8 Best Winter Running Jackets

Text by: Olivier Lasselle

. 8 Best Winter Running Jackets

For some, the falling snow and blistering winds mean it’s time to hang up their running shoes for the season. It’s time to switch gears, literally, to skis, snowboards, snowshoes and whatever else they might enjoy doing on snow and ice. For those who like to stick to their favourite activities all year round we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s swapping your road bike for a fat bike, or running straight through winter, we’ve got the apparel to get you through the cold. Here’s our list of the 8 best winter running jackets.

Best Overall Winter Running Jacket

R1 Full-Zip Hoody by Patagonia

The R1 Full-Zip Hoody by Patagonia is our best overall pick for a winter running jacket because it’s got everything a runner would need. As a midlayer, it’s one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe, and this one is insulated, moisture-wicking and breathable thanks to the Polartec Power Grid. Its lightweight fabric and technical fit give you everything you want in a running jacket.  

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Best Waterproof Winter Running Jacket

Helium II Jacket by Outdoor Research

When the snow starts to fall you’ll want a jacket that can keep you dry. Enter the Helium II Jacket by Outdoor Research. It features Pertex Shield 2.5L technology that will keep the jacket waterproof without overheating. Layer it with a warm breathable fleece and you’ll be ready to run through the coldest winter storms.

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Best Breathable Winter Running Shell

Pursuit Balance Cross Country Ski Jacket by Craft

Breathability is essential for all winter runners. You want to stay protected against the elements, but when you start to sweat you need a fabric that can expel the warm air so you don’t overheat. Having a jacket like the Pursuit Balance Cross Country Ski Jacket by Craft will make all the difference. It’s breathable 2L jersey and lining on the body and sleeves will keep you plenty comfortable during the duration of your run.

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Best Winter Running Fleece

Borod Hoodie by The North Face

If you want something lightweight and warm, look no further than the Borod Hoodie by The North Face. Fleece is one of the best insulators available because it will stay warm even when wet. It’s also good at repelling water so you’ll stay dry even when light snow starts to fall. That combined with the active fit and you’ve got the perfect midweight fleece hoodie to get you through those cold winter runs.

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Best Cool Weather Running Jacket

Smartloft-X 60 Hoodie by Smartwool

When the temperature really drops but you’re still itching to get out and run, you need something insulated like the Smartloft-X 60 Hoodie by Smartwool. The recycled wool insulation is windproof, packable, breathable, and able to maintain warmth even when it’s wet. With an extra coating of DWR, you’ve got even more reason to hit the snowy trails.

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Best Lightweight Winter Running Jacket

Incendo Hoody by Arc’teryx

You’ve certainly heard of the expression light as a feather, and if you were looking for an example, the Incendo Hoody by Arc’teryx is a perfect one. The Lumin 20D nylon ripstop body weighs next to nothing and it’s wind and water-resistant with plenty of breathability. Articulated patterning and reflective blades keep it ready to run, and on top of a warm fleece, you’ll be invincible on blistering winter runs.

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Best GORE-TEX Winter Running Jacket

C3 Gore Thermium Hooded Jacket by Gore Bike Wear

GORE-TEX has set the standard for durable weatherproof fabrics. The C3 Gore Thermium Hooded Jacket by Gore Bike Wear lives up to its name thanks to the windproof water-resistant outer shell. Paired with Primaloft Gold Insulation Active you’ve got yourself a winter running jacket that can take on any conditions.  

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Best Reflective Winter Running Jacket

Apex Ws Jacket by Sportful

Visibility is key, especially for those who like to go for evening runs. For those who want to be seen for the right reasons, the flashy colours of the Apex WS Jacket by Sportful are all you need to stand out. With a Windstopper 4 Way fabric on the front and the sides, and a breathable fabric throughout, you’ll have all the details you need to get through the cold.

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How to Dress for Winter Running

Winter running is less about style and more about surviving the cold. The best approach is to go for layers so that you can dress up or down depending on the elements. Pair your winter running jacket with a good pair of running tights and a comfortable pair of winter running shoes for performance in the coldest and wettest conditions.

What To Look for in a Winter Running Jacket

Like any activity, you need apparel that’s designed to take on the conditions you’re planning to face. For those who like to run in the cold, a jacket that’s waterproof, windproof, and breathable will make all the difference. Winter can throw surprises at you, and when you’re halfway up the trail, you don’t want to be caught off guard. Our best running jackets are meant to get you through the cold so you don’t have to break stride when fall turns to winter.

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