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Last updated: June 19, 2020

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If you’re a Canadian guy, chances are you like being outdoors. Being outside, especially in a country with weather as unpredictable as Canada’s, however, requires certain specialty apparel. One of the most essential pieces of clothing to own is a windbreaker. Knowing how to choose the right one, however, can be complicated, as not all of them provide adequate protection from the elements.

You need to know how to go about selecting an appropriate one if you want to be able to go outside when its windy and rainy while staying dry and warm. This is why we have put together the below guide to understanding and buying windbreakers. After reading through it you will have all the information you need to make a confident decision.

Key Facts

  • Men’s windbreakers are outdoor gear made to stand up to Canadian weather conditions. Jackets that don’t actually protect against wind and water aren’t worth your time.
  • You might need to keep it on for many hours at a time, which is why you want something that is going to maximize your comfort.
  • A windbreaker’s material is of the utmost importance. If you quality, wind and rain-proof material if you are going to get a lot of use out of your purchase.

The best windbreakers on the Canadian market

In the following section, we’ll introduce you to the very best men’s windbreakers available right now on the Canadian market. Along with each option we have included the specific product details of each to ensure you have all the information you need to get something great.

Charles River Apparel – Men’s Pack-N-Go Windbreaker Pullover

Charles River Apparel’s Men’s Pack-N-Go Windbreaker Pullover is a 100 per cent polyester windbreaker with chest-to-neck zipper that is both wind and water resistant. It has a convenient kangaroo pocket at the front of the garment with great storage capacity, as well as underarm grommets for ventilation. One really nice feature of this windbreaker is that it packs into the front pouch and becomes extra small for travelling. With 9 different colour options to choose from and nine different sizing options, this affordable men’s windbreaker has something for everyone.

Packable windbreakers and jackets are all the rage right now, and being able to quickly stuff this durable, well-made windbreaker into a carry on or backpack is incredibly convenient. Great for everyday use, or to have as part of a camping kit, Charles River Apparel, which has been making outdoor gear for over thirty years, has made a good quality, inexpensive windbreaker that is an ideal compliment to any man’s outdoorware collection.

MAGCOMSEN – Tactical Army Outdoor Coat

MAGCOMSEN’s Tactical Army Outdoor Coat features a nice drawstring closure to keep it done up tight on those extra cold and windy days, and both wind and waterproof for maximum protection from the Canadian elements. Comes with a detachable hood as well, and great sturdy collar support. Available in a range of different sizes and outdoor colours, The “shark skin” fabric is great at wicking away water and moisture, and the dense weave keeps out wind. This is a great windbreaker because it features a number of convenient pockets, including two high chest and two back zipper pockets, so you can take quite a lot with you while wearing this jacket.

This is a good jacket to use in most places in Southern Canada up until around mid-October, and then something heavier likely is required. Great for wearing with a hoodie underneath or by itself. One of the things to keep in mind with this jacket is that it tends to fit a little smaller than Canadian sizing, and many of this jacket’s reviews indicate that going up a size is a smart decision when ordering. Great, basic, affordable windbreaker and rain jacket to wear anywhere in Canada until it starts getting into the more extreme cold temperatures.

Helly Hansen – Men’s Seven J Rain Jacket

Helly Hansen is one of the most trusted names in outdoor apparel, and their jackets, touques, pants, and windbreakers can be see all over the country. Their Seven J Rain Jacket and windbreaker brings you that same HH quality and design in 22 different colours and patterns. It is a 100 per cent polyester jacket, with a 4-inch high and 13-inch wide collar. The Helly Tech 2 ply fabric helps keep wind and water at bay, and the quick dry lining means you can wear this out without sweltering.

The hood on this windbreaker is fixed, which is something to consider, but the Helly Hansen quality is hard to beat. The front YKK zipper on this jacket is covered by storm flap, so you can wear it with confidence, assured that water is not going to seep through any cracks in the zipper. There is also an anti-chafe chin guard, bottom cinch cord, adjustable cuffs, and 2 roomy zippered pockets, making this jacket ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Wantdo – Men’s Hooded Raincoat and Windbreaker

Wantdo’s Men’s Hooded Raincoat and Windbreaker is an insulated rain-proof jacket that is great for those cold, wet Canadian autumn days. The 100 per cent poly fabric keeps you dry and warm on rainy days. The hood is removable, so you can quickly throw it on if it starts to come down too hard. A great jacket for running, hiking, and climbing in all weather conditions, it comes in six great colours. keep in mind that the sizes are based on the colour you choose, so some colours have different sizing options.

This is a highly breathable and lightweight windbreaker with underarm mesh that lets you breathe and avoids overheating. A great jacket to take with you travelling, it is lightweight, durable and packs up small. The pockets are extra roomy, so you have plenty of room to store gear, food, wallets, keys etc. while out hiking or jogging. Not a jacket meant to stand up to the harsh winters in many parts of Canada, but certainly one that will keep you dry and warm in above-zero temperatures.

