Love to be out on the trails all year round?Best waterproof hiking jackets is essential if you’re looking to protect yourself against the elements, and it’s worth investing in a product that you know is going to be up to the job. However, as with most outdoor gear, the question is: what constitutes as being ‘up to the job’?

To help you identify the perfect hiking jacket for your needs, we’ve put together a simple buying guide with advice on the different styles, the waterproof technologies to look out for, and other subtleties that’ll help you feel just that little bit more comfortable.

Top 10 Best waterproof hiking jackets in UK 2021.

1. Arc’teryx Men’s Cerium Lt Hoody Jacket

Getting us underway is this rather cosy Arc’teryx down jacket. Surprisingly, with 850 fill (the measurement of how much down it contains) this garment is not only warmer than many other down jackets, but it’s also considerably lighter. Plus, it can scrunch down and pack away into a small stuff sack.

Capable of being either an outer layer or underneath a waterproof shell, this is a versatile bit of kit. However, it is one of the most expensive pieces we’ve included, and the DWR coating is average at best so it’s better suited to drier days.

Top 10 Best waterproof hiking jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof hiking jackets in UK 2021

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2. Helly Hansen Women’s Loke Jacket

Fabulous design aside, this jacket is just as much about sustainability. Its sees the debut of Helly Hansen’s proprietary polypropylene-based LIFA Infinity Pro, a three-layer fabric with a breathable microporous membrane that’s water repellent and durable, but PFC-free. Its all-season shell design means you’re going to need layers underneath in cold conditions, but here’s a super-serious waterproof jacket that uses the very latest tech yet treads lightly on both you and the planet.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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3. Berghaus Men’s Tephra Stretch Reflect Insulated Down Jacket

Ideal for colder conditions, this down jacket from Berghaus supposedly keeps you 20% warmer thanks to the internal ultra-light reflect technology, which channels body heat straight back onto itself.

Also, the hydrophobic (600 fill) down filling has been treated with Nikwax, so it should withstand those surprise downpours that little better than standard down jackets. The down itself is ethically sourced, a respectable step by the company which will appeal to many.

Top 10 Best waterproof hiking jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof hiking jackets in UK 2021

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4. Berghaus Women’s Paclite 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Shell Jacket

There’s a range of colourways to choose from, including a few more ‘statement’ combos. We tried the blue / yellow / beige version, which features neon that both looks cool and adds a little extra visibility in the dark – but if that’s a bit much for you, there’s more traditional black and blue options, too. The two external pockets are nice and deep, which is useful if you want to stash a water bottle in one, although slightly awkwardly placed for quick access. There’s also an internal pocket for valuables. Overall, we’d recommend this to anyone looking for a versatile waterproof jacket that’s lightweight enough to pop into a day sack, but provides perfect protection from the elements when needed.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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5. Columbia Men’s Cascade Ridge II Softshell Jacket

If you can’t decide between a jacket that will keep you dry or warm, the Columbia Cascade Ridge II is the answer to all your problems. This bonded softshell jacket exhibits Omni-Shield technology, giving you advanced repellence against wind and rain. The removable hood offers extra protections in trying conditions.

The Cascade Ridge II is one of the most popular jackets on the market, and with good reason. The abundance of zipped pockets ensures your valuables will stay completely safe. The fabric is not only waterproof, but stain-proof too, ensuring you stay clean in muddy conditions.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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6. Craghoppers Men’s Mannix FLC JKT Jacket

If you’re looking for a high-quality product without an expensive price tag, this Craghoppers waterproof jacket might be the perfect choice for you. Susa’s sleek AquaDry Membrane gives this jacket a watertight layer that will keep you dry through seasonal showers. This jacket is lightweight and breathable, making it the ideal jacket for unpredictable British weather.

The Susa, complete with a handy hood, is not only reliable in wet weather, but looks very stylish too. It also boasts a waterproof rating of 8,000mm and breathability rating of 15,000g, showing just what good value for money it is.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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7. SALOMON Men’s Outline Jacket 

The jacket’s constructed using AdvancedSkin Dry 20K/20K, a waterproof membrane with a hydrostatic head of 20,000mm. To keep things as light as possible, you’ll find 2.5-layer construction on the body, while more exposed areas of the jacket feature three-layer panels.

The fit of the jacket is certainly on the athletic side, with a short torso and a tighter-than-usual fit. This all comes together to create a jacket that’s comfortable and soft to the touch, though it feels a bit inadequate when the weather turns for the worst.

