The 12 Best Running Jackets for Women to Help You Hit Your Stride in Style

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The absolute best running jackets are those that keep you warm but not too hot, give you full range of motion but aren’t too oversized and wick away moisture so you never feel soggy. It’s a lot to ask of one piece of clothing, but the 12 options below manage to check all our boxes—and then some—to keep us running happy. Here, the best running jackets for women no matter what Mother Nature has in store for autumn and winter weather.

You might know Nathan Sports for its hydration packs and running water bottles, but its lesser-known clothing line is every bit as awesome and definitely deserves checking out. In particular, the Traverse jacket is one of the brand’s bestsellers, and is wind- and water-resistant to keep you comfortable in all kinds of weather. There are two zipped pockets at the hips, plus an internal pocket for extra protection from the elements. “Transitional weather is hard to dress for (I’m freezing! Now I’m too hot!),” says managing editor Catrina Yohay, “so I typically gravitate toward lighter jackets I can layer on top of either a tank or a long-sleeve shirt. The Traverse somehow always seems to work, no matter the temperature. It's insulating without being too bulky and has a ventilated back for better airflow. A quick unzip and I can avoid overheating without having to take the whole thing off.” She and other reviewers say the jacket does run true to size, but those who prefer a looser fit or who want more layering options should consider ordering one size up.

Size range: XS to XL

This zip-up has many of the same great qualities as the Nathan Sports jacket, but comes in second for two very minor reasons: It costs $5 more (when the Nathan Sports style isn’t on sale) and has more limited color options. But otherwise, this Smartwool design is an equally awesome pick. It combines merino wool and nylon panels to balance keeping you warm and keeping you dry, and has a DWR (durable water repellant) coating for even better weather protection. That wool really makes a different for improved breathability—waterproof jackets have a bad reputation for keeping out water but trapping in sweat, but this one excels at both. It comes with an adjustable hood and two zippered pockets at the hips for storing the essentials. As for fit, it runs true to size and the wool panels are stretchier than the nylon for increased range of motion, but as always if you’re planning to wear more or thicker layers underneath you might want to size up.

Size range: XS to XL

Best for Cold and Wet Weather

3. lululemon Cross Chill Jacket RepelShell

On days when it’s both chilly and rainy, reach for this lululemon zip-up. The stretchy material is waterproof and quick-drying. It has a thin fleece lining that’s wonderfully soft, and there are three pockets with ample space for your phone, wallet, keys and more. There are reflective panels on the back, arms and hips to make you more visible at night, although that neon green hue does a lot of work on its own (don’t worry, it also comes in classic black or white, as well as a pretty lavender). The hood has a drawcord in back to cinch around your face to keep out rain. Like many lululemon styles, it runs small, so we highly suggest going one size up from your usual.

Buy it ($198)

Size range: 0 to 14

Brooks has a ton of reflective pieces in its Run Visible collection, but this newly released jacket is definitely our top pick of all the options out there. Why, you ask? Not only is it highly breathable, water resistant and lightweight, but it can also be converted into a reflective vest if you find yourself getting too warm. Yes, the sleeves can be folded neatly into the back of the vest so you can adjust on the go should the weather start to change, and the hood rolls up into the collar, giving you even more options. The reflective panels allows drivers to see you from up to 600 feet away and have been strategically-placed to make it clear you’re a pedestrian and not a bike or road sign. The front zipper also has snaps on the inside so you can unzip for increased ventilation without fear of material flapping all over the place. Oh, and did we mention it’s made from 92 percent recycled materials?

Size range: XS to XXL

For those on a budget, this zip-up will keep you warm and your wallet happy, ringing in at just $31. Designed for cold weather (think temperatures between 40 degrees and freezing), it is not a rainy-day jacket. However, it is shockingly good at trapping in heat without feeling suffocating, especially given its affordable price tag. The polyester-spandex material moves with your body, so you won’t feel constricted during any pre-run lunges or arm swings, and quickly wicks away sweat to keep you comfortably dry. Thumb-holes and an extra-high collar help fight the cold even more in lieu of a hood. It also has built-in UV protection, making it a great option for sunny afternoon runs. Reviews rave about how flattering this jacket looks on, thanks in part to the slim fit and strategic seam placement, and say it runs pretty true to size.

Size range: XS to XXL

Most Splurge Worthy

6. ON Running Weather Jacket

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, this ON Running jacket is well worth the investment, in our opinion. It’s ultra-lightweight and supremely breathable, while still promising water and wind resistance. The material has a good amount of stretch to give you better range of motion, and there is a panel in back to help with ventilation. The hood is also specially designed for a close fit to prevent water from seeping through, with an extra brim in front to better keep rain off your face. Daniela E., a distance runner from Seattle, WA, writes, “I used this jacket for the 42 km Inca Trail trek in Peru and it was extremely versatile. It kept me warm during rain, light snow, and I loved how easy it was to slip on and off and put away into its self-containing pocket pouch. The best part was that it remained fairly clean and I was able to rewear it several times.”

