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10 best women’s running jackets for all weather

These protective shells will help you stick to your fitness goals, whatever the weather

Zoe Griffin
Wednesday 15 February 2023 12:18 GMT
Each of the jackets in our round-up was worn for a run of at least an hour – or around 10km
Each of the jackets in our round-up was worn for a run of at least an hour – or around 10km (The Independent)
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When it comes to running, consistency is better than doing 100km one week and zero the next. But with the British weather being unpredictable and often very wet in the winter and spring months, some days you might need some extra motivation to lace up your trainers and get out the front door.

Investing in a waterproof jacket that keeps the rain off while allowing heat to escape as you run could mean the difference between sitting at home on the sofa waiting for the rain to pass, and enjoying the physical and mental benefits that follow cardio exercise in the great outdoors.

When shopping for a running jacket, look to see if it has a waterproof rating. A rating of up to 10K is enough to handle light to average rain for a short amount of time. Ratings between 10K and 15K can handle a moderate amount of rain for much longer, and jackets rated between 15K and 20K or higher are serious shells for heavy, intense rain over a prolonged period.

Other important factors to look for are reflective details – especially if you prefer to run in the early mornings or after sunset – and freedom of movement. Your core is under a lot of pressure to support the leg muscles when you run, so you need to have an ergonomically fitted jacket to be able to perform at your best, without restrictions.

It’s a bonus if the jacket has a good hood, too, so you can concentrate on the path ahead without rain getting into your eyes. Last but not least, make sure to pay attention to pockets. You’re going to need to carry your keys, might want to carry a phone and, if you’re running longer distances, you’ll also need space for gels or a banana.

How we tested

We tested a selection of waterproof jackets during light showers, misty rain and torrential downpours. Each was worn for a run of at least an hour, or around 10km, to fully test how breathable it was. At the end of each session, we finished with a sprint to check whether it could keep us dry and comfortable during interval sessions, as well as long, steady runs. We assessed the jackets on hoods, pockets, length, weight, freedom of movement and cost.

Jackets with lots of technical features, such as performance fabric and an ergonomic fit, can often cost upwards of £100. But bear in mind they are designed to last, so you will get a few years out of them, making it worth the expense if you have a race target in mind. That said, we’ve included some great waterproof jacket options that cost much less and still keep you dry.

The best women’s running jackets for 2023 are:

  • Best waterproof running jacket overall – Proviz classic waterproof running jacket: £76.49, Provizsports.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for a flattering fit – Columbia women’s flash challenger windbreaker: £65, Columbiasportswear.co.uk
  • Best waterproof running jacket for insulation – Lululemon down for it all jacket: £149, Lululemon.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for comfort – M&S goodmove waterproof zip up hooded jacket: £79, Marksandspencer.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for freedom of movement – Decathlon women’s waterproof windproof jacket – kiprun rain+: £69.99, Decathlon.co.uk
  • Best waterproof running jacket for versatility – Tog 24 craven women’s waterproof packaway jacket: £37.50, Tog24.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for high performance – Castore women’s onyx prism lightweight windbreaker jacket: £210, Castore.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for keeping rain off the face – Asics accelerate waterproof 2.0 jacket: £158, Asics.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for being ultra-lightweight and breathable – On Running weather jacket: £190, On-running.com
  • Best waterproof running jacket for value for money – Tu active black running jacket: £25, Sainsburys.co.uk

Proviz classic waterproof running jacket

Proviz women's waterproof running jacket.png
  • Best: Overall
  • Size: UK 6 - 22
  • Colourways: Nine

Running in the dark as well as the rain always makes us feel vulnerable when crossing roads, as it’s doubly hard for drivers to see clearly. But when we were clad in the Proviz jacket, we felt safe knowing the fluorescent fabric is seven times more visible than other materials. In addition to that, there’s a huge amount of Reflect360 highly reflective strips, which light up like the Blackpool illuminations when headlights shine on them.

We couldn’t fault this jacket, as the fabric is also breathable and has a waterproof rating of 20k, so you could run through a storm without getting wet. The two side pockets are a decent size and zipped to keep belongings nice and dry, too.

