Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big running jacket test 2021. Here we present all the running jackets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best running jacket for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a running jacket.




Summary

  • Special running jackets protect you from various weather conditions such as rain, wind and cold while you run.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between running jackets made of various natural and synthetic fibres, such as cotton and merino wool or polyester, polyamide and elastane.
  • There is hardly a running jacket that can do everything. That's why it's advisable to think carefully beforehand about the conditions for which you need the jacket.

The Best Running Jackets: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a running jacket

What is a running jacket and what do you need it for?

In the meantime, a running jacket has become an essential piece of equipment for runners. A running jacket, just like running pants and running shoes, is part of running clothing and is the outermost layer.

A special functional running jacket supports you at all times in your intention to go out and run.

It provides you with the best protection against the most diverse weather conditions that prevail outside. With a running jacket, wind, rain and cold become a minor matter for you.

The manufacturers of functional running clothing equip their jogging jackets with all kinds of technologies so that they are rainproof, windproof and insulating. You stay dry and pleasantly warm.

In addition, a running jacket ensures that you don't hypothermia in icy outdoor temperatures and don't overheat due to heavy sweating.

Jogger auf Brücke

With a running jacket you can defy the weather and go jogging even in cold and wet conditions. (Photo: Pexels / pixabay.com)

All of this is related to the proper ventilation or breathability of the jacket. It should be ventilated in such a way that it can optimally wick away sweat, but also store heat at the same time.

It thus contributes to optimal moisture and temperature regulation during running.

A modern, stylish and comfortable running jacket also increases your motivation to run and supports your resolutions.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of jackets for jogging?

A running jacket is designed to protect you from rain, wind and cold, allowing you to run in any weather. However, it usually requires special care.

Advantages
  • Protection from rain, wind and cold
  • Running is possible regardless of the weather
  • A beautiful running jacket motivates you to run
Disadvantages
  • Usually expensive
  • Requires special care

What does a running jacket need to do?

In order to be able to run at any time and in all weather conditions, you need a suitable running jacket.

It should be made in such a way that rain, wind and cold temperatures cannot harm you and allow your upper body to breathe optimally.

A proper running jacket should have these properties:

  • rainproof
  • windproof
  • breathable
  • heat-insulating (especially important in winter)
  • functional
  • robust
  • light and compact

In order to realise these functions, different brands use various technologies.

However, the actual purpose is and always remains the same - maximum comfort while running in the fresh air.

What should you look for in a running jacket?

Not only the look and the price should play a role for you when buying a running jacket. There are a few other things you should also pay more attention to.

You should consider the following factors when buying a running jacket:

  • Material
  • Features and functions
  • Care

The material also determines the characteristics of the jacket. Different materials have both advantages and disadvantages. You can find out more about this in the decision section.

The associated functions are also of great importance for your running.

The running jacket should be rain and wind resistant, absorb sweat well and have good breathability.

Especially in winter, these functions are indispensable for an outdoor running jacket. Unlike the legs, which are well supplied with blood during jogging, the torso cools down quickly.

A winter running jacket should therefore be particularly breathable and optimally wick moisture from the inside to the outside. However, the upper body must not cool down.

In addition, the cut should be close-fitting, but not too tight. There must be enough room for warm air to spread in the padding.

The care of the functional jacket is also important. It is best to look at the sewn-in label with the washing instructions. These can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Some materials should not be washed too hot and should only be air dried.

The most important thing to stress is that you should choose your running jacket according to how it will be used. This means that you should first and foremost choose a model that is suitable for your project and its temperature and weather conditions.

Are you looking for a waterproof jacket that you can run with even in downpours? A warming functional jacket for cold temperatures? Or just a light, thin running jacket that keeps the wind out?

Always bear in mind: the denser the running jacket is from the outside to the inside, the less breathable it is from the inside to the outside.

How much does a functional jacket cost?

The price of a running jacket depends on the material and workmanship. As a rule, you have to dig deeper into your wallet for decent functional clothing.

