Last March, right before I ran the Tokyo Marathon, I happened upon a light, spring running jacket from ASICS that I purchased on a whim. Conventional wisdom says you should never wear anything new on race day, but with inclement weather on the horizon, I knew I was better safe than sorry. If push came to shove, I could always toss the jacket along the route if it became cumbersome. Fast foward to the race itself: reader, this jacket was a life saver. It kept me dry without overheating as I trudged through 26.2 cold, soggy miles, and became my go-to rain sheath when I was back on home soil.
So when I heard that ASICS was releasing a new winterized version of the jacket a few months ago, I was eager to get my hands on it for cold winter runs, hoping it would be as magical as its spring counterpart. Let me tell you: it did not disappoint. It has some of the qualities of the original that I fell in love with—a great fit that sits nice and close to my body without restricting my movement, and enough room to stuff a thick base layer under—plus some cold weather-specific perks.
The jacket is lined with brushed fleece along the center back and the waist, with breathable lasercut paneling that prevents overheating along high-sweat zones like the lower back and underarms. And as someone who runs really hot when I’m pounding the pavement, even in the winter (you can routinely find me with my layers unzipped, gloves off and sides of my beanie flipped up over my ears—even in single digits) I appreciate that this jacket is warm and weatherproofed for blustery, snowy days, but light. I never feel like I’m saddled with a heavy coat during my miles.
Other perks include a hood which actually stays up! This. Is. A. Game. Changer. I can’t tell you how many running jackets I’ve owned where the hood is absolutely useless (and blows back once I get my speed up). This one has a drawstring in the back, so you can adjust it to fit your head size, plus a brim like a baseball cap, which helps keep the sun out of my eyes. This is key because most winter running hats are beanies—good for the cold, but not for eye protection.
The MetaRun Winter Jacket also offers coverage for the lower half of my face in the form of a built-in, adjustable gaiter, which comes in handy when the weather gets really nasty. I never seem to have one on hand and always end up trying to pull my jacket or base layer over my mouth (unsuccessfully) so this is a welcome little detail. Take it from me: emerging from a winter run with a numb lower jaw/face isn’t very pleasant.
And if you’ll allow me to gush a little more, there are also a bunch of other little features that, while not necessary, are nice to have: sleeve thumbholes, so when I chuck my gloves my hands still have some protection against the cold; reflective details for my low-lit runs; and pockets big enough to fit my iPhone 11 and its case. But mostly, I just love how it feels like I’m snuggling up to an old friend whenever I slip it on—and now I have two of these puppies to run in year-round.