Welcome to our Best Waterproof Running Jackets guide which features the top 5 lightweight waterproof jackets for trail runners, ultrarunners, fastpackers and hikers. Fall has arrived and Winter is coming, which means you’re most likely looking for the best gear to keep you warm and dry during those rainy weather runs. Because waterproof running jackets are usually quite expensive, It’s important to invest in a durable running jacket that will last long enough to give you good value for money and of course, perform as expected without letting rain in. There are few things worse than running when you’re soaking wet with a core temperature that’s declining by the minute. Don’t let winter ruin your running motivation, buy the right gear and the bad weather will seem insignificant.
When buying your next waterproof running jacket there are a few essential features that you’ll want to look out for, and these features are my ranking criteria for this ‘best-of’ list. For a waterproof running jacket to be great, it must:
- be fully waterproof. If the product marketing says water-resistant or water-repellant then it may not actually be fully waterproof.
- be lightweight. Avoid being weighed down by a jacket that absorbs water, even if it keeps you dry underneath.
- have some level of breathability. At some point, you’re going to be running in the rain while the temperature isn’t crazy cold, like in the Fall or Spring for example. A breathable jacket will ensure you don’t overheat while running by helping moisture (i.e. sweat) pass away from your body.
- be form-fitting. Extra wind resistance while running is a real ‘drag’, especially on a wet and windy day. Make sure your jacket fits your body’s frame closely, if that means you need to drop down a size, consider it.
All of the waterproof running jackets in this list have the important features listed above, so whichever one you choose, you’ll make a good buying decision. All these jackets are impressive so your final decision may actually come down to price, or how stylish you feel the jacket looks.
With these features in mind, I’m here to help you find a waterproof running jacket that you’re going to love and use for years to come. This list of the ‘best waterproof running jackets’ is continually updated, so make sure you check back before buying your next winter running jacket.
1. Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody
Designed for high intensity trail running in wet conditions the Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody is an ultralight (125g/4.4oz), breathable yet waterproof GORE-TEX jacket. The Norvan SL Hoody’s lightweight, minimal design makes it an excellent addition to any mountain lover’s hydration pack/vest, especially if moving fast and light is your jam (like it is mine), I’m looking at you trail runners, ultrarunners, and fastpackers. The jacket uses GORE-TEX with SHAKEDRY™ watershed technology which eliminates the need for a face fabric, significantly reducing weight and increasing breathability while delivering durably waterproof and windproof protection.
This jacket is also compressible and packable which is important when you have other trail running essentials that you may need to carry with you on your run. The jacket design is trim, slim fit which helps reduce drag and weight, it also optimizes its breathability during intense workouts.
The hood has an elasticated brim which ensures good visibility while the brim keeps the rain off your face. I like how it can also be rolled up and secured when not in use which keeps it from flapping behind you as you run. Did I mention this is the lightest jacket in the list?
There are reflective elements on the cuffs for extra visibility at night too. If you need a headlamp for your night runs, check out our 5 Best Headlamps for Trail Running & Ultrarunning in Gear Guide.
- Weight: 4.4oz (125g)
1 new from $343.85
2. Salomon S/Lab MOTIONFIT 360 Jacket
The Salomon S/LAB MotionFit 360° Jacket is probably the most innovative waterproof running jacket on this list for a couple of reasons. Firstly it has a membrane which is waterproof and windproof but also manages breathability and moisture very well. I think the biggest innovation though is how easily you can take it off while running. The jacket has a stretch waistband that lets you store it around your waist without taking it off. This means you can also pull it up over your running pack when you need to put it back on. It’s probably the ultimate waterproof jacket for trail racing because of this.
Like the Norvan Sl Hoody jacket listed above, this jacket uses GORE-TEX® SHAKEDRY fabric which allows it to breathe better than any other waterproof fabric, it’s also what keeps the weight down.
If you’re wondering what MotionFit 360° is, it’s a patterning that’s engineered to move fluidly with your body to allow maximum freedom of movement. Jackets like this that are engineered with GORE-TEX® Active fabrics are built for extreme breathability and are ideal for highly aerobic, done-in-a-day type activities
Every seam on the Salomon S/Lab MOTIONFIT 360 Jacket is sealed from the elements and it comes with a hood that has a minimalist construction which fits without the need for drawcords. The fit of the jacket is what Salomon call ‘Active fit’ which means it is close fitting and lets you move. Not too tight, not too loose.
- Weight: 5.5oz (156g)
1 new from $374.95
3. On Waterproof Anorak
The On Waterproof Anorak has many practical features that will keep bad weather out while still allowing for airflow and breathability. The hidden vents on the front and rear will help increase airflow through the jacket while still making sure the rain stays out. The On Waterproof Anorak is a great mixed-weather running jacket too because it packs down into its own inner pocket ready to be stashed into your hydration pack at a moments notice, with ease.
The jacket is made with a premium three-layer membrane which is how it’s completely waterproof and windproof while still allowing for that dynamic breathability. Elements in the lining are also able to transport moisture from the body and expand as they do so which according to On means the more you sweat the more breathable the jacket becomes.
We like that the materials have been responsibly chosen. The advanced waterproof membrane is not only breathable, stretchable and durable, but it’s also entirely PTFE-free.
The fit is a bit looser than the slim fit styles of the Arcteryx and Salomon jackets described in this list, which is good if you prefer a looser fit, or if ‘slim-fit’ apparel doesn’t suit your body shape.
- Weight: 7.62oz (216g)
RELATED LINKS: ON Running Reviews: On Shoes & Apparel Reviewed
4. Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket (Editor’s Choice)
The Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket is the minimalist protective layer that ticks all the boxes for technical trails: stay dry, stay fresh, and run light.
Like some of the other waterproof running jackets on this list, the Bonatti Pro WP packs down into its own chest pocket for compact storage when you need to stash it in your hydration pack. Similarly to the Salomon S/Lab MOTIONFIT 360 Jacket above, this one also has MotionFit for unrestricted freedom of movement while being active.
I like how Salmon has started to introduce extra volume on the back of their jackets to allow for enough room for your hydration vest to be worn underneath, smart. Salomon has also added waist adjustment functionality and reflective details for safety at night. Everything about this jacket has been thoughtfully designed.
- Weight: 6.8oz (194g)
1 new from $189.95
5. Nike Shield Hooded Running Jacket
The Nike Shield Hooded Running Jacket is a warm jacket for running in the rain. Yes, it’s perfect for those cold winter runs! The Shield Jacket is made with water-resistant ripstop and has a brimmed hood for extra protection from bad weather, and a midweight design for warmth. It’s not a lightweight minimal jacket but it will keep you very comfortable during short runs when the weather outside is trying to persuade you to stay in.
The jacket is breathable too due to the woven mesh fabric lining the underarms sections. Functioning like gussets, the inserts also help with freedom of movement.
One of the cool things about this jacket it the 2-way full front zip which allows customization up or down, in case the temperature heats up and you need extra airflow going inside your jacket to cool you down.
Zippered hand pockets secure are a good place to secure your phone and other essentials, should you need to and there’s plenty of reflective elements to keep you seen and safe while running at night.
This one may be a little heavier than the other jackets on this list but it’s probably the warmest.
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