Running in the rain – do you enjoy it? If it’s a major downpour I opt for my treadmill or wait for it to pass (soggy socks, no thank you), but I love a good drizzle on a run. But it’s also all about having the right gear. Having a quality waterproof running jacket that keeps the elements out can make all the difference.
So whether you’re on a woodsy trail run where rain is inevitable, or you’re braving snowfall as you train for your spring marathon (or ya know, just running your typical neighborhood route in the rain), get yourself the right jacket. Here I’ll cover what to look for in a quality running jacket and give you a list of the best waterproof running jackets of 2021 to keep you dry… because #noexcuses.
Here are the 7 waterproof running jackets I’ll cover in this article:
Best Overall Waterproof Running Jacket: The North Face Resolve Waterproof Jacket in Men’s and Women’s
Best Lightweight Running Jacket: Columbia Watertight II for Men and Arcadia II for Women
Best Pullover Style: EZRun Men’s and Women’s
Best Insulated: Running Jacket Arc’teryx Atom LT Insulated Men’s and Women’s
Best Hoodless Running Jacket: Little Donkey Andy Men’s and Women’s
Best Reflective (for Night Running) Jacket: Proviz 360 Men’s and Women’s
Best Budget Waterproof Running Jacket: Geek Lighting Men’s and Women’s
What to Look For in a Waterproof Running Jacket
There’s a lot more to finding a quality running jacket than you might think. Here’s what I’ve found to be most important when making your choice.
Level of Waterproofing
Most running jackets you’ll find likely have some level of water resistance, but not necessarily. Like that old North Face fleece in the back of your closet would be a terrible choice for a run with any amount of precipitation (who am I kidding, that would be a terrible choice if it wasn’t raining.)
The jackets on this list are all waterproof (except for an honorable mention I had to throw in because I love it so much). This means you only need one jacket for a chilly run whether there’s rain or not. If you live somewhere where rain isn’t common, or you’ll only be running in light rain or snow, a jacket listed as water resistant would also work well.
Wind Proof (Or Not)
Having a waterproof jacket is great, and it’s even better if it’s windproof, too. Chances are that snowy or rainy run could have a wind that sends a chill to your bones if you’re not wearing the right jacket. Make sure to purchase a jacket that promises to keep winds away from your skin.
Trust me when I say that you do not want to wear your heavy winter parka for a run. So be sure to pay attention to the weight of the jacket you choose. Some insulation is fine if you’re someone who’s toughing out something along the lines of a Minnesota winter, but you want to be able to move easily. And even if you choose a lightweight jacket, you can always layer underneath for colder days. Trail runners looking for a waterproof run for long days on the hills will love that some of these jackets are also easily packable.
Along the same lines as the weight of the jacket, you want to be able to run freely without feeling restricted. This means looking for fabrics that aren’t too stiff and have less friction. You want your arm to glide easily as it moves back and forth during your run. Don’t worry if a jacket doesn’t say it was intended for running (unless it’s a running specific company it probably won’t), just pay attention to what the description and reviews say about it’s comfort and range of motion.
When looking for the right waterproof running jacket, you want to find one that just as good at keeping water off you from the outside as it is from keeping perspiration off you from the inside. Sure, you’re naturally going to sweat once you get moving, but you don’t want a jacket that’s going to make it worse. Nobody wants that clammy feeling that you get from those low quality rain jackets. Venting and breathable fabrics are what you want so you can stay dry from all angles.
Hood Vs. No. Hood
Always run in a hat no matter what? Then you might want to skip the hood. Otherwise, if you’re buying a waterproof jacket, then you probably want to keep rain off your head with a hood. I personally would rather keep my hair dry! You’ll also notice that some jackets have a removable hood while others have a hood that can easily be stuffed into the collar of the jacket. It’s always good to have choices depending on the weather!
Will you be running at night? As I wrote about in my “Running at Night Safety” article, it’s really important to wear reflective gear so that drivers can easily see you. Many jackets will have small reflective detailing, which is a lot better than nothing, but if you do a lot of night running it’s much safer to have a fully reflective jacket like the ones from Proviz which I’ll talk more about below.
Style and Function Elements
When looking at jackets, consider other elements it has that appeal to you. Do you like to be able to tighten the hem of your jacket so it’s more fitted. Does the color of the jacket matter to you? Sometimes it’s those little details that make a piece of clothing one you don’t just like, but love.
Top 7 Waterproof Running Jackets of 2021 (and an Honorable Mention You Won’t Want to Miss)
Best Overall Waterproof Running Jacket:
The North Face Resolve Waterproof Jacket
The North Face is a trusted brand among sports enthusiasts. Quality materials and a perfect fit are what make the Resolve jacket the top pick…oh and that 100% fully waterproof thing had a bit to do with it, too. If you’re someone who has a hard time making color choices when it comes to clothing…I’m sorry in advance for the tough decision you’re going to have to make on this one!