Along those lines and in keeping with the lightweight nature of the Outline, the hem, cuffs, and hood are all elasticated with no means of adjustment. This is fine if the conditions are right, but when you need to batten down the hatches, you won’t be able to do so and it’s all too easy for water to sneak in through the gaps. The outer fabric also wets out rather quickly.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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8. PATAGONIA Men’s M’s Down Sweater Jacket

Despite being one of the lightest (297g in size medium) and most packable waterproof jackets on test, it carries a lot of really good features. It has a simple-but-effective helmet compatible hood which does a great job at cinching in closely thanks to the adjustment point at the back.

Hem adjusters pull the garment in at the waist, while the cut was favourable and at no point did we feel exposed when moving around and reaching up high. The range of movement is great and the two map-friendly hand-warmer pockets are easily accessed, even when wearing a bag. Due to the light material and large armpit vents, temperature regulation is also impressive, but there are slight question marks over the product’s durability due to how thin it is.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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9. The North Face Men’s Evolve II Outdoor Jacket

If you’re looking for something fairly heavy duty but not over the top, you can’t beat this jacket, which to my mind is very good value for money. Tezcan is a big fan: “It’s basically their top-end Gore-Tex raincoat,” he informs me. He’s of the opinion that The North Face offers some of the best waterproofing and wears one himself – a ringing endorsement.

Consequently, unlike some of the shell jackets (like the Patagonia below), which are very effective at keeping off water but not at keeping you warm, the North Face Apex Flex is very adaptable: you can wear it out for a Sunday walk, and you can use it as your winter coat for those daily commutes to work and back. It’s one to keep on the coat rack by the door through winter.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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10. Helly Hansen Men’s Crew Jacket

The material doesn’t completely deflect water – when I submitted it to the water test, the droplets seeped in rather quickly, though this didn’t in fact lead to the inside getting wet. This was reflected in the actual rain test: in medium rain for about 15 minutes, I was dry as a bone.

There are two zipped pockets and it’s a relatively warm coat – on all but the coldest of winter days, you could wear this on top of a shirt with no problems. If you wish to wear a jumper, however, it’s spacious enough to do so. The hood is large to keep your hair dry. It is certainly pricey, but for waterproofability-to-fashion ratio, it can’t be beaten.

Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021
Top 10 Best waterproof jackets in UK 2021

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So there it is, our comprehensive guide to finding the perfect hiking jacket. We believe that if you follow our advice and take into account what each style of jacket has to offer and which high-performance fabrics you’d like, you’ll find the perfect one for you and your adventures. Here’s to some cosy winter walks!

How to Choose a Hiking Jacket in the UK

Without further ado, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. In the section, we’ll be looking into the different characteristics brought to the table by various styles, technologies and functionalities. While buying a hiking jacket might seem daunting, with just a little bit of extra knowledge you’ll be well-placed to make an informed decision.
First up, you’ll want to consider the style of jacket. While there are many variations, we’ve decided to narrow it down to the most common three. Below, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each of them.
This style of waterproof jacket is many people’s go-to layer when the heavens open. They’re generally small and lightweight and most of the time they’re packable too, either fitting into their pocket or an accompanying pouch. This makes them an ideal choice if the climate is known to change frequently.
When it comes to these jackets, the lighter and the smaller they are the better, as you’ll want them to take up as little space in your pack as possible.
They do have a downside though, which is that they’re not very warm. So, if you’re walking in the chillier seasons you’ll need to sort yourself out with a reliable layering system in case the temperature drops.
The classic year-round garment, a 3-in-1 is essentially two jackets: a waterproof outer and an inner fleece lining. They offer brilliant value for money as they can be utilised in three different combinations – the fleece when it’s cool but dry, the shell when it’s wet but mild and the two combined when it’s rainy and cold.
With a good base, this is practically a full layering system and due to the changeable weather conditions they can accommodate, they tend to be a favourite for hiking in the UK.
The only issue is that they are fairly bulky, so if you take the full jacket you’re going to hope the weather stays the same while you’re out.

Summary

So there it is, our comprehensive guide to finding the perfect hiking jacket. We believe that if you follow our advice and take into account what each style of jacket has to offer and which high-performance fabrics you’d like, you’ll find the perfect one for you and your adventures. Here’s to some cosy winter walks!

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