What to Look for in a Durable Windbreaker

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

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

Hooded Windbreaker
JTANIB Women's Lightweight Hooded Windbreaker.Amazon

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.

Go with the Flow

Charles River Apparel
Charles River Apparel Pack-N-Go Windbreaker.Amazon

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.

Give Them a Hand

Windrunner Jacket
Men's Nike Sportswear Windrunner Jacket.Amazon

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.