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Best Women's Windbreaker of 2024

Sophie Anderson

Written by Sophie Anderson

A lifelong adventurer, Sophie has treaded every terrain from rocky cliffs to forest trails. She aims to spark a love for the outdoors in every reader.

This post was last updated on April 22, 2024.

Best Women's Windbreaker of 2024

Ready to level up your outdoor adventures? Seeking that sweet blend of weather protection and moveability? Say hello to windbreakers. With all the choices out there, it can be challenging to find the perfect one. Well, we've got your back. Our pick of the litter? The Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket, a trusted companion designed for women who dare to venture outdoors. The Houdini Air has your needs covered, from wind resistance to breathability, durability, and beyond. With this gem, your adventures don’t have to be confined to sunny days.

But that’s not all! As much as we believe in the Houdini Air (and we seriously do), we know that what works for one woman might not work for another. So we’ve spotlighted two close runners-up, both of which bring unique strengths to the table. Depending on your specific needs and budget, one of these might just steal your heart. Our goal? To help you find that perfect balance of comfort, protection, and value.

For gear nerds and newbies alike, you’re in good company. We have a back catalogue of posts just for you. From finding the best rain jackets and down jackets to guiding you through the wild world of hardshell jackets, we’ve got you covered. All this to make sure you feel empowered to stay wild and free. Ready to dive into the windbreaker world? Let's do this thing.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

7.8 /10
Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket Women's Windbreaker
Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
7
Packability
10
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
9

The Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket tops our list due to user praises for its incredible lightness, stylish fit, and exceptional breathability, all while offering wind protection, making it a real standout among the competition.

Runner Up #1

8.2 /10
Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody Women's Windbreaker
Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
8
Packability
9
Weather Resistance
8
Weight
9

The Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody is our top pick runner up because users have raved about its lightweight yet durable material and its exceptional wind resistance, making it a reliable asset for any outdoor adventure.

Runner Up #2

8.2 /10
Black Diamond Alpine Start Women's Windbreaker
Black Diamond Alpine Start
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
8
Packability
9
Weather Resistance
8
Weight
9

Based on user reviews, the Black Diamond Alpine Start Windbreaker is a top pick due to its exceptional breathability and water-resistance, alongside the versatility afforded by its lightweight and compact design.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Design

A well-designed windbreaker should be lightweight and packable, making it easy to toss into your backpack without adding undesirable bulk or weight.

Material

Make sure the windbreaker is made from durable, breathable fabric like nylon or polyester, which can withstand the elements without making you too sweaty during strenuous hikes or climbs.

Fit and Comfort

Opt for a windbreaker that offers a comfortable fit, allowing you enough room for layering during cooler weather but also one that can be cinched at the waist or wrists to keep out the chill.

Weather Resistant Features

Check out for high-quality windbreakers with waterproof or water-resistant features, as well as a hood for those unexpected bouts of rain or heavy winds during your outdoor adventures.

7.8 /10

Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket

$179.00
The Best Women's Windbreaker

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket is the best Women's Windbreaker on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket Women's Windbreaker
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
7
Packability
10
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Great wind resistance
  • Impressive breathability
  • Very packable
  • Solid moisture protection
  • Affordable price

Reasons to Avoid

  • The fit can be too tight for some
  • Material can be abrasive on bare skin
  • Durability could be better

The Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket is the 'Houdini' of jackets. Users online have often raved about its compact, feather-light design that literally allows it to disappear in your backpack or even your pocket. It's a real lifesaver, or rather, a space saver for campers or climbers who want to keep their load light without sacrificing any comfort or protection against the elements.

Women who purchased this jacket often compliment on its breathability. The lightweight, air-permeable material is made to keep you from overheating during rigorous activities, yet provides ample wind resistance. However, the jacket has less wind resistance compared to similar products - something to take note of if you'll be often camping in particularly windy situations.

Users find that the nylon ripstop shell is not only durable, but also comes with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. This is to protect you from a sudden change of weather outdoors. Reviewers shared various experiences of being caught in unexpected showers and still remained dry. However, don't mistake it for a full rain jacket. It can handle a drizzle but would struggle under heavy rainfall.

A recurring praise from customers has been the jacket's functionality. Wearers love the innovative hood design rendering a secure fit without impairing visibility. The zippered chest pocket that doubles as a stuffsack with its reinforced carabiner clip-in loop is another practical feature that users appreciate, especially those who are adventure enthusiasts.

Now, the fit of the Houdini Air Jacket is something buyers had mixed reactions on. Some loved the 'semi-fitted' style which they claim is perfect for layering, not too tight and just right to move comfortably in. However, others mentioned that it runs a bit large, so it may be best to size down if you're after a snug fit.