Just like running shoes or thermal clothing, jackets especially for jogging also have a hefty price tag. When buying running jackets or other functional clothing, the following always applies:

Quality has its price.

If you buy cheap sportswear from a discount store, you can be sure that it has not been manufactured to a very high standard and therefore usually does not have the necessary functions and features.

Product Price range
No Name Product ca. 20 - 90 €
Branded Product ca. 80 - 450 €

For this reason, it is advisable to forego a supposed bargain and rather go for a well-known manufacturer.

Here, too, there are of course often special offers or running jackets on sale. It is helpful to compare these and observe prices in order to acquire such jackets at a purchase price value.

Decision: What types are there and which running jacket is right for you?

Clothing for sports and therefore also jackets for jogging are made of different materials. They always have the task of protecting the runner from the weather conditions, transporting moisture away well, insulating heat and preventing hypothermia.

In the following, we will introduce you to different running jackets and show you the respective advantages and disadvantages.

Basically, you can distinguish between the different types of material - natural or synthetic - of running jackets:

  • Jogging jackets in natural fibres
    • Cotton
    • Merino wool
  • Running jackets made from synthetic fabrics
    • Polyester
    • Polyamide
    • Spandex

In the following section we would like to help you find the right running jacket for you. To do this, we will introduce all of the product types mentioned and give you an overview of their respective strengths and weaknesses.

What are the characteristics of cotton jogging jackets and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Cotton is probably the best-known material for textiles. There are sportswear made of this natural material, but this is rather rare and other materials have the edge.

Accordingly, you will only find a few running jackets that are made of cotton. Of course, this also has its reasons.

Cotton is able to absorb a lot of moisture. It literally soaks up moisture and the fibres swell up and increase in size. Conversely, this means that the weight of the garment also increases due to this absorbency.

Advantages
  • Comfortable to wear when dry
Disadvantages
  • Quickly gets very wet
  • Dries very slowly
  • Higher weight when wet

When it's warm outside, a wet jacket like this can be pleasantly cooling. However, when the outside temperature drops, you feel cold and run the risk of getting chilled.

On the other hand, as quickly as cotton absorbs moisture like sweat, it takes a very long time to dry completely again.

Furthermore, cotton is not very elastic due to its composition.

On the plus side, the natural material is comfortable to wear.

What are the characteristics of merino wool jogging jackets and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Merino wool is one of the natural fibres used for the production of functional clothing such as running jackets.

This fabric is made from the wool of the eponymous merino sheep, which belongs to the fine wool sheep breeds. Merino wool can easily compete with synthetic materials and even surpasses them in terms of functions.

Advantages
  • High wearing comfort
  • Excellent temperature regulation
  • Warms or cools
  • Dries quickly
  • Takes on little odour, even after repeated wear
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Not as durable as synthetic fabrics

Merino wool has optimal properties for regulating warmth. This is partly due to the low volume weight of the very fine and thin wool fibres. In contrast to conventional sheep, the fibres of the merino sheep are only half as thin. Therefore, this wool is very soft and fluffy.

Due to the strong crimp, small air pockets can form between the hairs, which thus act as an extremely effective insulation layer and protect against cold and also heat.

Wool can also absorb more than half of its own weight in moisture. This is absorbed in equal parts by the wool fibres and the interstices and slowly transported away to the outside.

The wool then dries in the outside air and evaporation causes cold. This evaporation cold results in a cooling effect.

Merino wool also dries particularly quickly and does not smell unpleasant even after repeated wear.

However, merino wool is not as robust and therefore durable as synthetic fibres.

What are the characteristics of polyester running jackets and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Polyester fibre (PES) is a synthetic material and is often used in the textile industry for various garments. Often also in combination with cotton fabrics.

This synthetic fibre is also popular for functional clothing such as running jackets. Polyester is light, extremely tear and abrasion resistant and dries very quickly.

Winter outdoor jackets are often lined with it, as polyester insulates heat well.

It is also very easy to care for. It keeps its shape and colour even when wet and warm and does not crease. This also makes the fabric very durable and long-lasting.

