I put a lot of thought and research into my winter running jacket purchase this year and came up with The North Face Stormy Trails Jacket (Women’s and Men’s). I couldn’t be happier with my choice, although the unusually mild Chicago winter this year means that I have not used it very much! Heck, I am about to go out now and run in 60 degree February weather!
The Stormy Trail jacket features and interesting mix of waterproof, breathable fabric, layers of breathable fabric for venting in specific areas, and additional waterproofing over areas. When it is put all together, the jacket is indeed waterproof and wind proof, yet breathes pretty well. The jacket features a full zip closure and roll out removable hood.
I like this jacket for days below about 30 degrees when it is also windy, or for days just over freezing when it is also wet. The jacket does get a bit warm for anything above that, which is to be expected with anything that is waterproof and wind proof, no matter how well it breathes. I would happily wear this as my shell down to some pretty darn cold temperatures as well, but I haven’t had the chance to test it below 28 degrees this winter. Running with it at around 30-35, I was comfortable and found that it cut the wind nicely, and when I got a bit warm, I simply unzipped it.
The jacket is quite light and comfortable. I only have one real complaint, and that is with the hood-it tends to not stay up and there is venting at the back of it that allows in some air. That isn’t a problem of me as I rarely want to use a hood, but if you use your hood a lot, you may want to test out the jacket in the store if possible, or order from a place that allows fee returns (I linked to Zappos, which does so).