Are you feeling that deep bone chill yet? As we transition back out from Summer Daylight Savings and return to the well-loved season of overeating turkey and dusting off our thicker blankets, it is easy to fall into the temptation to simply stay indoors for the winter.
However, the cold weather should not make you abandon your fitness goals or your enjoyment of sports. Simply get one of these new windbreaker jackets and get ready to hit the trail again – while remaining well-protected until you work up a sweat. Long gone are the times where windbreaker jackets were harsh and inelegant pieces of functional wear. This year, a plethora of brands have launched new models for a number of occasions. It won’t matter if your gym is the fancy, pretentious kind or if you need to look like a proper country gentleman next weekend: invest in one of these best windbreaker jackets of these to stay warm.
- Features: a drawcord-adjustable hem, safe hand pockets
- Available in: Black
Columbia did not rise to one of the top names of outdoor wear lightly. Their dependability and variety of models have been well-established. Their newly re-released classic windbreaker jacket offers a whole list of reasons to remind us of this. Made fully from polyester, this jacket will protect you from wet days as well as cold winds.
Thanks to the elastic handcuffs and adjustable hems, it will stay neatly in place and appear as polished and as slim as you need it; that is, not too wide to let the cold in but not so tight that you will find it hinders your movement. Finally, the elegant logo embroidered at the front adds a dash of color without looking garish.
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- Features: A single chest pocket and extra sturdy zippers
- Available in: Black, Graphite, Navy Blue
Patagonia is placing its bets this year on the timeless, tried-and-tested models that originally made them famous. However, they have not shied away from making minor tweaks that help them improve some minor details.
The Houdini windbreaker jacket is light and compact and can be quickly folded down into a very compact bundle, which is great if you need to maximize your load during a hike. It offers great wind resistance in addition to a DWR coating that will keep you warm and dry even on rainy or snowy conditions. This years’ model offers a larger chest pocket, which will easily fit a new smartphone without scratching or appearing bulky.
- Features: Adjustable hood, ultralight materials, chest pocket
- Available in: Black, Iliad Blue, Neurostorm Blue, Olive Amber, Trail Blaze Orange
Arc’Teryx has always been eager to combine European style with a little bit of New-World outdoorsy ruggedness. Their Squamish jacket accomplishes this to near perfection. The super-light construction relies on a proprietary nylon blend that offers maximum breathability on the way out, without letting cold winds in.
The model itself can be compressed easily and remains light even when wet. It was designed for high performance while biking, so it also features an elastic hem, adjustable cuffs, and an aerodynamic design that will minimize wind resistance.
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Helly Hansen Seven J
- Features: Two side pockets, adjustable cuffs, a hood
- Available in: Blue, Charcoal, Alert Red, Black, Granadine, Cobalt Blue, Wasabi, Forest Green, Melt Down Coral
If you live in a rainy area but are unwilling to give up your long runs or bike races, then the Helly Hansen Seven J will be a worthy investment. This model was created specifically to focus on water resistance: it uses HellyTech Fabric, which is both waterproof and windproof but meant to keep sweat levels manageable. Its ability to repel water on the outside makes it suitable even for sailing or kayaking, thanks to an extra DWR layer underneath.
The sleeve openings are reinforced with Velcro to ensure they remain snug around your wrists no matter what. The hood is equipped with a hem cord that will help you adjust it, and the main zipper has an extra flap that provides it with an elegant straight fit.
Mountain Hardwear Exponent
- Features: Slim hand pockets, an additional mesh layer
- Available in: Black, Dark Navy, Orange, Manta Gray
Basic, yet durable, the Exponent model by Mountain Hardware was not designed for extreme conditions but for extreme performance. This is why they have skipped on the added warmth provided by thick extra layers hidden underneath the main nylon shell. Instead, the mesh they have used will keep everything in place while keeping the overall weight down.
This is a great jacket if you need something unobtrusive that still lets you sprint. The overall fit is stylish. By skipping on the pocket zippers, they have also managed to ensure that everything can be rolled down very tightly, without any bulky edges.
