Looking for waterproof running gear to help you stay dry in rain and snow?
If you live in a climate where rain, snow, and inclement weather can turn an ordinary run into a slosh-fest, some waterproof running gear can help you stare Mother Nature in the face and head out into the storm.
Wondering what waterproof running gear to add to your inclement-weather arsenal of shoes and clothing?
Check out these 13 runner-tested picks by WeeViews Ambassador Brynn Cunningham.
For instance, many years ago in February 2011, I spent a few days in the Chihuahuan desert in southwestern Texas near Fort Davis.
The takeaway: If I lived in southwest Texas year round, I wouldn’t need to read this article, as I wouldn't require much waterproof gear.
On the contrary, according to worldclimate.com, my hometown of Ohiopyle, located in southwestern Pennsylvania along the Youghiogheny River, averages:
In fact, it’s raining right now as I type. Even more, the 10-day forecast shows rain, snow, and a wintry mix of both.
The scale of necessity for waterproof running gear depends largely upon where you live...
Unless you’re taking a trip to a rainy locale and need some gear, in which case I would highly advise buying discounted and/or used pieces or borrowing a friend’s as truly waterproof gear can get pricey.
Your waterproof running gear collection is key to making those experiences doable and enjoyable.
To keep those often expensive pieces of apparel in excellent condition for a long time, follow the care instructions on the tag, or read this:
Let’s take a look at what keeps me outside, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to curate your own waterproof running gear.
For assistance in determining your own size, here are the female wear tester’s measurements:
Waterproof Running Gear reviewed in this story:
My first waterproof jacket was one by Mountain Hardwear, which I wore from 2009 to 2015, until it fell apart and lost its waterproofing.
Then, rather than replace it with another waterproof jacket...
In fact, it was the 2021 North Fork FKT that spurred me to finally invest in a fully waterproof running jacket once again.
After all, I had enough windbreakers, including two favorites:
Both of which do well in light, short rains but do not withstand either downpours over a short period of time or steady rain over a long period of time.
In addition to the two windbreakers, before I went all-out waterproof, I opted for the:
👉In-depth reviews on the Agile Wind, Houdini and Helium Hybrid: Running Windbreakers: 4 Fall Weather Jackets + How to Pick One.
As a result, I did some research and added a Black Diamond lightweight, waterproof jacket with a hood, which fits over my mountain biking helmet, to my quiver of running jackets.
The Black Diamond Women’s FineLine Stretch Rainshell Jacket, which I wear in size small, is a dream.
It has kept me dry on:
But is so lightweight that it doesn’t bog me down or feel like a mini sauna.
The large chest pocket easily fits my iPhone, a small beanie, and thin gloves.
I love the neck, which zips high to cover the throat, and the hood is designed to fit over a rock climbing helmet.
While it does zip over my mountain biking helmet, the tightness restricts movement, because biking helmets are larger than climbing helmets, so I only use it in this way when I’m at the trailhead and not actually riding.
My first attempt at pants designed to manage water was a pair of water repellent pants, the Patagonia Houdini, made of the same material as their best-selling jacket, mentioned and linked above.
While the pants did wonders for light rain days and for resisting wind, they didn’t stand a chance against much more than a drizzle, just like the Houdini jacket.
So, I decided to get some waterproof pants.
GOREWEAR is an awesome brand, offering all the clothes you need to waterproof yourself.
I grab these pants, which I wear in size small, for the negative zero-degree and single-digit days when I need a roomy bottom to put on top of a thick base layer and for snowshoe running.
Though GOREWEAR does not make this exact pant anymore, they offer some equally good options.
I love the Outdoor Research Women’s Helium Rain Pants, which I wear in an extra small, for:
For running, they work well...
For colder runs in the low 40s to high 30s, I like to pair a thin pair of long underwear made by Mountain Hardwear (which they don’t sell anymore).
Furthermore, for even colder weather in heavy wintry mixes of rain and sleet hovering at 33 degrees, I pair warmer base layers like:
...when I’ve packed them in my running pack and slipped them on during a sudden downpour.
