2015 Running Gear Guide: Men’s Jackets

We put several 2015 men's jackets to the test.

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Highlight: Athlete-inspired smart design.
Ultimate Direction has successfully harnessed athlete input to make top-tier hydration gear and did the same to develop this fully taped waterproof jacket. Built to the performance specs of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc races, it weighs just a smidge over 4 ounces and has flip-on mitts built into the sleeves, an internal chest pocket big enough for an iPhone 6 and a smartly vented hood that keeps it from sticking to a runner’s head.


Highlight: The ultimate blend of comfort, style and performance.
This slim-fitting, merino wool-lined jacket is ideal for cool-weather runs or as a layering piece in harsher conditions. It serves up wind protection from the front and optimal breathability from the back, plus subtle reflective highlights and soft storm cuffs. A secure zippered chest pocket, thumbholes at the wrist and draft-flap collar with a soft chin guard are among the built-in creature comforts.


Highlight: Maximum visibility with just enough wind protection.
Believe it or not, this windproof vest actually glows in the dark. During testing, just 10 minutes of exposure illuminated the vest for 15 minutes. Even when it’s not luminescent, it offers high visibility, with 360-degree reflectivity, and just enough coverage for core warmth and wind protection. Two zip-closure side pockets and an internal media pocket round out the package.


Highlight: A body-wrapping fit that’s like soft-shell armor for cold and wind.
This dynamic, form-fitting soft-shell jacket is made from a stretchy windproof and water-resistant fabric that keeps the elements at bay, but is slightly less breathable than some. It has a small chest pouch pocket for an MP3 player and a hidden rear pocket for keys or a phone.


Highlight: The performance-oriented Pure Project Jacket II blends hipster style with running utility for cool, windy-morning jaunts. Hidden within its urban-influenced design are stretchy storm cuffs, laser-cut side pockets and articulated, vented shoulders designed for maximum mobility. The jacket is rated as highly water-resistant, and it was virtually waterproof during a run in wet, snowy conditions.