Hot, cold, Wet, sunny. Windy, calm. The weather so far this summer has been changeable and unpredictable. And for outdoors fitness fans this can prove to be a bit of a headache. That's why the right summer running clothing, especially a waterproof jacket, is vital.

So many of us with sympathise with this runner: Looking out of the window, she see blue skies and very little wind. The thermometer says 10-degrees. On goes running shorts or leggings, a vest top of t-shirt and a longer-sleeved baselayer. But 10 minutes into the run, although now warmed up, the skies open and a sudden downpour sees the runner scouting for a place to seek cover. The temperature has plummeted and suddenly there is a brisk wind.

What this runner needed was a lightweight, waterproof jacket. We’re not talking about walking jackets, but a waterproof jacket that is designed with runners – and/or cyclists – in mind.

A running jacket doesn’t need to be 100% waterproof but it must be breathable. By breathable, we mean the jacket must allow sweat to evaporate out through the fabric so as to prevent that cold, clammy feeling of sweat on skin. 

Most runners are happiest in a lightweight running jacket that doesn’t feel too full-on or too heavy. A walking jacket, in contrast, can be made of heavier fabric and should be as waterproof as possible.

A running jacket also needs to offer a snug fit. No one wants to run while feeling a jacket billowing out around them. Choose a female-fit if you’re a female and a male-fit if you’re a guy for the best fit.

Minimum features on running jackets keep the weight down, too. Runners don’t need pockets or even hoods. A basic jacket with a simple zip (even a jacket with a half zip) is ideal because the lighter the jacket the better it is for running. If you want to carry a snack or keys, then look for jackets with two basic pockets or a small zipped pocket only.

Brighter colours are also a good idea for running jackets. Many runners head out on roadsides and paths, so it’s important that they can be seen by other road users and passing traffic.

Packaway is also a bonus. Given the recent weather conditions, a jacket that can be put on, then taken off and folded into a neat bundle for easy stowing around the runner’s waist or in a rucksack makes a lot of sense.

Now there is no excuse for running in summer, even when it's raining outside!