Another bit of criticism this otherwise beloved jacket received was about its price. Users acknowledge the high-quality and features, but with a higher price tag than comparable windbreakers on the market, some felt it could have been a bit more budget-friendly.

Despite the minor criticisms, the majority of women who have bought the Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket reiterate their satisfaction over their choice. It's praised for the way it combines lightness, compactness and air permeability whilst providing good wind and light rain protection. Overall it has the thumbs up.

8.2 /10

Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody

$180.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody is a great choice if you're looking for a women's windbreaker to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody Women's Windbreaker
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
8
Packability
9
Weather Resistance
8
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent wind protection
  • Packs down small in its own chest pocket
  • Good breathability for moderate activity
  • Durable and repels light rain

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not ideal for heavy rain protection
  • Can feel slightly snug
  • Premium price can be a barrier for some

When it comes to the Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody, comfort is king. This lightweight and versatile windbreaker offers an ideal balance of wind resistance and breathability. Its standout feature is the proprietary Tyono™ 30 denier shell, which effectively blocks wind while still being remarkably light and compressible. Ideal for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, it packs into its own pocket for easy storage in a backpack.

The Squamish Hoody from Arc'teryx not only excels in serving its primary function for wind protection, but also impresses with its stylish and flattering fit, tailored for women. It's available in a range of attractive colors, which the online shoppers are loving.

Reviewers have noted the exceptional durability of this windbreaker. It's an investment piece that's made to last. Its resilient fabric and quality construction mean it can stand up to regular outdoor wear and tear without losing its high-performance abilities.

Buyers praise the Squamish Hoody's hood design – both adjustable and helmet-compatible, it provides excellent protection in windy conditions without limiting your field of vision. The jacket's underarm gussets allow for full arm movement, a star feature for climbers.

On a less positive note, some buyers have reported that the jacket's water resistance leaves a little to be desired when it comes to heavy rainfall. While it can handle light rain without a hitch, the Squamish Hoody isn't intended to replace a full-fledged rain jacket. This isn't a deal-breaker, but something to consider if you're planning to be out in heavy rain for extended periods.

Another minor gripe that a few buyers have is that the jacket doesn't have hand pockets. While it does feature a chest pocket, some online reviewers wished for a space to warm their hands. However, others see this as a plus as it keeps the weight and size down, making it more compressible.

In summary, this windbreaker scores high on comfort, wind resistance, and durability, with some room for improvement in water resistance and lack of hand pockets. But if you're after a piece for high-energy outdoor pursuits that's light and packable, the Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody is hard to beat.

No prices found. Check back later!

8.2 /10

Black Diamond Alpine Start

$185.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Black Diamond Alpine Start is a great choice if you're looking for a women's windbreaker to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Black Diamond Alpine Start Women's Windbreaker
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
8
Packability
9
Weather Resistance
8
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Offers excellent mobility and comfort
  • Breathable and highly ventilated
  • Ideal combination of water repellency and wind resistance
  • Highly durable and withstands rough terrains
  • Offers good value for money

Reasons to Avoid

  • May fit a bit tight around the hip area
  • Not fully waterproof, only water-repellent
  • Limited color options

The Black Diamond Alpine Start windbreaker for women is a feast for the eyes and a literal boon for those who seek outdoor adventure. But beyond being just pretty, it's tough, and more than capable of handling the harshest travails of Mother Nature.

Many users loved how feather-light it feels without compromising the durability - this jacket practically begs to be taken on an excursion. It's made from Schoeller stretch-woven nylon, which gifts it supreme toughness while making sure it isn't as hard as a knight's armor. You can run, climb, stretch, or do a cartwheel, and this jacket will move like it's an extension of your body.

With that in mind, it's also been reported by users that it provides the kind of breathability you would need in a heated pursuit. Say you're on a trail run, or working up a sweat climbing up a hill, the Alpine Start doesn’t make you feel like you're wrapped in plastic. It lets your skin breathe.

This windbreaker holds its own in the face of strong winds, offering superior protection. A large number of reviews highlighted its excellent wind resistance, singing praises for how snug and warm it kept them even when the gusts picked up.

Another thing that users have applauded about the Alpine Start, is its water resistance. Granted, it's isn't a dedicated raincoat; nevertheless, it can withstand a decent bout of unexpected drizzle and keep you relatively dry till you find shelter.

Some buyers, however, have mentioned that its water resistance tends to wear off after heavy use, which is a point to note. Prolonged exposure to heavy rain might result in water soaking through. But remember, it's a windbreaker first and foremost.