Advantages
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying, as it absorbs little moisture
  • Tear and abrasion resistant
  • Very stable in shape and colour
  • Easy-care and crease-resistant
  • Good heat retention, especially polyester fillings are warming (e.g. for winter jackets)
Disadvantages
  • Not breathable
  • Quickly develops unpleasant perspiration odour
  • Heat build-up due to too good heat insulation
  • Skin irritation possible
  • Not an environmentally friendly fabric

Since polyester has a quick-drying effect, this also means that it absorbs virtually no moisture and is not breathable.

The sweat therefore remains on the surface of the fabric and is decomposed there by its own bacteria, which then creates the unpleasant odour.

This high level of moisture on the body's skin can even cause irritation in sensitive people because it clogs the pores.

The good heat storage can also quickly lead to heat accumulation, which is why you sweat even more when running.

From an environmental point of view, polyester is a plastic that has a negative impact because it is derived from petroleum.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of polyamide training jackets?

Polyamide (PA) is also a synthetic fibre. It is also often known under the trade names nylon or perlon.

Running jackets made of polyamide are particularly light, tear-resistant - both when dry and when wet, strong and stiff, but still very elastic and stretchy. Therefore, this fabric is durable.

Because of this, these synthetic fibres are often combined with other fabrics to optimally combine the advantages of the respective materials.

For example, the combination with polyester or cotton contributes to a particularly pleasant wearing feeling.

Synthetic fibres absorb only small amounts of water, which is why they dry very quickly, but the accumulated moisture cannot escape. This is also a reason why polyamide is mixed with other breathable fabrics.

Furthermore, polyamide retains its shape regardless of moisture and does not crease, which is a great advantage especially when washing.

However, polyamide jackets should never be put in the dryer, as the fabric is very sensitive to heat. The running jacket could shrink considerably.

Advantages
  • Lightweight
  • Fast-drying, as it absorbs little moisture
  • Stiff and tear-resistant
  • Stretchy and elastic
  • Stable and wrinkle-resistant
Disadvantages
  • Rather low heat retention
  • Not breathable
  • Very sensitive to heat
  • Possible yellowish discolouration in strong sunlight
  • Not an environmentally friendly fabric

Direct sunlight is also rather not for polyamide. It tends to take on a yellowish colour, i.e. to turn yellow.

Thermal insulation depends on the nature of the polyamide fibre. Smooth fibres tend to insulate heat poorly. However, if the fibres are textured, i.e. crimped, the volume of the woven fabric increases somewhat. The air can then be better trapped or insulated in this pore volume.

Polyamide is also a man-made fibre that is derived from petroleum and is therefore considered environmentally unfriendly.

What are the characteristics of jackets for running made of spandex and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Like polyester and polyamide, spandex is also a synthetic fibre. Colloquially, the term spandex is often used for it.

It is extremely stretchy and elastic. For this very reason, it is a popular material for all clothing that needs to fit very snugly and tightly. For example, it is very often used for cuffs on clothing, as a sock, for example, should be particularly stretchy there.

Spandex threads can stretch seven times their own length without wearing out. They easily retract to their original size. The fabric does not tear in the process.

Advantages
  • Extremely stretchy and elastic
  • Perfect fit
  • Very tear-resistant
  • Shape-retaining
  • Light and soft
  • Easy-care and crease-resistant
  • Dries quickly because it absorbs little moisture
Disadvantages
  • Not breathable

Nevertheless, spandex is rarely used on its own in sportswear and is more often used as an ideal fibre to combine with other fibres. It is only present in small quantities in fabric mixtures.

With its properties of stretchability and simultaneous shape retention, it enhances functional clothing and thus also running jackets. The wearing comfort is greatly increased.

Spandex wears easily and feels soft. If the clothing contains spandex, this is often referred to as "stretch". It is also easy to care for and does not need to be ironed.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate running jackets

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate running jackets. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular running jacket is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Material
  • Weight
  • Fit
  • Season
  • Function
    • Water repellent
    • Windproof
    • Breathable
  • Reflectors
  • Number of pockets

In the following paragraphs you can find out more about the individual buying criteria and how you can classify them.

