Weather changes fast, especially in the high altitude hiking trails. A bright sunny day can suddenly become cloudy. Before you realize it, your hiking clothes are soaked all over, to the point where you feel like going home straight away.

Well, you don’t have to wait until this point. Regardless of the season; a good waterproof jacket is a necessary item in your hiking gear. However, it is important to select the appropriate waterproof jacket, which meets your needs.

Your choice is most likely going to be determined by your personal taste, fit, budget considerations, as well as where you intend to go hiking. Understand different aspects of waterproof jackets will help you to make the most informed decision.

What Makes a Jacket Waterproof?

When you go shopping for a waterproof hiking jacket, you are mainly going to encounter two main types. Water resistant or showerproof jackets and fully waterproof hiking jackets. Water resistant jackets contain a waterproof coating. On the other hand, fully waterproof jackets feature a waterproof membrane. They are also sealed or taped at the seams.

Waterproof Coating

rain-jacket-2When making water resistant jackets, the fabric is normally treated with Durable Water Repellency coating, also known as DWR or a similar coating. Water beads immediately it falls on the surface of a jacket that has DWR coating. This can also be a great way to test whether the DWR coating is effective. If it has worn off, then water will not bead. Instead, it penetrates.

The main benefit of water resistant jackets is their price. Majority are cheaper than their fully waterproof counterparts. Their main setback is lack of sufficient breathability. Additionally, they get worn out faster, needing frequent reproofing more than a waterproof one.

Waterproof Membrane

A waterproof membrane features numerous microscopic pores that are large enough to allow sweat and perspiration to be released. On the other hand, they are small enough to prevent water droplets from penetrating inside. This membrane also makes these jackets breathable. Popular membranes include IsoDry, GORE-TEX and eVent. Apart from the waterproof membrane, fully waterproof jackets are also treated with water repellent coating to enhance their water resistance abilities.

Taped Seams

During the course of your shopping, you will most likely encounter jackets with taped seams. As much as a jacket can have a waterproof membrane and be treated with DWR coating, it is still not 100% waterproof. Water droplets can still enter the jacket, through the seams. To make it 100% waterproof, the seams will have to be taped. Taped seams are treated with heat. Therefore, water does not get in via the stitching. If you anticipate prolonged rains during your hike, then you should ensure the jacket you choose has taped seams.

The Issue of Breathability

Breathability refers to the ability of a jacket to let perspiration escape. It is equally important to waterproofing. If the hiking jacket is not properly ventilated or breathable, then perspiration and sweat will not escape. This means that you will be feeling damp whenever you have your waterproof jacket on. Most people always assume that their waterproof jackets are leaking. Instead, they are experiencing the dampness due to accumulation of sweat. Apart from a breathable membrane, mesh-lined pockets and zip pits also add a certain level of ventilation.

Styles and Types

rain-jacket-1When looking for waterproof jackets, you will come across two layer waterproof jackets, three layer waterproof jackets and 3 in 1 waterproof jackets. Two-layer waterproof jackets are very common. In this jacket, there is fully waterproof outer shell which is combined with an inner lining layer. The inner lining can be polyester taffeta, mesh or both. The purpose of the internal lining layer is protecting the waterproof lining from deterioration. It mainly acts as a barrier against the wearer’s sweat and movement.

In three-layer jackets, there is a breathable membrane, an internal waterproof membrane and an external waterproof layer. The layers are then bonded together to create a jacket that can handle almost all weather conditions. Most people often confuse 3 in 1 jackets with three-layer jackets. When it comes to 3 in 1 jackets, there is a waterproof outer shell, a soft shell or padding and detachable inner fleece. This jacket can be worn the whole year since it is designed to handle changing weather patterns.


Packaway jackets are lightweight waterproof jackets, which are easy to pack in their own bag. Some come with a travel case while others can simply be stuffed inside one of the pockets, for convenient carrying. This is the ideal jacket for those who don’t expect to encounter heavy wet conditions.

