WINDPROOF RUNNING JACKETS


by Paul Halford |
WINDPROOF RUNNING JACKETS

Why buy a windproof jacket? Why not just go straight in for a waterproof version - it's an instant upgrade, right? Well, only if it's raining. You see, waterproof jackets are great when the heavens open but their more rigid construction and taped seams aren't particularly breathable, so even on cool days you'll end up with a damper inside than outside.

So: windproof jackets. Perfect for spring and autumn running when you only really need to protection from a cold wind's bite. But how to know what to get? There's so many variables to consider: hood or hoodless; minimal size or more sturdy; loose fit or slimline, etc. That's where we come in: Jen & Sim Benson, top TR gear testers and running couple extraordinaires, have put in the hard yards trialling the best on the market, so you can make a more informed decision.

INOV-8 RACE ELITE WINDSHELL FZ

INOV-8 RACE ELITE WINDSHELL FZ
Amazon

Buy now

INOV-8 RACE ELITE WINDSHELL FZ
INOV-8 RACE ELITE WINDSHELL FZ

WEIGHT: 100G An eye-catching and innovative jacket that combines Inov-8's light, protective Pertex Quantum fabric with breathable back and arm panels and stretchy shoulders, for better range of movement. Soft lining on the collar, cuffs and thumb loops make it a pleasure to wear. Although the fit is good, ladies with longer arms and bodies might find it a little short. VERDICT Smart and innovative, with great movement and breathability.

DARE 2B BLIGHTED WINDSHELL

DARE 2B BLIGHTED WINDSHELL

Buy now

DARE 2B BLIGHTED WINDSHELL
DARE 2B BLIGHTED WINDSHELL

WEIGHT: 125G Pay no attention to the name, the Blighted Windshell from Dare 2b performs very well, and at a great price too. Itu2019s soft and quiet to run in and, being wind-resistant rather than strictly windproof, is breathable and therefore a great choice for warmer weather. The cut is good, with a dropped tail and double-layer collar. The arms are quite a tight fit, so try before you buy. VERDICT A bright, breathable windshell that's a bit of a bargain.

SALOMON FAST WING HOODIE

SALOMON FAST WING HOODIE

Buy now

WEIGHT: 75G The Fast Wing is incredibly light, especially when you consider it has a full-zip, hood and zipped pocket that doubles as a stuff sack. Sleek, nylon ripstop fabric feels barely there u2013 until you need it, when it provides an excellent windproof and water-resistant layer. The cut allows movement without any flapping. With ethical production it would score a 10. VERDICT A super-light windproof that you'll want to take everywhere.

SAUCONY FREEDOM JACKET

SAUCONY FREEDOM JACKET

Buy now

WEIGHT: 125G The Freedom jacket is packed with excellent features. It has: a vented back for great breathability, a mesh back panel that means it feels comfortable even when youu2019re sweaty, two zipped pockets, a draw cord hood and hem, and lots of reflective detail. Equally great for running in warm or cold weather, Saucony have designed this with dedicated runners in mind. VERDICT A serious running jacket that will deliver protection all year round.

HOWIES SHELIUM LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET

HOWIES SHELIUM LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET

Buy now

HOWIES SHELIUM LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET
HOWIES SHELIUM LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET

WEIGHT: 100G The Shelium looks great: its urban styling make it as good a match for jeans as for running shorts. But itu2019s also good to run in: light, comfortable and breathable. It has a draw cord hem and a zipped side pocket that it packs into. A well-fitting, adjustable hood adds to the overall look and doesnu2019t flap when youu2019re running. VERDICT An affordable choice from Howies for running and everyday wear. BEST VALUE In 'Windblockers', Issue 32 JUN/JUL16

ASICS FUJITRAIL PACKABLE JACKET

ASICS FUJITRAIL PACKABLE JACKET

Buy now

ASICS FUJITRAIL PACKABLE JACKET
ASICS FUJITRAIL PACKABLE JACKET

WEIGHT: 90G Soft, light and comfortable, this 100% polyester windproof from Asics feels great to wear and looks good too. The elasticated hem, thumb loops, dropped tail and snug hood are great for keeping the elements out, yet itu2019s breathable enough so you donu2019t overheat. It has a handy zipped pocket on the arm, which worked surprisingly well and keeps rucksack areas free. VERDICT A good-looking, lightweight, comfortable hooded windproof.

