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Understanding Running Jackets and Vests


Running is a great activity that gets the blood pumping and endorphins rushing. However, dreary weather can make any runner second-guess a decision to head outdoors. Don't let Mother Nature impede you! Arm yourself with the right apparel for a comfortable workout. In this guide, you'll learn about running jackets and vests that keep you covered in the cold.

Apparel Basics

Running jackets and vests are typically made to block wind, retain warmth, and repel water. Most running apparel is made from a lightweight polyester blend; although, you'll see many brands use special fabric technology to put their own spin on the classic blend. Running jackets and vests are ideal for chilly weather and dusk, when temperatures drop and reflectivity is necessary.

Suit Your Needs

Before buying a running jacket or vest, it is important to assess your running environment and personal preferences. Is it typically cold where you live or would a lightweight mesh jacket be sufficient? Do you get cold easily or do you need more ventilation? Since you know your body better than anyone, be sure to choose a jacket or vest based upon your comfort level.

For those who often encounter windy conditions, a running vest would be more suitable than a jacket, provided that the temperature is mild enough where sleeves aren't necessary. Running vests do an excellent job at blocking the cold wind so you can retain more heat. Running jackets provide greater coverage and warmth, while some still offer excellent breathability.

After assessing your environment, start choosing which specific features you want your running apparel to have.

Special Design Features

Running jackets and vests have a plethora of features to keep you warm, comfortable, and protected against the elements. Here are some favorite features that are good to look for:

  • UPF protection to protect against the sun's rays.
  • Reflective accents to keep yourself visible in low-light environments. Accents can come in the form of reflective fabric or piping.
  • Moisture-wicking capabilities to wick away perspiration so you stay dry and comfortable.
  • Pockets to hold essential items like car keys, energy gels, license, or debit card.
  • Flat-lock seams to provide a smooth, chafe-free fit.
  • Thumbholes to act as faux-gloves keeping your hands warm and protected.
  • Breathable mesh panels to keep you cool in warmer conditions.
  • Waterproof or water-resistant properties to keep the water out.
  • Wind-resistant to block the wind and keep you warm.

Keep Running!

Sport a running jacket or vest on your next run to successfully battle the sun, cut through strong winds, and retain warmth without overheating. The lightweight nature of running apparel means you can slip one on without feeling weighed down. Next time, embrace the weather and be unstoppable with the proper apparel!

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