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Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets For Women

1. Charles River Apparel New Englander Waterproof Rain Jacket

This women’s New Englander is the essential jacket that you need for wet weather hiking. It is both water and windproof, while the seams are heat sealed for keeping out rain and wind. The shell, made of polyurethane is tightly bonded to an interior woven backing thus providing the fabric with extra strength. Featuring mesh lining, there is good air flow throughout the jacket.

The taffeta nylon sleeves allow easy putting on and removal. It also comes with a hood, to make sure that you are adequately protected. You don’t have to worry about winds finding their way inside, thanks to the adjustable cuffs that seal out elements. There are also additional vents on the chest, which contribute to its overall breathability. It is therefore designed to keep you comfortable under different forms of weather. Designed in a stylish shape and available in a wide range of colors, it is one of the best waterproof hiking jackets that offer sufficient weather protection.

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2. Diamond Candy Hooded Waterproof Jacket Softshell Sportswear

Featuring 100% nylon quality fabrics, this Candy is suitable for hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. It provides the perfect combination of comfort and weather protection features. With anti-microbial treatment, you can wear this jacket for several months without washing, and you will not experience any bad odors. There is sufficient air flow and permeability, to keep you fresh and relaxed.

Since it is fully waterproof, you don’t have to worry about rainstorms anymore, since you will remain dry, as well as the items stored in the inner layers. There are four different colors to choose. A front zippered pocket can be used to safely store items such as keys and wallets. If it gets cold, you simply tuck your hands in the side pockets, and get that comfortable warmth. It is roomy enough, especially under the arms. This allows layering, to provide you with extra warmth.

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3. The North Face Venture Jacket

As black clouds gather around the Grand Canyon, you don’t have to panic. Just fetch your North Face Women’s Venture Jacket from your backpack and relax. Featuring a HyVent 2.5-layer membrane, it remains breathable and waterproof throughout. Seams are fully taped to ensure that it sheds water easily, keeping you dry as you head to the camp. Created using 100% recycled nylon, this eco-friendly jacket will keep you protected against weather elements, as you enjoy the great outdoors, whether there is sleet or pelting rain.

Vents beneath the arms get rid of excess heat while the fully adjustable hood ensures that your head remains protected. The concealed drawcord system on the hood helps in adjusting, for additional protection to the face. This waterproof ladies hiking jacket has a brushed chin-guard lining, that provides comfort as you zip all the way to the neck. For sealing out weather, it features; hook and loop adjustable cuffs, center-front zip and a hem cinch-cord, which keep you dry even during strong rains. Your cell and lipbalm can be stored inside the front zippered pockets. Once the sun comes out, just stow it inside one of the pockets, and enjoy your hike.

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4. Diamond Candy Waterproof Jacket Outdoor Raincoat Softshell

Any woman looking for a waterproof jacket for hiking, skiing, camping or mountaineering, will love this one. Created using 100% nylon together with quality fabrics, it is one of the most comfortable waterproof hiking jackets for ladies. There are 5 different sizes and 3 different colors to choose from, giving you flexibility when it comes to style. It is breathable and omni-tech waterproof. Regardless of how much it rains out there, this one will always keep you protected, dry and warm inside.

Apart from the protection, the lining material is soft, keeping you comfortable as you go about your activities. Other standout features in this jacket include wear proof and air permeability. It is also treated with anti-microbial properties, to ensure that there is no buildup of odor-causing bacteria. It is stylish and durable while the perfect engineering design ensures that you can wear it during spring, winter or summer. It is flexible enough to allow you to participate in different outdoor activities.

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5. Diamond Candy Women's 3 in 1 Winter Jackets with Hood Waterproof Rain Coat Softshell Warm Jacket for Ski Hiking

Designed to be minimal, stylish and lightweight, the Diamond Candy winter jacket will provide full waterproofing whenever you encounter wet conditions, while allowing your body to breathe comfortably. This hardwearing waterproof jacket for trekking can handle almost anything that comes your way, from windy conditions to torrential rains. It combines an inner fleece jacket, and a waterproof coat, making it capable of handling different conditions and elements. The inner, soft fleece will keep you warm and cozy during cold weather, while the outer shell will protect you against rain. You can wear the different components separately or together, depending on the conditions.

