While we navigate the remaining months of winter and look forward to spring, cold weather and hazardous wind conditions still tend to send athletes and runners inside. You, on the other hand, never let sinking temperatures get in your way of a runner’s high.
Running jackets are essential to your winter running wardrobe, and we want to help you find the best winter running jacket for women that money can buy.
Join us as we explore the versatile features that make an ideal winter running jacket, so you can find the jacket of your dreams as well as knowledge of the industry-standard design features that can save a running friend from making a grave gear mistake.
Features to Consider Before Buying
In a world where online shopping is king, we’ve noticed how difficult it can be to set competing brands and products apart so you can capture the essence of what you’re truly looking for. Sometimes you never know what you need until you discover it.
Let’s explore some of the features that set certain jackets apart from the crowd, so you can spend less time shopping for running jackets and more time running.
You may think insulation is the chief concern for any runner who loves getting outdoors during the winter, and it is, but resistance to wind and water play an important role in a runner’s ability to perform well and avoid getting sick. Many of the jackets in our review feature Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finishes, which is ideal for warding off moisture and light rain. Wind resistance is another important feature to keep in mind, because those winter months can be cruel and provide a dangerous wind chill that can make or break your routine.
While finishes and fabric technologies keep your upper body safe on the outside, it’s important to remember that self-generated moisture can wreak havoc on the inside of your jacket too. With quality moisture management technology, your jacket can wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable as you run.
There are many varying levels of insulation when it comes to running jackets. Though most brands boast perfect suitability for running in freezing temperatures, we believe that safety should never be compromised. If you live in a very cold environment or plan to run long distances at chilly temperatures, you should consider a down jacket that features fill power to keep you warm. Though down jackets keep you fully insulated, manufacturers have found ways to keep them super light so you don’t feel as if you’re carrying around any extra weight.
Safety is paramount to enjoyably running outside in cold weather. Beyond insulation and proper resistance against the elements, reflectivity is the other integral safety measure you must keep in mind while searching for your next athletic jacket. Many of the jackets in our review thought to include reflective details, patterned fabric, or woven threads to enhance visibility at nighttime and in low level lighting.
While we believe all of these integrated features can amount to the ideal winter running jacket, the choice is yours and we want you to shop with confidence.
Make a wishlist and forecast your intended applications and environments to better decide which running jacket may be best for your lifestyle and chilly excursions.
Our pick of the best winter running jackets
Let’s take a closer look at what makes these bestselling cold weather jackets true favorites of running enthusiasts everywhere.
Saucony Women’s Sonic Jacket
Price: $10.00 – $135.00
Sizes: XSmall – XLarge
Design Features: 100% Polyester, USB LED rechargeable clip-on light, slim fit, three pockets, wind-resistant, water-resistant, temperature range of 50°F and below,Sonic reflective shell, & flex mesh underarms.
Best Use: Running
The Women’s Sonic Jacket by Saucony is the most reflective running jacket in our review. With 360 degrees of signature Sonic shell construction, you will be visible on long night runs or foggy days thanks to highly reflective chest and hem design.
Don’t sacrifice your routine because of a bit of bad weather. The durable water repellent coating protects your upper body and is resistant to wind and water. To keep you extra dry and warm, the design features an elongated back length.
If you prefer to have storage options in order to carry personal items such as keys, licenses, or energy supplements. This jacket features two front hand pockets and a single pocket at the back right hip. For ventilation and breathability, Saucony thought to include extra-large mesh panels underneath the armpit areas so your natural body heat can release.
The only drawback to this jacket is that it is not fully waterproof or windproof. If you plan on competing in races or events that take place in incliment weather, you may want to explore other options. If you are looking for a personalized fit, however, the dropped hem and cordlock coverage will give you plenty of reasons to choose this jacket.
Related: If wind- and waterproof design features are absolute must-haves for you, check out Saucony’s Nomad Jacket. For extra coverage against the elements, the Women’s Exo Jacket’s seams are taped and sealed to keep foul weather out.
Brooks Women’s Drift Shell Jacket
Price: $54.99 – $135.00
Sizes: Small – XLarge
Design Features: DriLayer SuperSeal, water-resistant, wind-resistant, four-way stretch fabric, zip chest pocket, zip hand pockets, media port, stretch cuffs, headphone anchor zipper pull, & retroreflectivity.
