With the incoming Tropical Storm about to hit the Texas coast, I figured this was a perfect time to continue on the blog with another post about my favorite rain jackets! First and foremost, there's a lot of different things that go into sourcing a great running jacket. For me, I like my jackets to have many functions. This includes a jacket I can wear as an outer layer when I'm hiking, a single layer when it's raining, or a lightweight jacket that I can wear when the weather is looking ominous. Another good quality feature of a great running jacket? Breathability! But also, the ability to deflect the rain and keep me dry. There's tons of options on the market, but here are a list of the best ones!
There's a lot of great things about this New Balance jacket, and it's not just it's price point (or the thousands of colors it comes in!). This is easily one of the lightest jackets on the list (think: light as tissue!), which means it's incredibly thin, breathable, and insanely stow-able. With a drawstring around the hood, it's easy to cinch around your face in the rain to stay dry. Being so lightweight comes at a slight disadvantage, however. The jacket is more likely water-resistant than full-on waterproof, making it a much better jacket for a light rain. Runs true to size.
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Yet another great option in the lightweight running category is this jacket from Under Armour. Just as lightweight and storable as the jacket from New Balance, this jacket has the advantage of being both water-resistant and wind-resistant. The best part about this jacket is the seams are cut to a woman's frame, so it's fitted and stylish. Back mesh helps provide generous ventilation, while the bungee drawstring around the neck keeps your head dry in rain showers. Although water-resistant, this jacket is probably best for warmer temps and lighter rains. Runs true to size.
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This Marmot jacket is one of my favorite all-around jackets. While still lightweight, this jacket is one of the heaviest on the list so far. This makes it perfect for running in cooler temps and heavy rain. I've also taken this jacket on hikes through the mountains and it provides a great amount of insulation against the wind. The velcro straps allow you to adjust the jacket to your own specifications. Bonus features of this jacket include the rollaway hood (perfect for when it's not raining!) and underarm vents for cooling. When not in use, the jacket stuffs down into a single pocket for easy storage. Runs true to size.
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One thing that Patagonia is known for is absolute quality. Again, this rain jacket is no exception. Slightly lighter than the Marmot, the Patagonia is perfect for trail running, hiking, or adventures in the mountains. As far as cost, this is one of the best bangs for your buck in the Patagonia space. It has great breathability, while still maintaining a great rain-proof exterior. The Patagonia rip-stop nylon means that you're not likely to catch a stray tree branch on your run, making it highly durable. Runs slightly small. (Looking for something a little heavier? Try the: Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket, $120. Also available from backcountry.com. )
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Last but not least, we have an amazing rain jacket from Outdoor Research. While not the cheapest on the list, the Helium II jacket has something for everyone. With a weight of only 5.5 ounces, it packs down to almost nothing, while still maintaining some of the best waterproofing of any of the jackets on the list. Water-resistant zippers keep your valuables nice and dry, while each seam is meticulously taped and waterproofed to prevent any moisture to seep into your under layers. The stretch fabric allows for a higher level of wind resistance, but doesn't cut into your ability to move! The only drawbacks? The lack of pockets on the sides to store valuables. Runs true to size. Current on sale at backcountry.com.
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