What Is the Best Waterproof Jacket for Hiking (in 2023)?

Are you an outdoor enthusiast wondering what is the best waterproof jacket for hiking to take on your next hike? A waterproof jacket can make a difference on a trip, whether you’re a weekend warrior or an experienced hiker.

The best waterproof jackets for hiking are designed with specific features that provide protection from wind and rain while also allowing breathability so you don’t overheat.

This blog post will discuss waterproof jackets, what to look for when choosing one, how materials affect their performance, and how to care for them.

We’ll also cover some of our favourite brands offering quality options at reasonable prices so that you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

Table of Contents

Types of Waterproof Jackets for Hiking

rain jacket

Rain Jackets:

Rain jackets keep you dry when it’s wet outside. They typically feature a waterproof and breathable outer shell made of nylon or polyester, with sealed seams and a water-resistant coating for added protection. The fabric is usually lightweight and packable, making it easy to carry when not in use. Many rain jackets also have adjustable hoods, drawstrings at the waist and hem, and zippered pockets for storage.

Softshell Jackets:

Softshell jackets are ideal for activities like hiking or climbing where you need more flexibility than what a hardshell jacket can provide. These jackets offer windproofing as well as some degree of waterproofing but aren’t completely impermeable like hardshells are. Softshell fabrics often have stretchy materials such as spandex, which allow more movement and warmth, but still protect from the elements.

Insulated Jackets:

Insulated jackets are warm by trapping air between layers, like down feathers or synthetic fibres like PrimaLoft or Thinsulate. They come in lightweight and heavy designs, suitable for different temperatures. The heavy ones can handle cold conditions without adding too much weight. Some insulated jackets even feature removable liners so you can use them all year round regardless of temperature changes outside.

With waterproof jackets for hiking, there are many options available depending on the activity and weather conditions. The next heading will discuss features to consider when choosing a jacket that best suits your needs.

Key Takeaway: Rain, softshell and insulated jackets all offer varying levels of waterproofing and warmth to keep you dry and comfortable while outdoors. Rain jackets are lightweight and packable; softshells provide flexibility; insulated ones add extra warmth.

Features to Consider When Choosing a Waterproof Jacket for Hiking

Consider several features when choosing a waterproof jacket for hiking. Breathability and ventilation are important factors when selecting a jacket as they’ll help keep you comfortable while on the trail. Look for jackets with breathable fabrics such as nylon or polyester shells, Gore-Tex membranes, and mesh linings to provide adequate air flow.

Fit and comfort is also key; make sure the jacket fits properly so it won’t restrict your movement or cause discomfort during long hikes. Durability and weather resistance are important for protecting against wind, rain, snow, etc. Make sure your jacket is the best quality you can afford, so check the quality of the materials.

Pockets and storage options make things convenient when out on the trail; look for pockets that are accessible and secure.

Lastly, weight and packability should be considered if you plan on carrying your jacket with you at all times. Lightweight jackets tend to be more compact, which makes them easier to carry around. However, they may not offer as much protection from the elements compared to heavier ones.

It can be difficult to choose the right waterproof jacket for hiking. Consider things like breathability and ventilation, fit and comfort, durability and weather resistance, pockets and storage options, weight and packability, and weatherproofness. Next, we’ll look at the pros and cons of different materials used in waterproof jackets for hiking.

Pros and Cons of Different Materials Used in Waterproof Jackets for Hiking

Nylon/Polyester Shells:

Nylon and polyester shells are the most common materials used in waterproof jackets for hiking. They’re lightweight, durable, and relatively inexpensive compared to other fabrics. 

The main advantage of these fabrics is that they provide good protection from wind and rain while still allowing some breathability. However, they can be less comfortable than other materials due to their lack of stretch or insulation properties.

Gore-Tex/Synthetic Membranes:

Gore-Tex and synthetic membranes are common materials used as a layer between the outer shell fabric and the inner lining in waterproof jackets for hiking

These membranes provide excellent water resistance while also allowing some breathability so you don’t overheat during strenuous activities like climbing or mountaineering. They tend to be more expensive than nylon/polyester shells but offer superior performance in wet conditions.

Down insulation is another popular material used in waterproof jackets for hiking. You’ll find down in many winter coats or insulated parkas. 

Down provides excellent warmth without adding too much bulk or weight, making it ideal for layering under heavier garments when temperatures drop below freezing. The downside is that down doesn’t perform well when wet and you must keep it dry to maintain its insulating properties effectively.

