Saturday, November 04, 2023

Fall Winter 2023 Run Jackets Round Up Review: Brooks Run Visible Convertible, Rab Vapour-Rise Ridgeline, Soar Trail Rain Jacket

Article by Sam Winebaum

Brooks Run Visible Convertible Jacket ($180), Rab Vapour Rise Ridgeline Jacket ($160)Soar Running Trail Rain Jacket ($330)

As the temperatures turn colder and the light dimmer, jackets come out and become our daily run companions. We have selected 3 top notch jackets which are very different in features, construction  nd uses for this round up review. Each is outstanding in its own right.  In terms of sizing I am 5’10” and weigh 162 lbs. All the jackets tested were men’s medium. 

Brooks Run Visible Convertible Jacket ($180)

Best for: Moderate weather road running safety and visibility.


  • low light and night running/walking, 

  • most fully featured: pockets, adaptability to conditions (converts to a vest). 

  • lightest softest fabrics of the three. 92% recycled content


  • mostly a lightly water repellent “windbreaker” rather than a weather shell


The Convertible is loaded with features. It has high contrast colors and copious black out 3M reflectivity.  Turn it inside out and it converts into a vest with the body of the jacket stashed out back with reflective accents front and back on the vest


Low and night on the road visibility, hunting season safety,  pockets, hood and adaptability is the name of the game here.  It is vital to be seen in low light and really anytime given weather and distracted driving. The scientifically tested patterns of contrasting white, lime, and reflective elements are designed to highlight the body in motion.  


It has the deepest and most pockets of any of the three with 2 deep side pockets with inside the right one a mesh pocket for bounce free phone carry.  It can be fully unzipped and will stay put as it has not one but two snaps behind the zipper. 

 It has a hood that neatly rolls and it held with snaps to become a collar.  


The fit is relaxed and quite spacious as the shell fabric is so light. It is quite long and fully covers the back.  Not a “fitted” oversnug fit that is for sure.

 I have worn a midlayer and Brooks Run Visible insulated Vest underneath with no problem.  


Generous in fit , and in a plus silent with no crinkling noises, the Convertible provides solid wind protection and light water resistance. Its strengths are in its any light condition visibility, storage, and convertibility. While it has the lightest fabric of the three,  the fabric is quite dense with breathability in moderate temperatures OK but not outstanding. Of course if you get a bit too warm stuff iit into a vest in a few seconds and keep going

Rab Vapour Rise Ridgeline Jacket ($160)

Best for: trail and road runs in cooler temps, around town


  • a touch of warmth, 

  • highest breathability and best moisture management, 

  • most sophisticated use of zonally mapped internal fabrics, versatility: 

  • subtle classy and simple design make it just as much a run jacket as an around town option.


  • no hood, 

  • not highly low light visible even though it does have some reflective branding


While seemingly the simplest and most traditional of the jackets the Rab has the most sophisticated and effective moisture management and breathability of the three. The outer shell is Pertex Quantum Air, a woven material with high breathability and decent wind resistance.

The inner side of the jacket is lined with a soft light layer of two kinds of grid mesh to deliver Rab’s Vapour-Rise moisture and temperature management. The sides under the arms and upper back have a more open  grid than the rest of the jacket for increased breathability.

We see a single zipped chest pocket and a draw cord at the hem. Subtle reflective accents are found front and back. 


The fit is generous and drapes easily without being baggy. Just plain comfortable and especially so on the skin at the arms if in a tee.


I have run the Ridgeline at temperatures around 50F /  10 C and even above where normally I would be in a t-shirt or a long sleeve tech shirt to test the Vapour Rise moisture management and overall breathability.

I was “warmer” than I normally would like but uncannily comfortable with no moisture or heat build up to speak of. The Vapour-Rise inner linings in combination with the outer breathable Quantum Air do a fantastic job of regulating moisture and heat. And we know at any cooler temperature the key to warmth is less about how much insulation but how well the garment regulates temperature. I for sure will also be using the Ridgeline for both running and nordic skiing this winter.

The styling is classy and subtle, unlike the Brooks a trail vibe. As such it is a also a great around town after workout jacket.

Soar Running Trail Rain Jacket ($330)

Best for: Trail and road running in foul and windy weather.


  • full on wet and windy conditions protection on the run and hiking yet highly breathable. 
  • ultra race water resistant /breathability requirements compliant. 
  • super hood.
  • incredibly light and packable for a full on 3 layer shell. 
  • Made in Portugal, always a sign of the highest quality in run apparel


  • no pockets but also fewer places for water to get in. 
  • A bit short in length for rain purposes. 
  • high pricing


Real simple here. A super high performance 3 layer Airlight  fabric with a highly decent 20,000mm waterproof rating and an off the charts 50,000 g/m2 breathability rating.  All seams are taped and sealed,

This combination  of stats is ideal for hours in bad weather on the move. I have used the 30,000/ 30,000 Ultimate Direction Ultra v2 jacket and while any jacket will eventually wet through the higher yet breathability as here has already proven itself for me.

The Rain Jacket has simple pullover anorak construction with 2 angled zippers at the upper chest. 

Zip them down and tuck the flap inside and you get yet more breathability. Beyond that, there are no zip pockets or full front zipper to leak. Total protection. 

There is a small of the back stretch pocket to stuff the jacket in and it stuffs in easily unlike many ultra light shells. That is the pocket’s only purpose athough you might also stuff a hat and gloves back there. I wish it was a vertical pocket 

with more closure to increase its utility.

At 159g in my size medium it is very light and studs easily into that rear inside mesh pocket.



The fit is true to size and accommodates a mid layer underneath. I would say the fit is semi fitted with a bit less room than one might find in a hiking anorak but after all this is a run shell. 

The length is a bit short for a full rain shell but does have an elastic rear cuff to help hold it down. 

The hood has a stretch border and stays put even when the 2 front zippers are down.


I tested in moderate rain, fairly strong coastal breezes with temps around 48F / 10C during a tempo run. Under the jacket,  I had Soar’s Trail Top s short sleeve mesh top.  During a 66 minute tempo run I was always comfortable and never chilled. I did unzip the two angled zippers when the wind was at my back. Done the run, while the outer fabric had started to soak through I was surprisingly dry underneath with the Trail Top hardly even damp, it transmitted and absorbed very little moisture. I was surprised!

I do wish for a slightly longer length and for the inner pocket to be fully closable to provide some storage in addition to being the jacket’s stuff sack

Priced up there at $330. If total foul weather protection in a very light highly breathable jacket is what you are seeking, the Trail Rain Jacket is outstanding in its protection and comfort for all forms of running, hiking and trekking.  

Conclusions & Recommendations

Each of these three jackets are so distinct in their strengths. 

  • For visibility, adaptability, and light weather protection the Brooks Run Visible Convertible. 

  • For a touch of warmth, outstanding moisture and heat management with styling that crosses it over non sports uses  the Rab Ridgeline VR.

  • For full on bad weather protection the Soar Trail Rain Jacket.  

Which will I use most frequently this winter?  I rarely run at night and am frequently on snow off the roads, likely the Rab. When  I am on the roads (day or night and if the weather isn’t too rough)  for its visibility it will be the the Brooks. In bad weather rain, snow, cold and wind for sure it will be the Soar.

Rab VR Ridgeline SHOP HERE

SOAR Running Trail Rain Jacket SHOP HERE

Shop for Brooks Run Visible Collection (many items)


Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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