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Columbia women’s flash challenger windbreaker

Columbia women’s waterproof running jacket.png
  • Best: For a flattering fit
  • Size: XS - XL
  • Colourways: Three

We love the two-tone contrast of chalk-white and cirrus-grey in this longline jacket. We’d easily wear it to stay comfortable in both showers and blizzards in the city, as well as wearing it for running, which makes the £65 investment decent value for money.

Made from 100 per cent polyester, it can be folded up really small, so it’s a great option if you want to run to or from work and store it in your bag during the day. Another bonus is the drawstring hood, which stayed up and in position a lot better than hoods without adjustable strings.

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Lululemon down for it all jacket

Lululemon women's down jacket.png
  • Best: For insulation
  • Size: UK 4 - 24
  • Colourways: Eight

If being outside in cold weather is just as motivation-sapping to you as rain, you need to try Lululemon’s down for it all jacket. It features zoned-down insulation panels where you need them the most, plus stretchy fleece to keep you moving freely.

Wear it in the mornings and it feels like you’re swapping your duvet for something just as warm but more fitted. We have to admit this did make us worry about overheating when we first tried it on, but we underestimated Lululemon’s high-tech Glyde fabric – breathable stretch nylon that’s wind and water resistant.

This jacket hugs the figure better than any of the other designs we tested, so you could also get away with wearing it as your casual jacket. The blue pyschic colour would look equally good with jeans as it would with leggings.

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M&S goodmove waterproof zip up hooded jacket

M&S goodmove running jacket.png
  • Best: For comfort
  • Size: UK 6 - 24
  • Colourways: Three

At first glance, we fell in love with the lime-green colour of this multi-functional running jacket. It cheered us up in the morning and made us feel alive, even before we’d touched a drop of coffee.

Once outside, we fell for it even deeper, thanks to the warm fabric that’s also super soft next to the skin. We really loved how the hood packs into the neck so that it doesn’t flap if it’s not needed, and this super-high neck gives you extra protection from the frost in the winter. That said, you could wear it with a sports bra in summer, too, as the fabric did well to emit all the heat we generated on a long run. And, as a further bonus, it’s machine washable at 40C.

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Decathlon women’s waterproof windproof jacket – kiprun rain+

Decathlon kiprun jacket.png
  • Best: For freedom of movement
  • Size: UK 6 - 14
  • Colourways: One

Weighing just 190g, this jacket is one of the lighter options available, which we appreciated. It will give you a little protection from the wind, as well as solid protection from the rain, and it will also motivate you to run faster to warm up.

We were very impressed with how chic the jacket looked. The all-black design fits close enough to the body to look shapely without feeling restrictive. When worn with black leggings, we felt slimmer when we looked in the mirror and it boosted our confidence before getting out the door.

Even during the run, we felt lighter on our feet, which goes to show how much a new jacket can affect mental performance, which then impacts the physical.

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Tog 24 craven women’s waterproof packaway jacket

Tog24 women's running jacket.png
  • Best: For versatility
  • Size: UK 8 - 24
  • Colourways: 11

When we slipped on this jacket from Yorkshire-based brand Tog 24, we could really tell it had a shaped cut, which felt very flattering. It’s a versatile jacket that we’d wear for more than just running – we’d feel good wearing this for a wet school run or walking the dog, just as much as we would running.

It’s a little longer than some of the other jackets we tried, falling down to the bottom, which made us less self-conscious about going out in leggings. Also, the longer length kept the top of our leggings dry, which was much appreciated.

Not so much as a drop of water will get near a runner in this. It’s not only waterproof but has a water-repellent coating for good measure. And, as the piece de resistance, the seams are taped, which means the holes from the stitching are covered, so no water can leak through.

  1. £37 from Tog24.com
Prices may vary
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Castore women’s onyx prism lightweight windbreaker jacket

Castore women's onyx running jacket.png
  • Best: For high performance
  • Size: 2XS - XL
  • Colourways: One

Castore specialises in high-performance clothing with the sole aim to make athletes better, hence the brand’s catchline “better never stops”. Whether you’re a park runner or you’re training for an ultra-marathon, Castore jackets take care of all the technical details needed to keep runners of all abilities comfortable, so they can unleash their full potential.

