Welcome to our Best Winter Running Jackets guide which features top lightweight waterproof running jackets for all types of running and hiking activities, including trail runners, ultrarunners, fastpackers, and hikers, as well as everyday running on pavements and run commuting.
Although more popular in cold weather months during Fall and Winter, a good quality running jacket designed to keep the wet and cold out will look after you year-round and is one of the essential items of running clothes for most men and women runners who want to run all year – whether it’s raining or not.
If you’re short on time and would just like to know my top picks, here you go! The best winter running jackets right now are the Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Jacket in the top spot and the On Waterproof Anorak in second place.
Because winter running jackets are usually quite expensive, it’s important to invest in a durable and breathable running jacket that will last long enough to give you good value for money and of course, perform as expected without letting rain in – and keeping you warm in the process.
There are few things worse than running when you’re soaking wet with a core temperature that’s declining by the minute. That’s especially true if you’re trail running and far from somewhere, you could go to get warm and dry.
Don’t let wet weather ruin your running motivation, buy the right waterproof running jacket and the wet 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 and deserving of a place on our list, it must be:
1. Fully waterproof (not just water resistant)
If the product marketing says water-resistant or water-repellant then it may not actually be fully waterproof.
Some running jackets will say that they’re made with gore-tex and most winter running jackets will be made waterproof by the application of a DWR (durable water repellant) coating, like a lot of other outdoor clothing and gear designed to perform in wet conditions
2. Lightweight & Packable
Avoid being weighed down by a running jacket that absorbs water, even if it keeps you dry underneath.
At some point, you’re going to be running in the rain while the temperature isn’t crazy cold, like in the Autumn, Spring, and Summer when the cold weather has gone, for example.
A breathable running jacket will ensure you don’t overheat while running by helping moisture (i.e. sweat) pass away from your body.
This is a really important feature for running jackets given you’ll most likely be wearing them in wet weather but also generating your own moisture that the running jacket needs to be able to help evacuate.
Extra wind resistance from loose-fitting running jackets and pants 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 winter 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.
This post includes the best winter running jackets for men and women.
Women have different body shapes, and so they deserve better-fitting specific womens running jackets.
That’s where we come in; to help you find the best one for you!
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 men’s and women’s waterproof running jackets’ is continually updated, so make sure you check back before buying your next winter running jacket.
1. Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Jacket | Best Running Rain Jacket
The Salomon Bonatti lightweight winter running jacket is a minimalist waterproof running jacket that checks all the boxes for technical trails: stay dry, stay fresh, and run light.
It’s built with technical fabric engineered to deliver weather protection with less weight. This running jacket also has a fitted hood, as well as elastic cuffs to protect you from harsh conditions like driving rain.
Like some of the other winter running jackets on this list, this waterproof Salomon running jacket packs down into its own zippered chest pocket for compact storage when you need to stash it in your running hydration pack.
I like how Salomon has started to introduce extra volume on the back of this lightweight running jacket to allow for enough room for your hydration vest to be worn underneath, which is smart.
Salomon has also added waist adjustment functionality and reflective details for safety at night.
Everything about this waterproof running jacket has been thoughtfully designed, and this style has protected me personally from the elements over many wet long runs and mountain ultramarathon races.
The Salomon Bonatti is one of those waterproof jackets that you’ll be glad you own whether you running in the rain, or simply walking around town.
Weight: 5.3oz (150g)
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2. On Waterproof Anorak | Runner Up
Taking the number 2 spot on this list is the On Waterproof Anorak running jacket – it 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 of this rain jacket will help increase airflow through the jacket while still making sure the rain stays out.
The On Waterproof Anorak is a great winter running jacket too because it packs down into its own inner pocket ready to be stashed into your running hydration pack at a moment’s notice, with ease.
The On Running 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 this waterproof running jacket’s lining are also able to transport moisture from the body and expand as they do so which according to On Running means the more you sweat the more breathable the jacket becomes.
We like that the materials used in this rain jacket have been responsibly chosen too. The advanced waterproof membrane is not only breathable, stretchable, and durable, but it’s also entirely PTFE-free.
The fit of this On waterproof jacket is a bit looser than the slim fit styles of the Salomon running jacket 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 READING: ON Running Reviews: On Shoes & Apparel Reviewed
3. Gore Wear R7 GORE-TEX Shakedry Trail Hooded Jacket
The Gore Wear R7 Gore-Tex Shakedry is another lightweight running jacket for any extremely wet winter running conditions where you need protection from the rain and wind and is available in men’s and women’s sizes.
It features ultralight and ultra-breathable materials, fully sealed seams, and packs down small when you’re not wearing it.
Good packability is ideal for stuffing in your running hydration pack on days when the weather is changeable, for long trail and ultra races, or for training runs where you need to carry extra gear.
With winter running jackets – and especially those that are ultra lightweight and pack down small, you get what you pay for, and this Gore running jacket is best-in-class for wet fall, spring and winter running conditions, and year-round mountain adventures.
