In Search of a Winter Running Jacket? We Found 10 of the Absolute Best

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All you really need in order to properly dress for a run is a sports bra, good running shoes, leggings and, once temperatures get below 40 degrees, a winter running jacket. While you can probably get away with wearing a cotton tee or sweatshirt through most of fall, a techy, run-specific jacket is imperative for keeping you warm and dry in truly cold weather. Why, you ask? Clothing that doesn’t properly wick away moisture or insulate for warmth can put you at risk for developing hypothermia (yes, even on a sunny, 40-degree afternoon) or frostbite, among other preventable ailments. All ten of these winter running jackets have been designed specifically for cold weather runs, whether the leaves are just beginning to turn or you’re gearing up to brave single digit temps. All that’s left for you to decide is how much you want to spend and, most importantly, which fabulous color options will help you pop on gray winter days.

What to Look for in a Winter Running Jacket

A good winter running jacket should be able to protect you from wind, water and, of course, cold. The important thing for you to determine is how much of each you need. For instance, a down puffer jacket will definitely keep you toasty warm, but down doesn’t usually play well with rain or snow. Alternatively, a waterproof shell might be great for keeping out rain, but might not provide enough warmth on its own without the addition of some mid or base layers. Pay attention to the materials used—wool will keep you warm even when wet while cotton will only leave you feeling cold and bogged down—and look for bonus features like fitted hoods, thumb holes and ventilation to help you adjust your warmth on the go. We also suggest opting for a winter running jacket that has ample room for layering underneath to give you even more flexibility in different weather conditions. Sometimes this might mean ordering a size up from your usual, but you’ll be glad you did when a truly frigid day arrives and you’re trying to layer multiple long-sleeve tees underneath.

The Best Winter Running Jackets for Women at a Glance

Best for Very Cold Days

1. Lululemon Down for It All Jacket


  • Estimated Temperature Range: 0 to 25 degrees F

Best for truly frigid runs, this slim-fit hoody is made from 700-fill-power goose down combined with PrimaLoft insulation to keep you toasty warm, even in wet conditions. Seriously, one reviewer says she wore this beauty on a sub-zero-degree run and was perfectly comfortable, and another says she actually felt warm during a 10-degree workout. Most reviewers do suggest going up a size to better accommodate layers underneath, but otherwise this jacket runs true to size, and we appreciate that it comes in numerical sizes for a more precise fit. It is also water- and wind-proof, comes with reflective paneling and the hood is removeable should you decide to go without.

Size range: 0 to 20

Best for Chilly Days

2. Brooks Canopy Jacket

Brooks Running

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 20 to 40 degrees F

There are a ton of reasons to love this Brooks jacket—it’s wind- and water-proof, has spacious pockets, there’s a chest pocket for your phone—but one of our absolute favorites is that the hood can roll up and be clipped in place, so on sunny days you won’t be bothered by loose fabric flopping on your back. Similarly, the Canopy jacket folds up into its own pocket, converting into a mini backpack should you decide it’s actually too warm for your outer layer. Per one review, “I wore it for my first marathon and had to take it off at mile 2 due to weather. However, I completely forgot it was on my back for the duration of the race, it was so lightweight.” We don’t recommend pulling this one out for truly frigid runs, but on warmer afternoons it’s sure to keep you comfortable, no matter the distance you plan to cover.

Size range: XS to XXL

Best Puffer

3. Nathan Puffer Jacket

Nathan Sports

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 0 to 25 degrees F

Sometimes, rather than pile on lots of layers at once, we’d really rather just have one super-warm piece. For days when you know it’s cold—like, cold cold—a lightweight puffer is a great option for pulling on over some lightweight base layers. This hooded zip-up by Nathan is packed with a down alternative with 600 fill power that’s also wonderfully lightweight and, best of all, won’t lose its warming abilities when wet. In fact, you can even stick this cutie in the washer and dryer, making it a cinch to keep clean as well. The outer shell is both water-resistant and windproof, and there are two side zippered pockets as well as an inside zippered pocket. Avid runner and PureWow’s Managing Editor, Catrina Yohay, says, “It's super lightweight and warm, but the only thing is it runs a teeny bit big even with layering. So I'd suggest sizing down if you prefer a more snug fit while running.”

Size range: XS to XL

Best Slim Fit

4. Kari Traa Tirill 2.0 Jacket

Kari Traa

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 15 to 35 degrees F

This jacket is a great option for those who prefer a more snug fit overall, with fewer layers underneath. The back and chest are quilted with bonus padding to keep your core warm, and the front zips up to just under the chin to prevent any wind from sneaking in around your face. (There is also a soft chin guard to prevent any irritation from the zipper while you run.) And no need to worry about rain or snow, as the shell is water repellent. There’s also a drop hem at the back and the sleeves are long enough that you can comfortably pull them over your hands for bonus warmth. Opt for your usual size for a slimmer fit, or go up one if you do plan to wear this as a top layer with a thicker mid-layer underneath.

