In case you haven’t noticed, the weather in the UK has been pretty dire over the Christmas period and it’s not showing any signs of improving. But you can’t put your training on hold just because it’s wet and windy outside, in fact it’s even more important that you keep laying down the miles when it’s all too tempting to climb under a blanket, watch TV and eat chocolate.
Of course heading out for a run when it’s cold and wet is far more bearable when you’re wearing the right gear. Making sure that you stay warm and dry is important, but it’s just as important to make sure that you don’t overheat either. You might be cold when you start your run, but you’ll warm up considerably once you’ve covered a couple of kilometres, especially if you’re wearing too many layers.
So, when you’re looking for a running jacket you want something that’s light and breathable, but also windproof, because it’s the wind chill factor that really gets to you. Just such a garment is the Nike Vapor Running Jacket, which I’m reviewing here.
The Nike Vapor Running Jacket is available in a variety of colours, from a rather conservative black through to a screaming yellow/green. Obviously if you’re planning on running regularly at night, it’s worth putting aside your fashion sense and going for the latter to ensure that you’re seen by cars.
The review sample I was sent sits somewhere in between those two extremes, with a charcoal lower section and a bright orange upper. Regardless of what colour scheme you go for the Vapor Running Jacket is equipped with reflective strips on both arms – at the wrist on the right arm and at the bicep on the left
The first thing you notice when you grab the Vapor is just how light and insubstantial it feels. Not only is the Vapor lightweight, but Nike’s claims of it being breathable are well founded – there’s no hint of the wet and clammy problems that I’ve encountered before when running in a wind-breaking jacket.
There’s a removable hood zipped into the collar, but given how light the whole garment is, and how unpredictable the British weather can be, I see no reason to ever remove it. You’ve got two zipped side pockets, as well as two internal pockets – although I tend not to carry too much in my pockets when I run, it’s good to have the flexibility on hand. The sleeves are internally elasticated, ensuring that they don’t ride up your arms while you’re running.
Despite the Vapor’s gossamer-like construction, it’s extremely adept at keeping the wind at bay. The Christmas period has been very blustery in the UK, but the Vapor kept me very comfortable on my runs. There were no overheating issues either, with the Vapor keeping me warm, but not hot while I ran.
And when the heavens opened and the rain started pouring, I put up the hood and no matter how hard the wind blew or the rain fell, it stayed in place over my head, just where I wanted it. Don’t expect to arrive home bone dry when you’re out running in a storm wearing the Vapor, but it will protect you admirably from the odd shower and keep you pounding the pavement when you otherwise might head home.
At around £65 online (the MSRP is £70), the Nike Vapor Running Jacket isn’t cheap, but with kit like this you really do get what you pay for. For me, this jacket provides the perfect mix of light weight, great wind protection and breathability. So if you’re looking for an extra layer to keep you running through the winter, the Vapor is definitely worth a look.
- Very light
- Breathable construction
- Keeps the wind out effectively
- Keeps you dry when the showers come
- The hood stays where it’s meant to be
- Won’t make you too hot when running
- Variety of colours
- Lots of pockets
- A bit pricey for a lightweight jacket
- Won’t protect you from very cold or wet weather