What to Look for in a Durable Windbreaker

A good windbreaker can keep you warm in a pinch. Here’s what to look for.

Beat the chill.Unsplash/Tobias Cornille

We’ve all had a moment, on top of a mountain or as the sun sets on a beach, where we’ve felt just a little chilly. That’s a perfect time for a windbreaker, one of the more versatile pieces of outdoor gear. When seeking for the best light jacket, here’s what to look for.

Built to Last

Choose from an array of muted earth tones.JTANIB

Packability is a key feature. The ideal windbreaker should have materials and construction that suit being thrown in a bag and heading out the door, whether it’s a laptop bag as you’re going to work or in your backpack as you set off for a hike. Look for thin but strong materials like polyester that can take a beating and a soaking. Many windbreakers either come with a separate back or can be packed into their own pockets.

Editors' Choice

This durable option is machine washable and won't quickly wear down, no matter how often you clean it.Charles River Apparel

Fit should be another factor. A good windbreaker gives you room to move and can fit over everything else you’re wearing, while also offering a bit more protection. Look for attached hoods; cuffs and hems you can tighten or loosen; and of course how it feels when you put it on. Hoods should cover your head, but not block your eyes.

Designer Pick

Storage isn't a problem on this well-fitted jacket.Nike

Pockets are another point to consider. When it gets chilly during your workout, a good windbreaker will both keep you warm and be a good place to store your phone, keys, and anything else you need. Zip closures or strong velcro will help keep your stuff in place and the weather out.