The 12 best windbreakers

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ByDebbie Lee

Whether you engage in outdoor pursuits or need a stylish piece of casual outerwear, a windbreaker is an essential garment. The best windbreakers are lightweight, easy to carry, and effective at blocking the wind.

When it comes to materials, polyester and nylon are two of the most common options for windbreakers, with the occasional addition of spandex for elasticity and ease of movement. Polyester is typically softer, cooler, and less noisy than nylon. It has a longer lifespan, too — while nylon and polyester both block UV light, the latter is slower to break down after prolonged sun exposure.

Polyester is also a more effective barrier against moisture. Windbreakers made from this material are naturally water-resistant, meaning they offer light protection during a drizzle or on misty days. Some windbreakers are even treated with a surface coating so that they offer an extra measure of water repellence.

When choosing a windbreaker, you’ll also want to think about which design details matter most to you. If you go for evening walks and bike rides, reflective stripes offers visibility in low light conditions. If you never travel without your phone, then be sure to look for a roomy zippered pocket for security. Choosing a windbreaker with a drawstring hood will offer added protection against the elements.

Next, decide whether you want a windbreaker with a full-length zipper for easy removal. The alternative is a pullover with a quarter-length zipper that stops at the chest. It may require more effort to take on and off, but many quarter-zip styles have roomy front pockets where you can stash anything from keys to nutrition bars.

Finally, windbreakers come in various fits. Loose or boxy cuts are ideal for colder weather, as they leave plenty of room for layering underneath. If your windbreaker serves as a shell over tees and tank tops on warmer days, you may opt for a more tailored, slim-cut style.

Discover your new favorite outdoor jacket below with this list of the best windbreakers on Amazon.

The fan favorite

With more than 5,000 five-star ratings, this color-blocked windbreaker by Charles River Apparel is a fan-favorite on Amazon. It’s unlined and made of 100% polyester for effective wind and water resistance. There’s an adjustable shock cord at the hood and a quarter-length zipper so you can easily adjust the fit. For portability, a large, zippered front pocket converts into a storage pouch for the jacket. Many reviewers recommended ordering two sizes down if you’re on the petite side.

One reviewer wrote: “My favorite jacket ever! This pullover is made with the best details. The fabric it’s made with is smooth, light weight, durable and not overly hot. It’s zippers, cinching cord at the bottom, wrist elastic, and even the zipper pulls are of exceptional quality. All of the seams, and stitching is excellent. There are no loose threads or mis- stitchings. The fit is generous and comfy.”

  • Available colors: 24
  • Available sizes: XX-Small — 5X-Large

The multi-tasker

This clever Quikflip windbreaker is made of 100% polyester for a lightweight, moisture-wicking garment that works in all weather conditions. There's a full front zipper, side welt pockets, and drawstring scuba neck attached to a lined hood. The bonus feature is its ability to convert into a drawstring backpack thanks to adjustable double-drawcord straps that remain hidden when this option is used as a jacket. This jacket has unisex sizing, and it’s recommended that petite wearers size down for a better fit.

One reviewer wrote: “My [go] to daily jacket for windbreaker/light rain coat, perfect for the pacific northwest, versatility and convenience of changing it into a backpack a big plus as the weather can turn in an instant.”

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: X-Small — 3X-Large

The reflective windbreaker

The BALEAF windbreaker has reflective stripes on the hood and body to help keep you visible to others in low-light conditions, and the 100% polyester jacket has waterproof laminating on the inside with a ventilation panel in the back to minimize sweating. There's also a full zipper and adjustable drawstrings at the hem and hood to protect you from wind and rain. Six pockets, including two inner pockets, provide plenty of storage for essentials. Finally, the windbreaker can be stuffed into its own back pocket for easy storage.

One reviewer wrote: “Love the fit and pockets...2 large inner vest pockets (without a zipper) and the others have zippers. There is a big back pocket, a side chest pocket, 2 hand pockets. There is elastic at the bottom hem and around the hood. There’s reflective tape on front and back. I live in FL and it gets HOT. But there is a vent in the back too. And the back has a strip of silicone so the back doesn’t ride-up. This the best outdoor jacket/rain jacket I have.”

  • Available colors: 7
  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large

The women’s version of the BALEAF windbreaker offers similar features as the men’s version, but it’s available in more colors and comes in a slimmer fit. The jacket is made with 100% polyester in bright neon colors, which increases your visibility in low light conditions. There's a full zipper and adjustable drawstrings at the hem and hood to protect you from the cold. The inside seams are also sealed with special tape to keep water from seeping through. The back pocket, two zippered side pockets, and two inner pockets are all large enough to fit a 6.5-inch phone. If you work up a sweat, a mesh vent in the back allows for breathability and increased air flow.

