The Finest Waterproof Jackets for Mountaineering and Outside Pursuits (Males’s & Girls’s)


All the information, recommendation and suggestions you’ll want to seek out the precise waterproof jacket


Let’s face it: getting exterior with a shoddy waterproof jacket isn’t very satisfying.

It` begins raining and also you optimistically don your waterproof. Inside 5 minutes you’re attempting to persuade your self the rain isn’t coming via. You begin to really feel damp and a chill, then take a peep beneath. You’re soaked via.

waterproof will imply you possibly can embrace the good outdoor year-round. And, in the event you’re going to be heading out into increased altitudes or in search of winter adventures, getting the precise waterproof turns into essential. It’s an make investments you’ll by no means remorse making (so long as you purchase the precise jacket!).

There are heaps of choices available on the market and this information will enable you decide the very best one. You’ll discover candy choices for women and men, topped off with an in depth purchaser’s information stuffed with suggestions for choosing the very best jackets for mountaineering, backpacking, tenting and mountain adventures.

Leap in:

  1. Why you should invest in your waterproof
  2. How to the best rain jacket for you
  3. Waterproofing elements
  4. Breathability
  5. Weight and compression
  6. Durability
  7. Fit and features
  8. Sustainability
  9. Our top pick of waterproof jackets
  10. Your questions answered

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1. Right here’s why your waterproof is well worth the funding

Your jacket is your outer shell to the weather. It’ll shield you from wind, rain, hale and anything Mom Nature could be throwing down. one will even regulate your physique temperature so that you don’t overheat.

Whether or not it’s from sweat or rain, in case your midlayers and baselayers get too moist, your temperature will plummet and you will get into difficulties shortly.

For informal strolling and fast adventures, this can make your time exterior a lot much less comfy. For those who’re going to be pushing your self at increased altitudes, mountaineering in winter or in harsh circumstances, it may be harmful.

Save on smaller bits of package and put money into the necessities. waterproof jacket is 100% an important.

LINGO: Some individuals name them waterproof jackets, some individuals name them rain jackets. Potato Potahto. You’ll discover choices for each beneath.


Discover extra…

The Best Synthetic Insulated Jackets

The Complete Guide to Hiking in the Rain

Choosing the Right 2-Person Tent

All of Our Gear & Reviews

All Our Outdoor Resources


Man hiking through valley with waterproof poncho
Gotta decide the precise jacket on your wants

2. Selecting the very best waterproof jacket for you

There are a great deal of choices these days, with numerous completely different options and specs. Take a learn via this waterproof jacket purchaser’s information and it’ll enable you discover the precise one!

The proper jacket…

The principle parts to think about are waterproofing, weight, sturdiness and breathability.

Completely different jackets are designed to tick completely different bins e.g. a light-weight waterproof with good breathability OR a harder waterproof with nice weatherproofing.

Usually, the extra bins you tick or the extra specialist the jacket turns into, the worth will even rise.

So the essential query is: what’s going to you be utilizing it for?

  • Informal strolling in gentle rain – strolling waterproof jacket can be comfy and have good waterproofing. You in all probability don’t want to put money into high-spec choices which might be sturdy, light-weight and filled with options.
  • Mountaineering in unhealthy circumstances – Prioritise a jacket that’s extremely waterproof. For day hikes, you may not have to go for a light-weight possibility however having one thing breathable will assist to cease you sweating (vital in winter circumstances).
  • Climbing and mountains – For climbing and mountain use, you wish to go in direction of extra technical waterproofs. On the one hand, you want superb weatherproofing however you’ll additionally want sufficient breathability to deal with high-intensity actions. It additionally vital to choose one thing sturdy so it might deal with bangs and scratches alongside rocks or vegetation.
  • Backpacking and multi-day mountaineering – For most individuals, weight goes to be an enormous concern. Going for a light-weight rain jacket with good compressibility will make it straightforward to stow in your bag when it’s not wanted. Relying on the circumstances you’ll be mountaineering in will rely on how a lot weatherproofing you’ll require, and for multi-day journeys the extra sturdy the higher.