This waterproof jacket for fishing and hiking features a water-repellent outer coat, with a waterproof rating of 5000mm/H2O. And once you cover your head with the adjustable hood, you will have adequate protection against misty or rainy weather. Whenever you are wearing this jacket, you will always remain warm and comfortable. Also, this waterproof jacket for winter is stylish. Furthermore, it can fit all women, regardless of their age. Whenever you step out wearing this jacket, you will always look stylish, without feeling cold.

If you are planning to go camping, hiking, fishing or hunting during the cold season, then you should never leave this jacket behind. It comes with two zippered, waterproof pockets, which you can use to carry your phone. There is also a thick chin guard and collar, which protect your chin while ensuring maximum heat retention. Also, this jacket is lightweight as well as easy to fold and pack, making it perfect for a wide range of winter activities such as skiing, camping, snowboarding or hiking.

  • Superior protection against the elements
  • Easy to pack
  • Durable
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6. Columbia Kruser Ridge(TM) Softshell Jacket

With lots of wind blocking capability and stretch mobility, this is one of the best waterproof hiking jackets. It is basic and simple, as well as comfortable and functional. This pliable softshell can be worn every day when the weather is wet and cold outside. Created using omni-shield 100% softshell polyester, together with a fleecy backing, this jacket breathes well.

It does not come with a hood. However, this works to your advantage, since it can be worn beneath other jackets, instead of stand-alone. However, when the weather is not too harsh, you can still wear it as the shell. The exterior is water and wind resistant, allowing it to repel light rain showers and drizzles. The fabric used to make it is flexible and soft. Therefore, decent mobility and comfort are guaranteed. Due to the lack of unnecessary features, the jacket is lightweight. It dries fast and it is also easy to clean. Two zippered side pockets keep your hands warm. It is perfectly suited for day hikes.

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7. Wantdo Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Windproof Ski Jacket

This is a light and comfortable hiking jacket for all your backcountry adventures. Whether you are going for camping or hiking, just wear it and you will be provided with all-round weather protection. The outer is seam sealed, breathable and waterproof. The material used on the shell also dries quickly. The hood is adjustable and detachable. Once the sun comes up, you simply unzip it and tuck it inside your backpack.

Featuring 3 outer pockets and an inner one, the inner one can be used to keep valuable items safe such as passport, wallet, phone, or even keys. The inside also comes with an earphone supporting line to keep you entertained. Who said you should only listen to birds chirping? A stretchable glove made of light material is fitted on the Velcro cuff of the jacket, to provide an extra layer of warmth. There are also several buttons inside for fastening the jacket while preventing outside wind. With 1200g of cotton padding, you are assured some of the best heat retention. This Wantdo is one of the best waterproof hiking jackets.

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8. Columbia Splash A Little Rain Jacket

This sleek waterproof jacket features Omni-tech waterproof technology. It has also been designed with full seam-sealing to make sure that you remain protected, dry and comfortable during your rainy outdoor adventures. Tested in the tough Pacific conditions, this jacket can withstand even the harshest weather. The goal is to keep you protected, and this one does not disappoint. An attached hood provides protection during extreme storms. When the weather is fine, you just adjust it to the neck level.

Zippered hand pockets keep you warm while an interior pocket can store your valuable items like a wallet, passport and even a cellphone. All these items will remain safe and dry, as you have fun in the rain or snow. Made from 100% nylon and 100% polyester, you get a weather jacket that will last you for long. It is available in warm and vibrant colors, to brighten your day. If you intend to layer and you want this one to be the shell, order a size up and you will never regret.

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9. Wantdo Sports Outdoor Hooded Softshell Windproof Jacket

A waterproof and lightweight hiking jacket, it is available in different colors to match your style. Crafted using 100% polyester fabric, you get a waterproof hiking jacket that is not going to wear out easily. The hood is removable, depending on the weather conditions while the cuffs are adjustable to prevent entry of wind and cold air. It comes with a zippered chest pocket as well as a zippered inner pocket, that can be used for storing a cellphone or even a wallet.