Material

The most interesting purchase criterion for running jackets is probably the material, because this in turn determines how light and comfortable a jacket is for running and which properties go hand in hand with the chosen fabric.

Most running jackets are made of synthetic fibres such as polyester, polyamide, elastane or nylon. These materials are particularly flexible and dirt and water repellent.

Did you know that there is an increasing focus on sustainability in the production of sportswear?

From fair production and labour wages to recycled plastic waste from the ocean, everything is included. The brand Tao uses fishing nets, fabric scraps, old carpet and plastic waste fished from the ocean in Slovenia and turns it into a new running jacket.

Another reason why the majority of the running jackets are made of such artificial materials is a quick-drying effect.

When cotton comes into contact with water, it absorbs the moisture well, but soaks through very quickly and then takes a long time to dry. Artificial fabrics such as polyester dry very quickly.

Material Features
Fleece Lightweight, high wearing comfort, highly insulating, versatile underjacket
Softshell Lightweight, water repellent, wind repellent, breathable, thermal regulation
Hardshell Defensive, waterproof, windproof, strong material

Weight

When running, the jacket should be comfortable to wear and therefore light and thin.

Running jackets with too much weight restrict the runner's movements and especially when jogging you should feel carefree and not have to carry unnecessary ballast around with you.

For this reason, running jackets are made from lightweight materials and rarely from natural fibres such as cotton.

Fit

Jackets for running have different fits, depending on your preference and purpose.

They can be thin or rather thick, which strongly depends on the purpose for which they are made. Compared to a summer running jacket, a functional jacket for winter tends to be thicker.

Similarly, there are short running jackets and those that are longer or have a long back and thus go over the bottom. A long back has the advantage that wind and moisture cannot easily pull in from below.

Each jacket can also have additional special features. This can be, for example, the presence of a hood. Some running jackets come with a hood, some without.

This is mainly a matter of taste. A hood can also protect you from the weather, such as wind and rain, and keep your head nice and warm.

Some jogging jackets also have detachable sleeves. This is an extremely positive feature for many runners, as the sleeves can be zipped off if necessary, e.g. simply with zips.

In addition to hood, detachable sleeves and co., there are other well thought-out details such as a stand-up collar with chin protection or thumbholes.

Individual wearing comfort is the only thing that matters here.

Jogger vor Landschaft

Make sure that your running jacket is optimally adapted to your needs. (Photo: Tikkho Maciel / unsplash.com)

Season

Real runners brave the weather and need functional running clothes that protect them from wet, wind and cold.

The criterion season indicates in which season the running jacket can be worn. Whether in spring, summer, autumn or in the cold winter months - due to the material and its properties, various jogging jackets are ideal for certain seasons.

In both spring and autumn, it is particularly important that the jacket is rainproof and windproof. If you also like to go jogging in winter, you need a special winter running jacket that keeps you warm.

Running becomes a real physical challenge, especially in sub-zero temperatures. The blood supply to the legs is good during jogging. The upper body, on the other hand, can cool down quickly. Lined running jackets with a thermal function provide a remedy and you don't have to miss out on running in the icy fresh air.

Function

The functionalities of sporty outdoor jackets are based on three pillars: they are water-repellent, wind-repellent and breathable.

Water repellent

This means that the running jacket protects against moisture and has rainproof properties. But be careful, it does not mean that the jacket is completely waterproof.

In light to medium rain, the water drops simply roll off the material of the running jacket. In heavy rain, however, this effect no longer works so well and the wetness penetrates the fabric after a short time.

Windproof

In order for running jackets to keep out the wind particularly well, they are made of certain materials that block it well.

However, most jackets are also equipped with windproof membranes to keep the wind out. This feature is often labelled "wind stopper".

Breathable

The breathability of sportswear is always the be-all and end-all. This is also the case with running jackets. In addition to all the features and functions, the jacket for jogging should above all be able to breathe.

