I'm not a fair-weather runner, which means I'm outside pounding the pavement no matter the elements. And with the arrival of spring, I've been faced with an unpredictable mix of rain, wind, and fluctuating temperatures. It isn't always the most pleasant running experience, but with the right gear it can be manageable—which is why I collect wind- and water- resistant jackets like some kids collect Pokémon cards. The one I'm currently obsessed with: The North Face Flyweight Hoodie ($80; zappos.com). Here, four reasons why it's such a game changer.
It repels water and offers protection from wind
There's nothing worse than soggy miles, especially when there's also a chill in the air. This jacket blocks the breeze and keeps water out, but it still manages to be lightweight. Score! When I took it off after my most recent run, my body was completely dry. (OK, dry from the rain, but not from my sweat because I was putting in that work!)
I tend to overheat pretty quickly when I'm running. If you ever run past me in the middle of winter, you’ll see me with my gloves off, beanie flipped up to expose my ears, and outer layer unzipped. Needless to say, I'm pretty jazzed that I was able to keep this jacket on for my entire workout without feeling like I might spontaneously combust from heat at any moment.
The hood stays up
This is a big deal. For some reason, hoods on running jackets rarely stay on my head. As soon as I start moving and the wind hits it, down it goes. But not this one. I’m not exactly sure why or how, but this is the little hoodie that could. Oh, and it fit over my hat.
It has awesome details
From the elastic cuffs (which prevent rain from getting under the sleeve) to the drop tail (because not everybody wants their rear on display) to the flattering cinched waist, this jacket is both functional and stylish. I also love the roomy front pockets, which are big enough to fit a smartphone. And as an added bonus, it's travel-friendly: the entire jacket can be packed into one of the pockets, so you can quickly roll it up and go.