Daehlie Winter Running Jacket action

A Nordic Ski Brand Makes Our Go-To Winter Run Jacket

The Dæhlie Jacket Winter Run mixes top-shelf insulation into a sleek, versatile wind shell. The resulting lightweight jacket kept my core warm and dry through a season of cold-weather running.

Insulation up front and ventilation in the back: That’s the basic premise behind many active winter layers. This light jacket achieves the goal of deflecting wind while allowing moisture to quickly dissipate in a light, quiet package.

The brand Dæhlie, know for nordic skiing apparel, has expanded into more run-specific cool-weather running gear. The Norwegian brand — created by cross-country skier Bjorn Dæhlie, one of the most decorated Winter Olympians and six-time winner of the Nordic World Cup — is now launching jackets, pants, and layers aimed at winter runners. And we really love this jacket.

In short: The Dæhlie Jacket Winter Run ($150) uses extremely efficient aerogel insulation in the chest to block wind and cold. But the jacket is lightweight (just 7.7 ounces in a men’s size large) and streamlined.

The insulation blocks wind and cold on the chest — an added comfort for anyone who pushes winter miles in cold weather. By varying layers underneath it, we’ve used this layer from bitter cold to more temperate spring running.

Testing the Daehlie Jacket Winter Run
GearJunkie Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy testing the Daehlie Jacket Winter Run on the mesas

Dæhlie Jacket Winter Run Review

PrimaLoft’s aerogel insulation is the jacket’s standout tech. Aerogel is incredibly light and insulating, and its heat-retention performs well in this jacket. But its compact nature contributes to the jacket’s simple design.

Many winter jackets use hybrid strategies to mix in core insulation. Usually, those use puffy chambers in the chest or a vest-like upper that dumps heat through side panels and sleeves.

But this winter jacket looks, acts, and feels different.

Fit and Feel 

The Jacket Winter Run fits close to the body with some articulation in the sleeve to keep it close in the arms. Rolling up the sleeves is not an option. When I wore a midweight run shirt underneath, I had to tug on its sleeves to get them straight beyond the elbow.

Bluntly, Dæhlie built this jacket with an athletic, slender physique in mind. If you have a bulky build, it’ll likely be a snug fit. But for its target market of runners and nordic skiers, the fit is right on the money.

In back, the drop hem has a zippered pocket for stashing gloves. It will fit a phone, but it’s too stretchy and loose-fitting to make that practical for running. The collar zipped up just above the Adam’s apple on our testers.

Cold-Weather Running

I kept the first few test runs rather short because I wasn’t sure what to wear under the jacket. The weather was also uncooperative, with daily temperatures varying from 9 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Daehlie Jacket Winter Run Jacketshots

Once winter settled in, this became my everyday run jacket. What differed was what I wore under it: On the coldest runs, down into the low teens, our testers wore both a Smartwool Intraknit base layer or Black Diamond Solution 150. Closer to freezing, we wore lighter, long-sleeve run shirts. On windy runs with temps in the 40s, we found a short-sleeve wool shirt to be plenty.

The jacket does insulate the chest area, and through that, it enables your body to push warmer blood out to your extremities. However, that fell a tad short when consistently running into the wind. The shell fabric blocks wind, but in sustained conditions, vulnerable areas like my underarms and traps felt the sting of the cold.

What that means is that, while working hard, the jacket will keep you warm enough. But in cold weather, if you have to stop, you’ll cool down quickly. So if you’re getting remote in the winter (or plan to stop running to let a dog frolic in a dog park for 20 minutes), bring a warmer layer.

Throughout the colder runs, my chest stayed warm, and the run shirt underneath didn’t collect sweat. The jacket is very breathable. Its perforated holes in the back are the primary ventilation for excess heat. If you suddenly heat up, you can increase the airflow by unzipping the front.

Daehlie Jacket Winter Run

Dæhlie Jacket Winter Run Specs

  • Insulation: PrimaLoft aerogel chest padding
  • Weight: 7.7 oz./219 g (men’s large)
  • Styles: Men’s and women’s
  • Two-way YKK front zippers
  • Zippered back hem pocket
  • Articulated sleeves
  • Laser-cut perforations in back
  • Reflective hits
  • Price: $150

A Standout Ingredient

The whole reason for this jacket is its minimalist performance. Daehlie has other run jackets for that sell for $90, but those either lack the insulation or are heavier. With this winter running jacket, you’re paying for the PrimaLoft Cross Core insulation that uses aerogel in the core.

If you’re unfamiliar with aerogel, it’s low-density insulation originally developed for spacesuits to withstand extreme heat and cold. In that form, it wasn’t breathable and broke down if it got wet. But PrimaLoft adapted it so it could be used in outdoor gear, and now it’s in everything from boots to gloves to jacket pockets.

Durability

I didn’t want to mess up this jacket. I stuck to roads or snowy flats on most runs. But for testing’s sake, I ran it through some tree branches and then took fine-grain sandpaper to spots inside the hem and collar. The fabric showed no pilling, scratches, or other signs of wear.

Bonus Traits

I like more reflectivity in my running gear. It doesn’t look any more ridiculous than most running shoes and tights. The Jacket Winter Run has a few silvery dashes of reflectivity on the chest and cuffs as call-outs. However, when headlights hit the jacket, several more dashes on the body and sleeves light up.

The slight ribs of insulation in the chest don’t keep this from stuffing down as easily as most soft shells.

Ultimately, this jacket earned top-choice honors from our two testers, who have several good winter running coats in their quivers. If you put down serious, aerobic miles in the winter and on cool spring and fall days, the Dæhlie Jacket Winter Run should be high on your list.

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M.T. Elliott
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M.T. Elliott is a Denver-based writer. He can be found wandering the city with his nose in a book or pouring craft beers. His runs and rides are easily distracted by birdsong and he’s about a 7 on fishing. M.T. holds journalism degrees from The University of Texas and Syracuse University.

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