When it's cold and wet, a good technical jacket can make all the difference to your runs. 220's editor Helen Webster faces the elements in four...
DARE2B Blighted Windshell
£30.00 from www.dare2b.com
If you generally find jackets restrictive and uncomfortable and avoid them unless the weather’s truly arctic, then a no-frills budget option like this Dare2b design wouldn’t be a bad investment.
Admittedly it’s pretty basic, with no pockets or added features, but elasticated cuffs and hem keep it in place and water-proofing is pretty good (although taped seams would help prevent the slight ingress we experienced on the wettest days).
It’s light at 119g, comes in a whopping choice of 12 colours if pink’s not your thing, and has a few small reflective details front and back. We’d have liked a packaway feature such as on the Brooks, but at less than half the price that may be asking too much.
At time of going to print, several colours were reduced to just £9 on Dare2b’s website, making this a no-brainer for an emergency winter extra layer.
Verdict: Cheap and cheerful, but a decent no-frills option if that’s all you want, 72%
Brooks LSD Jacket
£75.00 from www.brooksrunning.com
Full marks to run kit gurus Brooks for designing a jacket that kept us dry, even on the soggiest of winter runs. This wind and waterproof layer does an exceptional job of keeping the weather out and at a mere 86g (size small) it’s also the lightest on test.
Brooks has thought hard about the need for portability in the changeable British climate too and so the LSD jacket packs away into its own zippy pocket, with a thick elastic strap inside making it easy to carry on a run belt or upper arm. Things we’re less keen on? The strangely-designed ‘petal’ hem creates an odd apron-style front that flapped about a bit in the wind. Plus, impressive though the waterproofing of the fabric is, we could do without the rustling sound it makes. Another small quibble is that the bottle green colour reminds us of school uniforms… luckily, it comes in a range of other shades!
Verdict: Not perfect design-wise, but some truly impressive functionality, 83%
Adidas Supernova Storm Jacket
£60.00 from www.adidas.co.uk
Of the four on test this is the one that feels most like a ‘proper’ jacket, and at 211g is one we’d put on when we want to be warm and dry throughout a session, rather than as an optional layer if the weather changes.
Made from Adidas’s breathable Climastorm fabric, it did a good job of keeping the elements out, especially in chillier, windy weather. The water-repellent fabric worked well, with rain beading and running off, and only a little ingress around the zip – although the weaved fabric on the collar and sleeve cuffs did get quite soggy.
Like the Lornah jacket, this one also offers a multitude of pockets, with two inner and two outer pockets and one zippy one on the back. The fit was excellent too, close enough not to flap around, but with enough room that run movement wasn’t restricted. All in all, a good option for all kinds of grotty weather and at a reasonable price.
Verdict: Warm, water-repellent and well-fitting top layer that will serve you well, 85%
Lornah Sports Saba Racer
£80.00 from www.lornahsports.co.uk
You can’t fault the heritage of this new run range. It’s designed by multiple world champion Lornah Kiplagat and aims to offer ‘unique feminine African designs, fine fabrics and an exceptionally elegant fit’.
The first thing to say is this jacket feels very high-quality, with real attention paid to fabrics and finish. We like the design too. It’s nice to see a range offering something a little more stylish than the norm, while small details – the asymmetric zip, thumb holes, drawstring cord and well thought-out pockets – make this jacket functional as well as good-looking.
It isn’t waterproof, so it won’t withstand wet weather, but the four-way stretch fabric offers a snug jersey-style fit which makes it ideal for chilly days, where you want to add a lightweight layer to keep out the cold and wind. It’s relatively light too, weighing in at just 154g.
Verdict: Not for rainy runs, but a snug extra layer for cold days that looks great too, 80%
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