Choosing the right material for a waterproof jacket for hiking is an important decision, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing how to care for your jacket will make it last a long time, so let’s look at how to repair any tears or rips.

Care and Maintenance of Waterproof Jackets for Hiking

Regarding waterproof jackets for hiking, proper care and maintenance is essential. Without regular upkeep, your jacket won’t last as long or provide the same level of protection from the elements. Here are some tips on how to take care of your waterproof jacket so you can enjoy outdoor adventures for years to come.

Cleaning Instructions:

It’s important to clean your waterproof jacket regularly to keep it in good condition and prevent dirt and grime from building up over time. For most materials, hand washing with a mild detergent is best; however, check the manufacturer’s instructions first before cleaning your jacket.

Machine wash with cold water and a mild detergent for technical fabrics like Gore-Tex or Polartec. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach as these can damage the material and reduce its breathability. Once washed, hang dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources such as radiators or clothes dryers.

It’s a good idea to have a repair kit when you go hiking. You can find patches at any outdoor store. If you know how to do needlework, like darning stitches or patching methods like iron-on patches, you could try sewing repairs yourself.

If nothing works, contact the manufacturer. They may be able to fix any rips/tears without making the product worse.

By following these simple steps for taking care of your waterproof jackets when hiking, you can make sure that they’ll stay looking great and performing well season after season.

Taking care of your waterproof jacket is key to keeping it in good condition for years of outdoor adventures. Follow the cleaning and repair instructions to make sure your jacket is ready for future hikes or activities.Now let’s take a look at some of the best brands of waterproof jackets for hiking.

Key Takeaway: Keep your waterproof jacket clean by doing the following: hand wash with mild detergent; machine wash on gentle cycle with technical fabric detergent. Hang dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources, and have a repair kit handy for accidents.

Best Brands of Waterproof Jackets for Hiking


Patagonia is one of the most popular and well-known brands in outdoor apparel. Their products are designed with quality materials and craftsmanship, making them reliable and durable. They offer a wide range of styles, from lightweight rain shells to insulated parkas.

Patagonia Granite Crest – £260

Patagonia Granite Crest

Patagonia Granite Crest is a lightweight, breathable and waterproof jacket designed for outdoor adventurers. It features a two-layer H2No Performance Standard shell fabric that offers superior protection from the elements while remaining comfortable to wear.

The hood has a drawstring and you can roll it up when not in use. The cuffs are adjustable with hook-and-loop closures, allowing you to customise your fit.

There are two zippered hand pockets and one internal pocket for storage of small items such as keys or phones.

  • Durability: Patagonia uses high-quality materials in the Granite Crest that’ll last for years without losing shape or colour. It also features DWR (durable water repellent) finish which helps keep it dry even in wet conditions.
  • Breathability: This jacket is breathable because it has two layers. Air can move inside the garment and keep things dry, even in wind and rain.
  • Weight: At just over 11 ounces, this jacket is incredibly light weight making it perfect for backpacking trips where every ounce counts!


Inov-8 is a UK-based brand that specialises in outdoor footwear and gear, including waterproof jackets for hiking. The brand is known for its focus on innovation and performance. Their jackets designs include features such as waterproof membranes, breathable fabric, and adjustable hoods to provide maximum comfort and protection for hikers.

Inov-8’s reputation for producing high-quality, reliable gear has made them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts, who praise the brand for their attention to detail and commitment to making durable and functional products.

Inov-8 Venturelite Jacket – £230


The Inov-8 Venturelite Jacket is a lightweight, waterproof, and breathable jacket that’s perfect for outdoor adventures. It features a two-layer fabric construction with fully taped seams to keep you dry in wet weather conditions.

You can adjust the hood to fit snugly around your head, while the cuffs are adjustable for extra protection from the elements. The jacket has two pockets and an internal pocket. You can store small things like keys or a phone in there.

  • Durability: This jacket is made of durable materials that’ll stand up to wear and tear during outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or climbing. The fabric is resistant to abrasion and tears so it won’t easily rip when snagged on branches or rocks. Additionally, the waterproof membrane helps protect against wind and rain without sacrificing breathability.
  • Comfort: The Venturelite Jacket is lightweight and comfortable due to its design, which lets you move easily without feeling weighed down. Its adjustable hood allows you to customise your fit while still keeping out moisture from entering the garment if needed. Plus, its mesh lining adds extra ventilation for those warmer days when you don’t want too much insulation but still need some coverage from the elements.
  • Style: In addition to being functional, this jacket looks great too! It comes in several colours, so everyone can find something they like. It’s also bolder in colours like blue, green, and yellow, so it stands out more when outdoors. It’s slim and fits close to your body without being restrictive. That makes it look athletic even when you’re not doing anything physical.


