Choosing the best winter running jacket
A good winter jacket is critical for running throughout the winter. It cuts the wind, keeps out snow and walks the fine line between keeping you warm while letting moisture escape as you move.
What to wear for cold-weather running
Running in winter creates its own challenges – how do you keep warm without overheating? How do you layer the right winter running apparel for women and men in relation to run time, temperature, and wind chill?
While finding that perfect balance involves a little trial and error, you should be set with the 3-layer principle guide.
These three layers include a:
In general, most runners are ready for whatever winter weather lies ahead with the 3-layer principle. Base layers wick moisture away to keep you dry and warm. Long mid layers add insulation. And a good winter running jacket is your outer layer to seal wind, rain and snow out. But the beauty of the 3-layer principle is that you can also adapt it to different conditions.
What to wear running in 0-10 degrees Celsius
If you’re running in single-digit temperatures, don’t forget to add extras. These include:
What to wear running in sub-zero temperatures
If you’re heading out in below freezing conditions, adapt the 3-layer guide with a:
- Long-sleeved base layer and fleece-lined running tights. Alternatively, wear base layer running tights underneath running pants
- Fleece mid layer
- Lightweight running jacket
- Neck warmer, beanie, gloves and long thermal socks
You can always swap your fleece mid layer and lightweight running jacket for an insulated running jacket. This is usually down to preference, though, as some runners prefer the feel of fewer layers.
What to look for in a running jacket
Like any outer layer, a running jacket’s main purpose is to protect you from the elements without sacrificing breathability. That means weatherproofing in front with a breathable back to help moisture escape. But the right running jacket also depends on what kind of runner you are.
Consider the weather
The winter weather plays a big part in helping you choose a running jacket. It’s likely to be windy and raining at some point – and potentially even snowing.
If you’re up against the elements, prioritise a running jacket that offers protection with features like:
- Waterproof and windproof fabrics
- Taped seams
- A peaked hood
- Insulation or fleece lining for colder temperatures
- Mesh lining for breathability
For colder days, opt for thermal winter running jackets. ODLO offers precision-made performance fabrics like S-Thermic for exceptional, breathable warmth from sustainable sources.
When night comes earlier, there’s often no choice but to rack up your miles in the dark. So, be seen under streetlights and headlights by choosing a running jacket with reflective elements. Also consider wearing a lightweight headlamp.
What’s the best jacket to wear for running in winter?
A highly subjective but important question. Largely, it depends on the runner and the environment. But here are some of our favourites:
Dual Dry Waterproof Insulated
The Dual Dry Waterproof Insulated is the gold standard in featherlight, insulated, waterproof winter running jackets. ODLO’s top-performing piece is made for runners keen to make every kilometre count, with sealed seams, an adjustable run-fit hood, and a waterproof zipper.
Zeroweight Pro Warm
The men’s and women’s Zeroweight Pro Warm allows you to train wherever, whenever. Its windproof three-layer super-light soft shell bonded fabric reduces exposure to the elements, keeping you warm and comfortable throughout winter.
Zeroweight Pro Warm Reflective
The men's and women's Zeroweight Pro Warm reflective softshell jacket is crafted for the most demanding everyday runners. It’s water resistant, vented, body mapped for complete immersion in movement, and features reflective details for max visibility.
How should a running jacket fit?
Your running jacket should never be too tight or wide. You want enough room for layering underneath but not so much that your jacket flaps against the wind.
The key to any good running jacket is wearing something you can move in. Test your jacket’s range of motion by taking deep breaths and swinging your arms to see if it strains at any point. Discover more about finding the perfect fit in ODLO’s jacket guide.