The best waterproof running jackets - how we tested:
In the elements
Every running jacket with the Runner’s World Expert Tested logo below has been rigorously tested by our panel of 24 runners. Each tester was briefed to take their jacket out over a number of runs in all weather conditions, from sun and light showers to wind, heavy downpours and nighttime jaunts. After each run, they noted how water-resistant and windproof the jacket had proven to be. Our panel also ran at night to test the effectiveness of any hi-vis detailing.
Following the trial, our testers filled out a questionnaire, sharing their thoughts on everything from the support and fit of the jacket to how light and comfortable it felt to wear. We asked testers to comment on the length of the arms and body, the sturdiness and smoothness of the zips, and how easy the jacket was to put on and off while running.
Did it move well with their body? Did it flap around in the wind like a stressed out hen? Breathability, ventilation, bells and whistles, value for money...and, of course, weatherproofing. All these factors and more went into the feedback. Finally, testers were asked whether they’d wear it again, based on its overall quality, performance and value for money.
In the lab
In house, our lab team more closely tested the waterproofing claims of each jacket using a hydrostatic head machine. A perfect score out of five means the waterproofing is tip-top, while those with a lower score of three or four will protect you from most rain but may struggle with heavy downpours.
The Runner's World Lab team also washed the jackets using the wash instructions printed on the label, noting any shrinkage, wrinkling or damage.
Finally, we took all the information from wear testers and lab scores, interpreted the results, combined the feedback and gave each jacket an overall score. Those with the highest scores are featured below, identified by our trusty logo.
The remaining jackets are recommendations from the Runner’s World editors, who also know a thing or two when it comes to picking the right gear for the job, after years of experience testing the latest kit on the market.
Claiming equal windproof and waterproof capabilities, this jacket is built for the elements. Reflective fabric makes it safe for dark runs too. And if you do manage to avoid the rain, there’s a handy velcro strip to keep the hood in place when not in use.
However, some found the 100% nylon fabric billowed, and held in sweat. Heading out for a gentle 5k-er or taking the dog out? Crack on. But if you’re in the mood to go long distance, it might not be the one.
Waterproof, comfortable and practical, this jacket is certainly great value. Testers said the full-length zip made it easy to put on in a hurry and you can also pack it away into a compact ‘stuff sack’ when you want to shed a layer.
Some of our panel grew a bit hot and sticky during longer runs, and found the toggles a tad annoying as they tended to bounce around. However, it’s ideal for casual runners looking to stay dry, or for anyone who doesn’t want to spend much.
Fantastic value for a jacket from what is normally a more premium-priced brand with strong eco creds. This is made for no-nonsense runners who want to get out there and stay relatively dry, without having spent a fortune.
It’s ultra-lightweight and comfortable, with a streamlined fit that, hallelujah, offers excellent bum coverage. It offers very adequate protection, but don’t expect stellar waterproofing or breathability at this price. It’s unisex, and hence a boxy cut, but men are advised to go one size up.
Fancy channeling your inner 90s athlete on your next jog? Look no further than this colourful number from New Balance. While our test panel loved the design, its fit caused a few thumbs down. The fabric billowed and the hood moved around mid-run.
That said, if you’re after something to pop on for a quick spin round the park, or en-route to the shops, then you’ll likely be the most stylish runner in town.
Keen trail runners will understand the importance of having a decent all-purpose piece of kit like the Decathlon Evadict when battling the elements. All our keen testers reported that this would be ideal for winter runs, scoring well on our in-lab waterproofing tests and keeping our athletes warm mid-run.
It packed away well for when you’re ready to strip down a layer, but it wasn’t too tight, allowing you to layer up with a thick base if needed. However, some said they’d have liked a more breathable fabric, while our petite female runners also felt it was cut too long over the bum.
Price: £39 to £70
At just over 100g, this featherweight jacket is the lightest we’ve tried, and it feels it. It’s as soft as a premium running top, yet fully windproof even in gales. Seriously: it did a great job in strong wind, but it was no match for stronger rain.
We like the hood, which fitted well on its own or over a peaked cap, and found it suitably shower-resistant. It packs neatly into its pocket, which has a handy belt for wearing it around your waist. It’s a simple, effective and wallet-friendly solution for most UK weather conditions.
Price: £69.99 - £79.99
We were impressed by the windproofing of this lightweight little number, even if it did rustle a tad as we ran. It can fold up to fit in its own pocket, making it a great piece of ‘just in case’ kit for the transition months. Its back vent stopped the jacket sticking to us when we got sweaty – although we’d also have liked vents in other key areas to compensate for times when a backpack was worn - and the ergonomic hood moved with our head so as not to obscure our view.
We like the big zipper, but it’s on the opposite side to usual and could do with a toggle for quick access. It kept us bone dry throughout several solid showers, and while the white colour is impractical for offroad running, the outer shell wipes clean easily and quickly. Overall, it’s a solid buy that hikers will also like, but perhaps £20 too expensive for what you get.
As the name suggests: pick this jacket if reflectivity is a priority. It’s top of the class for road safety, thanks to a hi-vis outer coating that is the brightest and most attention grabbing we’ve come across. It’s also flexible and snug where you want it to be.
On the downside, however, are a lack of breathability (it clung to bare skin so wear a long-sleeve top underneath) and it didn’t take long for the material to start smelling like a teenager’s bedroom.
