You take your running seriously, and that means you get out there and pump out a few miles every single day, in rain, snow, heat, sun, hail, ice. Actually we don’t recommend running outdoors if there is frozen rain and a thick layer of ice on the ground, because that’s just not safe. But a little rain shouldn’t scare you off, either. With spring right around the corner, and all the April showers (and March ones, and May flowers, to….) you should be prepped and outfitted for a little damp weather. So let’s take a look at the best running rain jackets out there for 2018.
What makes a good running rain jacket? That depends a little bit on what you’re looking for, and where you’re intending to use it. While most of the jackets we’ve selected are meant for spring showers, obviously such a jacket (meant for light spring showers) will not hold up in cold winter snowfalls, and likewise, you wouldn’t want to be wearing that winter running jacket when it’s 60 and raining. So versatility is good, but pick the appropriate jacket for you and your locale.
Some specifics: look for a jacket that is breathable, athletically cut, and fits comfortably. You want to be able to run without feeling restricted or weighed down. Pit vents are nice touches, so you never overheat and become sticky on the inside. A hood is pretty much a necessity, and a nice DWR weatherproof coating can’t hurt either. Holes for headphone cables, phone pockets, etc, are all nice features to look for to.
Stick around a check out some of the best running rain jackets for 2018.
Montane is a British company, so we’ll forgive you if you aren’t familiar with them. But the Spine is an excellent jacket you really should be aware of. Though we’ve selected it for running, it’s designed for high-octane, all-mountain trail pursuits – hence the high price tag. It’s outfitted with a three-layer, Gore-Tex Active Shell 30D waterproof membrane to keep you dry, and taped seams to ensure nothing gets through. They’ve used 12-13 stitches in each seam, as opposed to the usual 8, for a strong, tight build. They’ve actually kept the stitches to a minimum, instead preferring to use darts to create the tailored shape, cutting down on weight and bulk.
So overall, it’s a fantastic, durable jacket that works excellently for running in the rain, but also holds up to higher-elevation adventures and long packing trips; pricey, but one coat than can do it all. And like we said, it’s super breathable. Men’s and Women’s available.
At first glance, the Elements Jacket looks nothing like a running jacket, but rather a stylish moto jacket or something intended for a night out in the city. But it’s a technical jacket through and through, and we think it can double up as both a good commuter jacket (biking in the rain anybody) and a running jacket. It’s cut from PolarTec Neo-Shell fabric, which they boast as the world’s most breathable waterproof technology, and has been given taped seams and a waterproof zipper, so you remain entirely dry at all times without overheating or sweating like crazy. Dual slider zippers, tailored Commuter Cuffs and stash pocket on the back finish the slim, sleek design, and it packs down into it’s chest pocket – which your typical commuter jacket definitely cannot do.
You just need something to keep the rain off without shelling out a lot of money, so it doesn’t have to be fancy. Look at the Columbia Roan Mountain Jacket; it’s not cut as close as the more expensive choices on our list, not does it boast as many features, but it’s a lightweight rain shell that you can grab for cheap. The shell is 100% Hydroplus nylon, and it’s lined with a 100% polyester mesh that keeps weight down and let’s you breathe. Adjustable sleeves, zippered hand pockets, and it packs down into it’s pocket. Our choice for a decent Budget Buy running jacket.
Looking for the lightest, most minimal jacket possible? The Helium II weighs only 6.4 ounces and keeps a clean, trim fit close to the body; perfect for running without stuff bulk and fabric flying everywhere. It’s made from a Pertex® Shield+ 2.5L waterproof fabric – 100% nylon and completely waterproof. Windproof too. Seam-taped, laminated construction and YKK AquaGuard zippers.
The Helium II is Our Pick for the best running jacket for the rain. It’s ultra-thin and ultra-breathable; you barely even notice it, and it packs down to a tiny, barely-there package (the size of a granola bar) you can stash in your bag or even your pocket when out running. There’s almost no reason not to love it. It doubles up as a good rain shell for hiking and backpacking uses and isn’t nearly as expensive as some other heavy-duty shells. Also, Outdoor Research backs it up with their Infinite Guarantee to ensure your satisfaction.
The Arcteryx Incendo isn’t a waterproof jacket per se, but an excellent running jacket that is designed to repel light rain and mist, and transition seamlessly from one environment to another. Made from Arc’Teryx’s hyperlight Lumin fabric, the Incendo weighs a mere 4.4 ounces, and resists both wind and water while remaining breathable, and letting air and moisture escape. Underarm mesh panels add some extra venting, and it uses Arcteryx’s Composite Mapping Technology, which they say helps them cut and place the fabric strategically throughout the jacket for the best fit and protection.
We really like how slim and closely cut the Incendo Jacket is; there’s absolutely no extra fabric or bulk, and it feels natural and light on the trail. The DWR coating may not hold up to heavy downpours, but for light spring showers and chilly, misty mornings that transition into sunnier days, this jacket has your back.
Another offering from Arc’Teryx, the Norvan SL is a class above. Like the Incendo, it weighs only 4.4 ounces, and is the lightest, most breathable Arc’Teryx jacket, made from Gore-Tex with “Shake-Dry Technology”, which eliminates the need for a face fabric but repels water and wind just as efficiently, while remaining far lighter and trimmer than most other Gore-Tex jackets. It’s designed for high-performance, high-output trail running, and doesn’t disappoint. The cut is as slim and athletic as you could ask for, hugging close to the body and coming down to your hips; zero bulk, zero bag. It packs down to a size small enough to fit in your hand and fits into a stash pouch.
And since it’s from Arx’Teryx, it looks damn sweet; it doesn’t really get more modern and hi-tech than their jackets. We like everything about it, except for that fact that it costs twice what the Outdoor Research Helium II does – which is why that one still grabs our attention. But if you’re looking for a jacket designed purely for running, that the Norvan SL is it. A bit of rain won’t hold you back at all.
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