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Best Cold Weather Running Jackets in 2023


The idea of running with a jacket on might seem foreign to those who live in sunny places! But having one of the best cold-weather running jackets in your gear stash can be invaluable if you live somewhere cold, rainy, windy, or snowy.

The top layer of what you’re wearing can significantly affect how your run goes in these conditions. It’s worth paying attention to this piece of apparel, as choosing the right one can improve your performance in poor weather.

For our top pick, we recommend the Brooks Shield Hybrid Jacket 2.0. It features subtly insulating material with wind-resistant paneling and is also eco-friendly.

It’s not the only great choice, so browse through them all to find the right one for you!

Top 3 Best and Favorites


Brooks Shield Hybrid Jacket 2.0


  • Кeep you warm
  • Wind-resistant paneling
  • Secure pockets


BALEAF Insulated Running Jacket


  • Lined with fleece
  • Water-repellant
  • Two hidden hand pockets


New Balance Heatloft Athletic Jacket


  • Flattering athletic fit
  • Thumb holes
  • Large hidden pockets

Cold Weather Running Jacket Buyer’s Guide

We all know that it is important to stay warm while running in cold weather. At the same time, we don’t want to be too hot and sweaty. That’s why it’s important to find a cold weather running jacket that provides the comfort that you need against the cold, but also gives you the flexibility to run easily.

Soft Shell vs Hard Shell

A hardshell jacket is waterproof and windproof, and normally has a hood. It can also be insulated. The idea is to provide protection against the rain and snow in a lightweight, waterproof, yet durable package. It’s known as a “hard shell” because the fabric does not stretch very much. Often, it has a distinct “crinkly” sound—a hard shell jacket makes much more noise than a soft shell jacket, and it is durable.

By contrast, a soft shell jacket is a water-resistant jacket that provides some protection from light snow and rain. It is important to note the difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Some jackets can occasionally feature waterproof breathable technology, but in general, water-resistant is the way to go if you also want breathability.

Soft shells are great for running, as they are breathable and flexible, and they can be great as an insulating midlayer under a waterproof hard shell on especially cold days. Soft shells do offer water resistance, so if it’s a light rain or snow, you’ll be just fine. However, for a serious downpour, you’d likely want a hard shell.

Thin vs Thick Jacket

Obviously, as the word “thick” implies, a thick jacket is going to be warmer, but at the same time, it is going to be more cumbersome, giving you less freedom to move. If the weather doesn’t get extremely cold where you live, a thinner jacket is likely going to be the better option, as it will be more breathable and flexible.

However, there may be instances where the weather requires a thicker jacket. Knowing the winter climate you usually run in will assist you in selecting the best jacket for you.

You might want to consider what the temperature is normally like in the colder months, and how often it tends to rain or snow in your area. North Carolina in the winter likely will not require a thick winter jacket, whereas Wisconsin definitely will!


Finally, don’t forget about pockets. It’s important to know how many pockets you need for your gear. Most jackets come with pockets, but some do not.

If you need to store items in jacket pockets, you need to know how many pockets there are as well as if they are zippered. You don’t want your phone falling out during your run or getting wet just because the pocket wasn’t zippered.

Common Questions about Cold Weather Running Jackets

What kind of running jacket do I need for winter?

A lot of this depends on the temperature and conditions, but generally speaking for a brisk 30 degree day, you want a medium thickness jacket made of moisture-wicking material. It’s important that it wicks moisture because you’ll still sweat a little even in the cold.

Make sure it has a full or half zipper. This will you let control your body temperature better by zipping the jacket up or down. You’ll probably want it zipped up when running downhill but unzipped a little when running up a hill.

If the weather is rainy or snowy, use a hard shell jacket that is either waterproof or water-resistant. This will help keep you dry. A hood is useful here as well.

Do running jackets keep you warm?

Yes! Although you might not think so when you try one on in a store. Winter running jackets are thinner than most other jackets on purpose. Because once you start running, you’ll quickly warm up and overheat in a thicker coat.

You should also pair your running jacket with a good long-sleeve baselayer made from wicking material. Layers will keep you warmer and better regulate your body temperature.