Originally a men’s sportswear brand supplying elite athletes such as Adam Peaty and Andy Murray, Castore recently expanded to provide activewear for women too, all of which has been rigorously tested to ensure it performs. We noticed lots of premium details, such as flatlock stitching for ventilation, mesh panelling and ergonomic seams. And let’s take a moment to appreciate the removable sleeves.

Yes, this jacket is clearly on the higher end of the cost scale, but you’ll be getting a waterproof running gilet and a waterproof running jacket in one cute monochrome package.

  1. £210 from Castore.com
Prices may vary
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Asics accelerate waterproof 2.0 jacket

Asics women's running jacket.png
  • Best: For keeping rain off the face
  • Size: XS - XL
  • Colourways: Two

Asics is the sports brand of choice for Scottish athlete and multi-record holder Eilish McColgan, so we were keen to try the jacket to see if we could emulate some of her speed. The jacket did not disappoint. The hood stayed completely in place during a 60-minute run, thanks to a smart back adjustor that kept it up near the chin as well as over the forehead.

With clever Japanese engineering, it has multiple layers to keep out the rain and wind, while allowing body heat and steam to exit. All seams are sealed, so there’s no chance of rain entering any gaps in the stitching. Next to the skin, it feels comfortable and stretchy, meaning you can move freely, and there’s a good-sized zipped chest pocket as well as two side pockets.

  1. £158 from Asics.com
Prices may vary
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On Running weather jacket

On Running women's jacket.png
  • Best: For being ultra lightweight and breathable
  • Size: XS- XL
  • Colourways: Three

Every time we ran in this jacket, we noticed a new feature. Firstly, we were impressed by how lightweight it was. This is the jacket to buy if you’re aiming for a PB, where every second counts.

Made from ultra-lightweight Japanese performance fabrics, it features 360-degree advanced breathability, so you can push yourself hard without feeling damp and sticky. If the sun comes out mid-run, you’ll find that it’s incredibly fast-drying and will most likely be bone dry by the time you get home. Should you wish to take it off during a run, it folds down into its own pocket, which is small enough to slip down the waistband of your leggings.

Want to protect your face from the elements? This jacket features a peaked cap in the hood, which weighs it downwards, so it stays put around your face and over the front of it.

Yes, it’s another of the more expensive jackets we tested, but it is one that you can comfortably wear for summer showers as well as winter downpours.

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Tu active black running jacket

Tu women's running jacket.png
  • Best: For value for money
  • Size: UK 8 - 24
  • Colourways: One

We’re constantly impressed by Tu activewear, as the performance fabric is high-quality while the prices are low. This active jacket is shower-resistant, breathable and fits close to the body, giving you full freedom of movement when running.

Despite costing just £25, it has some features found on more-expensive jackets, such as a stylish grey back panel and a decent reflective trim, which we appreciated on early morning runs. It even has two zipped pockets that could easily fit a phone and keys. It doesn’t have a hood but it does have super-long sleeves that kept our hands toasty when the temperature dropped.

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Running jacket FAQs

What to look for when choosing a waterproof running jacket

Running in the rain can actually feel quite liberating if you’re wearing the right gear, as it keeps your body temperature down, so you feel like you can go faster without expending as much effort. Research also shows that running in the rain can improve the immune system too, as the combination of movement and the differences between the temperature outside and your body temperature forces it to adapt.

Sounds good, yes? But before you grab any old running jacket from your coat rack the next time it buckets down, remember that you’ll be working up a sweat (or should be), so you’ll need a waterproof design that’s sweat-wicking and breathable. You’ll also need to decide if you’re after something completely waterproof to battle through the harshest of blizzards, or if you just need something windproof and warm to take the edge off. A running jacket should act as a protective shell to keep the harsh elements from piercing through – this can be anything from a light windbreaker to a fully insulated running jacket.

The verdict: Running jackets for women

If you’re outside, safety is just as important as staying dry, so the Proviz classic waterproof jacket is our best buy because not only did it deliver when it came to keeping us protected from the elements, it was also extremely attention-grabbing and visible. That said, it’s a confidence boost if you look good, too, and we felt the Columbia flash challenger and the Lululemon down for it all jacket both delivered on fit and style.

After a supportive pair of kicks for your run? Check out our edit of the best running shoes for women

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