This jacket caught our testers’ attention for the very neat way it can be packed into a little over-the-shoulder bag. It kept everyone dry in light rain, though the water repellant coating kept water on the surface, making our runners feel a little cold. Though there’s plenty of room to wear layers underneath. Ideal for spring training.
Comfortable, non-restrictive, lightweight, mid-price range – all the attributes of a solid running jacket. Our panel reported back that they liked its elasticated cuffs that kept the brisk air out, alongside genuinely useful pockets.
Our female runners especially liked the slim fit, which meant there was no billowing or crunched-up fabric. However, it’s best for light rain (this comes sans hood), as it wasn’t as waterproof as some of the other jackets here.
Price: £71.99 to £109
Come rain, wind or shine, our panel raved about OMM’s Halo Jacket, rating details such as the well-fitted hood for keeping out wind and rain as well as the length, making it a winner for cycling, too.
With a looser fit, it’s great if you want to add layers underneath, though our athletes weren’t sold on it for faster runs. Our male testers found some material flapped a little, while our female testers said they got pretty toasty on faster sessions. Though there’s no pockets, it scores bonus points for packability, squishing down to the size of a tennis ball.
Whether mountain trekking, city jogging or trail running, one thing is for certain: comfort is paramount. The Keela Storm jacket has comfort at its core with its design and functionality taking equal precedence.
With details such as chest pockets, thumb loops and breathable fabric, and the ability to roll-up the hood, our runners also rated it highly for fit and a flattering cut. It kept everyone looking and feeling cool, even during higher intensity sessions.
Shop now, men’s
Our team of runners rated this particularly well at keeping them dry, warm and wind-proof – what more could you want from a premium running jacket, we hear you ask?
Toggle strings for a tighter fit and velcro straps on the wrists are nice details that our panel appreciated for keeping them dry on raining runs, too. The downside? For some, the hood felt a little too bulky.
Designed to be worn by fast runners for whom lightweight material is key to performance, this jacket scored highly across the board. Our testers reported it would be an excellent buy for race day due to its tighter fit.
It also washed well; being able to throw something this pricey in the wash at 40°C with the rest of your kit goes a long way in terms of practicality. With a slim fit, you may need to size up. However, for night runs, some testers felt it wasn’t as visible as they’d like.
Made from 100% polyester with a PU membrane, and weighing just 100g, breathability and lightweight-wear are the order of the day here. If you’re heading to the start line, our runners will see you there; its translucent design also means race bibs can be seen underneath.
However, it was hard to remove while running, and scored 4/5 in our waterproof testing, which is worth considering if you’re out and about in heavy showers a lot.
Price: £150 - £180
If you’re looking for a solidly performing running jacket that will multitask as a hiking option as well as a casual waterproof, try this windproof model. It has a double layer with a weather-resistant outer shell and the cut is thoughtfully done; this was one of the best jackets we tried for freedom of movement.
It features underarm vents for breathability and these got the job done without being especially great. The hood is well designed, staying firmly put in the wind, but we’d suggest going up one size, as this jacket is a snug fit.
Price: from £155.05
We found it hard to fault this jacket, with its magic mix of low weight and insulation. Not a drop of rain seeped through its water-resistant fabric, seams and zips, and it felt soft and comfortable against our skin. It kept us warm while standing around coaching, as well as running, and we liked the two big hand pockets.
It fit perfectly, offering non-clingy breathability without erring on the baggy side. It has adjustable toggles, but it came up true to size, so we didn't need these. It’s easy to take off and on on the run thanks to a strong zip that glides up and down without catching.
High-res neon accents make it for safe road running (though more would be welcome) and we liked the long sleeves and close-fitting hood. There was no annoying rustling or flapping about when the wind picked up, either. There was no shrinkage or wrinkling after a machine wash, but it did take six hours to air dry, as it’s fairly thick. Though pricey, this jacket is undeniably a worthy investment.
One of the more detailed designs on our list – and available in five chic colours – the Saloman Bonatti performed well in the style stakes. However, size-wise it ran quite small, so you may want to size-up, especially for better ease of movement on faster runs.
Large pockets also meant our testers’ phone and keys moved around a fair bit when they picked up the pace. It did score 5/5 for its waterproof capabilities, and packs down easily, making it easy to store or travel with.
This stylish double-layered jacket has been designed to let air in through the middle and keep you cool. This ventilation is welcome and effective on still, mild days where you just need a little protection, but it’s draughty in strong winds and the hood flaps about when down.
It’s water-resistant in showers, but heavy rain will soak through in about 10 minutes. That said, we loved the athletic slim fit, the anti-tear weave, and the antimicrobial treatment to ward off ingrained niffs.
If you're heading out on an adventure and need guaranteed dryness, this Futurelight jacket from The North Face is a good choice. Sure, paying nearly £300 for a running jacket is a huge expense, but if you can afford it, this jacket is wonderfully breathable, while still keeping you bone dry on the run.
We were impressed with how lightweight it felt (no running-in-a-plastic-bag vibes here) on rainy summer runs, and liked the reflective elements for staying seen on darker days.
It can also be packed away, which is super-handy for trail runners. The only downside we could find with this jacket is the complete lack of pockets.