Running Vests

After my post on running in the rain, I received a couple questions about which vests I have and would recommend.  They have seriously become a staple in my running wardrobe the past few months and I have been meaning to write a post on this for a while!  With all the rain we are supposed to get over the next week+, this post is very timely for those of us getting drenched yet again.

Nike Women’s Convertible Run Jacket

My mom gave me birthday money to buy a new jacket I had my eye on, but then I saw this one on sale at Sports Basement and had to go for it.

First it’s a jacket  
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This is actually a jacket that converts into a vest.  It is the BEST THING EVER.  I have gotten more use out of this thing than any other piece of clothing this whole winter.  It’s perfect for so many runs and allows me to layer conveniently and adjust when I get warm.  I cannot express to you in words how much I love it.

Ta da!
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I have worn it on many rainy runs with a short sleeve shirt (or long sleeve or short sleeve with arm wamers) underneath and after I get warmed up the sleeve section comes off.  The sleeves are connected by a zipper on each side near the shoulder and some velcro on the back by the neck.  It is detached very easily and I can even detach it while running.  I fold up the sleeve section, put it in the back pocket and it doesn’t bother me at all.

It’s now a vest!
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My other favorite thing about this is it has THREE pockets!  I am very obsessed with running clothes having pockets because then I don’t have to strap things around myself.  I have worn this as a vest for many long runs and carried everything I need in the pockets it has.  It also has great reflection on the back.

The material on the sleeves is very thin wind breaker, and the vest is a little thicker to keep your core warmer.

This thing is amazing!  I highly recommend it if you are looking for a great running vest or even running jacket, you will get so much use out of it.

Brooks Essential Running Vest

This is another one of my birthday purchases.  I guess 29 was the year of the running vest for me?!  This one also has great pockets (not a back pocket though), reflectors, isn’t too thick and is a very cute color, which we all know is very important. 

Post run bathroom shots seem to be popular in blogland
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I have worn this on a number of easy runs and it was tested out at a rainy and very windy track workout this morning (which I nailed by the way) and it passed the test!  I would definitely recommend this one as well.

My first Nike vest

I don’t have a link for one (and don’t even remember it’s proper name) but it probably isn’t even for sale anymore anyways.  I got it on the Nike website way back when because I thought a vest would be nice to have and I was right!  This has gotten so much use also, it a great thin and soft fabric, has pockets and reflectors, and this one has mesh sides which is great to breathing.

With JoLynn at my first trail race!
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I think pretty much any vest you are going to find is going to be pretty awesome.  Some are warmer fabric (fleece) and some are windbreaker/water proof material.  It really just depends on what your weather is and what purpose you are wanting the vest to serve to which one you will get more use out of. 

I would wear a vest every day of the year if I could, I love them that much!  I am going to miss them when the weather warms up and I don’t need them anymore.

Do you wear running vests?  What is your favorite piece of running clothing?

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26 Responses to Running Vests

  1. Kristen March 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    My favourite piece of running clothing is a North Face long sleeve shirt that is a staple for the fall, winter, and spring. I’ll be so sad when I have to say goodbye to it…

    Thanks for the vest review- I’ve been thinking about a vest and it is always good to have a few good suggestions!

  2. Shortskirts March 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    i don’t have a vest, but i have an REI running jacket that’s wind and waterproof and perfect for seattle winters. As the weather gets warmer i may need to search for a good vest. thanks for the recommendations!

  3. janice March 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Never tried a vest, but I’m loving the jacket/vest.

  4. Vava March 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I only have one fleece vest that I is actually my wife’s, but I borrow it on days that are particularly cold. (Single digits F, or -10C or lower) and wear is in addition to the stuff I wear for winter running that usually includes some sort of fleece longsleeve over a tech-t and a windbreaker on top.

    And I’m totally with you on the not strapping things to oneself. The less stuff the better I say, sometimes to my detriment as I tend to run the vast majority of my runs without water or gels or anything like that.

  5. Marlene March 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Do you know that I don’t own even ONE vest?? I think I need to invest in one for spring/fall running. I love my jacket for the pockets, but sometimes you just don’t need the sleeves!!!

