It’s vital to travel in the mountains with adequate protection from the worst the weather can throw at us and that means having a quality waterproof jacket. When you’re in the wild, you want a good rain coat that you can count on.
The most obvious concern when buying a waterproof jacket is the type of protection that you’re getting, as this influences the price, weight, breathability and of course the level of waterproofing on offer. You obviously don’t want the jacket to start leaking water after just a month of wear, yet you don’t want to pay over the odds for something that may feel a little overkill for the type of activity that you’re buying the jacket for.
Let’s read Top 10 best hiking waterproof jacket in UK 2021.
Top 10 best hiking waterproof jacket in UK 2021
1.The North Face Men’s Apex
The North Face has seriously upgraded its famous The North Face Men’s Apex Jacket to create a much lighter, more streamlined waterproof jacket. In fact, at first glance, you could mistake it for a snug hoodie. While it boasts a tough three-layer Gore-Tex shell for superlative wind and rain protection, the soft-knit outer fabric is luxuriously soft. The stretch-knit liner also feels great against the skin, acting like a thin fleece for enhanced warmth, and giving you all the cosiness of a hoodie. Although lighter than its predecessor – TNF shaved off 40g of the original’s weight – the The North Face Men’s Apex is still hefty at 800g. Breathability is great, though, and pit vents further aid cooling, so we forgive its heaviness.
As you’d expect from such a design, the fit is nigh-on perfect, staying close to the body in all the right places, without ever feeling tight or restrictive, even when worn with other technical layers. The super-light construction of the The North Face Men’s Apex also helps you stay nimble as you cross challenging terrain.
2.PATAGONIA Men’s M’s Triolet Jkt Jacket
Like the Torrentshell above, Patagonia recently upgraded their mid-range Rainshadow to a 3-layer construction (the prior model was 2.5L). This improves the jacket’s protection and durability, although it’s lost some of its backcountry appeal with a jump in weight of over 3 ounces. In addition, Patagonia shrunk down the size of the hood (it’s no longer helmet-compatible) and replaced the coated zippers on the hand pockets and pit zips with nylon flaps. The net result is a clean look that plays better around town at the sacrifice of some technical prowess.
This new casual slant leads to our biggest complaint: the Rainshadow now is too similar to the $50-cheaper Torrentshell 3L. Both jackets have the same in-house waterproofing, include features like pit zips and two-way adjustable hoods, and weigh only 0.1 ounces apart. It’s true the Rainshadow has a lighter face fabric with some built-in stretch that’s less crinkly and stiff (we’d go as far as calling it relatively supple), but otherwise it very closely resembles the Torrentshell. In a future update, we’d love to see them trim down the build to shave weight or bring back some of the performance touches. For now, the Rainshadow lands midway down our list..
3.Outdoor Research Men’s Men’s Interstellar Jacket
A whole new wave of stretchy air-permeable models has flooded the market with so many options it can be hard to keep track of. However, even in a newly crowded sector of the rain jacket market, the Outdoor Research Interstellar still manages to stand out. No model could match its blend of durability and storm worthiness while maintaining a low weight, top-tier breathability, and freedom-of-movement. The advantage of Ascentshell (and other air-permeable materials) is the high and steady level of breathability, regardless of user temperature or external environmental factors. Even when compared to several other similar air-permeable options, it stands out as one of the most stretchy and breathable options while also providing top-tier weather protection (something many of the new air-permeable models can’t even come close to matching).
While more than adequate for most rainy day outings or soggy multi-day adventures, you can still get a more storm-resistant model — it just won’t be an air-permeable one. Since it’s so breathable, this product isn’t as great for hanging out during a soggy day in camp, as it keeps breathing even when you aren’t moving, which results in a net heat loss. It isn’t that the Interstellar doesn’t offer adequate weather resistance; there are just a handful of burlier models that perform better for straight-up hanging out in the rain. This model is better suited for more aerobic activities, where a stretchy, mobility-focused design and top-tier breathability are more important than absolute storm protection.
4.Mammut Men’s Kento Hooded Hardshell Jacket
What can I say about Mammut Men’s Kento Hooded Hardshell Jacket? It looks incredible. Our black version is sleek and stylish, and I would be just as happy wearing it around town as I would on the hill. However, it doesn’t perform quite as well as it looks in heavy downpours. In light rain or short showers it is fine, but when faced with heavy and sustained rain it does wet out after a while. As such, breathability levels took a tumble and water vapour struggled to escape.
Despite being one of the lightest (297g in size medium) and most packable waterproof jackets on test, it carries a lot of really good features. It has a simple-but-effective helmet compatible hood which does a great job at cinching in closely thanks to the adjustment point at the back.