Can you run in a winter coat?

This is not a good idea if you are thinking of throwing on your regular winter coat when you go out for a run. Your standard winter coat is too thick and heavy to be useful for running.

You’ll quickly overheat. And a heavy, loose-fitting jacket will feel uncomfortable as you run.

How We Chose These Jackets

When picking out these jackets to review, we looked for quality products made by reputable brands and put them to the test. Winter running jackets are one of the more expensive items you need to buy to go running, so we wanted to make sure these were durable and would last for several seasons (at a minimum!).

There are a few types of winter jackets that are made differently depending on when and where you run. We found a mix of jackets for different temperatures as well as for wet and dry conditions.

Finally, all the jackets we reviewed have zippers to regulate your body temperature and at least a few pockets so you can store essentials like your phone or gloves.

Best Overall

1. Brooks Shield Hybrid Jacket 2.0

Brooks doesn’t just make great running shoes—they also manufacture some great apparel. We highly recommend the Brooks Shield Hybrid Jacket 2.0, as it’s made of recycled material and does an excellent job keeping you warm.

What We Like

The Brooks Shield Hybrid Jacket 2.0 is made almost entirely of polyester. The body and lining consist of recycled material, equivalent to 38 plastic water bottles! The materials are also bluesign-certified.

The brand’s Thermolite technology keeps your body heat in for excellent insulation. It’s said to be warmer than the previous version of the jacket, but just as lightweight. No need to worry about a heavy winter jacket weighing you down!

Under the arms and around the body, you’ll find warm fabric designed to keep heat in. Across the jacket, there are also water- and wind-resistant panels in the areas most exposed to the outside world.

You’ll also find a draft flap down the front zipper. It comes with snaps that keep it connected, but it means you can unzip to allow for more ventilation without your jacket flapping around all over the place.

On the men’s jacket, there are two zippered hand pockets. The women’s jacket features the same but has two slip-in pockets that are perfect for a phone and an inner chest pocket.

Why We Like It

We like that this jacket is both environmentally-friendly and effective against the cold! It’s lightweight, easy to wear, and features both insulating and wind-resistant properties.

What to Consider

Remember that the men’s jacket only has two pockets, whereas the women’s jacket has five pockets. Two pockets are still appreciated, but it’s easy to assume you’re getting more if you’ve seen the women’s jackets advertised.

What’s New

The Thermolite material has been updated to offer more warmth with less weight. According to Brooks, it provides 12 percent more warmth while staying lightweight.


  • Comfortable material insulates your body heat to keep you warm
  • Wind-resistant paneling keeps cold breezes out as you’re running
  • Secure pockets keep your hands warm and your valuables safe
  • Lightweight, recycled material is easier on the environment


  • The men’s jacket features fewer pockets than the women’s

Top Value

2. BALEAF Insulated Running Jacket

If you’re on a budget, you can still get a highly effective cold-weather running jacket in the BALEAF Insulated Running Jacket. It’s affordable and does the job well.

What We Like

The men’s and women’s BALEAF jackets come in four colors—light blue, navy blue, black, and white for men and black, dark blue, purple, and white for the ladies.

The jackets are surprisingly affordable, considering their high-quality construction. A polyester outer layer protects you from the elements, with water-resistant properties that make it easy to run in light rain without any issues.

Stretchy fabric allows you to move easily and not be held back by the jacket. It’s also moisture-wicking to keep you dry. Inside the jacket, it’s layered with fleece to provide an insulating effect.

As a bonus, the jacket’s material is also abrasion-resistant, which increases the durability of the apparel. There are two “hidden” hand pockets on the sides of the jacket.

Why We Like It

The BALEAF Insulated Running Jacket is of exceptional quality for its price. If you’re looking for an affordable but effective cold-weather jacket, you can’t beat the value this one offers.

What to Consider

This jacket is designed with a naturally slim fit. While some people may be happy with that, you may have to order a size up if you prefer a bit more space.

It’s also worth noting that men’s and women’s jackets differ in design. The women’s features a hood, which the men’s doesn’t, so men wanting this feature may be disappointed. However, the men’s jacket features more pockets.


