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Features to Look For in a Running Jacket

A running jacket is more than just an extra layer to keep you warm, it is a functional piece of fitness clothing that helps to support with the movements of running. In this guide we will explain what makes running jackets different, what features to look out for and how to choose the best one for you. 


Table of contents 

What is a running jacket?

Can you wear a running jacket casually?

Types of running jackets

Features to look for in a running jacket

How your running jacket should fit

Choose your running jacket with the weather in mind

The best running jacket brands

Find your perfect running jacket with Rebel Sport



What is a running jacket?

Unlike standard jackets that are designed purely to keep you warm, running jackets are made with special features that protect you from the elements and improve your running experience. 

Running jackets are made with advanced materials and feature specialised designs to help you move fast and stay at the right temperature while you run. 

As well as being functional, running jackets are a stylish addition to your sports wardrobe that can be worn casually too. 

Can you wear a running jacket casually?

There is no reason you can’t wear a running jacket for other purposes. Whether you are taking the dog for a walk, heading out on a hike or dining outdoors, running jackets offer everything a casual jacket does and more. 

They can of course be used as a jogging jacket or a workout jacket too. 

Running jackets offer a stylish sporty look that can be paired with activewear or everyday clothes. 

Types of running jackets

Whether you are out in the wind, rain or snow, there are rain jackets available to suit all climates and conditions. 

Choosing the right running jacket ensures you are able to keep going through rain or shine and hit your performance goals rather than having to stop for the weather. 

Windproof running jackets

With special features to help you power through windy conditions, a running windbreaker can provide a barrier against chilling winds, ensuring your run remains comfortable even when faced with brisk breezes.

Available in both padded and non-padded options, windproof jackets are made from lightweight fabrics so you don’t get caught in the wind. 

Unlike standard bulky jackets, lightweight running jackets sit in a way that keeps you aerodynamic to avoid slowing you down. 

Waterproof running jackets 

Specifically designed for wet weather, waterproof jackets shield you from rain and snow, allowing you to stay dry and focused on your run.

With water-repelling fabric, running rain jackets stop water from escaping through to your running clothes which can cause the skin to become not just cold but irritated with movement. 

Features can include a drawstring hood to keep your head and neck dry, taped seams to stop water from getting in and waterproof non-slip zips for easy use when wet.

 Some waterproof jackets come with a fabric lining to keep you warm and dry on a cold day. 

Insulated running jackets

Insulated jackets are tailored for cold weather, providing additional warmth to keep you comfortable during chilly runs.

Features can include thermal fabrics and filling, double-zippered pockets, high neck designs to keep the cold off and reflective panels for those darker days and nights. 

Insulated jackets are great for cold climates and snow, with some featuring waterproof fabric. Winter running jackets are a must for those who live in chilly climates. 


Features to look for in a running jacket

It’s important to wear the right gear when running. Poor quality running jackets can come apart at the seams, allowing rain to get in and insulated filling to escape, meaning you need to replace the jacket sooner than expected. 

If a running jacket hasn’t been designed with runners in mind, you may experience poor ventilation, restricted movement and your body temperature either being too hot or too cold when you run. 

Whether you are going for a super warm and cozy jacket or something lighter that you can roll up into a bag, there are a few features every running jacket should have to function well. 

Ease of movement 

When running you need your arms to be able to move freely to support with good running form. Restricting running jackets can cause you to have more aches and pains as you are forced into an unnatural posture. 

Jackets with articulated sleeves provide more room near the underarm which stops them riding up when you run. 

Some jackets have body-mapped construction which offers targeted ventilation and insulation in the right places. 

Versatile layers 

Having versatile layers means that you can adjust your jacket no matter the weather conditions. 

A concealed hood is great for tucking out of the way when it's not needed and a customisable fit with velcro tabs, toggles and domes prevents cold air from entering to provide a snug feel.

Some running jackets offer customisable thermal layers that can be zipped out of the way if you get too hot as you run. 

Running jackets with versatile layers are perfect for those who live in areas where the weather can change very suddenly. 


Quality zips

Zips aren’t something you think about, until they wear out or break off at the wrong moment.

Ensuring your jacket has high-quality zippers means you get a more durable, long-lasting jacket that can withstand tough weather conditions. 

Well thought out zippers such as two-way or internal zips, offer quick and effective temperature control, preventing overheating and providing practicality. 

Reflective logos or strips

If you run during darker times of the morning or night reflective strips are a must-have for safety. 

Look for jackets with reflective logos or strips on the front and back of the jacket to enhance visibility during low-light conditions. 

Reflective running jackets are a great option for those who run in areas where there is very little street lighting, such as rural or wilderness areas. 


Running with items in pant pockets can be restrictive, so having pockets in a jacket means you can take your essentials with you without interfering with running performance, or risk losing your belongings. 

Look for jackets with secure pockets for essentials like keys or energy gels. 

How your running jacket should fit

Running jackets should fit fairly close to the body so you aren’t battling with too much extra fabric as you run. 

It’s worth considering the length of the jacket, and whether you prefer something to the waist or past the waist. Sleeves should come just past the wrists to keep you warm as you run. 

When trying on a jacket, bring your arms forward to check the comfort across your back. If it feels tight you may need to size up. 

Alot of running jackets are designed with a more slim fit style to help you move more easily in conditions such as wind. 

It’s worth thinking about what you plan to wear under your running jacket as you run, so that you can pick a size that allows for your layers. Thermals for cold weather runners are a good option, so it can be worthwhile wearing those as you try jackets on to be sure. 


Choose your running jacket with the weather in mind

Wearing the right jacket for the weather is key for keeping your body at the right temperature, improving airflow and protecting yourself against the elements. 

Running in hot weather

The key to being comfortable in a jacket while running in hot weather is breathability. Overheating during a run can be dangerous, so ensure you are choosing a jacket that allows cool air to flow in, and hot air to flow out. 

Common features include mesh panels and double-way zips so you can undo the jacket a little without having it obstruct your run or needing to take it off completely. 

Opt for materials that wick moisture away, so you can stay cool during high-intensity runs. They are also a great clothing option for those who sweat heavily during workouts

Running in cold weather

Even though you warm up when you run, really cold weather can go straight through your clothes and cool you down a lot faster. 

Keeping nice and warm with an insulated jacket means you can go out no matter the weather without being slowed down. 

Look for down or synthetic insulation, longer-length jackets and higher collars for additional coverage against chilly winds.

Running in rain

Wet clothes can really slow you down and make a run less enjoyable, so if you are a committed runner whether it’s rain or shine, waterproof jackets are a must. 

Adjustable hoods provide cover from the rain whilst not obstructing your vision, and jackets with elasticated toggles around the base can stop water from flicking up under the jacket as you run. 

Look for jackets with adjustable velcro tabs around the wrists to stop water trickling under the sleeves. 

The best running jacket brands

At Rebel Sport we have plenty of high quality running jackets to choose from including Nike running jackets, Regatta, Huffer or Puma

Our modern running jackets offer great technology paired with style and comfort. 


Find your perfect running jacket with Rebel Sport

Running jackets are an absolute must for your sports wardrobe no matter the climate you run in. Don’t let the weather slow you down this season, check out the wide range of running jackets at Rebel Sport. Shop in-store or online.