Hem adjusters pull the garment in at the waist, while the cut was favourable and at no point did we feel exposed when moving around and reaching up high. The range of movement is great and the two map-friendly hand-warmer pockets are easily accessed, even when wearing a bag. Due to the light material and large armpit vents, temperature regulation is also impressive, but there are slight question marks over the product’s durability due to how thin it is.
5.Mountain Equipment Men’s Rupal GTX WP Jacket
The Rupal is a straightforward jacket suitable for year-round use. It’s made from a robust-feeling 3-layer Gore-Tex that isn’t quite as soft as some of the other fabrics reviewed but still feels comfortable. The hood is excellent – Mountain Equipment have had some of the best hoods for many years. It’s helmet compatible but can be easily reduced in volume without too much bunching of the fabric. It fits closely round the face, moves with the head, allows good side vision, and has a big stiff wired peak for great protection. The chest pockets are big and easily hold maps and a stretch inner pocket for a phone or other small item. The chest pockets are Gore-Tex so if the water-resistant zips leaks – there’s no flap over them – rain won’t get through to your inner garments.
6.Naudamp Men’s Outdoor Waterproof Jacket
Naudamp Men’s Outdoor Waterproof Jackets that cost less than $100 use a two-layer construction consisting of a shell fabric with a waterproof laminate bonded to its interior (it’s often white and feels plasticky to the touch). These jackets can be good at keeping you dry, though they tend not to be nearly as durable — we’ve seen some laminates begin to flake away after one or two seasons of hard use.
Naudamp Men’s Outdoor Waterproof Jacket has a 2.5-layer construction, which means that in addition to its recycled ripstop nylon shell and Peak waterproof laminate, it has a light interior lining that makes a protective sandwich that helps this jacket last more than a few seasons. It has lots of other features, too, like a collar separate from the adjustable hood, though it isn’t as lightweight or packable as some of the others on this list.
7.Outdoor Research Women’s Helium Ii Jacket
FEATURES: As the lowest cost jacket in this category Outdoor Research Women’s Helium Ii Jacket is a great value! And for 2020 it’s way more durable at the same weight! The first upgrade to the highly regarded Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket in 8 years! It boasts a new super strong Pertex Diamond Fuse fabric. Outdoor Research say it 5x more tear resistant and 2x more abrasion resistant than the old Helium. That’s a huge deal for a 6 oz Rain Jacket where any increase in durability is most welcome. In addition for 2020 it got a slightly roomier fit. While it weighs far less than just a few rain jackets, it still has a good feature set — drawcord adjustable hood, elastic adjustable cuffs, and a chest pocket that can stow the entire jacket. While a bit larger for 2020 this jacket this jacket is still trim. It will layer over an 8-12+ oz fleece midlayer, but anyone layering it over something larger (e.g. a down jacket) should likely size up. And like always, the Outdoor Research Women’s Helium Ii Jacket costs less than competitor’s 6 ounce rain jackets!
BEST FOR: Combination of low weight, durability and value | One of the best all-around rain jackets for serious travelers, hikers and outdoor athletes looking for extremely light rain protection without the high prices of other jackets at this weight and who value high packability.
Also, many outdoor companies like Patagonia, REI and Outdoor Research, offer good product warranties that cover zipper failures, membrane delamination, etc. This will protect your jacket as a long term investment. But if your jacket fails in the field you may have to suffer through wet until you get home and can ship it back for repair or replacement.
8.Berghaus Men’s Paclite 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Shell Jacket
Available in a range of colours and sizes, Berghaus’ Paclite 2.0 is the ideal jacket for any outdoor adventure. This jacket boasts innovative Gore-Tex fabric technology, keeping you dry in the most adverse weather conditions. The Paclite 2.0 packs down to a tiny size, meaning you can easily store it in your backpack when the weather turns, and the sun starts to shine.
The versatile waterproof shell ensures protection from the rain despite being incredibly lightweight, making it easier to carry and wear. If the weather is testing, this jacket provides extra protection from the fully adjustable fixed hood. The breathable fabric means you can layer with a fleece underneath on a particularly cold day.
9.Trespass Qikpac Waterproof Jacket
The Trespass Qikpac Waterproof Jacket was designed to be lightweight, waterproof, and breathable. The jacket is cut using Montbell’s K-mono cut which uses a single piece of fabric to cut the jacket. As a result, there are fewer seams to leak. Minimizing the seam stitching and sealing also reduces the weight on the jacket. Not only is the Versalite extremely lightweight, but it also is full-featured with generously-sized pit zips that extend down the arm, velcro cuffs, and an adjustable hood.