Decide a water-resistant suited to your wants so it might excel for its function and have a greater lifespan

Arc'teryx waterproof jacket
The Arc’teryx Zeta SL

3. Completely different design options to look out for

3.1 Waterproofing parts

It appears apparent a water-resistant could be waterproof, however some give extra safety than others.

  • Waterproof Vs. Water resistant – You’ll see some jackets marketed as waterproof and others as water resistant. Most outside clothes is water resistant to some degree and might maintain off gentle rain for a brief period of time. A completely waterproof rain jacket will give safety via heavy, persistent rain. On this article, now we have solely featured utterly waterproof choices.
  • Sturdy Water Repellent (DWR) – That is the outer coating placed on jackets to assist rain bead and slide off the floor, slightly than get absorbed into the fabric. Nearly all rain jackets have this nevertheless the coating should be reapplied over time with a product like Nikwax.
  • 2 Layer – Essentially the most primary coat building, with a single outer waterproof layer and usually a mesh inside layer. These are cheaper and lighter however don’t give pretty much as good weatherproofing. Good for informal use or gentle walks.
  • 2.5 Layer – 2.5 layer waterproofs add a further skinny membrane which will increase the waterproofing of the jacket. They continue to be comparatively light-weight and compressible, making them good for hotter circumstances or backpacking.
  • 3 Layer – A 3-layer waterproof provides one other degree of waterproofing know-how which makes them even stronger in opposition to harsh climate circumstances. These are essentially the most sturdy jackets with larger sturdiness, although they’re heavier and lack compressibility. Good for mountain/winter use when it’s unlikely you’ll take it off, but in addition the most costly.
  • 3-in-1 or insulated waterproofs – For winter or colder circumstances, you will get waterproof jackets that even have an insulating layer. These provide superb weatherproofing and heat however are heavy and solely actually meant in the event you received’t be taking it off. We haven’t featured them right here, check out our Winter Coat information as a substitute.
  • Hardshell Vs. Softshell – Hardshell waterproof jackets are the everyday waterproofs that you just’ll discover featured on this article. They’re designed with climate safety in thoughts and are usually not as versatile. Softshell jackets are water resistant and designed for extra mobility. They are often good for energetic use in very gentle rain however received’t shield from heavy downpours.
  • Seam Taping – The perfect waterproof jackets may have all their seams taped with a non-permeable materials to make sure full waterproofing.
  • Waterproofing applied sciences – Usually, these certifications make sure the jacket can be sufficiently waterproof with good breathability. Gore-Tex rain jackets are the most typical, nevertheless, these days numerous manufacturers have their very own know-how which could incorporate completely different options, like breathability/mobility.

3.2 Breathability

Breathability is basically vital in the event you’re going to be a) heading out in hotter circumstances b) doing high-intensity outside pursuits and c) heading out in winter once you want your physique temperature regulated successfully.

Now, most high outside manufacturers use supplies and know-how which shield you from the outer circumstances but in addition cease you from over-heating (to a sure extent).

For those who want a extremely breathable waterproof, go for a 2.5 layer possibility with pit zips (zips underneath your armpits) and know-how like Gore-Tex Energetic.

Signal as much as our publication to seek out tons extra gear guides, moral journey suggestions and unique content material

Compressed rain jackets
For those who’re backpacking or going gentle, packability and weight are large elements to consider

3.3 Weight and packability

Waterproofs are likely to weigh something from 150g to 650g. Weight and compressibility are an even bigger concern in the event you’re doing multi-day journeys, can be in hotter climate or could also be stowing your jacket into your bag.