The Inov-8 Venturelite Jacket offers reliable protection and good durability with stylish designs. It’s ideal for anyone who wants good protection and looks good while doing it!

This piece of gear is good for any type of environment, whether you’re hiking through forests or just walking around town.

The North Face

The North Face is another great option for hikers looking for high-quality waterproof gear. Their jackets feature advanced technologies such as Gore-Tex membranes which provide superior breathability and weather protection.

The North Face Flight Futurelight Jacket – £115

The North Face Futurelight waterproof hiking jacket

The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket is a lightweight and breathable jacket for outdoor activities. It features a waterproof, windproof, and breathable membrane that helps keep you dry and comfortable in all weather conditions.

The jacket also has an adjustable hood with drawcords to help protect your head from the elements. Additionally, it comes with two hand pockets for easy storage of small items while on the go.

Durability: The North Face uses durable materials in the Flight FutureLight Jacket, which means it’ll last through multiple seasons of use.

It can withstand wear and tear from everyday activities such as hiking or camping without showing signs of damage or fading quickly.

Breathability: This jacket is lightweight and has advanced fabric technology to allow air to circulate and keep you cool during activity levels outdoors.

Weather Protection:

The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket is resistant to rain, snow, wind, cold temperatures and other harsh elements due to its waterproof and windproof membrane layer. This layer blocks moisture while still allowing air to flow inside the garment for maximum comfort in any climate condition.

Style & Comfort: Not only does this jacket offer great performance, but it also looks stylish too!

It’s good for both casual and formal occasions, like business meetings or social events. You want to look good and feel comfortable outdoors.

Plus, its adjustable hood provides a snug fit around your head, so you won’t have to worry about losing warmth when needed most!

The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket is a lightweight, protective outerwear option that’ll keep you warm no matter what happens.

This jacket is durable, breathable, weatherproof, and stylish. It’ll become one of your favourite pieces of gear when you go outdoors.


Arc’teryx is a leading outdoor apparel brand renowned for its high-quality, waterproof hiking jackets. Founded in 1989 by Dave Lane and Jeremy Guard, the company has grown to become one of the most respected brands in the industry.

Arc’teryx is named after a Greek word meaning “the bird of life.” That’s fitting because Arc’teryx makes products to help people explore and enjoy nature.

Arc’teryx Beta Sl Jacket – £350

Arc'teryx Mens Zeta Sl Jacket

Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket is a lightweight and waterproof jacket designed for outdoor activities. It features Gore-Tex Paclite technology, which provides reliable protection from the elements while still being breathable.

The hood is adjustable and laminated, to protect your face from wind and rain. There are two hand pockets with water-resistant zippers, and an internal pocket for small items like keys or a phone.

It also has adjustable cuffs and hem drawcords to help keep out cold air.


The Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket is made of durable materials that can withstand wear and tear over time without losing its shape or functionality. Its seams are taped to make sure they remain waterproof even after multiple uses in wet conditions.

It lasts a long time with a warranty, so you know it’ll last.


The Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket has Gore-Tex Paclite technology to let moisture out and keep water in.

This feature makes activities without problems, even in bad weather, without feeling hot or wet inside the jacket.

Weight & Packability:

The Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket is one of the lightest jackets on the market, weighing only 311 grams. It provides great wind and rain protection due to its Gore-Tex Paclite technology fabric.

When not in use, this jacket packs down into its own pocket for easy storage. This aspect is useful when travelling outdoors or just carrying around town on days when you don’t need full coverage. But want some extra warmth just in case temperatures drop unexpectedly during your adventure.


The price is high compared to other jackets, but it has many features, such as durability, breathability, weight, packability, and a lifetime warranty. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, this is an investment worth making.

Summary: The Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket is perfect for anyone who loves spending their free time outdoors, no matter what Mother Nature throws at them!

This jacket is durable and has Gore-Tex Paclite technology fabric. It has an adjustable hood, laminated brim, two hand pockets with water-resistant zippers, internal pocket, and adjustable cuffs & hem drawcords. It also has a lifetime warranty. It provides reliable protection from wind & rain while remaining lightweight & packable. You can take it anywhere!


Haglöfs is a Swedish brand known for producing high-quality outdoor gear, including waterproof jackets for hiking. Their jackets are durable and protect you from the elements, making them a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professional hikers.