An earphone tab has been included to keep you entertained when you are out in the bush. Stuff your hands inside the two large side pockets and remain warm. Once it rains, you can zip it all the way up. The hood side flaps provide the neck while tightening it around the face, for maximum protection against harsh weather. The fabric used in making the jacket is breathable. It comes with several features that promote air circulation, ensuring that you can even wear the jacket even during warm days. There are zippers running beneath the arm pits all the way down, opening ventilation channels. A mesh liner is fitted on the inside of the back, to provide more ventilation.

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10. Mountain Warehouse Fell 3-in-1 Water Resistant Outdoor

The Fell 3 in 1 waterproof jacket is ideal for changing weather conditions. Its outer shell is water resistant while the interior fleece offers adequate protection against light rain and wind, whether you are camping or hiking. A waterproof coating is included in this jacket making the fabric water resistant. You can wear it every day during cold weather or even when there are light showers. Detachable inner fleece is soft and soothing.

It neatly stows away in one of the pockets. It thus offers that high level of flexibility, especially in areas where weather conditions are not predictable. Two zipped pockets at the front can carry your additional hiking accessories. Adjustable hem and cuffs prevent entry of cold air. It can be zipped all the way up, providing adequate cover and protection to the neck.

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Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets For Men

1. Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket

The Columbia Watertight II is an ultra-light, breathable and waterproof jacket men, designed to protect you against the elements. It helps you to stay dry and clean, even during heavy rain. The outer shell features Columbia’s Omni-Shield technology, which repels moisture and dries fast. Also, the outer shell is stain repellant. Therefore, even if the jacket becomes extremely dirty when you are hunting, fishing, hiking, trekking or attending to your farm, a simple wipe is enough to remove all the dirt. The outer shell is also windproof, to provide an additional layer of protection against the elements.

As much as a waterproof and windproof jacket will protect you against the elements, it can become uncomfortable quickly, if it doesn’t breathe properly. And this is a common issue facing most waterproof jackets on the market. Fortunately, you will not come across such problems, with the Columbia Watertight II. As one of the best waterproof jackets for trail running, it breathes well, allowing sweat and perspiration to escape from your skin.

Inside, features a soft layer of 100% polyester, which enhances its breathability and helps with insulation. The combination of nylon and polyester leaves you with a comfortable and lightweight jacket. Its hood extends far enough, thus shielding your face against the elements. At the same time, the hood’s drawstring helps to keep it on, even when strong winds are blowing. It comes with two zippered side pockets, which are spacious enough to accommodate your wallet, cell phone, a pair of gloves and a set of keys. And it’s easy to pack, making it one of the best waterproof jackets for travel.

  • Adequate protection against the elements
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Stain resistant
  • Versatile
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2. Wantdo Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Windproof Ski Jacket

Wantdo is a popular brand when it comes to producing comfortable and lightweight hiking attire. With around 1200g of cotton padding, you are guaranteed the best heat retention. A stretchable glove is attached to the jacket’s Velcro cuff providing additional warmth. It also comes with a set of hidden buttons towards the bottom part of the jacket for fastening and preventing outside wind.

There is also an earphone supporting line, for hooking on your portable music player. With three outer pockets and one inner pocket, you have enough room to carry all your extra hiking accessories. The inner chest pocket comes with a zipper. It can be used to carry a passport, wallet, keys or even a phone. You get a jacket that is windproof and breathable, thanks to the high quality materials and workmanship. If you are looking for a comfortable and light hiking jacket for your backcountry trips, this will be perfect.

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3. The North Face Men's Venture 2 Jacket

Be prepared to take on extreme weather, when you have this compact but fully functional jacket. It’s a jacket that comes with a durable and well ventilated ripstop exterior. Therefore, it’s easy to put, and still provides the perfect combination of warmth and breathability. The jacket offers a relaxed fit, whereby its suitable for various applications, including running, regular wear, and more. The makers of this unit have done well to include an adjustable hood, which provides adequate room for a helmet and extra layers! For added ventilation, such as when you are engaged in intense physical activity, this unit comes with a pit zip venting. Convenience is a key factor to consider when you want a good jacket. Thus, the inclusion of a hem inch cord helps maintain the jacket’s warmth with your bad. It also ensures the jacket provides a snug fit around the body. You will also find it easy to store this unit, as you can pack it in your pocket conveniently.