  • 150g to 300g – Tremendous light-weight waterproofs, usually 2 or 2.5 layer with good compressibility and fewer climate safety.
  • 300g to 600g – 2.5 layer to 3-layer waterproofs with higher sturdiness and extra climate safety.
  • 600g+ – Heavier mountain jackets with the very best sturdiness and rain safety. 3-in-1 or insulated waterproofs can even weigh considerably greater than this.

Light-weight jackets with sturdy weatherproofing will usually be costlier. Take into consideration your finances and what your priorities for the jacket are.

3.4 Sturdiness

Sturdiness is a very powerful for outside pursuits when your jacket could be scraped in opposition to rocks, timber, bushes, gear and so on.

Even a small tear can let numerous water into your center layers, so for climbers, mountain adventurers or winter wanderers, go for one thing sturdy.

The easiest way to measure a jacket’s sturdiness is thru its denier, which is the thickness of the waterproof materials, proven by a quantity with a D after a quantity e.g. 40D

Usually, light-weight rain jackets are round 30D, 2.5 layer waterproofs as much as 50D and climbing or mountaineering waterproofs are 60D+.

Man hiking through snowy mountains
For those who’re heading into the mountains, go for one thing powerful

3.5 Match and options

Relying in your makes use of, you may wish to search for various things. Listed here are some elements to consider:

  • Tighter or looser match?
  • Do you want flexibility and stretchable supplies?
  • Do you want a hood to go over/underneath a helmet?
  • Would you like extra/much less pockets?
  • Does it should be simply stowable?
  • Would you like adjustable cords to tighten/loosen jacket
  • Would you like a full-zip waterproof or anorak-style?

3.6 Sustainability

At Veggie Vagabonds, sustainability is all the time an enormous consideration – we gotta shield the locations we roam, proper?

Attempt and go for jackets that are PFC-free (a nasty chemical) and lots of journey manufacturers at the moment are utilizing recycled or accountable produced supplies, which is nice!

Discover out extra about eco-friendly concerns in our Guide to Ethical Outdoor Clothing

4. The Finest Waterproof Jackets for Males and Girls

Arc'teryx Zeta SL rain jacket

Arc’teryx Zeta SL

  • Weight – 309g
  • Options – 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite, 40D ripstop
  • Price – £280
  • Finest for – superior climate safety, light-weight, packable
  • Draw back – no pit air flow

I like this jacket. I’ve used it onerous for the final 6 months and have a depraved expertise. It’s good and light-weight however critically good when the rain begins to come back down onerous, giving extra safety than loads of alternate options which might be a lot larger.

For a light-weight rain jacket, the waterproofing and sturdiness are spectacular however it nonetheless packs up fairly small and has first rate sufficient breathability. Good to shortly stow in your bag if the circumstances change.

Extremely beneficial for 3-season mountaineering or backpacking, with sufficient safety in the event you wished to enter increased altitudes.

Examine costs: men / women

Need an Arc’teryx rain jacket higher suited to winter and mountain adventures? Take a look at their 3-layer Beta AR (men / women) which options Gore-Tex Professional.


Mountain Equipment Lhotse Waterproof Jacket for mountaineering

Mountain Gear Lhotse Jacket

  • Weight – 550g
  • Options – 3-layer Gore-Tex Professional waterproofing, 40/80D, pit zips
  • Price – £300
  • Finest for – Mountaineering, 4 seasons
  • Draw back – Costly, heavy

For those who’re in search of a high-spec waterproof to maintain you dry and protected within the mountains, the Lhotse is good. It’s a favorite amongst UK Search and Rescue groups and for good purpose.

It options Gore-Tex Professional, their highest-end know-how, powerful 80D supplies and an alpine-style reduce. Its two massive pockets are excessive to permit for a climbing harness and it’s additionally obtained a chest and inside pockets.

Mountaineers will respect the over-helmet hood and pit zips to permit for added breathability.

Contemplating the specs, 500g isn’t a foul weight and it’s constructed up a stellar status with mountain lovers and professionals.