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The North Face Venture 2 Male Fit
- Features: Velcro storm flaps, adjustable cuffs, a cinch cord
- Available in: over 15 different color schemes that range from fully black to acid yellow
The Venture 2 is a superb option for anyone who is eager to explore harsh weather without much backup. It offers several layers of added warms, which are not limited to their proprietary Dry Vent Nylon and polyester vent. These include a rip stop-woven mesh layer underneath and a fine polyurethane DWR finish that turns water into large droplets that stay out.
The sides of the jacket have open pit zips that are meant to let excess moisture out, so you won’t sweat too much if you choose to push things to a limit.
Adidas Alphaskin Tiro
- Features: Zippered pockets, adjustable hood
- Available in: Two versions of White and Black, Marine Green and Yellow
Adidas has gone out of its way to ensure this resilient windbreaker jacket is as urban as it is fit for harsh mountain weather. The minimalist design makes it look like the stylish creations enjoyed by European soccer stars, which does not detract from the high-quality polyester and windproof properties of the fabric. This jacket also has an additional mesh lining that adds breathability without compromising flexibility.
To ensure everything stays snugly in place, the cuffs are reinforced with discreet elastic. The silhouette is mildly wider by the shoulders, which provides a straight line without the need for odd cords.
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RAB Vital Windshell
- Features: Three large pockets, a neck snap
- Available in: Shadow Gray, Olive Green
Affordable and full of spacious pockets, this is a great option for hikers and mountain treks. Not only does it let you pack some extra gear with you, such as a utility knife, but it also has ensured the temperature will remain comfortable. Thanks to the Velcro neck snap and adjustable hood cord, you will be able to let yourself breathe without having to remove it.
Thanks to the water-deflecting layer and mild DWR, you will also be getting enough protection from bitter winds without packing on extra pounds. The silhouette, on the other hand, is a bit too bulky to be classified as “urban”.
Outdoor Research Allout
- Features: Zippered hand pockets, inner chest pocket, wire-brimmed hood
- Available in: Black and Hydro Blue, Hot Sauce Red, Hydro Blue and Lemongrass
The strong accents in this windbreaker jacket provide it near-instantly with a degree of personality that few other plain-colored models have. This jacket is not just about fancy look, however; thanks to the Ventia soft shell, it is also warm and equipped with water-repelling properties.
Despite letting you cross at huge speeds without catching a chill from the cold wind, the inner mesh on this softshell jacket still addresses breathability. The overall package could be lighter, although you are unlikely to feel this if you choose to wear it rather than pack it. Extra points should be awarded by the clever construction of the inner pocket, which is large enough to fit a smartphone and will prevent any odd wire tangles from your earbuds.
Marmot Ether DriClime Hoody
- Features: Zippered side pockets, underarms vents
- Available in: Black, Gray, and Turquoise
This water-repelling windbreaker jacket offers two main advantages. First, the fabric includes two separate layers that maximize warmth while ensuring that condensation doesn’t accumulate on your skin (and therefore improves breathability). Second, the design has been optimized specifically to ensure the jacket can be rolled up or folded into a very small package. Just make sure you empty the pockets first, as they are quite spacious and zipper-secured, so you can easily forget you left your keys in there.
Black Diamond Alpine Start
- Features: A neatly closed hood, a zippered chest pocket
- Available in: Ash, Black, Kingfisher Cyan, Green
Black Diamond has never been afraid to experiment. In their Alpine Start windbreaker jacket, they have not pulled their punches with the material. Instead of the classic nylon meshes, they have chosen to use a Schoeller stretch-woven softshell that provides extra warmth and protection from both wind and water.
This brings the jacket from simple accessory into true Alpine territory, although the design still works in an urban setting without looking odd. The hood is fixed and snug and will keep your face and ears firmly protected. And thanks to the gusseted construction, slim fit, and drawcord hem, it looks very classy.