Size range: XS to XL

Most Splurge-Worthy

5. Tracksmith NDO Jacket


  • Estimated Temperature Range: 0 to 30 degrees F

This sleek zip-up doesn’t come cheap, but trust us when we say it’s worth the investment. The NDO in the name stands for “no days off,” so you can bet this top layer can see you through just about any and all conditions. The outer shell is both water-repellent and windproof and alternates between sections of Merino wool, which stays warm even when wet should it start to really pour, and Tracksmith’s proprietary Inverno Blend, which acts almost like a double layer of clothing—featuring a durable outer face that wicks away moisture and a soft, brushed inner to help provide a barrier between your skin and the fabric—without any added bulk. There are also reflective details visible from all sides should you find yourself hitting the pavement in the early morning or late evening. Four zippered pockets give you ample room for your essentials and then some, and the front zipper pulls from either the top or bottom to give you more options if you find you want some bonus ventilation. (P.S. You can save 10 percent on your entire Tracksmith order if you bundle together any one top, bottom and accessory from the brand’s NDO collection.)

Size range: XS to XL

Best for Runs in the Dark

6. New Balance Reflective Impact Run Heat Jacket

New Balance

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 5 to 30 degrees F

As much as we try to get our runs in during the day, sometimes an early morning or late evening workout is unavoidable. In those instances, staying visible is just as important as staying warm and luckily, this jacket achieves both. The arms, shoulders and hood are splashed with a reflective pattern to make you more visible to cars and cyclists. As for warmth, the outer shell is wind- and water-resistant (great for inclement weather conditions), and the quilted body is stuffed with Vaporloft Fill, a down-alternative that’s lightweight and ultra-warm. The inside of the body is also fleece-lined for bonus comfort and coziness, and there are multiple zipped pockets for holding all your essentials. On the right arm you’ll find a cute zippered window watch so you don’t have to pull up your sleeve to check your pace, but unfortunately for the left-handed among us, there’s no such zip on the left side.

Size range: XS to 2XL

Most Stylish

7. Outdoor Voices FrostKnit Hoodie

Outdoor Voices

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 10 to 35 degrees F

This double-layer pullover functions like two pieces in one thanks to a slim-fit FrostKnit inner lining (that functions like a sweat-wicking long sleeve) and a LiTron shell (which functions as an anorak). There are also bungee cords galore at the waist and on the hood so you can achieve the perfect amount of cinch to combat wind or bad weather. It comes with thumb holes as well for added warmth at the hands. Some reviews suggest you size up, especially if you’re between sizes or want to wear another layer underneath, but runners in NYC, Philly and Chicago all raved about how warm and comfortable they felt on runs ranging from 32 degrees down to below freezing. Our only gripe is the front zip tab is very small, making it difficult to pull if you’re wearing gloves, but adding a ribbon or rubber band should help fix the issue.

Size range: XXS to XXXL

Best for Long Torsos

8. Athleta Inlet Jacket


  • Estimated Temperature Range: 0 to 25 degrees F

Another good option for single digit temperatures (and lower) is Athleta’s Inlet jacket. Like almost every other pick on our list, it is resistant to both water and wind, and the 800-fill-power down insulation is sure to keep you mighty warm. But what drew us most to this particular design is the elongated fit. The high neck provides extra protection starting just below the chin, and the hem hits about mid-hip on most frames. Even those with long torsos will find it provides ample coverage from the cold, but just in case you’re really concerned, it also comes in Tall sizes (up to an XL) to guarantee it fits just right. The material also has a good amount of stretch, especially in the arms, so you can easily work in a pre-run stretch without feeling constricted.

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

Best Vest

9. Outdoor Research Shadow Insulated Vest

Outdoor Research

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 15 to 30 degrees F

Though it’s not billed specifically as a running vest, this OR vest comes highly recommended by multiple runners and outdoor enthusiasts as a way to keep warm and dry on chilly afternoons. Pam Masin, PureWow’s Affiliate Strategy Director, says, “I love layering my OR vest on top of a moisture-wicking base layer and mid-layer to keep my core warm on winter runs. It fits slightly oversize, so it’s easy to wear layers underneath without sizing up. And, as a bonus, it’s also stylish enough that you can wear it with a sweater and jeans too.” She adds that the zippered pockets (one on each hip, which are also fleece-lined) are a major bonus for keeping your phone and keys safely tucked away. The shell is also winter- and water-resistant and comes with a decent amount of stretch so you won’t feel constricted, even during a dynamic warmup. And for those who really want to trap in that warmth, try pulling the drawcord at the waist for a tighter fit.

Size range: XS to XL

Best Sweatshirt

10. Brooks Run Within Sweatshirt

Brooks Running

  • Estimated Temperature Range: 15 to 35 degrees F

There comes a time in every runner’s journey when they learn that cotton isn’t necessarily the best material to wear when breaking a sweat. (It retains moisture incredibly well, meaning at best you’ll simply be weighed down by a sweat-soaked sweatshirt by mile two and at worst you’ll slowly watch that sweatshirt turn to ice as you shiver through your winter runs.) But for those who prefer the feel of a cozy knit over a swishy jacket, this Brooks design is a fantastic option. It has the look and feel of your favorite college pullover, but is made from a thermal, fleece-like material that is more breathable than traditional cotton and, more importantly, wicks away moisture like a pro. There’s even a small stash pocket for tucking your ear buds, house key or ID, as well as thumb holes on the sleeves to give your hands some extra coverage. Jessica, a runner based in Waterford, Ireland, writes, “Super comfortable and so soft. The slit in the back is great for some extra breathability and thumb pockets are handy as well. Plus, it doesn't stick to you if you get too hot and sweaty.” The only downside: We don’t recommend wearing this on truly frigid runs without the addition of another warmer piece. Instead, consider this your ultimate transitional layer for late fall and early spring.

Size range: XS to XXL

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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...