Best Use: Running in Rain
There is a lot to love in the Women’s Drift Shell Jacket by Brooks. The most exciting feature is Brooks’ DriLayer SuperSeal technology in the body construction, which protects you from water and wind even if you should run into a storm. Moisture management fabrics allow your body to breathe even while working up a sweat, wicking self-generated moisture away to avoid irritation and the chills.
For storage solutions and the security of stowing your essentials, there are hand pockets and a convenient chest pocket. The hand pockets feature inner security pockets and a single media port so you can carry your tunes with you everywhere you go.
While this jacket may not be as reflective as Saucony’s Sonic Jacket, the drift shells located on the front and back are reflective for added visibility. The soft stretch cuffs are just another appealing detail of this product choice.
Related: The Women’s Drift ½ Zip features thumbhole cuffs for added coverage and an extra customized fit. If your adventures don’t stop at running, you may find the Lite Shelter Device Jacket IV a better packing solution thanks to the convenience of packing into its own pocket.
The North Face Women’s Isolite Jacket
Price: $69.95 – $109.95
Sizes: XSmall – Large
Design Features: Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, FlashDry fabric technology, zip hand pockets with mesh lining, media cord port, reflective details, & a drop-tail hem.
Best Use: Mountain Running
The North Face is relied upon by athletes who train and practice in virtually every season. Their Women’s Isolite Jacket is a solid running standard for many manufacturers to look up to. This jacket is perfect for lightweight coverage in cool climates or on rainy days.
Thanks to its weather-resistant and moisture-wicking capabilities through FlashDry fiber construction, this jacket is dependable for protecting you against light rain and drying quickly after the storm has passed. With a 100% polyester interlock and a supplemental layer of polyester mixed with elastane, you’ll experience no shortage of mobility and free range of motion while wearing this jacket.
This product is ideal for intense mountain runs where great aerobic skill comes into play. Stretchy materials will allow your upper body to move and pump the rest of your body forward. While this jacket costs about average compared to other jackets we reviewed, this may not satisfy the limitations of every budget.
You can easily choose this jacket for colder weather runs or day hikes and rest assured that you will stay warm.
Related: The North Face Denali Jacket features the same DWR coating but updates the classic look of fleece and may not be ideal for runners that are prone to overheating.
Salomon Women’s Agile Half Zip Mid Jacket
Price: $59.95 – $64.95
Sizes: Small – Medium
Design Features: 91% polyester, 9% spandex, Salomon UPF 50 sun protection, advanced SkinWarm technology, & four-way stretch materials.
Best Use: Road Running
The Women’s Agile Half Zip Mid Jacketby Salomon is a great mid-layer jacket for just the right amount of heating up or maintaining heat on chilly days.
With complicated pores and its SkinWarm technology, this product is reliable for trapping your body heat when you need it most. The mixed polyester and spandex construction allows for the right amount of breathability.
The last thing you want while you’re halfway down the road is for your accumulating moisture to combine with cold weather exposure and give you the chills. As most snowboarders know, the sun can still find you even when it seems to be hiding or masked by clouds.
With Salomon’s UPF 50+ sun protection, you can deflect more sunlight and focus on the run ahead of you. While we love four-way stretch construction and ease of mobility in this jacket, we fear that the lack of waterproof and windproof fabrics may not be the best option for runners looking to discover wet terrain.
Related: While the Agile Half Zip Mid Jacket seems to be better suited for road running, Salomon’s Trail Runner Jacket is especially designed to combat the elements found on a trail. The Panorama HZ Midlayer Jacket is another great alternative due to its many vibrant color varieties.
Craft 2017/17 Women’s Run Cover Jacket
Price: $120.00 – $139.99
Sizes: Small – XLarge
Design Features: 92% polyester, 8% elastane, wind-resistant panels, brushed insulation, three pockets, & a soft fleece interior.
Best Use: Winter Running
The Women’s Run Cover Jacket by Craft is a highly breathable jacket with ventilating membrane construction located at the front of the torso, the shoulders, and the sleeves. If you’re looking to run this coming fall or winter, look no further.