Waterproofing/Windproofing: Waterproof and windproof outer shell is made from 100% nylon fabric that features a Durable Water-Resistant (DWR) finish.
Weight: The Resolve 2 jacket is lightweight with a standard fit – perfect for mild days. For colder weather, you can easily layer up!
Mobility: Whether you’re running, hiking, or just throwing on a jacket for a day out, The North Face Resolve jacket will keep you comfortable and moving with ease.
Breathability: The North Face Resolve Jacket was designed with 100% nylon ripstop “DryVent” fabric and breathable mesh lining to help keep you dry on the inside of your jacket, too.
Hood: Keep the hood out for wet days, or stowed in the collar for clear days.
Reflectivity: This jacket doesn’t have any reflective features, so be sure to choose something else if you plan to run at night.
Style and Function Elements: There are several extra perks of this jacket I love including zipper pockets, adjustable cinch-cord hem, elastic cuffs, and the ability to zip it all the way to the chin on the coldest days.
Best Lightweight Waterproof Running Jacket: Columbia Watertight II/Arcadia II Waterproof Rain Jacket
Live somewhere warm, but wet? Then you want something lightweight that will keep out the downpour without causing you to overheat. Or if you’re a trail runner who needs to be able to easily pack your jacket up when the clouds part, this is the perfect jack for you.
Waterproofing/Windproofing: Columbia utilizes a multi-layered, seam-sealed weather protection system called Omni-Tech that keeps water out no matter what.
Weight: Not only is this jacket lightweight, but it’s also packable. It folds up into its very own hand pocket for quick and simple stowing.
Mobility: This jacket was made for movement – and that includes your next run.
Breathability: The same system from Omni-Tech that keeps you 100% dry also promises to keep you from sweating up a storm. Outside elements stay out while perspiration is able to escape to the surface.
Hood: This jacket from Columbia features an adjustable and attached hood (either up or down are your two options).
Reflectivity: There aren’t any reflective elements on this jacket, so not ideal for night runs.
Style and Function Elements: An adjustable storm hood along with a draw cord adjustable hem provide an added layer of protection against the elements while zippered hand pockets promise to keep your stuff dry, too.
Best Pullover-Style Waterproof Running Jacket: EZRUN Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket
This pullover jacket from EZRUN on Amazon is definitely a runner-up to the best budget running jacket that I have listed below. But since it’s unique in that it’s a pullover-style (which isn’t nearly as common) I felt it needed it’s own category. Sometimes you just want something a bit different!
Waterproofing/Windproofing: 100% nylon exterior keeps rain and wind from putting a damper on your run.
Weight: Very lightweight – think windbreaker style. Like the Columbia jacket, this folds up into its own pocket-sized pouch.
Mobility: The fabric of this jacket as well as how light it is means you can expect a smooth run while wearing it.
Breathability: EZRUN claims that the jacket is indeed breathable, whereas the reviews on this point are mixed. Unlike some of the other jackets with a bit higher price tag, there is nothing extra special on this jacket to give it added breathability. If you’re a big sweater, you might want to choose something different.
Hood: This jacket has an adjustable funnel hood to help keep rain out.
Reflectivity: The reflective details on this jacket are small, but they are better than none if you’ll be running in low-light conditions. There are markings on both the hood and back of the jacket.
Style and Function Elements: Full drawstrings on the hood and bottom of this pullover half-zip jacket allow you to get the fit just right. Along with two zipper hand pockets, there’s also a zippered pocket on the back that works great for your phone.
Best Cold Weather Waterproof Running Jacket: Arc’teryx Atom LT Insulated Hoody
This jacket is more than just eye candy – and with that higher price tag than the others on our list, it better have more to offer than just good looks. Don’t worry – this one promises to deliver waterproof comfort for those cold runs, while staying in top-notch condition for years to come. If chillier conditions are the norm for you, you’re going to want something with a bit of insulation like this one from Arc-teryx.
Waterproofing/Windproofing: If you’re a runner braving frigid temperatures and blustery winds with light rain or snow, this jacket will keep you cozy and dry. Though not as waterproof as some of the others on this list where the water just beads right off, this jacket that’s covered in DWR (Durable Water Repellent) will pretty much take care of you in anything but a downpour.
Weight: This is the heaviest waterproof running jacket on this list – it’s for you cold-weather running fans, not a warm and rainy spring day.
Mobility: Gusseted underarms and Polartec Power Stretch side panels make for perfect mobility that’s necessary for running.
Breathability: Features breathable synthetic insulation to keep you warm on those cold and snowy days while ensuring you don’t overheat from the inside.
Hood: The Acr’teryx Atom Hoody’s “storm hood” closes in around your face to give you maximum visibility while keeping the elements out.