Marmot – PreCip Men’s Lightweight Rain Jacket

Marmot is another well-liked and reputable name in the world of outdoor gear and jackets. This is a 100 per cent nylon product, as opposed to the typical polyester windbreakers out there, so it is even lighter. It closes up with a zipper, which can be nice when taking off because you avoid having to pull it over your head, potentially getting leftover cold water on yourself. It is 100 per cent seam taped, and highly breathable, making this a great jacket for people who like to stay active outdoors, even when it’s raining out.

Like most good rain jackets and windbreakers out there, the armpit zippers ensure that you stay cool while running, hiking, climbing, biking, or spring skiing. It comes in 13 different colours and 7 different sizes, so there is something out there for every Canadian guy. Another great feature of this windbreaker and rain jacket is the adjustable Velcro cuffs that can be tightened up or loosened for added comfort. It also stuffs into its own pocket, making it a great jacket to take travelling, or simply to ball up and toss into the car, or into a knapsack to take with you on the go.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about men’s windbreakers

There are several important features of windbreakers to keep in mind before buying one. Throughout the below section we have laid out the most important of these and gone into detail, so you can be confident you’re making an informed decision. We have also addressed some of the most common consumer queries and questions surrounding these products.

Man choosing winter clothes in the sports shop

Men’s windbreaker jackets are specifically designed to fight against the harshness of weather. (Source: Olena Kachmar: 115290212/ 123rf.com)

What is a men’s windbreaker exactly?

A men’s windbreaker is made specifically to help protect you from wind and rain while outdoors. The original name “windbreaker” just implied wind protection, but most good modern products are also waterproof.

It is an ideal jacket if you are a Canadian guy who likes things like hiking, climbing, mountain biking, or just taking walks all year round. Many are light enough to be great pieces of clothing for runners and joggers too.

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Windbreakers have become essential elements to practice almost any sport in bad weather conditions in Canada, namely wind and rain.

How do windbreakers actually work?

A windbreaker is a lightweight, breathable, water and wind-proof jacket that you either zip up or pull over when you are going out into uncertain weather conditions. They don’t make you impervious to any Canadian weather condition, but up to certain levels of cold and wetness, they keep you dry, warm, and comfortable.

Most good men’s windbreakers do two main things. The first thing they do is protect you from the rain and col. The second thing they do is, via a specialized inner layer, help get rid of perspiration and humidity so you are always at a comfortable temperature while wearing one.

Couple trekking through the rain in the Highlands

Most windbreakers will not only protect you from the wind, but also from the rain. (Source: rawpixel: 116614882/ 123rf.com)

What are the main features of windbreakers?

These jackets are made to stand up to windy and rainy weather conditions, and good ones have a number of important features in common. In the below table we have laid out these features and why they are important:

  • Light weight: A good windbreaker should be lightweight and hardly noticeable. They are made to be more comfortable and flexible than traditional, bulkier rain coats.
  • Comfort: A windbreaker should be easy to take on and off, as well as carry. Many are made to fold up and be stuffed into a kangaroo pocket or side pocket so that they become almost pocket-size when not in use.
  • Great variety: Windbreakers are customisable based on the day. Some have detachable hoods and sleeves that can be removed when the weather conditions change.
  • Diversity of use: Windbreakers are suited for a wide range of conditions and purposes. Many look great even when it is not windy or rainy out. They are easy to throw on if you are just going for a quick walk to the store, or if you’re going for an all-day hike.

What isn’t a windbreaker?

While it should be obvious that a windbreaker is intended to keep you out of the wind, there are some differences between these garments and other weather-dependent clothing. A raincoat, for instance, is different in its functionality. While many, if not most windbreakers are made to be waterproof to a degree, they are not made to stand up to torrential downpours like rain jackets are.

They are also not coats. Some have added lining to keep you warm, but most are not made to stand up to the harsh Canadian cold in the way that larger coats are.

Friends standing by the riverside in the Highlands

This piece of clothing is ideal if you regularly practice mountain sports such as hiking or climbing. (Source: rawpixel: 116719097/ 123rf.com)

Why should I choose a windbreaker with flexible fabrics and seams?

One of the quintessential features of a windbreaker is its flexibility and light weight. In order to get the full benefits of this type of jacket, you need to make sure to get the right size. If you get an oversize one, it might end up letting in wind and rain. If you get one that is too small for you, it can restrict your movement. The flexibility of a windbreaker’s fabric and seams are two important considerations.

A waterproof windbreaker is a necessity if you are going to be doing any outdoor activity far from civilization. They can be a real lifesaver when you’re kilometres from the closest shelter and it starts to really come down. They can also keep you warm during milder winter weather to help ward off hypothermia.

 happy couple hiking enjoying looking at view embracing in love. hiker man and woman wearing backpacks enjoying sunset during hike on mountain volcano teide, tenerife, canary islands, spain.

Designed to fight wind and rain alike, these jackets present a number of essential characteristics. (Source: maridav: 25960982/ 123rf.com)

Why should I opt for a waterproof windbreaker?

