Hella Warm Running Jackets

I dread Montana winters, they are freezing cold, but I still do my best to get out and run. What are your favorite winter running jackets?

Sophie Speidel

Charlottesville, Virginia
My go-to jacket for when temps are below 32 degrees: A Patagonia Houdini worn over a 3/4 zip top worn over a wicking tank. I have found that this layering system gives me more flexibility. I will also add a neck gaiter/Buff as well as a beanie for my head. Then when I get warmed up I can shed stuff and keep on what I need! The Houdini is great in cold temps and light snow.

Silke Koester

Boulder, Colorado
My favorite all-season running jacket is the Patagonia Houdini — it’s super light and packable, meaning that you can bring it along “just in case.” For colder weather or for running in a snow storm, I prefer a waterproof jacket like the La Sportiva Hail jacket. It’s still super light but offers a bit tougher protection from the elements. Generally, I prefer to dress in layers rather than opt for a thick and bulky jacket even when temps drop below 0F. I tend to run hot and sweaty so I like to be able to undress a bit once I’ve warmed up in order to avoid becoming drenched and then freezing to death.

Maria Dalzot

Bellingham, Washington
Investing in a top quality winter jacket is 100% worth the hefty price tag. While the Pacific Northwest doesn’t get freezing cold, it is windy and rainy. The jacket that keeps me dry and warm the best is the La Sportiva Storm Fighter GTX. The GoreTex keeps you dry and protects against harsh winds. It has a tailored fit so it doesn’t feel clunky when you run in it. It can also pack down quite small so that you can always have it in your pack just in case.

Amanda Roe

Moundsville, West Virginia
I live in Portland, so we don’t get Montana temps much. I do however, go running in cold places through the winter. If it’s dry, but below freezing when I go running, I’ll do my North Face puffy with my Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Shell. The shell packs up into it’s own pocket, and I keep it in my hydration pack all the time. If it’s raining/snowing, I actually have a dry-fit hoodie that I layer under my Columbia Omni-heat weatherproof shell.

Heidi Kumm

Summit County, Colorado
I have two puffy jackets — Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisper + Eddie Bauer Ascent — which I’ll double up on extra cold days. They both have hoods + pockets, which I love. I also use the UD Ultra Jacket as a wind or rain barrier. This is actually my go-to for nearly every day in the winter.

Krissy Moehl

Bow, Washington

Layering in the cold was the key to my miles while living in Boulder, Colorado. I found there was no bad weather, just bad gear. And it was so awesome to piece together the perfect kit. The trick is the weather will vary and the same jacket or layering system on a 20degree sunny day will not work on a 38 degree rainy day. Having some options and figuring out your layers take a bit of time, but is oh so rewarding when you can enjoy more hours out.

A couple of my favorite jackets (use depends on what you layer with)

  • Patagonia Airshed – for mid 30s to low 50s. Dry, minimal drizzle okay
  • Patagonia Rainshadow – for <45 degrees and wet. Good layer over a puff in coldest temps to wind block and keep dry
  • Patagonia lightweight hybrid nano – for <50ish, mostly dry conditions, can stand some drizzle, does great layered.

 

Ashley Hunter Arnold

Asheville, North Carolina
The North Face makes some excellent wind proof jackets. So does New Balance. I have found that wearing windproof layers really help. They are lightweight and help keep warmth in.

Hillary Allen

Boulder, Colorado
I love layering in the winter time. My favorite piece in the winter is a vest or those jackets that have a puffy center and long arms. Keeping your core warm goes a long way. I also have to wear shorts or booty short underwear under my pants for an extra layer for my bum ?

Erin Brown

Richmond, Virginia
This may sound unconventional for a trail runner, but I’ve always found really great sale rack items from Lululemon for winter running gear. They often have really warm and breathable jackets that are also light weight. Along with multiple layers to pair under it, in case you, like I, overheat easily and need to strip it off in the middle of a run!

Clare Gallagher

Boulder, Colorado
The North Face Women’s Hyperair Gore-tex® Jacket. The most waterproof, breathable sheath your body could ever need in the winter or in torrential downpours.

Tara Warren

Ogden, Utah
I love winter running. Did I just say that? I have a thing for coats and have a variety for the changing conditions in my mountain town. However, I think it warmth starts before the jacket. l like to start with a non-cotton based tank. Then, I add a wool or wool blended long-sleeved base layer. Sometimes I even add two of these layers depending on how windy it may be. After I have my core taken care of, I add a jacket. If it’s wet snow, I add my Arcteryx shell. If it’s just plain cold, I add my Patagonia nano-puff. Top that off with a Trail-sisters buff too!

Katie Grossman

Wrightwood, California
The key for me is not one jacket, but many layers. I find that the easiest way to freeze is to wear a jacket appropriate for the summit at the base – all that does is ensure I’m nice and sweaty by the top, and then the thick layer does me no good. My key pieces for winter are a good, performance wool base layer, a tighter synthetic down jacket, a lightweight wind breaker, and a heavier, waterproof shell. I combine these options, as the weather calls for, and am prepared to be both donning and shedding throughout my workout.
Trail Sisters

Trail Sisters

Trail Sisters contributors are a group of inspirational, educational and empowering Women who share a love for the outdoors and trail running. We come from all over and share a bond through our love of the sport.

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