Size range: XS to XL

This Eddie Bauer running jacket comes in sizes XS through 3X, as well as Petite and Tall sizes, making it the most size-inclusive style on this list. Much like the Champion style above, it’s best used on cold runs, but is also wind-resistant and water-repellent, making it a good option for inclement weather as well. There is no hood, but the collar is extra high to block out wind. It has two zippered hip pockets as well as a zippered breast pocket and an internal pocket, giving you plenty of storage space for anything you might want or need on the go. It’s also both machine-washable and dryer-safe, unlike most of the other designs listed here. Multiple reviewers mention owning this style in more than one color (always a good sign) and it appears to run true to size.

Size range: XS to 3X, also Petite and Tall

For truly cold temperatures, we highly recommend this Athleta zip-up. It’s breathable and offers great range of motion, but can keep you feeling comfortably warm in temperatures as low as the teens. It has a very slim fit and isn’t necessarily designed for layering, so if you do want to wear something more substantial underneath, we suggest trying one size up. But realistically you shouldn’t need much more than a T-shirt or thin long-sleeve under there to ensure you stay warm. “Perfect for running outdoors in Chicago winters,” says reviewer Sue J. “Good fit, easy to layer and just the right amount of warmth.” Plus, like the Eddier Bauer jacket above, this Athleta style is also machine-washable and dryer-safe.

Size range: XXS to XL

Lots of jackets on this list offer protection from wet weather, but this Baleaf style is both affordable and supremely good as keeping out rain. It is both windproof and water-resistant, and comes with UPF 50 sun protection built in should you find yourself reaching for it on sunnier runs, as well. There are three zippered pockets—two at the hips and one larger one in back—so you can easily stow extra fuel or a pair of dry socks in addition to all your regular needments. A high neck and adjustable hood ensure no water will seep in by your face, and the cuffs also have Velcro to prevent leaking at your wrists. And while we’re partial to the classic black, it also comes in neon green if you’re looking for something that’s much more visible on the side of the road. Per one reviewer from the Pacific Northwest, “This jacket repels water better than my other raincoat of similar price and quality, and it dries super quickly. The side pockets are large, and the back pocket is huge. All keep contents dry. It's very lightweight, which is important for jogging.” Our one caveat? It may be too warm for rainy days over, say, 45 degrees and is best saved for truly chilly weather.

Size range: S to XXL

Most Versatile

10. Tracksmith Session Jacket

Tracksmith is one of our favorite places to pick up running gear that’s both practical and good looking, and this easy zip-up is no exception. The Session jacket was designed to be worn for just about any workout, but is also chic enough to wear to Friday night football games, weekend pumpkin picking or any other number of non-workout-related fall activities. It’s made from a stretchy, sweat-wicking knit that’s soft to the touch and moves super well, and there are mesh panels on the sides and under the armpits for increased breathability. “It’s so soft and comfy,” raves Laura M., an avid runner from British Columbia. “I don’t recommend it for rain or wet weather—it’s not waterproof—but it really helps me stay warm and comfortable once temperatures start to drop. And I appreciate that there are two zippered pockets for easy storage.” The Session jacket runs true to size but is designed for a slimmer fit, so if you’d rather have some extra room for layering you might want to order one size up from your usual.

Size range: XS to XL

Most Portable

11. Patagonia Houdini Jacket

We also could’ve named this Patagonia jacket best for rain or best lightweight option, but it’s the fact that it weighs just 3.4 ounces and can pack neatly into the small chest pocket for easy portability that we felt deserved the spotlight. While you could always tie any of the jackets on this list around your waist or chest if you get too warm, the Houdini can stuff down incredibly well to fit into a running belt, pocket or just your palm. That also makes it a great option for travel, as it takes up virtually no room in your suitcase. The recycled ripstop nylon material is both wonderfully breathable and weather-resistant, with a DWR (durable water repellant) coating to better protect you from light drizzles, heavy downpours and everything in between. Reviews suggest it runs a little small, so we recommend going one size up, especially if you plan to layer warmer pieces underneath come winter.

Size range: XS to XXL

Editors’ Pick

12. Year of Ours Runyon Pullover

This stylish jacket comes recommended by both senior director of special projects Rachel Bowie and fashion editor Abby Hepworth because it’s both practical and chic. “It cuts the wind, but still feels breathable as you start to work up a sweat, and it’s cute!” says Bowie. “Also, I love a good, large pocket for stowing an extra hair tie, my phone, keys, etc.” The elastic hem and cuffs help keep out wind and rain (although we don’t recommend this jacket for anything heavier than a drizzle), and give this pullover a cute throwback vibe. The snap closure makes it easy to adjust the neckline on the move, and the hood has drawstrings so you can tighten or loosen to fit your needs. It’s machine washable, but shouldn’t be put in the dryer—the heat can damage the sweat-wicking material and make it less effective.

Size range: XS to 2X



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...