  6. Ana-Maria March 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I have several vests, but my fav is a Nike windbreaker with detachable sleeves, back pocket and 2 front pockets. That thing is all I wear in the winter, and I always end up taking off the sleeves by the end of the run. I have no idea why companies don’t make more of these jackets. They are fantastic!

  7. PJ March 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I bought an Adidas jacket with the zip off sleeves from their website and love, love, love it! The zip off sleeves are the best thing ever. I also have 2 other running vests that look, feel, and perform great.

  8. Karyn March 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    my sister has the exact same running vest as the first one here and i am SO tempted to steal it whenever i’m home!

  9. Michelle March 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I want a vest, but gosh, they are just SO expensive! It’s hard for me to commit! I might have to soon though!

    • Aron March 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      Start watching the sales!! with the season change I bet they will go on sale very soon :)

  10. nicole March 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I think i could use a running vest! :)

  11. Sesa March 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    I have two vests, but they weren’t made for running: a hot-pink fleece from Old Navy and a bubble/hooded vest from Wet Seal (a teeniebopper store!). They’re both 10-12 years old but do the job. I’d love to have a jacket with detachable sleeves! I’ll watch out for end-of-the-season sales.

  12. Kim March 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Ooooh, thanks for the recommendations! I need to pick up a vest before the rainy season hits! :)

  13. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef March 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    i’ve been thinking about running vests for awhile now… i think you have me convinced on their awesomeness!!

  14. Lauren March 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    I love my pearl izumi one, I’ve had it for 3 years. I don’t usually it for running, but it is great for cycling, especially since rides are usually a few hours long so I have to layer for the different weather changes throughout the day. You may want to check out discounts at your local cycling store, they are a hot item for cyclists, but can be used for multiple sports.

  15. Sonja March 3, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    My favorite is my Brooks Nightlife vest… it’s fluorescent yellow and RIDICULOUSLY bright, which makes it excellent for nighttime running. When I pair it up with my headlamp and my blinky light, I look like a total dork… but at least I am safe! :-)

    • Aron March 3, 2011 at 9:17 am #

      I know exactly which vest you are talking about!! I have looked at that one numerous times… one of these days :)

  16. Rebekah March 3, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Oh, nice review! My running pals and I have decided running vests can be used all of about two days in Kansas weather (it’s either burning hot, or raging cold–okay, that might be an overstatement). We did decide though vests would be perfect for carrying our loot on the run. You confirmed, so thank you!

  17. J March 3, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    I have a few vests but really no running vests. I should get the Nike one you have so I can take the sleeves off. I need some water proof stuff too. I have a lot of shopping to do!

  18. Denise March 3, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    i wear a vest on all my cold runs. it keeps my body warm w/o a lot of extra clothing.

  19. That Pink Girl March 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I have the same convertible Nike vest (in pink of course) and I love it too! It’s the perfect weight and does a bang up job of stopping wind. Thanks for the suggestions on the other vests!

  20. Jo Lynn March 4, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    REI is coming out with a new vest for Spring. I’m so excited, I get to pro-deal it! It’s poly-filled, water and wind resistant to 50 mph. Now I just need to decide on a color! ;)

  21. Susan - Nurse on the Run March 4, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    I’ve never worn a running vest…I’m way too cheap when it comes to running clothes. I have running clothes envy when it comes to your wardrobe!

  22. Alisa March 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I have 2 of the nike convertible running jackets—they are my favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love stopping midway and getting rid of my sleeves. Not sure if it works for you but my sleeves can stuff into the pocket in the back of the jacket. LOVE

  23. Felice March 5, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Thanks for this post. My current vest is huge on me and I need a new one. Might look at the Nike convertible jacket/vest.

  24. Barbara March 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    I run with my dog and need easy access pockets for treats & bags. I’ve been wearing thin fleece vests with two big outer zippered and two inner non-zippered pockets. LOVE the configuration of those pockets. One vest is an REI and the other is an ancient GAP vest. I found your post looking for a lighter material so I can keep myself in pockets for the Seattle “summer”. Your post (and the subsequent chatter) is (are) so helpful.

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