Which shell will keep me dry and warm, without overheating, for winter running?

I've just started running again after a long lay off, and I don't want to lose momentum over the winter. What's the best shell I can get to keep me dry and warm without blowing the thermostat? KT London, England

Nov 17, 2008
Outside Magazine
Adidas Supernova Jacket

Supernova Jacket


What you want is something light, breathable, and water-resistant without being waterproof (I assume you are prudent enough not to run in a downpour).

Pearl Izumi’s Infinity Jacket ($79) fits that description perfectly. It’s made of Pearl Izumi’s Zephrr fabric that is mostly polyester, a material that is naturally water-resistant and also breathes well. It’s just about windproof, is very light, and has stretch fabric through the shoulders for more comfort. I wear the biking equivalent on a regular basis, and it’s great.

Another excellent piece is the Adidas Supernova ($99), which uses Gore Windstopper. Windstopper is a highly breathable material that has perhaps a touch more water-resistance than the Pearl Izumi jacket. It’s a little heavier, too, but still a great piece of running apparel. It’s trimly cut and has a pocket for an iPod.

Layer either over a lightweight base, such as Icebreaker’s Atlas Half Zip ($65), and you’ve got a great set of cool-weather gear.

I don’t like shells over my legs; I always prefer some sort of tight or legging. If it’s damp out, your legs don’t mind as much as your torso, anyway. Nike’s Pro Winter Tight ($50) is a top-notch mid-weight tight that will keep you comfortable.

Have a great winter of running!

The 2008-09 Winter Outside Buyer’s Guide is on newsstands now. Look for it online soon so you can get prepped for gift-giving season—even if everything you pick is for yourself!

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