They go on easily over shoes with the button-up lower legs and come off easily, too.
A note about sizing:
While the Helium Rain Pants function well for most activities, they don’t work well for biking because of the wide, baggy lower legs.
Thus, I invested in the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm Pants (up next in the review).
The Patagonia Women’s Dirt Roamer Storm Pants, which I wear in size small, are an absolute game changer when it comes to:
They are very comfortable, with ...
Not only do they perform well on the trails, they provide the right comfort and weather proofness for rail trail and gravel rides.
I’ve even worn them during a torrential downpour while working at a trail race aid station and remained completely dry after hours of cheering on participants and handing out fuel to hungry, cold racers.
Originally, I purchased waterproof socks:
Interested in waterproof running socks?
Gone are the days of wearing plastic grocery bags between your socks and shoes thanks to waterproof kicks!
The La Sportiva Lycan Women’s GTX Trail Running Shoes, which I wear in size 39, protect my feet from getting cold and water-logged when the weather is both wet and frigid.
Keeping the feet dry and warm (Gore-Tex adds warmth to the foot factor) can transform a miserably cold and wet run into a comfortable, possibly longer-lasting adventure.
Waterproof gloves are a lifesaver, or at least a hand and finger saver, when it comes to trail running in the snow and below freezing conditions.
The Mountain Hardwear Cloud Shadow Gore-tex Gloves, which I wear in size small, are my go-to.
Beyond running, the Cloud Shadows are excellent for:
A hand warmer fits nicely on top of the hand, and the velcro wrist adjustment provides a tight fit when desired or a looser one to allow for more airflow.
A coverall mitten? Yes, please!
Any runner running and living in a heavy precipitation area could benefit from the Salomon Bonatti Waterproof Convertible Mitten, which I wear in size small/ extra small.
Like the Mountain Hardwear gloves listed here, the Salomon Bonatti mittens also live in my pack during cold, rainy seasons as a “just in case” item.
They are not too hot when worn with the Salomon MTN Wool Base Gloves during cloudy, wet and blustery 50-degree days.
They also work well with the Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted Gloves (next on the list).
The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted Gloves, which I wear in size small, are a cyclist’s and runner’s dream come true.
Originally I purchased these for mountain biking and gravel riding, but they see more action trail running than anything else.
The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Cycle Gloves, which I wear in size small, are a step up from the knitted versions reviewed above as far as warmth is concerned.
Additionally, I stash these in my running pack when I’m on trails in case I encounter downed trees that I can cut out with my handsaw (which happens about once a week, quite often).
Thus, they double as excellent trail work gloves.
For cross training activities, like backpacking and fastpacking, when I might be out in the elements all day and night, I prefer a 100% waterproof cap like the Outdoor Research Storm AscentShell Rain Cap, which comes in One Size.
For most types of running, I find that a waterproof cap isn’t necessary and prefer the ones reviewed here:
For casual cross training activities like hiking, backpacking, or kayaking on Class I water that doesn’t require a helmet, I like the Outdoor Research Helium Rain Full Brim Hat, which I wear in size small/medium.
For cold-weather activities like snowshoe running and cross country skiing, I like the Outdoor Research Whitefish Hat, which I wear in size medium.
Some things I like about this hat:
Tell us about it in the comments.
Evan Jensen I've always ran in crappy rain jackets. Upgraded to a Columbia with a mesh liner for breathability that I got at Costco. It was better than the others, but still overheat at 40 degrees or higher.
Decided to try the Black Diamond FineLine Stretch Rainshell Jacket. It's definitely better than any rain jacket I've ever owned. But I still got too hot wearing on a drizzle run around 45 degrees.
I just got the Brooks Canopy jacket. It worked good for a drizzle marathon to keep me dry. More lightweight/breathable than the FineLine. But I'm not sure it would hold up in heavy rain for hours.
Thanks for sharing your waterproof running gear picks. 🏃♂️👊
Brynn Cunningham Evan, thank you for the info and feedback! I’m so excited you got the FineLine! It has held up for many hours in heavy rains and has changed my running and biking life lol. Good to know about the Canopy, too. 😃
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