While many of the top-selling running jackets are primarily made from polyester, Craft thought to mix polyester with elastane for extra comfort and the inner lining features soft fleece as a solution to running in the cold. With your safety in mind, the sleeves feature reflective print to enhance visibility in foggy or low-light conditions.
Most leading jacket manufacturers continue to succeed where storage is concerned. While you’re out on a run, you need several essentials for security and peace of mind. With the back pot and two hidden front pockets, you have plenty of options to stowing your necessities.
Last but not least, the elastic cuffs feature thumbholes and adjustment features for you to better customize the fit and feel of your apparel as you run.
Related: For higher visibility, check out Craft Brilliant Light Running Jacket that’s optimal for lightweight training. The Brilliant 2.0 Light Running Jacket is an ideal alternative for more specialized storage because it features pockets with integrated music and key pockets.
Under Armour Women’s Pre-Game Woven Jacket
Price: $54.99 – $59.99
Sizes: XSmall – XXLarge
Design Features: Upgraded matte woven fabric, Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, lightweight stretch construction, reverse fabric insets, full zip front with stand collar for extra coverage, & ten colors.
Best Use: Marathon Training
Enjoy matte woven fabrics and superior comfort when you discover the Women’s Pre-Game Woven Jacket by Under Armour. As with most top-performing running jackets, this product features a Durable Water Repellent finish that wicks away water while remaining soft to wear and well-ventilated so your body can breathe. The super-light stretch construction allows you to move freely even during aerobic activities.
What this jacket has that nothing else in our review has is a highly-customized fit, featuring a stand collar, grommet detail, and a drop-tail hem. They collectively provide full-coverage protection and ventilation for your neck against the elements. The only risk you run in choosing this product is that it tends to run large, so double check sizing guides and adjust your order by a size or two up.
Otherwise, this jacket offers a lot of bang for your buck. With a lower cost than other jackets in our review, we think this jacket is a great deal.
Related: While Under Armour’s Favorite Fleece Full Zip doesn’t feature the same DWR finish, it’s stretch construction allows for full range of motion. If you’re not willing to sacrifice fashion for your high-intensity runs, the UA Tech Microstripe Jacket is available in nearly two dozen vibrant colors colors.
Montane Women’s Dyno Stretch Jacket
Price: $107.40 – $124.99
Sizes: 8 – 12
Design Features: Chameleon kinetic fabric, moisture-wicking, four-way stretch, Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, tailored patterning, helmet-compatible hood, & a zipped chest media or navigation pocket.
Best Use: Mountaineering
Montane’s Dyno Stretch Jacket features a unique Chameleon kinetic fabric design and is finished in Durable Water Repellent for enhanced performance and a wide range of applications. One of the most attractive features of this jacket is its helmet-compatible hood in the event that you want to bring along a climbing helmet or a ski helmet.
This product includes a specialty low-profile chest pocket that can store navigation equipment or your cellphone in the event of an emergency. Another awesome design feature is the microfleece chin guard on the interior of the collar, which will definitely keep your mouth warm on those frigid days.
You can worry less about irritating moisture and more about the trail ahead, because the moisture-wicking design will keep you dry and the tailored patterning complements the design by allowing your body heat to release. There’s a lot to love in this jacket, and we think it’s an investment you’ll benefit by for many seasons to come.
Related: The Montane Minimus Jacket features micro-taped seams for enhanced ventilation. If you intend to head out into harsh weather, the Minimus Mountain Jacket may be better suited to your lifestyle. This jacket features PERTEX Shield+, which is completely waterproof.
ASICS Women’s Lite-Show Winter Jacket
Price: $90.88 – $130.00
Sizes: Small – XLarge
Design Features: 83% polyester, 17% spandex, stealth reflective print, plush, Durable Water Repellent (DWR) fabric with wicking finish, reflective center front zipper, corded hood, hand pockets, media pocket, thumbholes, reflective logo, media loop at inside collar, & an elastic waistband.
Best Use: Light Training
The Women’s Lite-Show Winter Jacket by ASICS scored very well for fashion in our review. Between their two-tone fabric options and fun patterns, they are the ultimate jacket for those runners who love to keep up their style even while working up a sweat. The unique balance of polyester and spandex makes this jacket very breathable and stretchy.