  • Lined with warm, comfortable fleece to keep the cold out and heat in
  • Stretch fabric moves easily with you, allowing you to run without restriction
  • Water-repellant and abrasion-resistant material keeps you safe in all conditions
  • Two hidden hand pockets if you need extra warmth or storage for an energy gel


  • The jacket has a naturally slim fit that may feel uncomfortable for some
  • The men’s and women’s jackets have quite different designs

Best Lightweight Winter Jacket

3. New Balance Heatloft Athletic Jacket

This jacket is light and comfy and looks stylish as well! If the texture is important to you, once you feel how soft this jacket is, you’ll be sold.

What We Like

The New Balance Heatloft Athletic Jacket is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to slip on or off as a top layer.

But aside from its lightweight nature, the softness of this jacket is incomparable. You’ll be warm and comfortable as long as you wear it, and the quilted stretch fabric feels like it’s made for luxury rather than activity.

Heat Loft material retains body heat more than your average fleece, so it’s ideal for keeping you warm in cold weather.

Other warmth-inducing features include long sleeves for extra coverage, thumb holes that help create a great seal when wearing gloves, and a curved and lowered back hem on the men’s jacket to prevent it from riding up.

The athletic fit is flattering and feels good, moving with you as you run without restricting your motion. Zippered hand pockets give you space to carry fuel with you or keep your phone safe as you run.

Why We Like It

We love the soft, comfortable fabric this jacket is made from. It’s also lightweight and comfortable enough to move easily in.

What to Consider

While the men’s jacket features a lowered and curved hem, the women’s doesn’t. It may ride up while you’re running, so you may want to wear a longer layer underneath.


  • Flattering athletic fit that moves with you while running
  • The luxurious, soft quilted fabric keeps you comfortable, warm, and dry on your run
  • Thumb holes increase hand coverage to keep your hands warm but will also ensure a better seal when wearing gloves
  • Large hidden-entry zippered pockets keep your valuables safe


  • Only the men’s jacket features a lower hem

Top Wind and Water-Resistant Cold Weather Jacket

4. ASICS Winter Run Jacket

If you run most often in a place that gets high winds and a lot of rain, you will need something to protect you against both. The ASICS Winter Run Jacket is ideal.

What We Like

This jacket is recommended for use when temperatures drop below 40°F, so it’s worth having in your closet if you live somewhere that gets that cold.

With a triple-layer thermal fabric design and extra insulation in the chest and collar, there’s no way you’ll get cold while wearing this jacket.

But warmth isn’t the only thing it offers—two different types of thermal material make the jacket resistant to wind and rain.

Another feature that helps to protect you from the wind is the high collar. The men’s jacket features an inner sleeve with a thumb hole for extra coverage, but the women’s doesn’t.

Reflective detailing adds an extra layer of safety when you’re running in murky conditions. Two zippered pockets give you plenty of space to carry your essentials while running.

Why We Like It

This jacket is ideal for cold weather. With a triple-layered thermal design and extra insulation in areas prone to cold, it will keep you safe from both wind and rain while keeping you warm.

What to Consider

The women’s jacket has a tailored fit that might be uncomfortable for some women, especially if you want to add layers beneath it. Some may find that a size-up works better for them.


  • Triple-layer thermal fabric and high-cut collar keep you warm even when temperatures drop to below 40°F
  • Water-repellant and windproof shell offers protection from the elements while wicking away sweat
  • Reflective details increase visibility in low-light conditions
  • The long, curved hem at the back provides extra coverage and protection from splashing


  • The jacket has a tailored fit that may be uncomfortable for some

Best Merino Wool Winter Jacket

5. SmartWool Smartloft 60 and 120 Jackets

Merino wool is an excellent choice for cold-weather garments. Not only does it keep you warm, but it’s also surprisingly breathable enough to prevent you from overheating. Plus, it’s extremely soft and comfortable.

What We Like

The Merino wool this jacket is made of is the purest you can find. It’s ZQ-certified, which means it’s ethically sourced and sustainable. You can feel good about wearing this jacket for its impact on the planet at the same time as you feel good wearing it for its style and comfort.