They have a reputation for being reliable, with features such as waterproof membranes and sealed seams that provide maximum waterproofness. The brand’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility adds to their positive reputation in the hiking community.

Here’s one of their best waterproof hiking jackets:

Haglöfs L.I.M GTX – £172 on Amazon

Haglofs LIM GTX hiking jacket

The Haglöfs L.I.M GTX is a lightweight, waterproof jacket designed for outdoor adventurers who need protection from the elements while remaining comfortable and agile in their activities.

This jacket has Gore-Tex Pro fabric technology. The Gore-Tex makes it water-resistant and keeps you warm, even during activities like hiking or climbing.

The hood is adjustable with a visor for wind and rain protection, and there are two zippered pockets for storing essentials when you’re on the go.

The cuffs are also adjustable to guarantee a snug fit that won’t let any cold air sneak in when you need it most!


  • Lightweight – At only 390g (14OZ), this jacket won’t weigh you down when you’re out exploring nature!
  • Waterproof – With its Gore-Tex Pro fabric technology, this jacket will keep you dry no matter what Mother Nature throws at you!
  • Breathable – You don’t have to worry about overheating either; thanks to its excellent breathability rating, your body temperature will stay regulated even during strenuous activity!
  • Durable – Thanks to its tough construction materials, this jacket can handle whatever life throws at it without tearing or fraying easily over time!


  • This jacket is expensive, but it’s worth it because of how great the quality is. Some people may find it too expensive, though.


Overall, Haglöfs L.I.M GTX is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable waterproof jacket that offers superior comfort and performance without weighing them down too much on their adventures outdoors!

It’s strong and water-resistant to protect you from wind and rain.

Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen is a Norwegian brand that’s been producing outdoor gear for over 140 years, including waterproof jackets for hiking. Their jackets are known for their reliable waterproofing, breathable fabric, and attention to detail, making them a popular choice for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Helly Hansen has a reputation for being a trusted brand that provides durable and functional gear for harsh weather conditions. Helly Hansen is known for their commitment to quality and sustainability. They add to this reputation by being sustainable.

Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket – £400

Helly Hansen Men's Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket

Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket is a lightweight and waterproof jacket designed for outdoor adventures. It features Helly Tech® Professional fabric, which provides excellent breathability and protection from the elements.

The jacket also has an adjustable hood, two-way zipper closure, multiple pockets, and drawcord hem adjustments for a personalised fit.

For Who?

The Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket is ideal for hikers, campers, climbers or anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors in wet weather conditions.

Its lightweight design makes it easy to pack away when not in use, yet still offers superior protection from the rain and wind.


The Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket is versatile because you can adjust the hood and hem. This aspect means its design lets you fit the jacket to the weather conditions you’re in.

This jacket has Helly Tech® Professional fabric. This fabric is great at keeping you dry, even during long hikes or camping trips.

This product has several convenient pockets to store items without getting wet or lost.


One problem with this product is that it might be too heavy if worn under other layers, such as sweaters or jackets. However, you can choose a lighter version of the same style (such as the Men’s Odyssey Lite) to avoid this problem.

Some people have said that the jacket isn’t waterproof enough and doesn’t keep them warm in cold weather. They recommend using it in warmer climates instead.


The Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket is a good choice if you want a reliable waterproof outer layer that’ll keep you dry even in wet weather conditions. It also has good breathability due to its Helly Tech® Professional fabric construction.

This jacket has hoods, drawcords, and pockets for easy storage and close access to items you need. You won’t have to worry about them getting wet or lost!


Mammut is a Swiss brand that specialises in outdoor gear, including waterproof jackets for hiking. Their jackets are known for their high-quality construction and reliable waterproofing, making them a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professional hikers.

Mammut has a reputation for producing durable and functional gear that’ll withstand harsh weather conditions. The brand’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility adds to their positive reputation in the hiking community. With a history dating back over 150 years, Mammut is a well-established and trusted brand in the outdoor industry.

Mammut Kento Light Hs Hooded Jacket – £170

waterproof jacket for hiking

Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket is a lightweight and highly breathable jacket designed for outdoor adventurers. Made with an innovative combination of waterproof, windproof, and breathable materials, the jacket will keep you warm and dry in any weather condition.

You can adjust the hood for optimal fit and comfort while the adjustable hem provides a snug fit around your waist. The two-way front zipper allows for easy onoff access when needed.


The Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket features an array of features that make it ideal for outdoor adventures.

