Best Men's Running Vests 2024

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

By Tom Rivett Updated on

Among the best winter running gear you can own, the vest is a cold-weather staple that belongs in every winter warrior’s kit.

Versatile to wear year-round over your running shirt or layered with a jacket, the best running vests will keep your core warm while letting excess heat escape to keep you in the Goldilocks zone: not too hot, not too cold.

So if you’re not sure what to wear running when it’s cold outside, a winter vest is a great place to start.

We love wearing vests for everything from cold-weather running and hiking to cross-country skiing and post-run coffee with friends.

Here are our top picks for the best men’s vests for running:

[This is part of our Best Running Clothes Guide 2024. For more expert advice on the best gear for runners, check out our top lists of the best running shoes, best running gear and best massage tools.]

[Looking for a different type of running vest? Read our guides to the best hydration vests and best reflective vests.]

How To Choose the Best Vest for You

Vests are one of our favorite pieces of gear for running comfortably year-round. Not all vests are created equal, however.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the best men’s vest for running:

  • Materials: Vests can vary slightly in the materials they’re made with and how they are insulated. Fleece and lightweight down for insulation are great options for those looking for the most warmth, while ripstop nylon and weather-treated fabrics are excellent for blocking out the wind, rain and snow. Sweat-wicking and breathable materials are also essential to prevent overheating and chafing.
  • Fit: A good sports vest should have a relatively slim or athletic fit for easy layering and armholes that allow you to swing your arms freely without feeling too tight.
  • Pockets/Features: We love vests with hand pockets or a chest zip pocket for extra storage and hand coverage.
  • Reflectivity: Vests with reflective elements included are a great way to run safely in the dark. Many vests have some reflectivity added to help you stand out to drivers and other road users.
Best Vests For Men
Men's Brooks Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0 Thumbnail

Brooks Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0

$120

The men’s Brooks Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0 is one of our favorites for fall and winter running. It uses lightweight Thermolite® insulation that locks the heat in around your core, while side panels help you maintain a comfortable temperature as you warm up.

The Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0 is wind- and water-resistant like many of the other vests on this list, but our favorite feature is the draft-flap snaps along the zipper that keep the vest in place if you unzip for extra ventilation.

Best Vests For Men
Men's rabbit Swish Vest 2.0 Thumbnail

rabbit Swish Vest 2.0

$100
When there’s light precipitation or a chilly breeze in the air, we think the rabbit Swish Vest 2.0 is a great option. It’s super lightweight and breathable so you won’t overheat once you’re warmed up, and it’s wind- and water-resistant to keep you dry. We love its slim fit that doesn’t feel too bulky when we’re running.
Best Vests For Men
Men's Brooks Run Visible Insulated Vest Thumbnail

Brooks Run Visible Insulated Vest

$160

Winter running often means running in the dark—the men’s Brooks Run Visible Insulated Vest is one of our go-to’s for nighttime running, early morning dog walks or any time we need to add some reflectivity to our outfit.

It’s warm, weather-resistant and breathable, so your core will stay warm while excess heat can escape. The feature that really makes this vest shine is the fluorescence, high contrast and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black Stretch reflectivity in critical motion zones to help drivers spot you on the road.

Best Vests For Men
Men's Cotopaxi Capa Insulated Vest Thumbnail

Cotopaxi Capa Insulated Vest

$175
Aside from its recycled synthetic insulation that retains heat even when wet, the Cotopaxi Capa Insulated Vest looks downright good. We’ve worn this vest for everything from winter runs and ski days to fall hikes and coffee dates with friends. And if the snow or rain starts flying, the water-resistant recycled nylon shell quickly sheds moisture to keep you dry.
Best Vests For Men
Men's CEP Cold Weather Vest Thumbnail

CEP Cold Weather Vest

$130
The CEP Cold Weather Vest is reversible with pockets on one side and reflective elements on the other, making it one of our favorites for winter running when daylight is hard to come by. The outer material is water-repellent and wind-resistant to keep the chills away, while PrimaLoft Gold Insulation keeps this vest incredibly lightweight and warm.
Best Vests For Men
Men's Craft ADV Essence Warm Vest Thumbnail

Craft ADV Essence Warm Vest

$100

The men’s Craft ADV Essence Warm Vest is perfect for harder efforts when you know you’ll be working up a sweat. Craft makes amazing cold-weather gear for staying active during the winter months, and this vest is no exception.

It has a slim design that makes it easy to layer, while quilted padding at the front and back gives you an extra layer of protection and warmth. We love the jersey material on the sides that’s breathable and stretchy so you don’t overheat, and you can swing your arms freely when you’re running or cross-country skiing.

Best Vests For Men
Men's Mizuno Breath Thermo® Vest Thumbnail

Mizuno Breath Thermo® Vest

$120

Every time we wear this vest we’re shocked at how warm it is considering how lightweight it feels.

It’s equipped with patented Breath Thermo technology that uses escaping body vapor to generate heat. Then, as you start to sweat during your run, the dual filament DRYLITE textile blend works to wick away moisture to keep you dry and comfortable as you move.

Zippered pockets at the side seams and chest let you safely store your belongings to keep your hands free. And as a bonus, this vest sports all-around reflectivity to keep you visible during runs in low-light conditions.

How We Tested The Best Men’s Athletic Vests

To curate this list of the best vests for men, Tom Rivett, in collaboration with our Fleet Feet gear testers and contributors, tested multiple products first-hand, considered details like real-world performance, materials, comfort, style, and price, and also looked at best-seller lists and customer reviews.

The vests on this buyer’s guide have been updated to show only the newest products that we would not only highly recommend, but actually wear for our own runs, walks, hikes and other cold-weather adventures.

Standing Behind Our Picks

Shopping for running clothes online is hard. You don’t know for sure how a shirt or a pair of pants will fit until you try it on.

We want you to get the right clothes and gear. That’s why we offer our Happy Fit Guarantee return policy.

Buy new running clothes from Fleet Feet and give them a try—log some miles, get in a few workouts, lounge around. If you don’t love the way the clothes look, fit or perform, send them back within 60 days and we’ll give you a full refund. Plus, get free shipping on any fleetfeet.com order over $99, and return shipping is always on us.

Want to try on something in person first? Find a Fleet Feet location near you.

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