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Best Running Rain Jackets in 2022

 

When the weather gets bad, and you still want to get out there and run, these running rain jackets will help you stay dry.

While keeping out the elements, these jackets are also highly breathable so you won’t overheat.

Our top choice is the Gore R3 Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket. It offers weather protection in a lightweight shell that moves easily with you. It’s also highly breathable so you stay cool while exercising.

We’ve reviewed and tested over 20+ different jackets. These are our favorites…

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Gore R3 Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket

 

  • Soft and flexible fabric
  • Lightweight and water/wind-proof
  • Adjustable fit
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket

 

  • DWR coating
  • Underarm vents
  • Stand-up collar
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket

 

  • Breathable, thin fabric
  • Adjustable hood
  • Packs up easily
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

Best Overall

1. Gore R3 Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket

The Gore R3 Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket is very resistant to the elements and doesn’t restrict your range of motion.

What We Like

This jacket may be lightweight, but it boasts a waterproof and windproof design that makes it excellent for running in rain.

It’s made from Gore-Tex ACTIVE material, which is not only weather-proof, but it’s also highly breathable.

The soft-shell design is comfortable but also moves comfortably with you, which allows you to have a full range of motion as you exercise.

A width-adjustable hood and stand-up collar helps stop the wind from getting in. A zip garage at the throat helps keep the zipper out of the way while remaining windproof.

It also has a longer back hem which offers better coverage against the weather, and a drawcord in the front.

Other helpful features include two front pockets with zippers, reflective elements on the lower sleeves, lower back and chest, and Velcro around the cuffs for easy adjustment.

Keep in mind, many users note that this jacket has a slim fit, which may not be ideal if you want to layer other clothing underneath it.

Why We Like It

This light, moveable jacket keeps you protected from both wind and rain so that you can run in the cold in comfort. It also looks good and comes in a variety of colorways.

PROS:

  • Provides lightweight weather protection
  • Softshell moves with you
  • Long back panel for better coverage
  • Velcro cuffs for easy adjustment

CONS:

  • The slim fit of this jacket may not be ideal for layering
 

Top Runner-Up

2. Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2

The Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 jacket is resistant to the elements and highly comfortable running.

What We Like

This jacket is comfortable while also keeping the elements away from you to stay warm and dry.

Using a unique blend of Paclite, which includes 8% elastane, this jacket moves effortlessly with you and won’t restrict your movements.

It also has Gore-Tex built-in, which is highly waterproof. The jacket has 2.5 layers, so you’re not only well-protected, but the waterproof layer also has a protective layer from abrasion.

Sealed seams offer extra protection against the wind as well as water. For even more protection, the waist and hook-and-loop cuffs cinch down nicely to keep out the wind.

You’ll find two spacious zippered hand pockets, as well as a large waterproof chest pocket, which is ideal for storing valuables.

The jacket packs down into its own pocket, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space when you need to take it off.

We didn’t like that the collar zip comes up very high to the chin, which may be uncomfortable or annoying for some people.

Why We Like It

This jacket’s 2.5-layer Paclite construction with built-in Gore-Tex technology effectively keeps the elements out. It also moves with you to keep you comfortable.

PROS:

  • Paclite fabric is lightweight and breathable
  • Seam-sealed for added wet weather protection
  • Water-resistant chest pocket and two large hand pockets
  • Waist and sleeves cinch down nicely to keep out the cold

CONS:

  • The collar zipper comes up very high, almost to the chin
 

Top Value

3. Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket

The Marmot PreCip Eco jacket is affordable and eco-friendly, making it great for those on a budget looking to stay dry.

What We Like

The Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket is an excellent feature-rich jacket for its price. It’s lightweight but durable, and comes in a wide range of colors.

It uses 2.5 layers to protect you from rain, and it’s lightweight enough to wear whether you’re running on the road or trail.

Although this jacket doesn’t use Gore-Tex, it uses the company’s NanoPro waterproof coating, which is protective but also breathable. It’s recycled fabric and durable, a major reason for the eco-friendly label.

Other protective features include a close-fitting hood and adjustable hook-and-loop Velcro around the cuffs. Taped seams and a DWR coating add to the waterproofing.

To make the jacket more breathable, it includes pit zips—allowing you to open the armpits of the jacket for extra ventilation.

You should note that this jacket runs slightly small. You may need to size up if you want a roomy fit.

Why We Like It

This jacket is affordable but offers many features that higher-priced jackets have. It’s protective and comfortable.

What’s New

The Marmot PreCip Eco is an update of the Marmot PreCip. It’s more eco-friendly and allows you to pack the hood into the collar.

