The Best Lightweight Running Jackets in 2017

In varying weather conditions, a lightweight jacket is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can take with you during a run. They provide protection from wind and light rain. They’ll give you an extra layer of warmth when a running shirt isn’t enough.

Best of all, these jackets pack up into themselves allowing for easy portability and storage when not wearing them. Some but not all have reflective elements. If you are looking for a jacket for running in the dark, check out our list of best reflective running jackets.

We’ve tested and reviewed over 12 different lightweight running jackets in a variety of conditions. Here are our top choices:

Best Overall Lightweight Running Jacket

Brooks Canopy Jacket

This lightweight running jacket is made from breathable, but wind and water-resistant fabric. It’s a good choice for running in different weather conditions from wind to rain to snow and sleet.

Stretch cuffs with hidden thumb holes keep your hands warm without the need for gloves.

Like the other jackets on our list, it’s designed to pack down into a small pouch for storage. It also features an elastic strap to slip onto your arm to carry the jacket after it’s been packed down.

The Brooks Canopy jacket comes with a hood for protection in the elements. But in better weather, it has a strap to tie down the hood and  prevent it from bouncing around.

The Brooks Canopy jacket makes it easy to bring your phone along and listen to your favorite tracks during your run. It features an inner pocket to safely secure your phone. The jacket will also keep your headphone’s cord secured while running via the headphone cord holder fitted on the zipper.

What We Like

It’s the little details that matter with this jacket. The headphone clip on the zipper keeps your cord from bouncing around. Just like the strap to anchor down the hoodie when you don’t need it.

We also love that the Canopy Jacket features an elastic strap to wear it around your arm when it’s packed down for storage. If you are out for a shorter run without a pack or waist pack, this makes it easy to carry the jacket when it’s too warm to wear it.

What We Didn’t Like

This jacket is a bit pricey – though we’re willing to pay it given the functional design elements it comes with. One thing we could have liked to see is more reflective detail on the jacket. While one version of the women’s jacket does have lots of reflective trim – most of these jackets only have a small logo and a small piece of trim for reflectivity.


PROS:

  • Straps and fasteners to keep hoods and wires from bouncing around
  • A stretchy, sweat-resistant phone pocket
  • Thumbholes for extra warmth
  • Two zippered side pockets with an internal pocket for a phone

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Minimal reflective trim (except in one women’s color)

Lightweight Windproof Running Jacket

Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie & Hybrid

This running jacket is made from performance grade synthetic fabric to protect you from the elements with a minimal, lightweight design. Weighing a mere 5.6 ounces, you won’t have to worry about carrying extra unnecessary weight. The fabric is windproof to keep out blustery cold air.

When running in warmer weather, the Salomon Fastwing hoodie design includes a snap button on the inside near the top of the zipper. This allows you to keep the zipper opened to let air in without having the top have of the jacket flop around. Vented underarms allow further air flow to keep you from overheating.

When conditions change and you don’t need to wear this running hoodie, it easily packs away inside your backpack.

The Fastwing Hoodie’s hood is designed to fit over most running caps. An oversized elastic band goes over your hat and loops around the brim for a snug and comfortable fit.

The Fast Wing Hybrid features an elastic lycra band on the bottom half of the jacket. This allows you to tuck in the jacket when it’s not needed – yet have it quickly accessible when the conditions change.

What We Like

We really love the snap button clasp at the top of this jacket. It’s the perfect way to regulate your body’s temperature when running. Snap the buttons and zip it halfway down and you have the perfect air flow without a flapping jacket. It’s so ingenious we’re surprised more companies haven’t copied this feature.

We also think the elastic rim on the hoodie is a great way to keep the hoodie on your head in windy conditions while wearing a hat.

What We Don’t Like

This is somewhat true of Salomon’s clothing in general: it can run small and snug. If you have wide shoulders or a hefty upper body, this jacket is going to feel pretty snug. We recommend sizing up if this describes your physique.