10.Carhartt Men’s Nimbus Pullover Jacket
Carhartt have been making workwear in Michigan since 1889, and they’ve risen to quite a trendy status since. I like their clothing for its no-nonsense appeal – thick, sturdy jeans; comfy jumpers; good-quality flannel shirts, etc.
This coat is supremely comfortable, snug and cosy, thanks to a fleece lining. It looks like a ski jacket, and it will keep you warm whether out in the town or on a country hike over winter.
Test number one: drenching the jacket
There were two main problems for me. Firstly, it didn’t have the most efficient waterproofing of the jackets I tested. After spending around 15 minutes in heavy rain, my arms were quite damp, though my body was fine. I wasn’t left with the impression that the jacket could withstand a storm, though in light drizzle it would suffice.
Secondly, it was a little tricky to actually put on, as you pull it over your head. I found myself very awkwardly fumbling about until I managed.
A very warm winter jacket, but not one to guarantee dryness.
How to buy best hiking waterproof jacket
Weight and Size:
Outdoor sports like hiking, mountaineering and climbing require lightweight gear, because lightweight gear does not only allow you to move faster, but also delays exhaustion. To learn more about why it is important to use lightweight gear for hiking, check out our article Why hike lightweight. Because a rain jacket is often carried in your backpack when the weather holds dry, it should also pack small so that it does not take too much space. In this selection of the best hiking rain jackets we only listed well-packable and lightweight products.
Hiking rain jackets are made of so-called waterproof/breathable materials (also referred to as WPB materials). Some manufacturers use well-known materials from textile brands such as Gore-Tex, eVent and Pertex while others develop their own materials like for example Marmot (NanoPro) or Patagonia (H2NO). These materials use either laminates or coatings.
Laminates (membranes) offer better breathability than coatings but on the other hand they are also more expensive. Rain jackets which use coatings are typically inexpensive, but coatings don’t provide as good water resistance and breathability as laminates. In either case the fabric is typically also DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treated so that it repels the water and doesn’t get soaked. To learn more about waterproof/breathable materials check out the Hardshell section in our Comparison of Shell Materials. To see how waterproof/breathable materials compare to each other in terms of water resistance and breathability check out the infographic in our article Rainwear: Hydrostatic Head and Breathability (MVTR).
Hiking rain jackets can be made of 3-layer, 2.5-layer and 2-layer waterproof/breathable fabrics. Note that these layers are bonded together and can thus not be seen with the naked eye. 2-layer fabrics have a face fabric and a coating or a membrane, 2.5-layer fabrics have a face fabric, a coating or a membrane and a non-fabric lining, and 3-layer fabrics have a face fabric, a membrane and a fabric lining.
3-layer rain jackets are typically very durable and thus great for alpine climbing, mountaineering and expeditions. 2.5-layer rain jackets are very light and pack very small. Therefore, they are perfect for hiking and backpacking. 2-layer rain jackets are usually relatively heavy. However, there are exceptions such as hiking rain jackets made out of the Gore-Tex PacLite material, which is super lightweight but only consists of two layers.
When fabrics are sewn together, small needle holes are created – which would be problematic for rain wear if unmitigated. To avoid such leakages, manufacturers use special waterproof seam tapes to prevent the rain from seeping through the seams. In some cases, manufacturers even weld the fabric panels together instead of sewing them. This technique decreases the weight of the garment and increases water-resistance. Garments that are made by welding fabric panels together are usually very expensive.
As a rain jacket is worn as the outer layer, it should be equipped with at least one easy-accessible pocket for storing essentials.
Every rain jacket should of course have a fully-adjustable hood which fits your head perfectly and does not disturb you. Some rain jackets have a helmet-compatible hood. If you are planning to do mountaineering or climbing of any sort, we recommend purchasing a jacket with a helmet-compatible hood.
You finally decided what waterproof jacket to purchase and are now wondering how to take proper care of it? We have got some advice for you. Besides making sure it is always clean and fresh after every use, it is smart to invest in professional cleaning supplies. They will help you keep the jacket water-resistant throughout the years. You can also put your Gore-Tex rain jacket in the tumble dryer on low settings for half an hour or so. This will revamp your jacket’s ability to repel water in the long-run.
With that being said, this trick will have to be accompanied by products specifically designed to prolong your jacket’s life. It is always smart to be mindful of your jacket’s instructions since high-quality waterproof jackets are usually not compatible with over-the-counter detergents.
If you already have a waterproof jacket or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.