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Will a Windbreaker Keep You Warm? What are Good Temperatures for a Windbreaker?

A happy woman wearing a windbreaker jacket at the beach.

I always find that a windbreaker jacket is a perfect addition to any closet, especially when the fall months hit. If you didn’t know already, a windbreaker or windcheater is a lighter version of a jacket. It is perfect for 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit weather.

Another interesting fact is that a 2012 study found that wearing a layer of windbreaker pants and jacket can delay hypothermia in lowering temperatures. I find that whatever the occasion, a windbreaker is generally my go-to jacket to bring with me. Unless it’s a hot summer’s day with almost no chance of wind or rain, then I’ll opt for a lighter coat.

Depending on where you live, you’ll likely enjoy using a windbreaker, but they definitely shine in certain regions. Personally, I find that windbreakers are the best in areas that have all four seasons. You likely won’t need one in summer or winter but in fall and spring.

If you’re still unsure if a windbreaker is suitable for your lifestyle, we’ll describe what situations a windbreaker can keep you warm.

What is a Windbreaker & How Does it Differ From Other Jackets?

A female office worker wearing a windbreaker jacket.

A windbreaker, or windcheater, is a jacket made from thin fabric designed to help repel wind and light rain. It’s essentially a lighter version of a jacket, lacking insulation or heavy materials. However, this is actually one of the benefits, because it makes the jacket lightweight and less bulky.

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Now, I hear a lot of confusion when it comes to the different jackets terms, such as the following:

  • Raincoat
  • Hoodie
  • Parka
  • Poncho
  • Etc.

The terms mentioned above are not a windbreaker. The only fashion term that describes a windbreaker is a windbreaker, windcheater, or wind jacket. Other fashion items have different properties from a windbreaker, so they don’t fall in the same category.

For those wondering, a windbreaker first became a popular outdoor fashion item in the 1970s. Still, the clothing style can be traced back more than 500 years. They are very similar to parkas worn by Inuits in the arctic.

They have the same properties to help protect them from the outdoor environment.

What Fabric Is a Windbreaker Made From?

The fabric of a windbreaker is made from synthetic materials to help create a protective water-resistant layer. The fabric feels like a tent, which uses similar synthetic materials to help block out rain and wind. Other materials used on a windbreaker include elastic waistbands, armbands, and a durable zipper.

Windbreakers are made from nylon, polycotton, or different cotton mixes. They also have added synthetic fibers to help create a protective layer from the outdoors. An added waterproofing finish also helps the jacket withstand a small amount of rain.

Due to these fabric choices, windbreakers don’t weigh a lot, and they don’t shrink when put through the wash. So, I tend to find that they are the most reliable protection from the cold when the weather is decent. It’s always best to keep at least one windbreaker around.

They can be used in many different situations, such as taking a stroll, jogging outdoors, and even a quick grocery run.

Do Windbreakers Come in Multiple Designs?

Like any other clothing item, windbreakers come in a large variety of different options. Some design features of a windbreaker include a removable hood or sleeves. They may also have an interlining layer that can be removed. Aside from that, many windbreakers come with large pockets located inside and outside of the jacket.

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This makes storing any items when you’re outdoors a breeze. I personally find this useful when I go out on runs or make a quick trip to the grocery store, as I don’t have to take any other bags to carry my possessions.

When Would You Need To Wear a Windbreaker?

Pretty happy young woman wearing a windbreaker jacket.

Since a windbreaker can only provide moderate protection from the outdoor environment, it’s best used in either spring or fall. These months tend to have a temperature between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. A windbreaker is generally used anywhere above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, you may get uncomfortable if you try and wear a windbreaker anywhere over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve made that mistake before, and I felt very hot since the coat is designed to keep the warm air in. If there is going to be wind or rain, these conditions are also perfect for wearing a windbreaker.

The synthetic fibers keep the wind from creating a cold draft while outdoors. They also work to repel tiny rain droplets, making them ideal for the spring. The only time you can use a windbreaker in colder seasons is if you’re using it as a protective layer.

Since the materials are generally very thin, you can easily wear stuff under or over the windbreaker. This makes it a very versatile jacket, and you can still keep warm below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Windbreaker FAQs

Do Windbreakers Actually Keep You Warm?

Windbreakers are designed to keep hot air in and prevent any cool air from entering the jacket. So, yes, a windbreaker jacket will help keep you warm. However, it’s not as heavy or as insulated as winter jackets.

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Therefore, you’ll need to consider how much warmth you’ll need when you’re outdoors before choosing to wear a windbreaker jacket.

Can You Wear A Windbreaker in the Winter?

You can wear a windbreaker in winter, dependent on the temperature. However, in most cases, you should not wear a windbreaker in winter if the temperature drops below 55 degrees. In most places, winter will begin below 40.

So, we wouldn’t recommend using a windbreaker unless you have other insulating jackets or undergarments underneath it.

What Weather Are Windbreakers For?

A windbreaker jacket is perfect for dry weather with wind or light rain. While a windbreaker jacket is good for keeping you insulted, they aren’t enough to be used in cold weather. I personally find that windbreakers are suitable for aerobic activities outdoors when there is a slight breeze.

Are Windbreakers Useful?

Windbreakers are very helpful as they effectively keep you warm with a minimal amount of bulk. The jacket is lightweight, breathable, and provides a decent layer of protection from the outdoor elements. Aside from that, they are also easier to transport, can be layered, and often come in various designs.


As you can see, windbreakers are helpful in fall and spring when the weather is floating between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can use a windbreaker in winter if you use it as a layer. Personally, I tend to use windbreakers year-round. Still, I live in an area where it rarely drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.