If you need a jacket that can protect you in windy and moderately cold conditions, a windbreaker is a fantastic choice. Given how thin and lightweight the best windbreakers are, their efficiency at stopping gusts of wind is nothing short of amazing.
When choosing a wind jacket, you need to pay attention to the material quality, design, and fit. To make your choice easier, this article will explore everything that goes into making a good windbreaker. In addition, we will also present the best windbreaker jackets currently available so that you can have stylish and reliable protection anywhere you go.
How To Choose A Windbreaker Jacket – Buying Guide
Considering that it’s an active jacket, we advise that you always choose a lightweight and packable windbreaker. It will feel comfy when it’s on your back, and won’t present too much of a burden when you put it in your backpack. While most of these lightweight and packable windbreakers weigh under 1 pound, there can still be notable differences between models.
Even though this is not a wind jacket’s main job, additional versatility and weather protection is always a plus. Whether you can use your windbreaker as a rain jacket depends on the material type, thickness, and if it’s been waterproofed. The best windbreaker jackets come with DWR coating on the surface, but you can also do this on your own for additional weather resistance.
Related Post: How To Waterproof A Jacket
Even though it’s designed to prevent wind from getting inside, the windbreaker material needs to maintain a high degree of breathability. This allows you to feel comfortable in the jacket instead of getting sweaty as soon as the activity becomes more intense. The best windbreaker jackets are made from special synthetic blends and often even feature well-placed vents.
In addition to the upper body, you also need to protect your head in windy conditions. For this reason, most windbreaker jackets come with a built-in hood. We advise that you go with a multi-panel hood that comes with a drawcord so you can easily adjust it depending on how much coverage you need.
To do its job well, a lightweight windbreaker jacket needs to fit close to your body and prevent wind chill from getting in. Besides choosing the right size, it’s also useful if the jacket has adjustable cuffs and hem. Keep in mind, however, that it shouldn’t be too restrictive either so you can move freely without discomfort.
While the color isn’t the most important aspect to consider when buying a wind-resistant jacket, you should note that it does have a small impact depending on your activity. For example, runners or cyclists should choose bright high-contrast colors that will make them easily visible. However, if you’re venturing into the wilderness, you should go with neutral or dark colors that will blend better into the environment.
Unlike hard shells and other specialized jackets, the best windbreakers don’t have to be overly expensive. This being said, you should always look for the best value and find a balance between quality and price. We paid a lot of attention to this when choosing the products for our windbreaker reviews so you can always get the most for your money.
Since wind resistance is the main task of your new jacket, you should pay special attention to the windbreaker materials and design. Nylon or polyester are the most common options, and you should look for tighter weaving and double-stitched seams so that air can’t pass through.
If you plan to wear your windbreaker in cold conditions, you’ll need a jacket with some type of insulation. Luckily, some windbreakers are made from heavier materials and feature a synthetic fleece lining inside to keep you warm. On top of this, most windbreaker jackets can be used for layering too.
Related Review: Fleece Jacket
When the jacket gets wet from rain or sweat, it’s a big plus if it can dry quickly. Otherwise, you might feel very uncomfortable and even catch a cold. If you want a quick-drying model, make sure that it’s made from lightweight breathable fabric and that it has a mesh lining inside.
Pockets significantly improve the functionality of any jacket, and a windbreaker is no exception. Most windbreaker jackets come with handwarmer pockets on the sides, but the best models even feature inner pockets for valuables. On top of this, it’s always a plus if the pocket has a zipper or Velcro closure to keep the items inside secure.
If you’re a hiker, backpacker, or mountaineer, storing your new jacket easily is very important. You won’t always need to have it on you, and it’s ideal if you can pack and store them without taking too much space. Most of the best windbreaker jackets are very compact and pack easily in their own pocket.
Closely related to what we previously discussed, the packed size of your jacket determines how easily you’ll be able to carry it or stuff it in your backpack. This mostly depends on the material used to make the jacket, with polyester models being the most packable. As we’ve pointed out, the best windbreakers can be stuffed into a pocket and compressed to reduce the size even more.
Q: What Is The Point Of A Windbreaker Jacket?
The point of a windbreaker is to keep you comfortable when it’s windy outdoors. Even if the temperature is not low, gusts of wind can make you feel cold.
This type of windbreaker jacket prevents that and allows you to spend time outdoors even if the weather isn’t perfect. While it’s mainly used as a standalone jacket for moderate weather protection, you can also use it for layering in winter.
Related Review: Columbia Winter Jacket
Q: How Do I Choose A Windbreaker Jacket?
Like with any other windbreaker jacket, first you need to make sure you get the right size and fit. You should also pay attention to the windbreaker material – it should be lightweight, durable, and prevent wind chill from getting inside. As a bonus, it’s even better if the windbreaker jacket provides rain protection too.
Q: Are Windbreakers Breathable?
Yes, most windbreakers are breathable. While they block wind from getting inside, they allow the air and moisture to escape from the jacket. This is a great thing because it prevents you from getting sweaty during intense activity.
Related Review: Patagonia Jacket
Q: Are Windbreakers Good For Rain?
This depends on the particular windbreaker jacket you buy. If you want good rain protection, we advise that you go for a weather-resistant jacket that is made from nylon and features an additional DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating on the surface.
Q: Why Is It Called Windbreaker?
It’s called that because its main task is to protect you from wind (break wind). The windbreaker material, cut, and features all work together to stop the wind from getting inside the jacket and cooling you down.
Globo Surf Overview
A windbreaker jacket is a fantastic addition to any wardrobe and a necessity for all outdoor adventurers. It’s stylish for everyday wearing but provides exceptional protection when the weather takes a turn for the worse. We hope that our windbreaker reviews helped you pick the best windbreaker jacket for your style, so you can enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about the wind.
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Which of the windbreaker jackets on our list is your top choice? We would love to read your thoughts or experience with the windbreakers we’ve reviewed! Feel free to share in the comment box below!