocket, that’s stretchy enough to hold a phone, but one more for gels or fuel would have been ideal. (Note that jacket launches April 12th)

Price: $100

Perfect For: Staying true to your training plan, without breaking the bank and no matter the weather

Get It Here: ultimatedirection.com

Tester Rating: 4.5

Review: Sleeves that are actually long enough and a snug, stay-put hood are two of the features our tester loved about running in this jacket, besides the waterproofness, of course! She even wore it with short sleeves and noted the interior of the jacket felt comfortable, not clammy, against her skin. While it runs true to size, her one complaint is that it fits slimmer through the hips than she likes. Additional features include two zippered pockets, 360 degrees of venting and a dropped back hem. 

Price: $196

Perfect For: Waterproof protection in a jacket designed to run

Get It Here: janji.com

Tester Rating: 4.5

Review: Not only did this jacket keep our testers comfortable on cold, wet (rain and snow) outings, the textured inner material felt good against the skin when temperatures allowed for it to be worn with a short sleeve shirt. One tester felt it ran large, while other reviews see it as having room for a layer and being comfortable for runners with hips. For a comment on colors, Crackle (bright orange) was the choice for high visibility, while Queen (maroon) and Douglas Fir (green) were the choices for wearing both on the run and around town. This waterproof jacket has a hood (both hood and hem have adjustability), two zip pockets and elastic at the wrists.

Price: $178

Perfect For: Cold, wet outings

Get It Here: oiselle.com

Tester Rating: 4.5

Review: Our Georgia tester says this waterproof jacket is her new go-to for days under 50 degrees with moderate to heavy rain and a long sleeve shirt underneath. It’s also her staple everyday jacket for wearing when she’s running errands instead of road miles. The only reason she didn’t give it a perfect score is because “there’s no good way to carry it on the run, once I no longer needed it.” That fact aside, functionality includes a hood, plus two waterproof, zippered pockets in a sleekly flattering design.

Price: $150 (on sale for $115 as of March 16)

Perfect For: A functional running rain jacket that doesn’t look like running gear

Get It Here: saucony.com

Tester Rating: 4 (5 for trail running, hiking and spectating in the rain/3 for a casual, rainy run in your neighborhood).

Review: Our Colorado-based tester loved how dry this jacket kept her during winter rains. “This is the jacket you need in your pack for a long day on the trail, whether you’re running or hiking. It will keep you warm and dry and allow you to keep moving forward.” However, she also said she wouldn’t choose something so durable and intense for a short run around the neighborhood, thus the lower score. With a drop tail, adjustable hem and cuffs, taped seams and reinforced hood brim, this jacket will help you enjoy your outdoor adventures in the worst weather.

Price: $250

Perfect For: An investment that will keep you dry for trail running, hiking and travel for years (possibly decades) to come

Get It Here: columbia.com

Tester Rating: 4

Review: Designed to wear over a small running pack or with extra layers, this jacket is made for soggy trail running adventures. While it doesn’t have pockets (one of the reasons it didn’t get a higher score), our tester appreciated the two front zips allowing access to hydration bottles and the front pockets of your pack on the go. Waterproof and breathable Shakedry material–water beads up and rolls off, more dramatically when you give it a good shake–is ideal for wet weather, aerobic pursuits. This jacket also has an adjustable hood, which our tester found to be a little short. Remember to test that it works for you when you try on the jacket.

Price: $250

Perfect For: Lightweight, wet weather protection for races and long days on the trail

Get It Here: hokaoneone.com

Tester Rating: 4

Review: Wind and water resistant, this makes a lovely layer for damp or foggy morning runs and light spring showers. It’s also works as a windbreaker, but, as our tester pointed out, it’s not the coat to grab for a deluge, and isn’t meant to be. It has a hood and a zippered pocket on the back that also transforms into a backpack for easy carrying when you no longer need an extra layer.

Price: $95

Perfect For: A comfortable, light layer

Get It Here: newbalance.com

Tester Rating: 4

Review: For a lightweight, durable and waterproof jacket (it even has taped seams) this is a good value. However, while breathable, it is not as breathable as some other jackets in the review, and our tester did comment on the distinct schussing sound it made as she ran. There is one chest pocket, that doubles as a stuff sack for tossing in your pack. The hood has a pull tab so you can really lock it in place, there is an elastic drawcord in the hem, plus room to layer if you’re heading out in colder temperatures.

Price: $159

Perfect For: Trail hike/runs, hiking and long periods in the rain

Get It Here: outdoorresearch.com

Tester Rating: 4

Review: Our tester LOVED how light this jacket was—in fact, when it arrived, she thought the envelope was empty! “The jacket got me out the door on a chilly, drizzly morning, for a great run that I otherwise would have traded for the treadmill.” Light and minimalist, this jacket will keep you dry and is definitely something to toss in your pack when heading out for a trail run. Our tester didn’t give it a perfect score because she missed having pockets. She found the jacket to run a bit small.

Price: $160

Perfect For: cool, rainy spring and fall days

Get It Here: salomon.com

Tester Rating: 4

Review: Our tester found this jacket to be “light, stretchy and comfortable.” She was also a fan of how small it packs down and that it had pockets! The zippered, chest pocket is large enough to hold a phone, and there is also an interior pocket and two hand pockets. This jacket is very water resistant, wind resistant and still feels good against your skin when you wear it with a short sleeve shirt. Our tester’s one complaint was the lack of toggles or a tie to hold the hood in place.

Price: $100

Perfect For: Staying warm and dry in colder weather

Get It Here: underarmour.com

Check out all of the AMR Gears Up columns here!

Did we miss your favorite rain jacket?
Let us know in the comments below!

 

2 responses to “AMR Gears Up: Rain Jackets

  1. The timing on this post is perfect! Just getting ready to gear up for Spring showers. Appreciate the range of price points – lots of good options.

    Is it possible to link directly to the product pages in the next product review you do? I know clothing websites can be fickle, but with so many jackets reviewed it took a while to find them on all the vendor sites through the main pages. It also appears the Deluge jacket isn’t listed on the Ultimate Direction website anymore.

  2. Please consider adding size ranges to these roundups – it helps non-traditional sized runners get an idea of where we might best spend our time/energy/money without clicking each link only to find the sizing only goes up to L or XL. Thanks, and love the roundups otherwise!

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