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.
When 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.
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.
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
When 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5. Diamond Candy Sportswear Hooded Softshell Raincoat Waterproof
If you are looking for a softshell hiking jacket, this one would be great. Materials used are good quality, ensuring utmost durability while protecting you against harsh weather. The color combinations were just meant for the outdoor woman who loves to remain stylish even in the wilderness. A front zippered pocket together with two side pockets are enough to carry those items that require quick access such as credit cards, a cellphone and other smaller items.
Featuring anti-microbial treatment, you can wear it for months without washing, and you will never experience any bad odor or smells. It is fully breathable, allowing good air circulation. Flexibility has also been taken care of, thanks to different color combinations. Omni-tech waterproof features make sure that your hiking trip is not interrupted by rain or snow. Comfort, durability and weather protection is what this waterproof jacket adds to your hiking trip.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets For Men
1. Columbia Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain Jacket
You are planning a hiking trip in the Cascades and the weatherman has just predicted some thunderstorms. You don’t have to cancel your trip. Just put on this jacket and you will just fine in the rain. With the proprietary breathable and waterproof Omni-tech nylon, moisture will be kept outside, warmth will stay inside, while unwanted perspiration will be allowed to escape. Once it starts to drizzle, just pull the storm hood over your head.
The hood also comes with an abrasion resistant chin-guard. This means that you can zip up all the way to the neck. About size and fit, it is fitted with an adjustable drawcord hem. The zippered hand pockets provide additional strength. They can also be used to stow the jacket inside when you are not wearing it. The Columbia Watertight II is built for the avid hiker but budget conscious. And in many cases, you’ll get excellent warranty repair on Columbia stuff, making it even easier for you to get the bang for your buck that you’re looking for!
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.
3. The North Face Resolve Jacket
There is no downpour that Resolve cannot handle. Whether it is a snow storm or a hail storm, this is your perfect weather partner. It suits those who go for occasional hiking adventures, as well as those who want a light casual jacket for daypacking. Its overall bulk and rugged fabric make it a great cold weather layer. It is well built with quality materials, to provide protection against harsh weather elements.
The collar is full lined with fleece, to keep the area around your neck warm and comfy. Two-layer construction ensures that moisture does not seep through while the internal lining gives you that soft touch. A single elastic perimeter on the hood helps to tighten it around the face. Featuring the proprietary Hyvent coating, this technology enhances breathability and ventilation. Although it lacks pit zips, the hand pockets are lined with mesh for additional ventilation. The length is just fine and does not impede mobility in any way.
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.
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.
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.
7. Reebow Gear Army Military Special Ops Softshell Tactical
Just like its name, it comes with a design that is fit for military and other law enforcement personnel. However, that should not prevent you from wearing it, especially when you are expecting wet weather during your hike. It is waterproof and lightweight. The combination of these features makes it a popular hiking jacket with backpackers and daypackers alike.
It is breathable, which means that you can wear it all-year round without worrying about the outside weather conditions. In total, there are eight pockets both on the rear and front side. There is sufficient space to fit in your pocket knife, wallet, flashlight, clip, and cellphone, among other hiking accessories. Its internal fleece lining enhances thermal performance giving it a much better fit as compared to other hiking jackets. It was designed for utility and comfort.
8. Cloudy Arch Outwear Mountain Waterproof Windproof Raincoat
If you are looking for a good-quality, fashionable and water-resistant hiking jacket, this would be perfect for you. The finish is great and the materials used, 100% polyester for both the lignin and the shell are durable. It is a multi-season jacket. This means that you can use it in winter, spring and autumn. Its quick-drying feature makes it perfect for those rainy hiking conditions. The jacket is also waterproof and windproof.
The cuff is adjustable while the hood is removable. You can use the jacket as the shell, since it has enough space for layering. A big interior pocket can even fit a kindle! There is also an outer chest pocket as well as two side zippered pockets for storing valuables. It can be used for all manner of outdoor activities.
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.
10. Lightweight Waterproof CHAREX Outdoor Hooded Rain Jacket
Featuring the perfect combination of hydrophilic synthetic fabrics and coating material, you get a windproof and waterproof jacket, ready to protect you against inclement weather. A breathable and thin lining is fitted inside the bodice, making it a very comfortable weather jacket. This warm jacket for hiking comes with reinforced zippers that help in keeping moisture out.
Omni-tech waterproof fabric keeps you dry and warm while the detachable hood offers a touch of flexibility. It can be worn during hiking, camping, mountaineering or skiing. The jacket is flexible, and does limit mobility in any way. A front zippered pocket can be used for storing your valuables. Ventilation seams beneath the underarms running all the way down provide good air circulation, keeping you fresh and cool. It is lightweight, fits comfortably and the materials used are top quality. The jacket is sharp and well made. It can be your daily jacket or your occasional hiking jacket. Choice is yours!
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets For Women
- 1.1 1. Charles River Apparel New Englander Waterproof Rain Jacket
- 1.2 2. Diamond Candy Hooded Waterproof Jacket Softshell Sportswear
- 1.3 3. The North Face Venture Jacket
- 1.4 4. Diamond Candy Waterproof Jacket Outdoor Raincoat Softshell
- 1.5 5. Diamond Candy Sportswear Hooded Softshell Raincoat Waterproof
- 1.6 6. Columbia Kruser Ridge(TM) Softshell Jacket
- 1.7 7. Wantdo Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Windproof Ski Jacket
- 1.8 8. Columbia Splash A Little Rain Jacket
- 1.9 9. Wantdo Sports Outdoor Hooded Softshell Windproof Jacket
- 1.10 10. Mountain Warehouse Fell 3-in-1 Water Resistant Outdoor
- 2 Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets For Men
- 2.1 1. Columbia Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain Jacket
- 2.2 2. Wantdo Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Windproof Ski Jacket
- 2.3 3. The North Face Resolve Jacket
- 2.4 4. North Face Venture Jacket
- 2.5 5. Marmot Precip Jacket
- 2.6 6. Diamond Candy Hooded Softshell Outdoor Raincoat Waterproof
- 2.7 7. Reebow Gear Army Military Special Ops Softshell Tactical
- 2.8 8. Cloudy Arch Outwear Mountain Waterproof Windproof Raincoat
- 2.9 9. Mountain Warehouse Pakka Waterproof Lightweight
- 2.10 10. Lightweight Waterproof CHAREX Outdoor Hooded Rain Jacket