PROS:

  • Made from recycled nylon ripstop with a DWR coating
  • Underarm vents provide great breathability
  • Stand-up collar with stowaway hood
  • Seams are taped to prevent leaking

CONS:

  • This jacket has a slightly small and snug fit
 

Best Lightweight

4. Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket

The Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket is ultralight, at just over 5 ounces. When you wear it, you won’t feel restricted or weighed down.

What We Like

This jacket is extremely lightweight, weighing just 5.5 ounces. The thin, airy fabric moves efficiently with you when running, so you can have a full range of motion.

The fit is slightly snug, so you may not be able to layer much underneath it.

It’s made from ripstop nylon, a durable material that protects against abrasion, wind, and light rain.

There’s an adjustable hood with a stiff brim, which provides excellent protection. The whole jacket can be packed down into an interior pocket for easy storage in a gym bag or glove compartment.

Some people may not like that there are no hand pockets on this jacket. One Velcro chest pocket can hold small valuables and the interior pockets, which is mainly for packing the jacket.

Why We Like It

This jacket is lightweight, which allows it to move easily with you while keeping rain and wind out.

PROS:

  • Weighs just 5.5 ounces
  • Breathable, thin fabric moves with you
  • Adjustable hood has an elastic cord on the back
  • Packs up easily into the internal stuff pocket

CONS:

  • The wrist cuffs are slightly too big and may let wind in
  • There are no hand pockets on this jacket
 

Most Breathable

5. Outdoor Research Motive AscentShell

The Outdoor Research Motive AscentShell jacket is durable and protects against the weather, while staying breathable to keep you cool.

What We Like

The Outdoor Research Motive AscentShell jacket uses an electrospun membrane to provide exceptional breathability.

This technology spins charged polymer strands into a web-like design, which lets sweat evaporate—but prevents water from getting in.

The Motive AscentShell is a 3-layer jacket, with a tough, durable 50D polyester outer layer. There is also a 30D polyester inner layer and a waterproof membrane in between.

It has a trim fit that doesn’t rise, allowing you to move fluidly while wearing it. An adjustable hood also helps to keep wind and rain out.

Why We Like It

Thanks to unique electrospun technology, this jacket is extremely breathable but remains waterproof.

PROS:

  • Unique AscentShell technology for breathability
  • Lightweight, windproof, and waterproof
  • Trim fit but won’t ride up your waist
  • Adjustable hood

CONS:

  • The wrist cuffs are not adjustable, which could let the cold in
 

Most Versatile

6. Outdoor Research Foray Gore-Tex (men’s)

7. Outdoor Research Aspire Gore-Tex (women’s)

Both of these jackets are versatile enough to be worn in different weather conditions, including rain, snow, and cold.

What We Like

The Outdoor Research Foray Gore-Tex for men and the Aspire Gore-Tex for women are heavy-duty jackets that provide exceptional protection against inclement weather.

They can be used for running, hiking, climbing, cycling, and any other outdoor activity that requires protection against the elements.

Paclite fabric and Gore-Tex provide excellent protection against wind and rain. The external layer of these jackets is made of 50D polyester, which is highly durable.

Also protecting you is a three-way adjustable, helmet-compatible hood, which cinches down effectively around the face for optimal protection.

Three pockets give you enough space to carry valuables, and the left-hand pocket acts as a stuff-sack when the jacket is not in use. There’s also a carabiner clip so you can clip it easily onto a backpack.

A unique but appreciated feature is the TorsoFlo venting system. This incorporates extra-long pit zippers with dual-direction zippers, which open the sides of the jacket to allow for ventilation.

Just note that they are a bit on the heavier side, which some people may feel weighs them down while running.

Why We Like It

These two jackets are versatile and can be worn in different situations and weather conditions, providing excellent protection.

PROS:

  • Great for running, hiking, and climbing
  • Pit zips with dual-direction zippers provide excellent breathability
  • Paclite fabric and Gore-Tex technology
  • Stuffs down into its own pocket

CONS:

  • Slightly heavy, weighing a little more than a pound each
 

Best Stretchy Design

8. Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic

The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic moves easily with you and stretches to accommodate a full range of motion.

Some people may find that the hood has a strange and uncomfortable fit, but it does an excellent job of keeping water off your face and head.

What We Like

This jacket uses 4-way stretch material so you can move comfortably and freely while exercising. It’s soft and easy to layer other clothing underneath.

The fabric is durable 40D nylon, with 2.5-layer Dry.Q Active technology to allow for water resistance, breathability, and abrasion-resistance.

The jacket features wide-opening pit zips that easily open with one hand for even better breathability.

To keep water off, there’s a 2-way adjustable hood with a brim, sealed zippers, adjustable wrist cuffs, and a dropped back hem for optimal coverage.

Zippered hand pockets and a single zippered chest pocket provide you with plenty of space to store valuables.

Why We Like It

This jacket is stretchy and comfortable as it moves with you and allows you to move freely through your entire range of motion.