Check prices


Patagonia Torrentshell 3L hiking rain jacket

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L

  • Weight – 320g
  • Options – 3-layer H2NO waterproofing, recycled supplies
  • Price – £140
  • Finest for – Versatile, 3-season mountaineering, backpacking
  • Draw back – not that compressible

This is likely one of the most reasonably priced 3-layer rain jackets on this checklist and it doesn’t compromise on high quality both.

The Torrentshell 3L is an replace to Patagonia’s 2.5L waterproof and packs in superior rain safety at a powerful weight and worth. It makes the jacket good and versatile for multi-day journeys, powerful day hikes or simpler mountain ascents.

Contemplating the efficiency and weight, you’ll battle to discover a higher jacket for the worth.

Examine costs: men / women


Paramo Velez waterproof hiking jacket

Paramo Velez Waterproof Smock

  • Weight – 605g
  • Options – anorak/smock-style design, Nikwax Analogy waterproofing
  • Price – £260
  • Finest for – Versatile, hard-wearing, breathable, sustainability
  • Draw back – Heavy, half-zip may not be for all

Paramo are a peoples’ favorite from the UK, recognized for sensible and dependable gear for the hills.

The Velez is an effective possibility in the event you’re in search of a troublesome waterproof you could put on for a wide range of outside pursuits. The central chest pocket is sweet for climbing harnesses, there’s first rate moveability and a baffling quantity of vent choices (entrance, sides and arms).

Due to its weight and compressibility, it’s in all probability not finest for fast-paced adventures or backpacking however it might do an ace job for outside lovers in search of a dependable layer.

Examine costs: men / women

This jacket is PFC-free, Truthful Commerce and fully-recyclable via Paramo. You can too get it in a daily full-zip model.


Outdoor research lightweight rain jacket for backpacking

Outside Analysis Helium Rain Jacket

  • Weight – 179g
  • Options – 2.5 layer Pertex Protect waterproofing, 30D ripstop materials
  • Price – £100
  • Finest for – Superlight, massively compressible and stows in pocket, reasonably priced
  • Draw back – one pocket, truthful circumstances solely

In case your principal precedence is retaining the burden down, this is likely one of the lightest rain jackets you’ll discover and it compresses to the scale of an orange. Regardless of being lower than 200g, the waterproofing is surprisingly good.

It is a nice selection for summer time adventures and backpacking journeys, and even as path working jacket to throw on via windy or wet sections.

We’ve additionally obtained to say the worth. For £100, it’s fairly bomber and could possibly be the proper waterproof for the precise circumstances.

Examine costs: men / women


REI rain jacket Ranier-01

REI Rainier

  • Weight – 370g
  • Options – 2.5 layer, sustainable, pit zips, reasonably priced
  • Price – £60
  • Finest for – Multisport, finances adventurers
  • Draw back – Saggy reduce

REI merchandise are a few of the finest worth available on the market and their Rainier jacket is a protected finances selection for hikers, campers and low-altitude climbing.

It’s 2.5 layers with good waterproofing, a good quantity of windproofing, has pit zips and is pretty light-weight. It’s additionally the most cost effective rain jacket on this checklist however you in all probability wouldn’t be capable of inform.

REI have additionally finished an awesome job with sustainability: the jacket makes use of recycled ripstop, Bluesign-approved supplies and can also be Fairtrade-certified.

Examine costs: men / women

Need a 3L possibility from REI? Take a look at their males’s Drypoint GTX and ladies’s Zerodry GTX which use Gore-Tex Energetic know-how


Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Jacket

Marmot PreCip Eco

  • Weight – 383g
  • Options – Nano Professional waterproofing, pit zips, roll-away hood, eco-friendly
  • Price – £80
  • Finest for – Average mountaineering, climbing and backpacking
  • Draw back – for the worth it’s onerous to fault

The Marmot PreCip has been round for many years and has been always up to date to a fairly neat little waterproof.

