The last jacket review covered running jackets that served a definite purpose. Not big on bells and whistles, but big on bright colors and tech-materials, they kept the wind off your skin, provided a little bit of insulation, and scrunched up into a little ball to shove in your pack when you were all warmed up.
These next few jackets fit a different category. These are jackets I’d wear to a run, I’d run in on special occasions, then wear again after a run. They’re jackets that I have no problem wearing while shopping with my wife, going to lunch or dinner, or somewhere else where “running attire” is not always appreciated. I probably wouldn’t buy most of them for myself, but I’d be stoked to get any as a gift.
I’ve tried them all out on the trails to get a feel for fit and breathability, and they all pass the running test–some better than others. I decided to get pictures of myself wearing them, so you can see how they wear on the same person (who happens to be a runner…certainly not a model!)
Adidas Sequencials Climaproof Slim Jacket
- 100% Polyester
- ClimaProof water resistance does a pretty good job at keeping me dry. Anything over an hour in the rain and it got sticky, but light-moderate rain protection, it did well.
- Hood with Velcro tab on back keeps it stuffed well.
- Two zippered hand pockets, one zippered chest pocket, and two large internal drop pockets.
- Not a lot of initial insulation.
- Fits the longest of any jacket. I’ve got a loooong torso, and this fits long.
- Rear vents across top of back actually work.
Sam says: “I like the chalky matte color and it fits you well.”
Pearl Izumi Fly Softshell Run Hoody
- Feels pretty heavy.
- One of the warmest jackets on the list.
- Two zippered hand pockets. No chest pocket.
- Nice illuminated detailing on the entire back and under arms.
- Hood is tight and warm, not securable, which drives me crazy. Fine for a lifestyle jacket, but tough to run with a hood flapping around.
- Double-cuffed wrists keep warmth in and integrated mittens are awesome.
Sam says: “I like it. Looks like a jacket you could wear out to dinner, but I bet the hood is driving you crazy.”
Smartwool PhD Run Divide Jacket
- Polyester shell with merino wool blend liner. Very nice and soft feeling.
- The wool material on the wrist feels old and stretched out. Should either be a different material or have Velcro closures to stay tight.
- Very warm without being heavy.
- No hand pockets, but one zippered chest pocket is good for phone, wallet.
- I wouldn’t want to get any gels or gunk on this jacket.
- First jacket I’d grab if running in anything less than 30 degrees.
Sam says: “I like the front a lot and want to wear it.”
The North Face Illuminated Reversible Jacket
- 96% Polyester
- Collar stands up high.
- Pretty good protection from wind and rain, but no real insulation.
- Zipped pocket in back when worn in yellow mode, two zippered hand pockets on sides when worn gray side out.
- Wrists cut and hemmed at a bias, which gives a nice feel.
- Not as breathable as others, but dual-functionality is pretty cool.
- Extremely reflective in dark.
- Definite athletic fit.
Sam says: “I really like the gray side. It looks fancy.”
UVU Brio Jacket
- Available mid 2015.
- Price TBD.
- Two zippered hand pockets and one zippered chest pocket.
- Lightest jacket of the group. Feels most like a “running jacket.”
- Double-cuffed wrists keep warmth in.
- Hemmed longer in back is nice.
Sam says: “I like how that fits you and how it looks.”
All these jackets have been great. In California, these haven’t been tested in freezing weather, but they’ve been great to slip on after a good run. For warmth, I’d recommend either the PI or the SmartWool. For convenience and “coolness”, I’d go with the NorthFace. If I were taller or bigger, the Adidas has a great fit, and for lightness and quality of build, the UVU gets the nod.
Now go out and run.