Nike Windrunner Woven - Women's Review
Cons: Doesn't pack into it's own pocket, short fit is harder to layer, sleeves on the short side
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Nike Windrunner is a full-zip, hooded windbreaker made of 100% polyester. It features full-sized zippered hand pockets, a hood drawstring, and large back vent.
The Nike Windrunner provides pretty good wind resistance and a good ability to keep your extremities protected. The bottom hem is elastic on the front, which helps to keep this jacket secured against the wind. The hood is quite large, but with a traditional string tie option to keep it on in a gale. The sleeve cuffs are wide and comfortable elastic bands, which protect against the wind while being more comfortable than most the competition to push up when you're hot. Our 5'4", 117 pound main tester tested the XS, which she says could have longer sleeves - though she also self-identifies as a woman with particularly long arms.
The entire top section of the Windrunner's back is mesh covered by a flap of fabric. This goes a long way toward adding breathability to this jacket with fairly closed hems. The wide sleeve cuffs are very appreciated for those moments in which pushing up your sleeves is needed. The fabric is also less plastic-feeling than many of the DWR-treated options we tested. The large hood helps to hold the top open wide for easy venting but also rests against part of the back vent, semi-restricting airflow.
Weight & Packability
At 7.4 ounces the Windrunner is one of the heavier jackets we tested, and simply can't compete with some of the light and ultralight models we tested. This jacket is one of only a few models we tested that doesn't pack into its own pocket, further decreasing its score in this metric. The wide elastic cuffs, while making this jacket more comfortable in our opinion, also is harder to compact if you're short on space. However, it's not a huge jacket and is relatively simple to stuff into the bottom of your bag if it's hotter on your way home than it was on your way in.
The Windrunner gives the wearer a fairly specific look and isn't the easiest to layer over any longer or loose-fitting clothing. It's not our first choice for overly technical outdoor activities like climbing or backpacking, but it is decently versatile for less intense and urban activities. With two full-sized zippered hand pockets and a comfortable fit, we love throwing this jacket on for errands, dog walks, and even short hikes. We think it's a good everyday option and definitely has a certain style that we just love.
This jacket doesn't have a DWR finish to help repel water, like many of the more technical options we tested, but it does decently in a brief shower. We found that in light rain, drops will bead on this jacket pretty well, though after too long or in a more intense shower, the Windrunner will eventually get wet. This isn't too surprising for a windbreaker though, as any jacket with true water repellent properties tends to lose a lot of breathability and even some comfort. For what it is, the Nike Windrunner does an okay job in a pinch.
The Nike Windrunner is about an average price among models we tested. If you love the style, we think its performance nearly matches its price. However, if you're after a more technical piece with increased durability or extreme packability, this one is unlikely to fit the bill.
This windbreaker is a fun new take on a classic look. It works decently well, though it doesn't blow us away with its functionality. It is superbly comfortable though and we think it makes a great addition to the everyday garb of the gym rat or activewear junkie.
— Maggie Brandenburg