You need a waterproof windbreaker if it is going to serve you well in the many adverse weather conditions we experience in Canada. If you don’t get something waterproof, especially, for instance, if you live on the rainy West Coast, there isn’t much point to having one at all. Most athletes wear waterproof wind breakers when exercising outside during the winter.

What types of men’s windbreakers are available out there?

There are generally two main categories of windbreaker. Both have a tight fit to the body, and their water resistance will never match that of traditional raincoats. They are therefore not ideal for long work or training sessions.

Let’s now have a look at the two main types of windbreakers based on running – the sport that most people use them for:

  • Windbreakers for running: As is evident from the name, these are tailor-made for running. They are also suitable for other sports like soccer and basketball, where you will definitely need flexible clothing. They are great for sessions of two hours or less, and are a must have if you are training outdoors in the rain.
  • Windbreakers for trail running: Trail running is running or jogging on any uneven terrain in parks, on mountains, or even in urban areas. Hiking and trekking both require a good quality windbreaker in Canada.

Why buy a men’s windbreaker?

There are many good reasons to own a windbreaker. Many of their characteristics make them fundamental for any guy who wants to still get out and enjoy the outdoors even when it’s windy and raining. Below are a couple more reasons to consider if you still aren’t quite sure about a new windbreaker:

  • They improve training performance: If you are serious about training, the ideal training conditions are those in which there are few to no extreme temperature changes. These garments are lightweight enough that they won’t restrict your movements, while still protecting you from things like hypothermia and keeping your muscles warm and comfortable.
  • They are durable: A good men’s windbreaker is tough and, provided you look after it well, it should last many years.
  • They can be used as informal clothing: Modern men’s windbreakers don’t just do their job well, they also look great and can be worn casually.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of windbreakers?

At this point, you have pretty much all of the necessary information to get yourself an appropriate windbreaker. In the below table we will go over some of the primary pros and cons of windbreakers to keep in mind before you buy one:

Advantages
  • Ideal for running
  • They maximise sports performance
  • They can be utilized for a variety of sports
  • The easily combine with other garments
  • They are quite durable
Disadvantages
  • They aren”t thermal garments
  • They won”t protect you from torrential downpours

Shopping Criteria

There are several key features of a men’s windbreaker to keep in mind when buying one. In the below section, we will delve into the most important of these criteria you need to have in mind when buying anything. This will ensure you are getting the right jacket for you, that meets your needs and goals.

Quality

Quality is probably the most important aspect if you want your windbreaker to be both functional and durable. You could skimp on quality and save a few dollars, but you might regret it when you need your windbreaker to come through for you most. You might end up spending more as you will likely have to replace a poor quality one much sooner.

Material

Most good windbreakers are 100 per cent polyester. The also tend to be fortified with polyamide to augment tear resistance. Having a robust, and resistant windbreaker is key. Many models also feature things like elastance and other fabrics that make them better fitting.

These style of windbreaker are ideally suited to those who prefer comfort to anything else. There are also other materials that are highly similar to polyester, such as nylon, that also give you great, lightweight flexibility.

Style

Another key aspect of your new windbreaker is its style. Windbreakers are typically designed in two different styles: there are tighter-fitting options that form to your body and won’t be lifted by the wind, and which tend to shelter you a bit better. Others are more flowy and can be put on over a backpack. Make sure to get something that is best for what you are doing outdoors.

You should also make sure the windbreaker you are getting has at least one pocket, as well as a hood (detachable or otherwise). There are many windbreakers that are made to be packed up into one of the pockets, making it small and easy to take with you on the go.

Finishing touches

Whether you opt for a tight-fitting or a wide cut windbreaker, dozens of finishing details ultimately differentiate the quality of one model from another. Additional interesting features include things like elastic and Velcro cuff and wasit adjusting, removable hoods, and adjustable hood visors to better protect your face against rain, and kangaroo pockets.

Expert opinions

Only you really know if you need a windbreaker to do what you want to do outside, but most experts maintain that it is an essential piece of clothing for anyone serious about physical activities outside in the wind and rain. Having one will certainly expand the possibilities for exercise and sports all year round, and make your exercise routine less weather dependent.

Summary

A windbreaker is a must-have article of clothing if you’re a guy in Canada who doesn’t want to be held back by the country’s sometimes harsh, often unpredictable weather. Athletes that can’t live without getting out and practicing their favourite sports will love the insurance against wind and rain, and people who just don’t want to get wet or cold outside will find them useful too.

There really is no outdoor garment better suited to life in Canada than the windbreaker. While it is not going to protect you from the worst torrential downpours, and you certainly don’t want to rely on just this style of jacket if you plan on going out in frigid below-zero temperatures, they are great for pretty much anything else.

If enjoyed the above article and shopping guide to men’s windbreakers, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can leave us a comment in the below section!

(Source of featured image: maridav: 35379723/ 123rf.com)

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