The waterproof technology on this jacket is unique. To be specific, it features breathable technology, which features a polyurethane coating for various benefits. It’s a multi-layer material, which provides waterproofing, moisture resistance, and longevity. The technology is based on several hours of field and lab testing to ensure the best quality for your needs.

  • Adjustable hood
  • Hem cinch-cord ensures the jacket offers a snug fit
  • Waterproof and breathable shell
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4. North Face Venture Jacket

The North Face Venture has been around for quite a while. It is a popular hiking jacket with daypackers and thru-hikers as well. Its waterproof, windproof and breathable abilities make it one of the best outdoor waterproof jacket brands. The jacket features a packable design. Therefore, when the weather changes, you just remove, it stuff it inside one of its pockets and continue with your hike.

Its construction is eco-friendly. No petroleum products have been used, during its entire design and production process. Instead, recycled ripstop nylon is used to create a tough membrane that effectively blocks outside moisture. On the other hand, perspiration build up is allowed to evaporate. Its hood is fully adjustable while closing tightly to fight driving rain and fierce winds. A brushed chin-guard lining provides a scratch-free and soft feel once you fully zip the jacket. Seams are fully sealed to ensure that no amount of moisture can penetrate your inner layers.

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5. Marmot Precip Jacket

The Precip is a popular and functional rain jacket, exclusively from Marmot. Featuring a 2.5-layer shell, you get all the comfortable features you would want in a rain jacket. Designed with NanoPro technology, it breathes well. Breathability is also enhanced by the pit zips. This is one jacket that can be used in a wide range of trail conditions. When it is sunny, you just stuff it inside one of its pockets and carry it with a suspended loop.

When the weather gets chilly, you simply unpack it, slip it on and enjoy the weather protection benefits. Even when you are hiking in blowing rain, it does the job exceptionally well. The hood forms a nice seal around the face while the elastic cinches fitted on either side provide an adjustable fit. It also comes with adjustable Velcro straps on the wrist cuffs. These do a nice job of preventing external moisture from rolling inside your jacket. Even when your arms are overhead, your wrists will always remain covered.

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6. Diamond Candy Hooded Softshell Outdoor Raincoat Waterproof

This Diamond Candy is a quality jacket that can be used as a winter shell or even a raincoat. The length is just perfect. It does not limit mobility in any way. It also comes with enough space, especially beneath the arms that allow layering. You can choose one that matches your style, between the four colors. Created using 100% nylon as well as other quality fabrics, this one was designed for longevity and durability.

The shell provides water resistance while the internal materials help to retain warmth and keep you comfortable. You can use it for hiking, skiing, mountaineering or whichever outdoor activity you have in mind, especially if you anticipate cold and wet conditions. If you are going for a backpacking trip that might extend for several months, you don’t have to worry about washing it. The jacket is treated with anti-microbial properties, preventing buildup of odor-causing bacterial. It was perfectly designed for the outdoor enthusiasts.

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7. Helly Hansen Men's Seven J Waterproof, Windproof, and Breathable Rain Jacket with Hood

Rains, winds, snow or other forms of incremental weather should not prevent you from enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. The Helly Hansen Men’s Seven J waterproof jacket is designed to protect you from all these conditions. It features a windproof and waterproof shell, which will keep water and moisture out. Also, this shell is highly breathable, thus allowing sweat and perspiration to evaporate and dry. Whether you are using this waterproof jacket for running, sailing or trekking, you will always remain dry, warm and comfortable.

It’s equipped with a durable, water-repellency treatment, which beads water, allowing it to fall off easily. All seams are fully sealed to ensure full weather protection. It also features quick dry linings, which wick away sweat away from your body. As much as the hood is fixed, it comes with adjustment points, which keep it securely on your head. On the other hand, the front YKK zipper, features a storm flap, to ensure that no water or moisture penetrates the outer shell.