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Columbia Flash Forward
- Features: Zipper mid-closure, quilted
- Available in: Graphite, Rocket Red, Spicy Orange, Blue Navy, Black, Everblue
This jacket may look different from all the other windbreaker jackets your friends have, but is that really a bad thing? The extra padding quilted in horizontal lines provides it with a futuristic look and 76 grams of extra insulation. In addition, thanks to its resilient polyester taffeta shell, it will be easy to machine wash without capturing any odors in the wilderness. The hand pockets are zippered, but not bulky. Meanwhile, the cuffs have been reinforced with elastic, to ensure added warmth and a perfect fit.
Mountain Hardwear Tech II
- Features: Amphibian Materials
- Available in: Olive Green
Versatility reaches a whole new level when you are protected by amphibian materials. True to the spirit of their brand, Mountain Hardwear has ensured this jacket will protect you through a wide variety of harsh conditions. Whether you are heading for Alpine heights or plan to hike near a river or swamp, this jacket will keep you safe and comfortable.
Instead of fighting to hide the duality of its construction, the design here actually embraces it. The result is a slightly vintage appeal that can easily hide extra gear and extra pounds behind its neat zippers and flaps.
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Adidas Essential Wind Jacket
- Features: Hip branding, corded hood
- Available in: Collegiate Navy and White, Black and Gray, Black and White
Adidas is quite aware than its three-striped design is as much a practical reinforcement as it is a status symbol. This Essential wind jacket is therefore incredibly stylish and discreetly practical. The tight fit will keep you warm and fit-looking. In addition, the corded hem and hood are easy to adjust and will keep the wind out while also preventing loose edges from getting stuck on bushes, trees, or taxi doors. The cuffs are also elastic, and the hand pockets have both an elastic and a zipper for added protection from prying hands.
This jacket is made from recycled polyester in an effort to prevent waste and keep the company’s emissions low.
- Features: Detachable hood, hand pockets, storm flap
- Available in: Blue Sapphire, Bomber Green, Gargoyle Gray, Sunset Orange, Arctic Blue, Lichen Green
Don’t be fooled by the “100 % nylon” label. This jacket has been carefully engineered to maximize its windproof and waterproof properties. This was accomplished with a 2.5-layer NanoPro fabric that also manages to look stylish and feel light, at least when shuffled to the bottom of a backpack.
Despite looking a bit large at first glance, this jacket compensates by providing you with increased weather protection. The taped seams and storm flap will keep all edges neatly secure. In addition, the removable hood hides a high neck underneath, which will prevent any uncomfortable droplets from finding their way down your neck.
Salomon Fast Wing Aero
- Features: Microperforated back, elastic hand pockets
- Available in: Black, Biking Red
The “Fast Wing” Aero is great for mountain bikers and speed bikers alike. Not only is it meant to keep you safe from the fast-flowing wind and occasional wind; it also includes several security features meant for fast movers.
The fabric includes a reflective thread down the back and sleeves that will increase your visibility. The small one-way perforation in the back will sharply improve breathability, even when aiming to break your own record. The construction has been kept tight but elastic, which allows for easy movement.
The North Face Fanorak
- Features: Super-sized fanny-pack style front pocket, corded hood
- Available in: Four Leaf Clover and Black; Tan and Green; High-Rise Gray, Orange, and Blue; Storm Blue and Asphalt Gray; and Garden Green, Gray, and High-Rise White.
This model lies comfortably in the mid-point between a jacket and an anorak. Thanks to its highly wind-resistant fabric and extra inner lining, it definitely keeps the warmth rating in the anorak territory. The kangaroo-style pocket is as spacious as a fanny pack, which compensates for the fact that you can’t open the jacket completely to the sides.
On the other hand, the fit remains easy to adjust thanks to the drawcords sewn into the hem and hood.
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- Features: A double-corded hood, zippered pocket, stretch cuffs
- Available in: Blue, Purple, Red, and Black
It doesn’t matter if you are facing a mountain trail or an urban nuclear winter; the Nike Windrunner will pack some heat tightly around your body, while still looking modern and providing you with an extra edge of glamor.
The side pockets have anti-theft zippers and offer spacious yet discreet storage. The hem and the cuffs are reinforced with a thick, stretchy fabric that will provide a much more natural closure than simple elastic. At the back, a discreet vent will let you cool down a little without exposing you.