10 Waterproof Jackets Perfect for Running, Walking, and Hiking
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There's no reason you can be comfortable when you exercise outdoors: Follow this expert guide to find a waterproof jacket that breathes and blocks the breeze.
The importance of a waterproof running jacket
If you’re an avid runner, walker, or hiker, chances are the weather doesn’t hold you back from clocking your miles.
This means that you’re going to need your share of waterproof running attire that can keep you dry and comfortable while you’re exercising.
“Having a waterproof jacket is an essential part of your workout gear to ensure you still get a good workout, just like having the right sneakers,” explains Roger Adams, personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness.com. “The wrong kind of jacket can make you overheat as you won’t be able to regulate your temperature correctly.”
Though you might be tempted to throw on a regular rain jacket if inclement weather should arise before you head out on your run, walk, or hike, Adams warns that they merely protect you from the rain and keep you dry.
Waterproof workout jackets, on the other hand, are designed for more.
“They are designed to keep you from overheating by wicking away moisture from your skin so that your perspiration can leave your body and you cool off the way you are supposed to,” explains Adams. “Otherwise, your sweat would get trapped under the jacket and lead to a possibly dangerous rise in core body temperature.”
(Here’s what happens to your body in a running workout.)
What to look for in a waterproof jacket
Water-resistant: “Water-resistant fabrics will help keep you comfortable in light rain, but will allow some water to soak through in heavier downpours,” explains Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and fitness expert.
“Water-repellent jackets are treated with a special coating that causes water to bead and roll off the garment and not penetrate easily, so they will keep you dry in the more challenging rain conditions.”
Windproof: Where there’s rain, there’s also usually wind. A waterproof running jacket that is windproof will also help ensure that you’re comfortable and not feeling as though you’re being held back on your run.
Breathability: Breathability is a must for a running jacket, and this is especially true for running jackets that are designed for the rain.
“The harder and longer you will be exercising, the more breathability you will want and need from your jacket,” says Holland.
“The less breathable the jacket, the higher your body temperature during a workout, which can be uncomfortable and hinder performance.”
Number of layers: Just like regular running jackets, waterproof varieties can come with many different layers.
“It can be a bit confusing, but 2.5 layers is the lightest, 2 layers is generally regarded as the ‘quietest,’ and 3-layer jackets are the most durable and are recommended for the more extreme weather conditions,” says Holland.
“Once again you need to consider what type of workouts (duration, intensity, frequency) you will be doing and in what specific conditions to help make the best personal choice.”
(Are you a new runner? Here are some common running mistakes you may be making.)
The best waterproof jackets for running, walking, and hiking
Here are some of the best waterproof running jackets for men and women and what you can expect from each.
Women’s Hoka One One Gore-Tex Shakedry Run Jacket
Certified for use at the Ultra Mont Blanc race—one of the most difficult ultramarathons in the world—this waterproof jacket from Hoka One One is iconic for the avid runner.
It’s super breathable and designed to handle all of the elements, whether you’re running, walking, or hiking.
It has a hood for added protection, fits up to an 8-liter hydration pack underneath, and features front zips that allow you access to your pack without having to take it off.
Men’s EzRun Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket
If you’re looking for a well-priced running jacket that can be used for lots of outdoor activities, this is a great option from EzRun. It’s made out of a nylon material that’s durable and breathable.
“It’s very lightweight, folds into a pocket-sized pouch, features a funnel hood, and is reflective,” says Keith Hodges, certified personal trainer, performance coach, and founder of Mind In Muscle Coaching in Los Angeles.
(This is the best reflective clothing for running and walking.)
Men’s Gore R7 Tex Shakedry Trail Hooded Running Jacket
“This jacket combines all the best elements: It’s waterproof, windproof, lightweight, and breathable,” says Holland.
“You can shake it dry and it packs into a small, compact size to bring along with you when you’re not sure about the forecast.”
The Gore Wear jacket comes with breast pockets for storing personal items and an adjustable hood that provides further protection.
(Get chest pain when running? Here’s what it might mean.)
Men’s Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket
For long-distance runners and those who participate in marathons, Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket is a top-recommended waterproof running jacket.
“Personally, it has protected me from the elements over many wet long runs and mountain trail runs,” shares Michael Julom, certified personal trainer and founder of This Is Why I’m Fit.
“It has a fitted hood, so it protects you from harsh conditions like driving rain and it breathes really without sticking to my arms no matter how much I sweat.”
The only drawback that Julom points out is that it has a very slim cut, so it may feel a little too snug for those with solid builds.
Women’s North Face Resolve 2 Jacket
North Face is known for its stellar workout equipment, and its waterproof running jackets certainly don’t disappoint.
This one is designed for tough weather conditions and is made from windproof and waterproof breathable material.
“It has a hood that can be stored in the collar, which is nice for people who don’t like the look of hoods,” says Holland. “It’s also less expensive than most other waterproof running jackets with comparable elements.”
Women’s Lululemon Break a Trail Jacket
If you’re comfortable shelling out a little more, this Lululemon waterproof running jacket is full of features.
This jacket is designed for running with a waterproof fabric that stays dry without ever sticking to you (even when you’re sweaty).
The hood cinches both at the front and the back so that your peripheral vision is not disrupted, and there are chest pockets that are double vented. Flip-up cuffs provide reflectability so people can see you from far away.
Columbia Women’s Arcadia II Rain Jacket
This waterproof running jacket from Columbia features multiple layers that are seam-sealed to prevent water from coming in no matter how hard it’s raining outside. This also helps ensure you stay try even when you’re sweating up a storm.
This jacket is excellent for travel since it folds up into its own pocket for easy storage.
(Try these 10 best face masks for exercise.)
Men’s Fourlaps Adapt Run Jacket
One of the most unusual features of this running jacket from Fourlaps is that it is treated with a durable finish, which is a thin layer that keeps it both water- and dirt-repellent.
It’s ultra-lightweight, which is ideal for running in all conditions, hot or cold. It has an adjustable bungee-cord waist that helps further protect you from falling rain.
Mountain Hardwear Women’s Stretch Ozonic Jacket
DryQ Active technology in this running jacket from Mountain Hardwear shields it from absorbing any water, which means you stay dry during your run and however long you decide to keep it on.
It has a front zipper closure and a side pocket for storing personal items like your keys, credit card, or phone.
It’s also a plus that this waterproof running jacket comes in 10 different colors.
(Curious about vegan clothing for exercise? Here’s what to know about plant-based activewear.)
Women’s Shower Pass Cloudburst Jacket
This waterproof running jacket from Shower Pass is hailed for its breathability, which is especially useful for individuals who like to run in all sorts of weather and climates.
Its eliteAIR™ fabric has a waterproof rating of 10.2K, which is very good in comparison to others on the market.
One important factor to note is that this jacket is hoodless, so you’ll want to wear a hat to protect your head in the rain.
Next, here’s how to get the sweat smell out of clothes.
- Roger Adams, PhD, personal trainer, doctor of nutrition and owner of eatrightfitness
- Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, CISSN, exercise physiologist and fitness expert
- Keith Hodges, CPT and performance coach and founder of Mind In Muscle Coaching in Los Angeles
- Michael Julom, CPT, founder of This Is Why I'm Fit