Reflectivity: Reflective branding offers a small bit of visibility for low-light running.
Style and Function Elements: And the color options for both men and women are on point.
Before moving on, this is where I’m going to pop in and give a big ‘ol honorable mention to my favorite winter running jacket – the Refuge Hooded Jacket from Outdoor Research. No, it is not completely waterproof (which is why it technically didn’t make this list) but it IS water-resistant. I’ve worn it in light rain and for long runs in the snow, and I just love it so much that I had to mention it! They describe it as having “lightweight warmth” and with minimal insulation I’d have to agree. It also has thermo-regulation technology that keeps you cool and dry as your heart rate rises. If you run somewhere cold, this jacket is top-notch.
Best Hoodless Waterproof Running Jacket: Little Donkey Andy
Are you one of the people who wears a hat for every run no matter what? Even if it rains or snows? Well, then really might not be any point to buying a jacket with a hood if that sounds like you. Though you might go for a different jacket with a stowable hood *just in case* this jacket from Little Donkey Andy has an easy fit with nothing extra for you to worry about.
Waterproofing/Windproofing: 100% ripstop Nylon shell keeps rain out with its leak-free design while the laminated interior membrane keeps wind from chilling you to the core.
Weight: This jacket is considered super lightweight and folds up into its own pocket whey you no longer need it.
Mobility: This jacket will keep you movin’ and groovin’ on runs or whatever other exercise you want to do while wearing it.
Breathability: This jacket has back air vents to help improve air circulation and keep you dry on the inside, too.
Hood: This is the only running jacket on this list with no hood, but it does zip all the way up the neck.
Reflectivity: This jackets has two reflective stripes and a reflective logo on the front with reflective detailing across the back. It’s not a ton for night running, but more than some of the other popular running jackets.
Style and Function Elements: This jacket is also UPF 50+, which as I talked about in my “Best Sunscreen for Runners” article, wearing UPF clothing to prevent sun exposure is really important.
Best Reflective Waterproof Running Jacket: Proviz Reflect360 Jacket
I have a friend who loves to run at night. When I found this running jacket that’s not only waterproof but almost 100% reflective, I instantly thought of her. Staying visible on night runs is so important (see my top tips for night running here), and it’s easy to forget that just because you can easily see those two headlights doesn’t mean they can see you. I just think this is the coolest running jacket…and definitely a must-have if running at dawn or dusk is your thing!
Waterproofing/Windproofing: Not only is the fabric completely waterproof, but it’s also seam-sealed, has an adjustable hood and velcro cuffs to ensure water stays out.
Weight: This jacket falls in the lightweight category and is great for those mild and rainy runs.
Mobility: This jacket will keep you moving freely as it was designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind.
Breathability: It seems like the creators of this Proviz jacket thought of everything. There is a special ventilation flap on the top back of the jacket that is able to let air out without letting rain in which is in addition to the vents on the front and underarms.
Hood: This waterproof jacket features an adjustable hood.
Reflectivity: The Reflect360 is made from an exclusive material (made from millions of tiny glass beads) that gives this jacket it’s all-over reflectivity. You will never again have to worry about being seen if you wear this jacket!
Style and Function Elements: This jacket is pretty amazing, especially considering it’s still machine washable even with its special reflective material. And with 3 outer pockets and 2 on the inside – you’re really set for anything.
Best Budget Waterproof Running Jacket: Geek Lighting
Running likes to disguise itself as a low-cost sport, but let’s stop kidding ourselves. Between the must-have high-tech watches and in-ear headphones designed with runners in mind, this sport gets expensive, fast. One area it’s okay to cut corners, at least if running in moisture isn’t something that you do often, is with your rain jacket. Here’s one from Geek Lighting that is both affordable and great to use while running in the rain.
Waterproofing/Windproofing: Ripstop nylon shell has a a DWR (durable water repellent) finish will keep you dry in rain while shielding you from the wind.
Weight: This Geek Lighting jacket will keep you moving during those mild, but rainy, runs.
Mobility: The seamless design means you’ll stay comfortable throughout your run.
Breathability: Boasts a fully breathable, polyester mesh lining that locks in perspiration.
Hood: Adjustable hood ensures a secure fit to keep moisture off your head and face. Stand collar helps keep you warm even when you have the hood down.
Reflectivity: Reflective detailing can be found on the hood and across the back.
Style and Function Elements: One front upper pocket and one back pocket means you can easily store your phone and other belongings. This is another great packable waterproof running jacket that all folds up into its own back pocket.
I’m confident that whichever jacket you choose will get you through season after season of wet or snowy runs. Though you may think you don’t like running in the rainy and cold conditions, it’s amazing how the right gear can change that. Stay dry, runners, and don’t let a few raindrops get in the way of you completing that run.