The more breathable a jacket is, the better it can wick away sweat while running.

This is especially important so that the runner does not sweat too much under his or her jogging jacket and cause a build-up of sweat.

In addition, some running jackets have so-called ventilation slits that can be opened if necessary. These often take the form of small holes on the back or zips under the armpits.

However, it is not absolutely necessary for a good running jacket to have such slits for additional ventilation. Rather, a material that is breathable from the outset is important.

Features that affect the jacket's breathability and thus contribute to optimal temperature regulation are often referred to as "Clima Cool".

Reflectors

To ensure that you can go jogging in the dark, the running jacket should have reflective properties. For this purpose, luminous threads are sewn in or the jacket is equipped with reflectors that protect you from danger in the dark.

For example, the light from car headlights is reflected by these reflectors and the runner is seen more quickly. This offers enormous safety when running at night.

Number of pockets

This criterion simply indicates how many pockets the jacket has. These can be normal hip and chest pockets where you can store various things such as keys, handkerchiefs or headphones.

However, running jackets with a special mobile phone pocket are also popular, where an iPhone, for example, can be stored and easily removed and operated during the run.

Facts worth knowing about running jackets

How and how often should I wash running jackets?

Sports and functional clothing is quite durable and usually easy to care for. Regular care plays a decisive role in the durability and ensures optimal function.

First and foremost, you should follow the manufacturer's care instructions. These can be found on the label sewn into your sportswear at any time.

It is advisable to close all zips and Velcro fasteners before washing so that the materials are not damaged when they rub against each other during washing. Also, there is no loud clacking when the zip hits the inside of the washing machine hatch each time.

Turning your running jacket and other garments inside out before washing has several advantages. On the one hand, turning the garment inside out protects it from damage, especially if there are zips on it. On the other hand, the colours and prints on them rub off less and stay fresh and bright longer.

You should wash your running jacket and other functional sportswear with liquid detergent and not with powder detergent. You should avoid using fabric softener altogether, as it gums up the fibre structure and the jacket loses its function.

There is even a special sports detergent that gently cleans your functional and sports clothing. This protects the functions of the material and effectively removes unpleasant odours.

Generally, this type of clothing should not be washed too hot and spun too hard.

Since synthetic fibres in particular cannot withstand heat or suffer from it after a while, you should not throw them in the dryer, but rather air dry them.

The following is an overview of how to properly wash your running jacket and other functional clothing.

  1. Read the manufacturer's washing instructions.
  2. Close all zips and fasteners.
  3. Ideally, turn the jacket inside out.
  4. Load the washing machine only slightly more than halfway so that it can be rinsed properly.
  5. Use a mild liquid detergent. A functional or sports detergent is best.
  6. Do not use washing powder, fabric softener or bleach.
  7. Select a programme with low temperature (max. 30°C) and low speed (max. 800 revolutions).
  8. Unless otherwise stated, let your jacket dry in the open air.

Your running jacket and other sportswear can and should be washed after every use to maintain their optimal function. Sweat, skin flakes and the like stick to the fibres and make them stick together.

It is also advisable to impregnate your running jacket after washing to support its water-repellent properties.

Is there an alternative to running jackets?

There are different types of running clothing. From the right running shoes to the right running trousers to the top of your running jacket

The question is often asked whether a running jacket or rather a running waistcoat or even just a running shirt is necessary.

A sports shirt or a waistcoat for running can be considered alternatives to a jogging jacket, but should rather be seen as additional options for running training in the fresh air.

A running jacket naturally offers more protection from moisture and wind than a running shirt, for example. It also keeps you warmer.

A running waistcoat can also be useful in this respect, but it is limited to the torso and does not cover the arms.

The time of year and the associated outside temperatures also play a major role in whether you choose a running jacket that protects the entire upper body and keeps it warm, or whether you opt for an airy running shirt.

Therefore, a proper jacket for jogging, especially for weather-related running sessions, is definitely recommended.

Image source: 123rf.com / 47254293

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