The Black Diamond Alpine Start also wins points for its portability. It's a breeze to pack, with it compactly folding into its internal chest pocket—handy for those who need to pack smart and light. But a few people did note that the packed size could still be a little smaller for easier carriage.

One crucial detail that divided opinions among the users was the fit. Some users found it to be just right, offering good range of movement without excessive material flapping about. Yet others found it a bit too roomy or long, especially in the torso area. It seems to come down to personal preference and body type.

In conclusion, the Black Diamond Alpine Start is a reliable partner for the passionate outdoorswoman. It packs in great functionality, and by all accounts, seems to be worth the investment for the adventure-ready, keeping them comfortable and protected against the elements.

8.0 /10

Rab Vital Hoody

$95.00
Best Budget Women's Windbreaker

Based on our research and testing, we think the Rab Vital Hoody is a great pick if you're looking for a women's windbreaker that is more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Rab Vital Hoody Women's Windbreaker
Breathability
7
Comfort
8
Fit
7
Packability
9
Weather Resistance
8
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Stylish and practical design
  • Excellent wind resistance
  • High breathability
  • Affordable price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Struggles with heavy rain
  • Some find the fit a bit off

The Rab Vital Hoody is an underrated gem in the world of windbreakers for women, especially if you're working with a tight budget. The first thing most buyers appreciate about this budget-friendly jacket is its remarkable function to cost ratio. It delivers a lot of value for its price tag.

It isn't flashy or overly designed. Instead, it focuses on simplicity and effectiveness. The stand-out feature is definitely its wind resistance, which multiple buyers have praised. Many outdoorsy women have posted about their experiences using this jacket in windy conditions, and the consensus is that the Rab Vital Hoody does a stellar job in keeping the chill out.

Another hot topic among buyers is its lightweight feature. Quite a few reviewers mentioned how pleasantly surprised they were with how lightweight and packable this jacket is. It's perfect for backpacking trips where every ounce counts or just for carrying around on those unpredictable weather days. Some women even shared that they carry it in their handbags just in case.

This windbreaker also seems to have won fans over with its breathable fabric. Some reviews indicate that it offers decent breathability and helps regulate body temperature effectively during strenuous outdoor activities.

However, there are a few snags to consider. While the general opinion on the wind resistance and weight is positively unanimous, there are mixed reviews about the durability of the Rab Vital Hoody. Some women have been using it regularly and consider it quite robust. Others, however, have noticed wear and tear a bit sooner than expected. It seems like your mileage may vary here.

Another potential drawback is that while it's decently water-resistant, it isn't fully waterproof. Some reviews pointed out that it wets out in sustained, heavy downpour, so it's better suited for windy situations rather than rainy ones.

All in all, customers seem to agree that for its price point, the Rab Vital Hoody is a strong contender in the budget category of windbreakers for women.

7.8 /10

Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover

$139.00
Best Women's Windbreaker for Trail Running

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover is a solid choice if you want a women's windbreaker that's really well suited to Trail Running.

Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover Women's Windbreaker
Breathability
9
Comfort
8
Fit
7
Packability
8
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Great breathability
  • Ideal for trail running
  • Strength and durability
  • Good value for money
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not fully waterproof
  • Relatively high price compared to other options
  • Limited color choices

The Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover steps into the Trail Running niche with some pizazz. This windbreaker knack for blending functionality and style is noticeable and appreciated by many outdoor lovers.

This pullover is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to pack up and take with you wherever your trail run takes you. Additionally, it doesn't skimp on providing the protection you need against the elements. It is designed with a Capilene Cool fabric lining at the neck, which helps to effectively wick away moisture.

Known for its dashing blend of simplicity and effectiveness, this windbreaker is a friend to those who love layering. It fits in comfortably over a T-shirt or under a jacket, depending on weather conditions. There's also a lined kangaroo pocket for those who like to keep a few essentials close by.

Many users who reviewed the Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover online avidly express their love for the product. The majority praised how well it blocked the wind, allowing them to jog or trek without getting too chilly. Several reviewers also spoke highly of its breathability - a feature not to be overlooked when revving up on a mountain trail.

However, not all opinions were glowing. Users were divided regarding the fit of the pullover; some found it fitting to their size while others felt it was a bit on the snug side. A few mentioned that the zipper design could use some improvement, stating they found it a bit challenging to fully unzip the pullover, a minor hiccup some didn't appreciate.

Despite the minor criticisms, many reviewers agreed on one thing - the utility of the pullover. Whether it was for a quick jog in cool weather or an all-day hike in varied conditions, the Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover proved a reliable piece of outerwear.

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