GORE MYTHOS LADY WINDSTOPPER

GORE MYTHOS LADY WINDSTOPPER

Buy now

GORE MYTHOS LADY WINDSTOPPER
GORE MYTHOS LADY WINDSTOPPER

WEIGHT: 130G As weu2019ve come to expect from Gore, the Mythos oozes quality, and itu2019s ethically-produced to bluesign standard too. Brushed polyamide face fabric with a Windstopper membrane mean itu2019s protective, while a dropped tail, reflective detail, zipped pockets and draw cord hem make it perfect year-round. However, it's heavy for summer and itu2019s not cheap. VERDICT Stylish and ethically-produced, with a price tag to match. BEST FOR ETHICS In 'Windblockers', Issue 32 JUN/JUL16

PEAK PERFORMANCE HICKS JACKET

PEAK PERFORMANCE HICKS JACKET

Buy now

PEAK PERFORMANCE HICKS JACKET
PEAK PERFORMANCE HICKS JACKET

WEIGHT: 75G Designed in Sweden, Peak Performance gear always looks amazing and the Hicks jacket is no exception. It performs well too: the polyamide shell is light and comfortable to wear, without being shiny and slippery like some super-light fabrics. The details are great too, with soft binding that edges snug elasticated cuffs and hood. It packs into its zipped pocket. VERDICT Faultless performance and responsible production. BEST IN TEST In 'Windblockers', Issue 32 JUN/JUL16

HELLY HANSEN ASPIRE JACKET

HELLY HANSEN ASPIRE JACKET

Buy now

HELLY HANSEN ASPIRE JACKET
HELLY HANSEN ASPIRE JACKET

WEIGHT: 125G We love Helly Hansenu2019s long, lean lines, and the Aspire doesnu2019t disappoint. The dropped tail is properly long enough, and to complement this theyu2019ve added a draw cord further up at the waist. Articulated arms feel comfortable even during fast running. The bluesign fabric is soft and rustle-free, and the hood offers great coverage. Quite warm for summer, but great all year. VERDICT Flattering and feature-packed: great for year-round running.

OMM SONIC SHOCK

OMM SONIC SHOCK

Buy now

OMM SONIC SHOCK
OMM SONIC SHOCK

WEIGHT: 55G The Sonic Smock from OMM is designed with fast and light in mind. Itu2019s incredibly minimalist, yet very comfy, in rustle-free u2018PointZerou2019 nylon ripstop fabric. Itu2019s brilliantly thought-out, with soft edging to the cuffs and thumb loops, dropped tail and draw cord hem, for excellent bum coverage and reflective details. The half zip reduces weight and increases durability. VERDICT Light, practical, comfortable and durable. Excellent.

BERGHAUS HYPER HYDROSHELL JACKE

BERGHAUS HYPER HYDROSHELL JACKE

Buy now

BERGHAUS HYPER HYDROSHELL JACKE
BERGHAUS HYPER HYDROSHELL JACKE

WEIGHT: 80G Berghaus' Hyper Jacket is actually fully waterproof. However, itu2019s light and packs down small, so if youu2019re after one jacket for year-round running, this is a good choice. It doesnu2019t have pockets, but does have a hood that fastens away. It fits well, although it's slightly more rustly than a windproof. Perfect for emergencies, summer drizzle, or mountain marathons. VERDICT Super-light and waterproof. A great racing/emergency jacket.

PEAK PERFORMANCE FOCAL JACKET

PEAK PERFORMANCE FOCAL JACKET

Buy now

PEAK PERFORMANCE FOCAL JACKET
PEAK PERFORMANCE FOCAL JACKET

WEIGHT: 135G A super-stylish jacket made from 100% recycled polyester. Itu2019s a little heavy and expensive to get top marks, but great to run in, and very well thought through. The fabric Peak Performance has used is high quality and extremely windproof, with underarm vents that provide a nice amount of cooling airflow. Reflective detail, grippy hem tape and a sleeve pocket finish. A great piece of kit. VERDICT Stylish, eco-friendly and great to run in, but a touch heavy.