It has a waterproof, windproof, and a breathable membrane to stop rain, wind, and cold.

Additionally, the jacket is equipped with two large pockets at the chest level which are perfect for storing small items such as keys or snacks while on the go.

Drawing strings near your chin can adjust the hood. It won’t stop you from seeing or hearing, and it won’t be tight.

Finally, reflective details help increase visibility in low light conditions making this jacket great for night-time activities as well.

This jacket is for those who like to spend time outdoors even if it’s bad weather, but don’t want their clothes to stop them from doing so safely.

This versatile piece of apparel can fit any camping or backpacking trip!

It’s lightweight and you can use it during warm months. But it can also handle harsh conditions year-round.


  • The Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket offers many advantages over other jackets available on the market today, including its high levels of water resistance (20 000mm), windproof capabilities (10-000gm2), adjustable hood & hemline drawcords allowing users to customise their fit according to individual needs & preferences as well as reflective details increasing safety by providing greater visibility in low light settings
  • Additionally , its lightweight design makes it comfortable enough even during warmer months, yet still provides adequate insulation when temperatures drop significantly


Although this product does come with some impressive features , there are also certain drawbacks associated with it .

  • Firstly , due to its thin construction, some may find that they need additional layers underneath if they plan on winter activities
  • Secondly , although relatively durable – regular wear & tear could cause damage more quickly than expected, thus reducing overall lifespan considerably
  • Lastly , price point may not be suitable for everyone’s budget given its premium quality build materials used throughout manufacturing process


Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket is definitely worth considering if one wants reliable protection from wet & cold weather conditions without sacrificing comfortability nor mobility. 

That’s largely due its unique combination of waterproof, windproof and breathable fabrics along with adjustable hood & hemline drawcords allowing users further customization options depending upon specific requirements at hand.

FAQs in Relation to What is the Best Waterproof Jacket for Hiking

What is the best fully waterproof jacket?

Regarding finding the best fully waterproof jacket, there are a few key features to consider. Firstly, look for jackets with high-quality fabric that’s both breathable and waterproof. Additionally, make sure the seams are taped or sealed to prevent water from seeping through.

Finally, check if the hood is adjustable and has an extended brim for extra protection against rain and wind. With these features in mind, you can be sure your jacket will keep you dry no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Which jacket is best for heavy rain?

For heavy rain, a waterproof and breathable jacket is essential. Gore-Tex jackets are some of the best on the market for their durability and protection against water. 

They also provide good insulation, so you won’t get too cold while out in the elements. If you’re looking for something more lightweight but still reliable, then a nylon shell with a waterproof membrane is another great option.

For added warmth and comfort, look for features like adjustable hoods and cuffs as well as pit zips or mesh linings. Ultimately, finding the right jacket depends on your activity level and personal preferences – make sure to do your research before investing in one.

Is Gore-Tex 100% waterproof?

Gore-Tex is a highly waterproof and breathable fabric, but it isn’t 100% waterproof. Gore-Tex fabrics use a porous membrane that resists rain and snow. However, these pores can become clogged with dirt or sweat over time, reducing the fabric’s ability to keep out moisture.

Also, some water can go through the fabric if it’s under heavy rain or when submerged for a long time.

Is Goretex the best waterproofing?

Gore-Tex is a popular waterproof fabric used in many outdoor products, such as jackets and boots. It’s known for its breathability, durability, and comfort. While it may be the best choice for some activities, there are other materials that offer similar levels of protection from water while being lighter or more affordable.

Ultimately, the best waterproof material depends on your individual needs and preferences regarding outdoor activities. Consider factors like weight, cost, and weather conditions before deciding which material will work best for you.

What’s the best waterproof jacket?

There’s no definitive answer to this question as different people have different preferences. Some people prefer jackets that are lightweight and breathable, while others prefer ones that are heavier and more waterproof.


In conclusion, regarding finding the best waterproof jacket for hiking, there are a few key features and materials to consider. It’s important to look at the type of jacket that’ll suit your needs as well as how much maintenance you’re willing to put into caring for it. 

By taking all these factors into account, you can find the perfect waterproof jacket for your next outdoor adventure.

Are you looking for the best waterproof jacket for your next hiking adventure? Look no further! Our blog provides all of the information and reviews that you need to make an informed decision about which jacket is right for you.

We offer tips on how to choose a quality product, what features are most important in different climates, and more. Join us now as we explore the world of outdoor gear – so that you can stay dry while taking in all its beauty!