We’ve all been there — your alarm goes off at a crazy early hour for a long run or race, and as you peel yourself out from under the covers, you hear it. Rain is pattering on the rooftop, streaking down the windows, and promising a wet day on the trails. Thankfully, reaching for the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket ($240) will keep you dry when curling up in a cozy, dry place with a cup of coffee instead of going for a run isn’t an option.
This jacket is waterproof, lightweight at 7.2 ounces (205 grams) for a men’s medium, and has some stretch to allow for a comfortable range of motion. While there is definitely a range of wet weather, and many jackets to choose from to fit everything from a light sprinkle to a deluge, if you frequently run in prolonged steady rain, this jacket is a great choice that will help keep you warm and dry. The iRunFar team loves it so much that it is our top pick in our Best Running Rain Jackets guide.
Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket Fabric and Fit
The Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket is a waterproof, breathable, 2.5-layer jacket made of 20-denier Pertex Shield. The material is a combination of a lightweight, stretchy outer fabric attached to a breathable, waterproof membrane. The outer fabric is coated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating to repel moisture from raindrops and snowflakes. The inside of the jacket has a coating to protect the material from breakdown from contact with skin oils, sweat, and dirt.
This jacket has a light stretch and a low-profile fit that is tight enough to prevent flapping with movement but wide enough to allow for full range of motion and layering over a small hydration pack. We found it to fit true to size, but it was a little snug when layered over a pack, and we would recommend sizing up if you will routinely wear a running vest underneath it.
The length is long enough to provide adequate coverage. We especially appreciate the extra length on the back of the jacket to cover our backsides. The hem and hood are adjustable as well to further dial in your best fit.
We love the breathability of this jacket’s fabric, which was the best of all we tested. iRunFar’s own Meghan Hicks used this as her primary rain jacket while running the 2022 Hardrock 100. She especially enjoyed the combined waterproofing and breathability during a massive afternoon deluge around halfway through the event.
As the thunderstorm hit, she slid the jacket out of the kangaroo pocket on her hydration pack and put it on over her pack, all while still running. Despite over an inch of rain falling in under an hour, which caused local flash flooding, she and her hydration pack stayed dry underneath, protected from both the rain and interior condensation.
Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket Features
The Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket is fully waterproof and has multiple features that improve its fit and function. These features do come at a weight cost, and this jacket is definitely not the lightest on the market at 7.2 ounces (205 grams) for the men’s medium. For a jacket that will provide full protection in seriously wet conditions, we found this a very reasonable weight.
Starting at the top, the hood has an elasticated back and is adjustable with cinch cords to tighten the fit and keep it in place in windy and rainy conditions. The peak is stiffened to form a bit of a brim, keeping it and the rain off of your face. The hood is what we’d call medium volume, and will fit running hats, beanies, and big headlamps underneath it just fine. The hood isn’t made to be worn over a helmet and big ponytails challenge the hood’s volume, too. By cinching the hood firmly, or by tying your ponytail more at neck level, you can use the hood just fine.
The chin has a microfleece lining to reduce friction and protect delicate skin when the jacket is fully zipped with the hood up. We appreciate little touches like these to improve comfort.
In addition to fully taped seams to prevent water seepage, the body of the jacket also features water-repellent zippers on the jacket closure and two hand pockets. The zippers use a polyurethane-laminated tape to keep moisture out. The main zipper also has an internal storm guard, essentially a flap of material running the length of the zipper to provide extra protection from the elements.
At the midpoint of the chest is perhaps our favorite jacket feature, a chest snap that allows you to unzip the jacket but keep the center attached. This allows for venting and airflow when the rain stops but prevents it from turning into an expensive waterproof cape flapping in the breeze as you run. At the conclusion of the previously mentioned Hardrock 100 thunderstorm, when it was still raining lightly but a lot warmer, Meghan unzipped the jacket but used the snap to keep the jacket in a protective position while letting cooler outside air in.
The hem of the jacket has another adjustment point with an elastic cinch cord to customize fit. This is an especially useful feature if sizing up, as we have found that adding extra room in the body of the jacket to accommodate layers or a pack can leave the bottom feeling too baggy.
Cinching the cord tighter helps keep the jacket securely in place at the hips and prevents it from turning into a sail on windy days. The sleeve cuffs also have some elastic incorporated to keep them from riding up and make them easy to get on and off without feeling constrictive.
The extra length on the back and the bottom hem of the jacket adds a little more backside coverage when compared to other jackets. We’ve also found this to really help maintain coverage when wearing a hydration pack beneath the jacket.
Rounding out the jacket’s features are the two hand pockets. Many rain jackets forego pockets to save weight and avoid potential water entry points, so we appreciate the fact that this jacket has two lined waterproof pockets to protect our hands and add a little bit of storage on days when we are traveling light.
These feature the same water-resistant zipper as the body of the jacket, and one pocket has a small pass-through for a headphone or charging cord. We’ve stowed our gloves in these pockets in wet weather, and they’ve stayed dry as long as the pockets are fully zipped. As a bonus, the jacket stuffs into its hand pocket for secure stowing in a pack when not in use.
Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket Overall Impressions
The Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket was our overall winner in the Best Running Rain Jackets guide and is an excellent choice for all-day adventures in wet weather. The superior waterproof capabilities meant we stayed dry and comfortable during multiple long outings in rain and snow, and the breathability kept us from getting overly sweaty and muggy-feeling with exertion.
This jacket is our go-to for when we know we’ll meet bad weather but we’ll also be moving fast enough to generate interior heat and moisture that’ll need to be managed.
This jacket performs exceptionally well for extended wet-weather outings and has many nice features that help improve its fit and functionality. This technology doesn’t come cheap, though, the $240 price tag will put a pretty big dent in your wallet, but it’s a worthy investment if you frequently run in wet weather. It’s not the lightest jacket out there either, but it is nicely packable, using its own pocket as a pouch, and light enough to stuff into a pack when not in use.
If you are looking to invest in one rain jacket that stretches with movement and breathes well while keeping you dry, the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket is hard to beat.
Call for Comments
- Have you worn the Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Jacket in bad weather? How did it perform for you?
- Do you like to wear your running vest over or under your jacket?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]