Inside its worth class, all parts are massively aggressive. Sturdy weatherproofing, good breathability, low-enough weight and it stows into its pocket. For those who’ve obtained more cash to spend you’ll discover higher specs, however at this worth it’s rattling strong.

A sensible choice for shorter backpacking stints and the up to date Eco model makes use of recycled ripstop supplies while being PFC-free too

Examine costs: men / women


Rab Downpour Plus Hiking Waterproof

Rab Downpour Plus

  • Weight – 340g
  • Options – 2.5L Pertex Protect waterproofing, fleece-lined chin guard, pit zips
  • Price – £130
  • Finest for – on a regular basis mountain use, 3-seasons
  • Draw back – fairly ace for midrange

An superior jacket in the event you’re doing extra than simply some wet hill strolling however don’t wish to put money into an even bigger 3L outer shell.

340g stays gentle however with sufficient sturdiness for some extra technical adventurers into colder circumstances. The Downpour has all of the options you’ll want for climbing, scrambling or summer time mountaineering and the fleece-lined chin additionally makes grim days together with your hood up much more manageable

For a 3-season midrange waterproof, this takes some beating.

Examine costs: men / women

For a heavy-duty 4-season waterproof, try Rab’s Kangri (men / women).


Alpkit Gravitas Lightweight waterproof shell

Alpkit Gravitas

  • Weight – 170g
  • Options – 3 layer, extremely breathable, slim match
  • Price – £150
  • Finest for – Working, using, fast-paced and light-weight adventures
  • Draw back – Its weight cuts down versatility

Alpkit are a storming UK model who make no-nonsense gear that does what it’s speculated to.

Their Gravitas is tremendous light-weight waterproof jacket and the lightest 3L possibility we’ve discovered. Usually the superlight choices drop in sturdiness or weatherproofing however the Gravitas holds sturdy.

An amazing path working rain jacket, one thing for bikepacking, MTB or perhaps a light-weight backpacking waterproof.

Examine costs: men / women

All of the waterproofs in contrast


Identify Value Weight Layers & tech
Arc’teryz Zeta SL £280 309g 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite
Mountain Gear Lhotse £300 550g 3-layer Gore-Tex Professional
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L £140 320g 3-layer H2No
Paramo Velez £260 605g Nikwax Analogy
Outside Analysis Helium £100 179g 2.5-layer Pertex Protect
REI Rainier £60 370g 2.5-layer
Marmot PreCip £80 383g NanoPro
Rab Downpour Plus £130 340g 2.5-layer Pertex Protect
Alpkit Gravitas £150 170g 3-layer waterproofing

Your Questions Answered

What are the several types of Gore-Tex?

For jackets, they’ve three principal ranges.
1. Gore-Tex Professional, designed to be rugged and with the very best degree of waterproofing
2. Gore-Tex Paclite, designed to be light-weight and compressible.
3. Gore-Tex Energetic, designed to be breathable for high-intensity adventures.
Yow will discover extra on their web site here.

Can girls put on males’s waterproof jackets, and vice versa?

Girls’s waterproof jackets are fitted to have a bigger bust and longer size. To get a appropriately fitted jacket, it is probably not comfy to go for the unsuitable intercourse.

Are you able to re-waterproof jackets.

Sure, it’s attainable to reapply the DWR and strengthen the waterproofing with merchandise like Nikwax. Yow will discover a how-to information in our Gear Maintenance submit.

Is Gore-Tex 100% waterproof

No jackets will be 100% waterproof and their effectivity will worsen over time. Nonetheless, high-quality rain jackets with Gore-Tex ought to shield you from the heaviest of rain however should be maintained to maintain excessive efficiency.

Are waterproof jackets heat, or windproof?

Rain jackets are nice windbreakers and this does a superb job of stopping some chilly parts. However, hardshell jackets don’t have any insulation so you will have to make use of hotter mid and baselayers for chilly circumstances.

Searching for any extra recommendation, or wish to suggest a water-resistant that isn’t listed? Hit us up within the feedback beneath!

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