With the stormy days of late fall looming on the horizon, it won’t be long until warm, sunny runs are a distant memory. With ominous grey skies soon becoming a reality, it’s time to start thinking about beefing up the running wardrobe so that training outside can remain a pleasant adventure instead of a daily chore. You’ve learned all about DWR apparel and how it can help you stay dry on a rainy day, but with all the jacket options out there, which ones are the best for a comfortable run?
As an apparel specialist here at Running Warehouse, I have the benefit of seeing a LOT of running gear. As they say, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.” In other words, choosing the right gear to keep you protected from the elements can mean the difference between a joyful prance in the puddles or pure misery. Here are my top picks for the wet, wintry days that lie ahead.
For cool, variable days
On days when it may or may not be raining, you want a jacket that’s lightweight enough to pack away, but weather-resistant enough to cover your bases should the skies turn sour. Enter the New Balance Lite Packable Jacket. The first thing you will probably notice when you pick up this jacket is how incredibly thin and light it is. Probably not your best bet in a monsoon, but ideal for days when it’s not too cold and the weather is not too fierce. This jacket is breathable enough that you could opt to leave it on if the weather subsides, or you can pack it into its own chest pocket and simply carry it with you. Either way, this hassle-free jacket will earn top marks from runners who don’t want to get soggy, but also don’t care to deal with a cumbersome outer layer.
For misty mornings
Here on California’s central coast, we get a lot of heavy fog and misty weather in the early mornings. On days like this, when water is not technically falling from the sky but going out for a run will still get you drenched if you’re not prepared, the Salomon Lightning Wind Graphic Hoodie provides the perfect amount of protection. A DWR finish delivers wind and water resistance, which means all that mist will bead up and roll off you as you stay dry and warm. Lightweight and packable, you can take the jacket off and easily carry it along with you if sunny skies begin to peek through the clouds.
For gusty, on-again-off-again showers
Whether it’s wind, drizzle, chills, or any combination of the three, Patagonia’s Houdini Jacket is your best bet for a do-it-all jacket on blustery days. Incredibly lightweight for its impressive performance, this jacket boasts complete wind protection that will shield you from the fiercest gusts. A DWR coating and hood mean this shell is also suitable for light rain, and the friendly price tag makes it a great value for its class.
For frigid temps and foreboding skies
If it’s dipping into the territory of downright cold, and there’s a chance that rain will be coming your way, The North Face Isotherm Jacket is the way to go. Thicker fabric and a lightly brushed interior work to keep you comfortably warm as you run into the storm. When the wind starts whipping up, you’ll be protected by the windproof front panel, keeping your core warm. Should rain start to fall, the DWR coating will provide enough resistance to stay dry as you finish your run.
For cold, steady rain
Sometimes you just need to buck up and run in the rain. For those days, the Salomon Lightning WP Jacket makes the gnarly weather a bit less intimidating. Fully wind- and waterproof, this jacket can take just about anything Mother Nature decides to dish out. While not as lightweight as some of the jackets mentioned above, it is still fairly light and can be packed into the right hand pocket for convenient storage if necessary.
For the all-out deluge
If it’s really coming down, the ASICS Storm Shelter Jacket will protect you from the elements. Durable and ready to get down to business, this jacket takes its weatherproofing duties seriously. Not the crunchy rain slicker you remember from your childhood, this jacket includes little details to keep you cozy, like the internal cuffs and thumbholes. What really sets this jacket apart from other waterproof shells, however, is the reflectivity. Stripes of reflective stitching come to life in the low-light conditions of stormy weather, keeping you safe while you crank out your workout.
For post-run snuggly comfort
Once your run is over, it’s time to rest, refuel, and stay warm. The Salomon Women’s Right Nice Hybrid Hoodie will work for your cold weather running, but it’s so comfortable that it’s hard not to want to wear it all the time. Throw this one on after your rainy run to stay warm (and spoil yourself a bit with cozy comfort).
Tracie is a former teacher and a lifelong learner who loves exploring. Most at home in the mountains, she enjoys tearing up and down the trails on her mountain bike, and occasionally leaves the wheels at home for a run through the trees. Having recently earned her personal trainer certification, Tracie thrives on helping others reach their athletic goals.