As well as making great rain jackets, GORE also makes exceptional cold weather running jackets like the R5 Gore-tex Infinium Insulated Jacket, at 8.8 oz it’s one of the lightest insulated running jackets we’ve seen.
Gorewear gear is expensive but that’s because it’s of the highest performance and quality running gear.
Weight: 6oz (170g)
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4. Arc’teryx Norvan LT Hoody
Designed for high-intensity trail running in wet conditions the Arc’teryx Norvan LT Hoody is an ultralight (190g/6.7oz), breathable yet waterproof GORE-TEX running jacket.
Quite deservedly, it has made it onto our ‘best winter running jackets’ buyer’s guide.
The Norvan LT Hoody jacket’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).
Yes, I’m looking at you trail runners, ultrarunners, and fastpackers – and you ultralight backpackers looking for a highly technical yet lightweight winter running jacket to hike in.
The jacket uses GORE-TEX fabric with GORE C-KNIT™ backer technology, which makes it quiet and highly breathable.
This waterproof running 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 running jacket’s design is trim, and slim fit which helps reduce drag and weight, it also optimizes its breathability during intense workouts.
The jacket’s hood is adjustable with a front brim for full weather protection. This also ensures good visibility while the brim keeps the rain off your face.
There are reflective elements on the cuffs for extra visibility at night too. If you are planning on running at night and need a running headlamp for those runs, check out our buyer’s guide to the best running headlamps.
Weight: 6.7oz (190g)
1 new from $400.00
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5. Nathan Rain Jacket For Running
The Nathan Protector Rain Jacket is Nathan Sports’ most waterproof and breathable running jacket, with all the essential features needed to be a great waterproof running jacket.
At 11.3oz this rain jacket is certainly not the lightest jacket on this list, that would be the Salomon Bonatti but this additional thickness in material does bring extra warmth and durability while running.
The DWR coating gives this water resistant jacket great protection from rain soaking into the outer material. You can see this working in my Nathan Protector Rain Jacket review on YouTube.
This running rain jacket comes with taped seams, ventilation at the rear, adjustable cuffs, an adjustable hood, and 3 zippered pockets for storing your essentials – this includes the all important zippered chest pocket.
Weight: 11.3oz (320g)
6. Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket
The Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket is their most waterproof and breathable running jacket, with a load of other features that make it definitely one to consider.
If you’re looking for a technical running jacket that can handle big mountain running days, including trail marathons and ultramarathons, as well as those wet local runs on your usual routes, this jacket is great.
We particularly like the lightweight material (100% nylon), taped seams, and ventilation in the hood and pits.
Like most winter running jackets, this ventilation and the fabric’s breathability help to keep you warm and dry without overheating.
With thoughtful features like the ‘flip mits’ which cover your hands to keep them warm and dry, it’s clear that this Ultimate Direction jacket has been designed by serious runners, for runners.
6. Showers Pass Cloudburst
Originally known for their range of cycling jackets, Showers Pass also offers a great quality waterproof jacket designed for being active outdoors in the rain – and that includes running.
The Cloudburst jacket has a slimline fit and doesn’t have a hood, which is great if you are one of those people who don’t like to have a hood on their jacket (as they can flap around).
It features waterproof, yet moisture-wicking properties, and good ventilation, meaning it offers great breathability and helps you avoid overheating or getting too humid when running in wet conditions.
That said It has a nice warmth layer for running in cold weather when you actually want to maintain some of your body heat while running.
We’re loving the vibrant orange color which helps you stay seen when running in low light (together with the addition of reflective details), and it’s also available in a more understated gray.
1 new from $189.00
7. Marmot Precip Eco Jacket [Budget Rain Jacket Choice]
This jacket is the eco-conscious version of Marmot’s best-selling PreCip Rain Jacket. The Precip Eco Jacket is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof, and made from 100% recycled nylon fabric.
Similar to the other jackets on this list, the Marmot Precip waterproof jacket packs down small and has taped seams to help keep water out.
It also has a stowable hood, adjustable hem, and ‘pit-zips’ which can be undone to cool you down without removing the jacket.
The Marmot Precip Eco jacket offers great waterproof features, a large selection of color options, and is less expensive than some of the other options on this list – although it is heavier and more ‘rustly’ than some of the other options on this list.
It is suitable for trail and regular road running, as well as other activities such as hiking or commuting.
Weight: 11.4oz (323g)
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8. Also consider… the On Weather Jacket
To learn more about this On Running jacket, read my On Weather Jacket review next.
It is also very well-designed to stay on your head! An adjustable toggle at the back tightens the fit, a built-in semi-rigid visor shields your face from the elements, and the shape of the hood fits my head.
This jacket, however, will not hold up to a heavy rainstorm due to the stretchy underarm fabric not being waterproof.
Having said that, it’s an incredibly versatile and lightweight jacket that is sufficient for running in light rain and windy weather.
Weight: 9.79oz (228g)