What’s New

Previous versions of this jacket had much smaller armpit vents that also had an uncomfortable hot spot. They have been redesigned on this version to reduce the chafing and also made bigger for more ventilation.

PROS:

  • 4-way stretch fabric lets you move freely
  • Easy to fit over other layers
  • Larger vents increase breathability without irritation
  • Durable inner membrane won’t leave you feeling clammy

CONS:

  • Some may find that the hood has a strange fit
 

Top Packable Jacket

9. Janji Rainrunner Pack

If you need a jacket that you can pack and carry easily with you, then the Janji Rainrunner Pack jacket is an excellent choice.

What We Like

This jacket is lightweight—8 ounces in weight—and easy to pack down into its own pocket. It also has a carry strap built-in for easy carrying.

A 2.5-layer shell keeps you protected from water and wind while allowing heat to escape to keep you cool and dry.

There’s also a 360-degree venting panel around the center of the jacket to release heat.

The ripstop nylon moves with you effortlessly and doesn’t limit your range of motion. It has a scuba-style hood, a dropped back hem, and semi-elastic cuffs, which protect against the elements.

You’ll also find two zippered hand pockets and a chest pocket for storing your valuables.

However, the jacket seems to run a little small in the shoulder area, limiting movement. You should order a size up for a more flexible fit and if you want to layer underneath it.

Why We Like It

This jacket is light, protective, and packs down into a small size so you can use it in any situation.

PROS:

  • Packs down into a tiny size
  • Exceptional breathability and heat release
  • Stretchy ripstop fabric is waterproof and windproof
  • Dropped back hem provides protection from spatter

CONS:

  • The jacket runs a little small on the shoulders
 

Best for Cold Rain

10. Asics Thermostorm Jacket

The Asics Thermostorm Jacket is designed to keep you dry but also warm at the same time while you’re wearing it.

What We Like

This jacket uses a multi-layered woven fabric to keep nasty weather out and regulate your body temperature at the same time.

It’s suitable for keeping you warm in the cold, but is also very breathable, helping you not overheat or get drenched in sweat inside the jacket.

A vent on the back of the jacket allows for airflow to wick away moisture and allow hot air to escape. There are thumb holes in the sleeves and a lowered back hem for extra warmth.

You’ll find two zippered hand pockets on either side of the jacket. However, there is no chest pocket for storing your valuable items.

Why We Like It

This jacket uses soft, brushed fabric to keep you warm and comfortable. The wool lining helps regulate your body temperature, keeping you comfortable and protected from the elements.

PROS:

  • Woven inner layer regulates body temperature
  • Thumb holes extend coverage to keep your hands warm
  • Water-repellent shell keeps you dry without sacrificing breathability
  • Vent on the back lets out excess heat and increases airflow

CONS:

  • No chest pockets
 

Running Rain Jacket Buyer’s Guide

We’ve had our fair share of runs in rainy weather. It goes without saying, that the best (maybe only?) way to make these runs enjoyable (tolerable?) is to wear the right rain gear.

That starts with a running rain jacket.

We’re going to break down what to look for when shopping for a rain jacket. We won’t be covering all the technical aspects of these jackets – just practical things to look out for when shopping.

The first thing to keep in mind is what kind of tolerance you have for wet runs. Not all rain is created equal. There’s a big difference between cold, winter rain and warm, summer rain. Wind, temperature, and amount of rain coming down all play in a role in which jacket is going to work best.

Some jackets are heavy and wouldn’t be good in warm weather. Others are too thin or vented for windy or cold runs.

If you are the type of runner where no amount of rain or cold will stop you, it might be worth investing in a heavier jacket for cold rain and a lighter jacket for the summer. It’s difficult to find a jacket that will satisfy both.

That being said, let’s get started with what to look for when buying a rain jacket for running.

Waterproof vs Water-resistant vs Breathability

No question the biggest challenge in finding a good rain jacket is finding the right the balance between breathability and waterproofing.

Jacket material that totally blocks rain and water often doesn’t breath well. This means you get steamy inside the jacket. You may even sweat more and be just as wet from that as you would from the rain.

To allow for more breathability, most jackets have venting built-in, usually under the arms or midway up the back, to allow some airflow.

But we’ve found the best way to balance rain-resistance and breathability is to buy a jacket made with Gore-Tex or a similar material. This fabric breaths better but still repels water.

Gore-Tex has been the mainstay since it was invented in the 70s. But some major brands offer their own, similar competing material.

But even this type of fabric has its limitations. While it does breath better than rubber or nylon fabric, it can still feel warmer than other lightweight running jackets.

Waterproof vs Water-resistant

There are different levels of rain-resisting jackets. A water-resistant jacket will keep you dry during a rain shower but may not stay dry during a downpour or long, extended runs.