It’s also lined with Merino for superb insulation. This layer does wonders for regulating your body temperature while drawing moisture away from your skin, keeping you comfortable and dry.

The fabric is soft, stretchy, and has a DWR—durable water-repellent—layer, which protects you from rain. The recycled nylon shell is also wind-resistant, making this jacket a great option for any weather.

Other bonuses of Merino wool include its natural antibacterial properties and its unparalleled softness, giving it a luxurious feeling.

You’ll also find plenty of handy storage on this jacket. Two zippered side pockets, 2 internal pockets, and a chest pocket with a media cord outlet give you all the space you need for storing valuables.

Why We Like It

Merino wool is the top choice for winter weather thanks to its superb thermo-regulating properties. Plus, this jacket is so soft and luxurious that you might never want to take it off!

What to Consider

The jacket is said to run a little small, so you might want to buy a size up if you want to layer underneath it to stay warmer.


  • Made with ethically sourced and eco-friendly Merino wool
  • Merino-lined insulation regulates your body temperature while drawing moisture away from your skin
  • Plenty of storage with a chest pocket with a media cord outlet, two zippered hand pockets, and two internal pockets
  • Streamlined design that’s wind-resistant and features a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish


  • This jacket runs a little small, so you may need to size up

Top Reflective Winter Running Jacket

6. Brooks Run Visible Convertible Jacket

This jacket is highly reflective, making you easily visible to motorists and other runners in low-light conditions. Plus, it converts into a vest to get maximum breathability mid-run.

What We Like

This is a smartly-designed jacket. It’s lightweight and breathable, and its white and yellow color scheme makes it easy to see in low-light conditions. Plus, it features strategically-placed reflective strips to make you stand out when you need to.

While it might look like it doesn’t keep you warm, the material is wind-resistant and water-resistant. It’s also made from 92 percent recycled materials, so you’re helping to protect the environment when you choose this jacket.

If you get warm mid-run, there’s no need to remove the jacket entirely. You can convert this easily into a vest by packing it down into itself, which is convenient and increases breathability significantly.

Zippered pockets on either side of the jacket give you more than enough space to store whatever valuables you need to carry, keeping them dry and safe.

Why We Like It

This jacket is uniquely designed. We love that it doubles up as a vest, and the reflectivity is an excellent safety feature.

What to Consider

Although it’s the best color for reflectivity, some people may be disappointed at this jacket’s lack of color choices.


  • Strategically-placed reflective detailing draws attention to you when running in low-light conditions
  • Can easily be converted from a jacket to a vest mid-run if necessary
  • Two zippered side pockets holds your gels, keys, or mobile phone
  • Jacket packs down into itself for easy storage if needed


  • No other colors to choose from

Best for Cold, Windy Nights

7. Craft ADV SubZ Running Jacket 2

If you prefer running at night but dislike the cold, this jacket could be your next favorite piece of apparel. It may look unassuming, but it’s both warm and wind-proof and contains reflective details to keep you visible.

What We Like

This light, easy-to-wear jacket might not look like much, but it’s highly effective at keeping you warm on cold, windy nights.

Featuring a bonded 3-layer design, its brushed polyester padding keeps your body heat in, while the Ventair front panel keeps the wind from affecting you. A high collar, taped bottom hem, and thumb holes also help to keep breezes from sneaking in and chilling you.

Reflective details keep you safer at night as you’re more visible to drivers. Concealed pockets provide all the space you need for valuables.

Why We Like It

This jacket is great for protecting you against all the potential dangers that night running could throw at you. You’ll be easily seen, protected from wind and rain, and completely comfortable.

What to Consider

You might not find this jacket suitable for night runs below 40°F. That may limit you in terms of which nights you can run, especially if you live in a very cold place.


  • Lightweight, the bonded 3-layer design that will keep you warm and comfortable when temperatures drop to 40°F
  • Wind and water-protective front and brushed polyester in the back help insulates body heat
  • Soft, high-cut collar shields your neck from the cold without any irritation
  • Long sleeves with thumb holes protect your hands from the cold


  • Not deemed suitable for temperatures below 40°F

Top Nike Winter Running Jacket for Men

8. Nike Therma-FIT Repel

There’s a reason Nike is such a popular brand. They make fantastic apparel and running shoes, and this jacket is one of their excellent offerings for cold-weather runs.

