Difference Wiki

Windcheater vs. Windbreaker: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on March 3, 2024
Windcheater and windbreaker are essentially the same, both referring to a light jacket designed to resist wind chill and light rain.

Key Differences

The term "windcheater" is more commonly used in British English, referring to a lightweight jacket that provides protection against wind and light rain. "Windbreaker," more common in American English, describes a similar jacket, usually made of synthetic material, designed to resist wind and offer light rain protection.
Windcheaters often come with a closer fit and may have a fleece lining for added warmth. Windbreakers, while serving the same purpose, might be slightly less insulated but are equally effective at breaking the wind.
Both windcheaters and windbreakers are ideal for transitional weather or as part of a layering system in colder climates. They are typically made of synthetic materials like nylon or polyester, which contribute to their lightweight and wind-resistant properties.
The design of a windcheater might include tighter cuffs and a drawstring at the waist for better insulation. In contrast, windbreakers may have a more relaxed fit and are often designed with a focus on breathability as well as wind resistance.
Windcheaters can be used for outdoor activities such as hiking and jogging, offering protection without overheating. Windbreakers are equally versatile, often used in sports and casual settings where light protection from the elements is needed.

Comparison Chart

Common Usage

More common in British English
More common in American English


Often has fleece lining for warmth
May be less insulated, focus on breathability


Closer fit with tighter cuffs
Often a more relaxed fit


Typically made of synthetic materials like nylon
Usually made of lightweight, wind-resistant materials

Ideal For

Outdoor activities, protection without overheating
Sports and casual wear, light protection from wind and rain

Windcheater and Windbreaker Definitions


A light jacket designed to protect against wind.
He wore a windcheater on his morning run to stay warm.


A lightweight jacket designed to resist wind and light rain.
He grabbed his windbreaker before heading out for the walk.


Often features a close fit and may have a fleece lining.
Her windcheater kept her cozy during the breezy evening.


Usually less insulated but focuses on breathability.
Her windbreaker was perfect for the mild, windy weather.


Ideal for outdoor activities in transitional weather.
I always pack a windcheater for hiking trips.


Common in sports and casual settings for light element protection.
They wore windbreakers at the beach to shield from the breeze.


May have tighter cuffs and a drawstring waist.
The windcheater's tight cuffs prevented the cold air from getting in.


Made of materials like nylon or polyester.
The polyester windbreaker dried quickly after the light rain.


Typically made of synthetic materials for wind resistance.
The windcheater’s nylon fabric blocked the cold wind effectively.


Often has a relaxed fit, suitable for layering.
The windbreaker's relaxed fit allowed him to wear a sweater underneath.


A heavy weatherproof jacket


A light, wind-resistant outer jacket with close-fitting, often elasticized cuffs and waistband.


A kind of heavy jacket (`windcheater' is a British term)


A thin outer coat designed to resist wind chill and light rain.


A kind of heavy jacket (`windcheater' is a British term)


Is a windcheater waterproof?

Windcheaters are water-resistant but not fully waterproof.

Do windcheaters have hoods?

Some windcheaters come with hoods for added protection.

Can windbreakers be breathable?

Yes, many windbreakers are designed to be breathable.

Are windcheaters good for running?

Yes, windcheaters are ideal for running in windy conditions.

How is a windbreaker different from a windcheater?

There is little difference; the terms are often used interchangeably.

What materials are windcheaters made of?

Windcheaters are usually made of synthetic materials like nylon.

Can windbreakers be used for hiking?

Yes, windbreakers are suitable for hiking and outdoor activities.

Are windbreakers suitable for cold weather?

Windbreakers are good for mild cold but may need layering in colder weather.

What is a windcheater?

A windcheater is a light jacket designed to protect against wind.

Do windcheaters provide UV protection?

Some windcheaters offer UV protection, but not all.

Can windbreakers be compact and lightweight?

Yes, most windbreakers are designed to be lightweight and easily packable.

Do windcheaters come in different colors?

Yes, windcheaters are available in a variety of colors.

Can windbreakers be fashionable?

Yes, many windbreakers are designed with fashion in mind.

How do I clean a windcheater?

Follow the care label, usually involving gentle washing.

Do windbreakers come in different styles?

Yes, windbreakers come in various styles and fits.

Is a windcheater the same as a rain jacket?

No, a windcheater is for wind protection, while rain jackets are for rain.

Are windbreakers suitable for summer?

Yes, they are suitable for summer as they are lightweight.

How do I choose a windcheater?

Consider the fit, material, and whether you need a hood or extra lining.

Can I wear a windbreaker in the city?

Yes, windbreakers are suitable for urban environments as well.

Are there windbreakers for children?

Yes, there are windbreakers available for children.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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