One reviewer wrote: “Found the perfect jacket for my early morning fat tire ebike rides. This jacket fits true to the size ordering chart. The neon color is the first plus for safe riding on roads or trails. The jacket is a quality light weight polyester that can keep a chill off, cut the wind or deflect showers. There are multiple pockets inside and out in helpful places. [...] I liked mine so much my husband ordered one, too.”

  • Available colors: 8
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large

The classic windbreaker

This Champion windbreaker is a simple, lightweight staple for hiking and traveling. The unlined jacket is made of 100% polyester and has an adjustable hood with drawstrings at the collar. A quarter-length zipper stops midway at the chest, and large front pouch pocket secures with a hook-and-loop closure.

One reviewer wrote: “Windblocker Jacket that works. First day of wearing it it held up to 15/20 mph winds. Even deterred some light rain showers, although I don’t think that’s the intent for it. Very happy with purchase.”

  • Available colors: 12
  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large

The women’s version of the Champion packable windbreaker is made with 100% polyester for water and wind resistance. It has a quarter-length zipper and shock cord drawstrings at the hood and waist for an extra measure of protection from the elements. Two side pockets keep your hands warm while a large front pouch can hold small valuables. The jacket can also be rolled up and stored inside the pouch for a portable, travel-friendly garment.

One reviewer wrote: “Lightweight and extremely comfortable. A jacket that we can all appreciate and love. What you see in the picture is exactly what you will receive. I’ll probably buy this jacket in a couple of other colours.”

  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large

The basic windbreaker

This basic windbreaker by Amazon Essentials is designed for the minimalist. Made of 100% polyester, it has a full zipper and low-profile side pockets. The hood can be adjusted with a drawcord and a back zippered pocket doubles as storage for the jacket.

One reviewer wrote: “Windblocker Jacket that works. First day of wearing it it held up to 15/20 mph winds. Even deterred some light rain showers, although I don’t think that’s the intent for it. Very happy with purchase.”

  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large

The women’s version of the Amazon Essentials windbreaker is made with 100% polyester to keep you protected from wind and rain. There's a full zipper for easy wear and a hood with elastic trim to stay in place on your head. The windbreaker has large front pockets as well as a back pocket for folding and storing the jacket after use. Some reviewers noted that you may want to order a size up if you plan to layer this over thick clothes or if you just prefer a loose fit.

One reviewer wrote: “I am enjoying this windbreaker. It's lightweight and packs easily into the available pocket on the jacket. I live in FL where during rainy season it rains almost every afternoon. If I happen to be out in a light rain running errands, I can put this windbreaker on & carry items out to my car without having to juggle an umbrella along with my purchases. The windbreaker is light, which is perfect because it's usually hot and I didn't want a heavy rain jacket. This windbreaker is perfect for my needs.”

  • Available colors: 5
  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large

The retro-inspired windbreaker

Reebok's classic trail jacket comes in two color block options for a retro look that works just as well on the streets as it would on a bike or hiking path. It's made of 100% polyester and has a half zipper for a pull-over style. The hood can be adjusted with drawstrings or hidden inside a stand-up collar when it's not needed. There are side pockets for your hands as well as a large front pouch with snap buttons. A relaxed fit make it easy to slip on over layers on a chilly day.

  • Available colors: 2
  • Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large

The one for cold weather

The MOERDENG windbreaker is designed for cold, harsh conditions. It's made with high density polyester and has a polymer coating for additional water protection. The plush cotton lining retains heat well, while a relaxed fit allows you to add more layers underneath for extra insulation. The jacket has a full-length zipper, detachable hood with drawstrings, and three pockets for storage.

One reviewer wrote: “This coat is amazing. It completely blocks the wind and rain. The coat is also very warm and fits perfect. [...] I was on the top of the Alps last week with just this coat, a long sleeve and a short [sleeve] during a blizzard and was good to go.”

  • Available colors: 11
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large

The women’s version of the MOERDENG windbreaker is made with polymer-coated, high-density polyester for unparalleled protection against wind and water. The plush, cotton-lined jacket has a full-length zipper and detachable hood with adjustable drawstrings. Valuables will stay secure in the zippered side pockets. (Note that a third zippered pocket over the left side of the chest is non-functional, but that's a small trade-off for a garment that effectively does its job.) Many reviewers raved that the relaxed fit is true to size, leaving just enough room to wear a sweater underneath on freezing days.

One reviewer wrote: “Was kind of hesitant upon buying this jacket in regards to if it would really keep me warm... let me tell you so far this jacket is AWESOME. The last few weeks have been 30 F and lower with heavy winds and this jacket has kept me so warm! The pockets are deep which is a plus. [...] Wore it out in the rain the other day and it stood up great with that. Really have no complaints with this jacket.”

  • Available colors: 14
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large