But when it comes to breathability, a water-proof jacket – even if made from Gore-Tex – won’t breathe as well as a water-resistant jacket.

Wind Protection

Running rain jackets do a great job at blocking wind. But like their water-protection powers, their windproof-ness varies by jacket. Usually, the more waterproof jackets protect you better from the wind. But again what you need will depend on how likely you are to go out in bad weather.

Venting

As we mentioned earlier, running rain jackets almost always have vents to help with air circulation.

Make sure you find a jacket that has ventilation or you may otherwise find yourself overheating regardless of how breathable the jacket claims to be.

Hood

Most running rain jackets have hoods, but it’s not true for all. Generally, the water-resistant jackets forgo a hood. Not a huge problem, just make you wear the right headgear.

More hardcore rain jackets do include a hood. Look for a hood that’s big enough to go over a hat, especially one with a bill. 

Some jackets have a hood with a built-in bill. This helps keep rain out of your eyes. 

The jacket should also include a high collar that can be zipped up to keep wind and rain away from your face. The hood should also be adjustable and able to cinch tightly against your head.

Zippers

Since jackets are full of zippers – and because it’s easy for water to seep through – running rain jackets usually have coatings to help keep out water or a cover or flap to protect the zippers from the rain.

We prefer flaps over a rubber coating. The coating can sometimes make the zipper harder to zip and unzip.

Sleeves

Check the sleeves at the cuffs to make sure there is a way to tighten them. Loose cuffs allow water to seep inside the sleeve, making your arms just as wet as if you weren’t wearing a jacket.

We like sleeves with velcro rather than elastic cuffs. The velcro is more adjustable and comfortable to wear. We’ve found it’s easier to keep water out this way.

Packability

Some jackets can be tucked into themselves via a pocket, allowing them to be stored and carried as a small bundle. These packable jackets are great to stash in your pack or carry when the weather is iffy and threatening rain. Pull these out and unpack as needed.

Cold weather or warm weather jacket

The final consideration is whether you want a jacket for cold weather or milder temperatures. 

Most running rain jackets are made of fabric that’s layered together. An outer layer is formed with an inner liner to provide rain and wind protection on the outside and a comfortable liner on the inside. The most robust jackets are made with 3-layers sandwiched together. 

The heavier the material, the warmer it will be. Depending on the season you plan on running, this will dictate how thick of a jacket you’ll need.

FAQs

Should a Running Jacket Be Loose or Tight?

The running jacket should be a comfortable fit that allows for a full range of motion.

You should be able to lift your hands over your head easily without the jacket feeling too tight and pulling.

However, it also shouldn’t be so loose that cold air can get in at the waist and cuffs.

Also, remember that you will probably layer underneath your jacket, so a slightly looser fit is best.

When Should You Wear a Running Jacket?

Lightweight running rain jackets will be suitable for wear in summer showers, autumn, spring rain, or when it’s particularly windy or a little chilly outside.

You should invest in a more heavy-duty all-weather jacket for winter running.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

There is a subtle difference between waterproof and water-resistant jackets. Both types sometimes come with a DWR coating—durable water-repellent—which increases the water-resisting abilities.

Waterproof

Waterproof jackets are suitable for running in heavy downpours for extended periods. They are certified waterproof when they’ve reached a certain level of water-resistance in lab tests.

They are usually breathable, although they may be somewhat bulky and feel heavy when worn.

Water-Resistant

Water-resistant jackets are more common and suitable for lighter weather for shorter periods.

They’re more lightweight and offer a better range of motion. However, they’re not great for withstanding heavy rain.

What Materials Should I Look For?

Gore-Tex fabric is the best choice for running rain jackets. It offers excellent breathability while keeping water out effectively.

Most well-known brands have their own water-resistant fabrics. However, some brands incorporate GoreTex into their jackets as well.

You should take note of which Gore-Tex material is used in the jacket. Some include two layers, some include 2.5 layers, and others have three layers of protection.

What’s the Difference Between 2 vs 2.5 vs 3 Layers?

The layering of the running jacket depends on what you need. They come in 2-layer, 2.5-layer, and 3-layer options.

3-Layer Materials

The 3-layer rain jackets are the most durable and the most waterproof. They consist of an outer layer of material, a middle waterproof membrane, and a soft inner layer.

The outer layer stops the waterproof membrane from getting damaged due to abrasion, while the inner layer prevents sweat and body oils from reducing its effectiveness.

2.5-Layer Materials

2.5-layer jackets are similar to 3-layer jackets, with an outer layer to protect the waterproof membrane from damage.

However, there is only a light coating on the inside of the waterproof membrane, which still protects it from body oils and perspiration but is less robust and slightly more lightweight.

2-Layer Material

Although they still last, the 2-layer running rain jackets are the least durable. They have an inner layer and a waterproof membrane only.

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.

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