RONHILL TRAIL QUANTUM JACKET

RONHILL TRAIL QUANTUM JACKET

Buy now

RONHILL TRAIL QUANTUM JACKET
RONHILL TRAIL QUANTUM JACKET

WEIGHT: 135G A functional jacket with all the features you need: protective fabric, a well-fitting hood that rolls neatly into the collar, reflective detail and a zipped pocket that it packs into. Ronhill describe this as a u2018relaxedu2019 fit, which feels a bit baggy for a windproof, and itu2019s neither particularly light nor cheap, but itu2019s a good quality, practical buy. VERDICT A good performer but would benefit from more athletic styling.

TRUE MOUNTAIN ULTRALITE STRETCH SMOCK

TRUE MOUNTAIN ULTRALITE STRETCH SMOCK

Buy now

TRUE MOUNTAIN ULTRALITE STRETCH SMOCK
TRUE MOUNTAIN ULTRALITE STRETCH SMOCK

WEIGHT: 125G Made by a proudly British company - True Mountain - this feels robust and protective. Nylon fabric is woven with elastane for a bit of stretch, however, the cut is on the loose side. The sleeves would be improved with Velcro cuff adjusters. Good features include zipped chest pocket, quality zips and reflective detail. The customisable colour scheme is a nice touch too. VERDICT Protective and well-featured; a better cut would make it great.

VAUDE PRO WINDSHELL LW

VAUDE PRO WINDSHELL LW

Buy now

VAUDE PRO WINDSHELL LW
VAUDE PRO WINDSHELL LW

WEIGHT: 80G Great looking and super-light, the Pro Windshell is perfect for summer running. Vaude's ethically-sound bluesign fabric provides good protection from unseasonal breezes, whilst venting panels up the spine and under the arms maximise breathability and comfort when youu2019re working hard. Itu2019s also ideal for stashing in a pack, as it packs neatly into its back pocket. VERDICT Stylish, breathable, packable and ethical: spot on! BEST IN TEST & BEST FOR ETHICS In 'Windblockers', Issue 32 JUN/JUL16

PATAGONIA HOUDINI JACKET

PATAGONIA HOUDINI JACKET

Buy now

PATAGONIA HOUDINI JACKET
PATAGONIA HOUDINI JACKET

WEIGHT: 105G Patagonia designed this for running, but also great as a protective layer to take climbing or on the bike, the Houdini jacket is made from a durable and lightweight nylon. It has a slim fit that is good in the body, however, the forearms were a little restrictive. Itu2019s well-featured, with an adjustable hood, zipped chest pocket, reflective detail and elastic hem adjustment. VERDICT Lightweight, with a great hood. A good all-rounder.

MONTANE FEATHERLITE TRAIL JACKET

MONTANE FEATHERLITE TRAIL JACKET

Buy now

MONTANE FEATHERLITE TRAIL JACKET
MONTANE FEATHERLITE TRAIL JACKET

WEIGHT: 105G Montaneu2019s classic windproof has endured like the runners that wear it. Recently updated with reflective detail, thumb loops and underarm vents, it hasnu2019t lost its straightforward appeal. It looks good and fits well, packs small and is fairly light, while still offering great protection from the wind. No pockets or hood keeps the look clean and the weight down. VERDICT Simple, stylish and functional; a great update on a classic.

DECATHLON KALENJI KIPRUN WIND JACKET

DECATHLON KALENJI KIPRUN WIND JACKET

Buy now

DECATHLON KALENJI KIPRUN WIND JACKET
DECATHLON KALENJI KIPRUN WIND JACKET

WEIGHT: 105G If youu2019re after a decent lightweight jacket thatu2019s an absolute bargain, then this is it. The Kiprun from Decathlon packs into its pocket and is light and protective, with perforated sections for breathability. Performance-wise it gives some of the more expensive jackets a run for their money. Yes, the sleeves are a bit tight and itu2019s a little rustly, but itu2019s a steal for u00a325. VERDICT A great windproof; not perfect but superb at the price. BEST VALUE In 'Windblockers', Issue 32 JUN/JUL16

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us