You can also enjoy two bonded hand pockets and a media accessory pocket designed conveniently on the sleeve for easy access. Don’t let the cold hold you back from doing what you love. Even the sleeves feature thumbholes in case your wrists and palms are cold.
Thanks to the trendy stealth reflective print on chest and arms, you can run in peace and safety by being visible in poor lighting environments. Though this jacket is a little more expensive than and doesn’t appear to have a custom comfort-fit like most of the other jackets we reviewed, we know ASICS provides lasting quality and warmth.
Related: If you’re still concerned for your safety while run in bad weather or low lighting, the Storm Shelter by ASICS features 360 degrees of reflective woven thread as opposed to print. The Women’s Packable Jacket is an ideal alternative for outdoor enthusiasts that want quick storage options for easy transport.
Montane Women’s Featherlite Down Jacket
Price: $157.90 – $287.32
Sizes: XSmall – XLarge
Design Features: PERTEX Quantum Rip-stop with 750+ fill down, micro baffle anatomical construction, roll-away hood, hand warmer pockets, and a chest pocket.
Best Use: Winter Running & Mountaineering
While their Dyno Stretch Jacket was more of a mid-layer solution, the Women’s Featherlite Down Jacket by Montane is a lightweight down jacket that provides optimum insulation and features many other details to keep you warm if you find yourself trapped outside on long treks.
This jacket features 750+ down fill power on a scale from 300 to 900, so you can guarantee comfortable cushioning and heat retention. While this product is ideal for really cold conditions, it can be used year-round because it is so lightweight and can pack down to about the size of an orange. Though it doesn’t pack into its own pocket or hood, Montane thought to include a stuff sack that’s specifically designed for compact storage.
We also loved the PERTEX Quantum rip-stop outer fabric for its Durable Water Repellent finish. Having a hood to wear is extraordinarily convenient in light rain, but your hood can become a nuisance if caught in gusts of wind, so the internal tab is integrated to lock down and roll away your hood.
Other than the fact that this is the most expensive jacket in our review, we can’t find much at fault with this down jacket. You can even keep your hands warm as you’re waiting for members of your group to traverse a ledge or if you get caught outside under a shelter using the two hand warmer pockets.
Related: If you’re looking for extra protection against moisture, Montane’s Featherlite Micro Jacket features HyperDRY hydrophobic down to keep you both warm and dry. If you’re interested in higher fill power to guarantee more insulation, the Nitro Jacket features high-quality goose down with 800+ fill power.
Odlo ZEROWEIGHT Women’s Running Jacket
Price: $90.30 – $139.72
Sizes: XSmall – XLarge
Design Features: Body-mapping construction, moisture management wicking technology, Odlo Logic windproof technology, Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, & reflective elements.
Best Use: City Running
The Zeroweight Women’s Running Jacket by Odlo is a fantastic choice for runners because it is ultra-lightweight and won’t weigh you down. Made from polyester and elastane, this jacket is also very breathable while still sealing against cold drafts and inclement weather.
The moisture management technology quickly wicks away sweat to keep you complacent and dry against self-generated moisture and humidity. Visibility is also integral to the safety measures that runners must take, and this jacket features reflective elements for drivers and other pedestrians to better identify you in low lighting. The zippered side pocket allows you to securely stow your house keys or an mp3 player so you can run to music.
The cost is competitive with many of the jackets in our review, though deciding on the best jacket for your lifestyle will depend on the features you can’t do without. If you’re looking for an athletic fit accentuated by body-mapping construction and total wind protection, look no further.
Related: If you live in a slightly warmer climate but could still benefit by thermal insulation and an added odor control feature, check out the Turtleneck Running and Outdoor Top by Odlo. The Vallee Blanche Facemask Long Sleeve Top features silver ion fabric treatment that acts as a barrier to prevent bacterial build-up within fabrics.
Some may think it’s impossible to find the perfect running jacket for use in colder seasons, but we beg to differ. There are many jackets to choose from and each features its own distinct construction and design in order to provide you with a truly unique wearing experience.
If you plan on heading out into extreme weather, prepare yourself by exploring the selection of features including element resistance, moisture management, insulation, and reflectivity.
Combat winter running fatigue and get back out there with the perfect jacket. If you think we failed to mention any of the other great products out there, please let us know below in the comments!