PROS:

  • Lightweight design with a windproof and water-resistant design
  • Snap button on the top of the jacket

CONS:

  • Slim fit doesn’t work with all body types

Lightest Running Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Lite Jacket

Weighing a mere 3 ounces, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Lite jacket is as light as any men’s running jacket on the market. The lightweight design however shouldn’t trick you into thinking that it won’t offer any protection.

The 15D face fabric is wind resistant to keep your upper body warm even in cold weather. The fabric is also water resistant to keep you dry during rainy conditions.

The hood adds extra protection and stays on snugly thanks to the fitted elastic binding. The hood can also be easily secured inside the hood pocket on the collar.

When not in use, this men’s running jacket easily folds to fit inside its own pocket to store and carry.

What We Like

We love how lightweight this jacket is. It feels like you’re not wearing anything.

What We Don’t Like

Only one pocket – not as much storage as other jackets.

 

PROS:

  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Hoodie that stows in zipper pockets

CONS:

  • Lack of extra storage

Best Water Resistant Jacket

Saucony Vitarun Jacket

The Saucony Vitarun men’s jacket keeps you comfortable and warm during your run. The shell is made from lightweight flexshell polyester fabric. The stretchy fabric allows you to move freely.

The jacket is weatherproof to keep your body warm and dry. Sealed seams keep the elements out. And an inner thermal liner helps retain body heat.

The fleece lining which wicks sweat away from your body keeping it dry throughout your run. Reflective detailing helps you be seen in the dark.

The design also features zippered pockets on the sides and chest to carry your phone and other small items.

What We Like

The warmth of this jacket makes it great for those cold, winter days. Thumb holes help keep your hands warm. And the reflective trim is a nice bonus for running in the dark.

What We Didn’t Like

This one fit kind of funny, running a little long in the torso with extra bulk near the waist. It also doesn’t pack up for easy carrying like most of these other lightweight jackets.


PROS:

  • Wind and rain-resistant desig
  • Warm but still lightweight

CONS:

  • Fit is slightly off
  • Doesn’t pack down into itself

 

Top Budget Lightweight Jacket

Marmot Trail Wind Jacket

This men’s running jacket is made from lightweight polyester fabric. The shell is both wind resistant and water repellent to keep you warm in cold and wet conditions. The elastic cuffs and elastic draw cord hem help retain body heat.

To ensure that you remain comfortable, venting under the arms keeps air circulating in and out of the jacket wicking sweat away from your body.

If you prefer to run in the evenings or very early in the morning, you’ll want drivers and other runners to notice you easily. This jacket’s design includes 360 degrees reflectivity that makes it easy to spot from far away.

The Marmot men’s trail wind jacket comes fitted with a small pocket. When not in use, the jacket folds into itself for easy storage and carrying.

It comes in a hooded and non-hooded versions.

What We Like

This budget-friendly jacket is the best out there for anyone looking to maximize their spending power. It’s windproof and packs down into itself.

What We Don’t Like

This is a basic jacket. It’s fine but lacks some of the more thought out features like the carry strap on the Brooks Canopy Jacket or the snap button on the Salomon Fastwing Jacket.


 

PROS:

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Lightweight and packable

CONS:

  • It’s pretty basic – doesn’t come with extra storage

Best Lightweight Trail Running Jacket

Altra StashJack Windbreaker

For trail running with a pack, you’ll appreciate the Altra StashJack windbreaker. It’s designed to make it easy to carry and access your pack outdoors.

This running jackets includes an open back with extra room for a pack. The overlay pocket in the back protects you from the elements, but makes it easy to access the pack without having to remove the jacket.

The Altra StashJack windbreaker is lightweight and easy to fold up when not in use. An attached hip belt allows for easy transportation and
retrieval when out on your runs.

What We Like

This is one of the few jackets that packs into a small, fanny pack for carrying when not in use. The extra room in the back for slipping over a pack is a nice touch. The overlay pocket for pack access is another great feature.

What We Don’t Like

This is only a half zip, making it more difficult to take on and off. The extra room in the back means it’s big and not flattering when worn without a pack.

PROS:

  • Easy, portable design
  • Designed to fit over a pack – perfect for trail running

CONS:

  • Bulky, almost too big, especially without a pack