JACKETS JACKETS JACKETS
The key things you need to consider
SIZE - Get one that fits yes, but also packs down small ideally WATERPROOF - Make sure it is a waterproof jacket and not 'weatherproof' or 'resistant'
HOOD - Some races specifically ask that you have one with a hood. If you don't have one you'll get wet.
TAPED SEAMS - Inside the jacket, where the stitches would be is like a tape that seals the jacket, again essential or else the jacket will leak
POCKETS - An internal one for your phone is a good idea, do you need more?
I get asked quite a lot about 'where my kit is' when running especially in races where you carry compulsory kit. I always have it of course, but I have condensed it down and upgraded things to be as light as possible when appropriate. One of the most important bits of kit when trail running, especially in British weather, is the waterproof jacket.
This is the waterproof jacket I use normally. It's the Berghaus Hyper Smock and has taped seams and a hood and is waterproof. It's spot on for packing light and I think it's great for any single day run that I normally do. Although it's now discontinued there's an inov8 jacket basically the same thing at Sportshoes HERE At the time of writing it's cheaper on Sportshoes than Inov8s own website
If you're setting off on a winter event or into a heavy storm forecast I have a more substantial water proof which is slightly bigger and thicker that I use in those cases. (Scroll down for that) There are similar products about from other brands which I'm sure are good too although I've used Berghaus for years and haven't actually owned some of the other brands.
It's fully waterproof and has a hood along with taped seams. (This is essential or water comes in through the stitching I guess, and also having rain run down your neck, not cool) The hood also has an adjustment string too for when the wind is trying to blow you back to where you came from.
Anyway the jacket I use is on the link below, or click HERE and as I write this there is currently showing a 20% sale . Just as a note some of you might know I was sponsored by Berghaus a couple of years ago when I did the Dragons Back Race and they did supply me with some of the kit for that, including this particular jacket although out of all the Berghaus gear I use I bought most of it myself.
Berghaus Hyper Jacket - Ultra light and super small
If you're after something a bit more substantial, what I would choose if racing an ultra on a bad forecast and heavy sustained rain conditions (eg all day/night) then I use the Vapour storm jacket also by Berghaus. This is a couple of years old and still going strong, used on The Spine Race and similar along with some training runs in truly awful weather (along with strolling to the shops in the rain too)
Basically there is an inner and outer layer to this jacket which makes it a bit thicker but also a bit heavier and bigger to pack (still very small compared to other jackets I've seen and tried) also I was impressed with the breath-ability which sometimes can be like wearing a bin bag in a cheap waterproof.
There are different ones to suit different budgets so probably the best thing to do would be to look at the website and Jackets Range and go from there. The 'Light Trek' or the 'Thunder' look to be the equivalent of what I have although newer (and currently showing as 40% off in some sizes) but if I was buying a new one now I'd probably be lured in by the 'Extrem Light Packlite' jacket because I really do like to pack as light as possible yet still be kept dry in the bad weather.
Berghaus also have a store on Amazon HERE so perhaps just check the price before you just in case one has a sale perhaps.
In terms of waterproof jackets, they're essential for most runners especially in the UK!
Hope you enjoyed a quick run down.