This waterproof jacket for trail running is also furnished with an anti-chafe chin guard, adjustable cuffs, as well as a hem cinch cord for trapping heat. It also comes with two zippered pockets, which you can use to carry your accessories such as a phone or keys, whenever you are biking, hiking or fishing.

  • Durable, waterproof and windproof
  • Comfortable, lightweight and breathable
  • Looks and fits great
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8. Marmot Minimalist Men's Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, chances are high that you’ve been caught in a storm unexpectedly, only to realize that your rain jacket is not as effective as you expected. Getting soaked is not only unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous, especially if you are miles away from home, without warm clothes to change into. Thankfully, the Marmot Minimalist Waterproof Rain Jacket will not let you down. This waterproof jacket for hiking and backpacking stays true to its name. It provides adequate protection from the elements, without adding unnecessary features.

Featuring a combination of Pac-Lite and Gore-Tex, this waterproof jacket performs exceptionally well, especially when you encounter harsh conditions. It provides an ideal balance of comfort, packability, and protection. The Gore-Tex membrane prevents water and moisture from getting in while allowing sweat and perspiration to escape. All the jacket’s seams are weatherproof-taped, to prevent the entry of water or wind. This waterproof jacket for trail running is further equipped with zippered underarm vents, which boost its ventilation.

When it comes to build quality, the Mermot Minimalist is arguably one of the best waterproof jackets that you can find on the market today. The outer shell is made of premium quality materials, the zippers are easy to operate, and the cords will remain in great condition for a long time. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will get value for money when you invest in this rain jacket.

  • Great fit
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Highly packable
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9. Mountain Warehouse Pakka Waterproof Lightweight

The Mountain Warehouse Pakka Men’s jacket is created using waterproof fabric. It is breathable and lightweight and comes with an adjustable hem and drawcord for improved fit and comfort. It also features a hi-viz reflective piping that provides improved visibility especially at night. There are there color ways to choose from, based on your preferences. It also comes with a pack away hood as well as two front pockets.

The jacket can be stowed in the two inside pockets, for easy and convenient carrying. The jacket is waterproof and the taped seams lock out moisture from penetrating. A waterproof membrane also prevents penetration of water droplets through the fabric. Consequently, you remain protected from weather elements. A drawcord provides an adjustable fit, while providing hiking comfort. It can also be packed inside the provided drawstring bag, for easy travel.

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10. Columbia Men's Glennaker Lake Front-Zip Rain Jacket with Hideaway Hood

When it comes to waterproof jackets, you can never go wrong with the Columbia Glennaker Lake Front. Columbia is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to hiking and backpacking accessories. And with the Columbia Glennaker Lake Front, you are getting a waterproof jacket that will provide premium protection against the elements. Whether you are fetching groceries from your local store during winter or you are hiking during the rainy season, this waterproof jacket will protect you against strong winds and water, keeping you dry, and comfortable.

It features a nylon and polyester shell, which keeps water out. It also comes with an adjustable hood, which provides additional protection against the elements. You can use the zippered side pockets to store your phone, keys, wallet, and other valuables. The cuffs are adjustable. You can tighten or loosen them depending on the weather as well as your preferred fit. The interior is fully lined for additional comfort.

This waterproof jacket for winter is exceptionally lightweight. Also, it’s easy to pack and fold. It’s so lightweight and compact that you can easily store it into your back pocket. If you are looking for a versatile, durable and stylish waterproof jacket, then you should check out the Columbia Glennaker Lake Front. Its versatility makes it a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Lightweight and waterproof
  • Comfortable and stylish
  • Looks and fits great
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Author Biography

This page was authored by , who represents the Boot Bomb. Brian is backed up by an expert team, made up of experienced family and friends, all of which are knowledgeable in the ways of footwear and/or hiking. His ancestors used to own a shoe store for almost a century. He has lived and breathed footwear for as long as he can remember.

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