Best run jackets review 2014
A successful run jacket has to perform a tricky balancing act of being lightweight yet providing warmth from the elements, while also promoting breathability to stop the build-up of sweat. The ability to be water-resistant or even waterproof is also an important element to consider.
Before purchasing, think about what conditions you’ll be using the garment in. For chilly urban runs, a lightweight option with reflectivity options may suit your needs best; if you’re heading off into the fells this winter then look for something more sturdy.
Other factors include the type of pockets, options for MP3s and aesthetics; a good-looking jacket will help you get out the door in the bleak winter days. Medium, long arms, high collars and short lengths were all part of the mix here, so ideally try before you buy.
... and don't forget to check out our other 2014 round-ups: best aerobars, best turbo trainers, best tri bikes, best tri bike shoes, best wetsuits, best lightweight run shoes, best trail shoes, best energy bars, best bike jackets, best bike helmets, best TT helmets, best recovery drinks and best tri-suits.
Odlo Logic Timer
Price: £85 from www.odlo.com
Formed by a man named Odd Roar Lofterød, Odlo have fine recent form around here, with their Evolution Warm baselayer scoring highly and their Flyweight bike jacket doing us proud at the Ballbuster. Constructed with a silky polyester outer shell and a mesh inner, the stylish, cyan Logic Timer is the second lightest on test and was the first out of the box for some runs in about 8°C conditions.
Once on, the jacket sat well on our frame, with the weight barely noticeable and arm movement unrestricted. In the worst rain November could throw at us, we were kept dry throughout, with the only moisture being of the perspiration variety. The trade off of that water-repellent shell is that you do lose a little breathability. Elsewhere, the small side pocket was hard to slip our hand into, with the tiny zip slider being tricky to locate, especially with gloves on.
Verdict: Stylish and lightweight offering that’s good for rainy weather, less so for a big freeze, 82%
Brooks Infiniti VI
Price: £90 from www.brooksrunning.co.uk
You instantly know this is a Brooks jacket from afar, with the understated styling reeking of the Seattle brand. This visual familiarity transforms into reliability onto the run, with the ‘semi-fitted’ Infiniti VI sitting well on our frame and the lightweight construction barely noticeable when moving through the zones. Unlike many brands, who err on the side of caution regarding seepage, Brooks claim that the Infiniti is waterproof.
In driving rain, the jacket withstood whatever H20 was thrown at it (though there was a hint of clamminess on the skin in the most extreme downpours). The polyester/polyurethane blend offers plenty of stretch, with the reflective strips over the major seams adding more safety to night adventures. Brooks tout this for temps from 4-18°C, but with a layering system we’d definitely brave the mercury dropping further.
Verdict: To Infiniti and beyond! A fine creation for beating the wind and rain… and at a decent price too, 93%
Gore Mythos 2.0
Price: £169 from www.goreapparel.co.uk
Boasting Gore’s industry standard Windstopper construction, the Mythos 2.0 is another example of the brand’s expertly-crafted output, a master of common sense design over flashy style. Thumb loops, hem toggles in the large pockets, reflective details and a stealthy internal pocket for MP3 player (and hiding Soreen from your run buddies) are all present, with a fleece-lined collar providing the luxury.
Using Gore’s True Fit online guide, the optimum fit was achieved, with the 100% polyester jacket streamlined and free from excess flapping. At 458g, it’s up there with the Pearl Izumi as the heaviest offering on test, and it performed admirably in biting conditions and even in rain, also keeping our core warm and well-regulated during the Ballbuster’s second run leg. The major sticking point is whether to stump up for that price tag.
Verdict: Excellent offering for tackling wind-chill and even the rain. The only question is whether it fits your budget, 91%
Continue reading our guide to 2014's best run jackets