Highly technical, breathable fabrics make the running jacket an essential piece of kit for every runner. When running in colder or wet conditions the jacket helps to sustain the microclimate of the human body by simply keeping you warm and dry.
Windproofs are very lightweight and easy to pack away, suitable for windy but not very cold weather. Some are very highly water repellent, but they're a bit more breathable in comparison to the fully waterproof ones. Waterproof jackets have taped seams which make them fully waterproof and suitable for extreme weather conditions.
Gilets are sleeveless vests and make a really practical addition to your exercise wardrobe. You can use them in any temperature – layer over a warm thermal in cold conditions, or throw over a tee in mild weather – and they provide protection for your engine (your body!) without the risk of overheating.
Windproof jackets are very lightweight and easy to pack away, suitable for windy but not very wet weather; they offer some rain protection but in consistent or heavy rain you’ll get wet. However, the wind protection means you’re protected from getting too cold, except in really miserable weather! They don’t offer anything in the way of warmth, so add a moisture wicking baselayer, or warmer thermal, to be set up perfectly for your training.
Waterproof jackets have taped seams, making them fully waterproof and suitable for extreme weather conditions. There are still very light with added vents for increased breathability, though they’ll never feel as breathable as a water-resistant jacket. A good investment which, when looked after, will last you years and years.