What We Like

As its name hints at, the fabric of this jacket repels water and keeps you dry in light rain, as well as wicking away sweat from the inside.

It also has insulation technology that regulates your body temperature and keeps you warmer. However, it features perforations on the jacket to allow maximum airflow without chilling you.

You can still run quite comfortably, thanks to the lightweight fabric that moves with you and allows you to run with a full range of motion.

An adjustable hood allows you to keep warmer if you need to, as do zippered hand pockets. You’ll also find reflective detailing to keep you visible no matter what time of day you choose to run.

Why We Like It

You know this jacket will be high-quality, thanks to the brand name. It’s lightweight, still breathable, and doesn’t hinder your movement.

What to Consider

The hem isn’t lowered or curved like others, which means there’s a chance that it may ride up while you’re running. Wear an extra-length shirt underneath the jacket may be a good idea.


  • Lightweight, breathable, and waterproof fabric moves with your stride
  • Insulating technology regulates and maintains your body heat to keep you warm
  • Adjustable hood will protect you from rain and gusts of wind
  • Perforations allow for maximum breathability


  • The hem may ride up when you’re running

Top Nike Winter Running Jacket for Women

9. Nike Therma-FIT

This is the women’s version of the jacket above and has the same high-quality construction. It should keep you warm in cold weather while looking good at the same time.

What We Like

This jacket is pretty and comes in a few feminine but striking colors. Although it has a slightly chunky puffer-like design, it’s surprisingly lightweight and easy to run in.

The baffles are filled with recycled polyester, keeping you warmer when the temperature drops. The cuffs and the collar feature extended fleece to provide even more coverage against the cold and wind.

Nike Therma-FIT technology regulates your body heat so you stay comfortable in any weather. Other features that help keep you warm include a below-the-hip hem and easy-access hand pockets.

Why We Like It

Warm, comfortable, and stylish. Plus, it comes with the biggest brand name in running… What’s not to like?

What to Consider

This jacket has a naturally slim fit. If you want layers underneath or don’t like tight-fitting apparel, you may want to choose a size up.


  • Quilted, recycled poly-fill baffles provide insulation against winter temperature drops
  • Soft, warm fleece collar and sleeves trap heat to keep you warm and comfortable on your run
  • Two easily accessible zippered pockets let you carry your phone, keys, and running fuel
  • Sits just below the hips and is designed to accommodate a runner’s movement


  • A slim fit may not be comfortable for all runners

Best Windproof Winter Running Jacket

10. Arc’teryx Norvan LT Hoodie

Despite its lightweight and sleek look, this jacket is heavy-duty. It’s weatherproof enough to use in almost any condition, so if you’re an adventurous runner, it’s worth investing in.

What We Like

Gore-Tex is one of the most effective technologies to keep you dry in wet conditions. It’s often seen in shoes, but this jacket uses it to repel water and keep you warm and dry while running.

You can wear this in a heavy downpour and stay quite dry, but it’s not thick like regular raincoats. One of the best things about Gore-Tex is that it remains lightweight, flexible, and breathable, even though it’s such a great waterproof fabric. It’s also a decent windbreaker.

It has a relaxed fit that can easily be layered over other clothing in the cold. It only has one pocket, but it’s large enough to carry a phone safely and comfortably. When not in use, you can pack the jacket down into its own pocket for easier storage.

Why We Like It

This jacket may be pricey, but it does an excellent job of protecting you from rain and wind. We highly recommend it if you run often in rainy or windy weather.

What to Consider

Although it’s to be expected from a Gore-Tex jacket, you can expect to pay a lot more due to the quality of the material and construction. This may make it less accessible to some runners.


  • Features 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric that’s lightweight, breathable, flexible, and will keep you dry in a torrential downpour
  • Pocket on the left hip is large enough to comfortably store a mobile phone
  • Relaxed fit that works for layering and provide a great range of motion
  • Can easily be folded up and packed away into its own pocket


  • This jacket is more expensive than the others on this list

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

The Wired Runner