In the past, running has been very seasonal for me. It is already that hobby I half-heartedly convince myself to do. I still can’t explain why I love it. I race down a road or trail while telling myself with each new mile how I don’t want to go any further. Then before I know it, I’m going on another run. But those are during the summer months. Living in the wintry Midwest doesn’t make me want to run year-round. I guess the real problem is never preparing myself for the cold seasons, even after growing up here.
This Patagonia Women’s Thermal Airshed Jacket may be changing my mind though.
When I first picked it up, I was not convinced it would hold off the cold temperatures. It is so lightweight that you barely feel like you’re wearing anything at all. What’s cool is that you can stuff the whole thing into one of the inner pockets to be easily thrown into a backpack as a just-in-case warm coverage. It took me a bit of stuffing power to squeeze down the whole jacket, but l love that it’s possible and doesn’t take up much space. Besides, I don’t need any extra bags to do so, since the zip-able pocket is already there for me.
Yet somehow this lightweight jacket is supposed to keep you warm while out on the trails.
I needed to give it a test run. Literally. I went for a run during our coldest week here in Iowa. You can catch me going out to the car in a sweatshirt during the winter months. But not going on an outdoor run in only a sweatshirt during the winter months.
I was surprised by how warm my arms and core remained despite it being 35 degrees and slightly windy. I didn’t even go for a long run, where my body would have warmed up more with added mileage. The only reason for cutting the run short was my lack of gloves and a hat.
This jacket can zip clear up to your chin, giving you that extra coverage. The sleeves narrow at the wrists while allowing me to easily access my Apple Watch to check on my time. The shoulders, arms, and chest layers are all insulated to keep you warm and wind resistant.
The back remains uninsulated and is so thin that it is actually see-through. If the wind was hitting you from the back, I would imagine you’d be able to feel it. I could at least feel some cool air from the back side when stationary. The main idea for the uninsulated backing is for heat to escape so you don’t overheat on your run.
On the inside, you will find two pockets. I already mentioned the one. There is a zip-able pocket, that also functions as your pouch if you chose to stuff your jacket into it. The second pocket is open and long. I liked having it to simply drop my phone into.
If I need my phone again to change my song or podcast, it is easy to reach while running. I find zippers while running to be slightly annoying. Who wants to stop their best mile minute because Anti-Hero by Taylor Swift started playing and they can’t skip it to something more empowering?
While on that topic, though. (Pockets, not T. Swift.) I am a huge fan of front pockets and this jacket has none. I find myself looking for them, and my hands come back empty.
The suggestion by Patagonia is to pair this jacket with one of their running vests. So I’m guessing if you did that, you would be getting some front pockets, as well as back insulation. I personally don’t care too much for vests. So the lack of front pockets remains a bit disappointing to me.
The price tag of this thermal jacket might make one hesitant to buy it, costing $279. I found it to do its job really well, but one might argue whether it is worth the price. It probably isn’t the jacket for a casual runner, who doesn’t care to invest much into the sport. For your pros or hard-core runners, I think this jacket is just what you’re looking for. Patagonia has the reputation of quality, long-lasting material. If a jacket like this is something you think you’d get lots of use out of, I would say it is worth it.
Will I start winter running now? I honestly think so. This jacket kept me way warmer than I expected it would, felt so lightweight that running could be a breeze. Okay, that is maybe a bit optimistic, it has never been a breeze for me. But it wouldn’t be a hesitation because of the cold.
Could this be a new daily winter jacket? Not for me. If you aren’t actively moving your upper body while wearing this, the cold will easily get through. I will wear it around the house when feeling a bit chilly or during the autumn months. This is a jacket I would suggest for the winter runner to check out.