10 of the Best Waterproof Jackets for 2024
The wonderful British weather is forever surprising us. A robust waterproof jacket is one of the best investments you can make, especially if you’re spending lots of time exploring outdoors. Between your jacket, wellies and umbrella, you’ll be the ultimate envy of the unprepared.
Quick guide to buying a waterproof jacket
Storm flaps, breathable membrane, hydrostatic head…what does it all mean? Here’s a super simple guide to help you understand the basics to inform your buying decisions.
Waterproofing – Any jacket you buy that says it’s waterproof shouldn’t let any water in. So, if you’re a walker, cyclist or expecting to be outside in prolonged rainy conditions, make sure you’re investing in something that isn’t just showerproof.
Taped seams – Any waterproof jacket should have taped seams (internal lining covering the stitch lines). If it doesn’t, there’s a fair chance water will get in eventually.
Storm flaps – These are additional flaps of fabric covering any zips as an extra layer of protection.
Hydrostatic Head – If you’re a camper, you’ll know what the Hydrostatic Head (HH) test is; essentially, fabric is pulled tight and tested to see how many millimetres of water it can withstand before it soaks through. You’ll sometimes see this rating against a waterproof jacket.
Warmth – Do you need a jacket that’ll see you through specific seasons, or are you the type to layer up underneath? Consider this as a factor when choosing.
Breathable membrane – While you want desperately to keep the rain out, you’ll also want to ensure a good level of breathability to let sweat evaporate. Look out for features like breathable membranes, pit zips and mesh pocket linings.
Fit – You’ll want your jacket to be loose enough to allow you to stretch and move but not too loose as to gape at the neck and sleeves. Adjustable cuffs, cords to adjust the fit, and wired peaks on hoods are all handy for getting the perfect fit. You’ll also want your jacket to cover your entire waistband to stop water from getting in above your trousers.
Five of the best waterproof jackets for women
1. Rab Women's Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket
Key features: 100% recycled material, breathable
This jacket by Rab is proof that sustainable outerwear doesn’t need to compromise on quality.
For waterproofing, three layers of recycled Pertex® Revolve fabric and a HH of 20,000 are there to protect you from the worst downpours. Breathability has made it into this jacket’s key features for a good reason. Pit zips, a drawcord hem and adjustable cuffs allow you to increase ventilation well.
The hood on this jacket offers a good-sized peak and a drawstring on the back to ensure a good fit. We also love that this jacket has a fleece-lined chin guard for comfort when it’s fully zipped.
2. Keela Women’s Storm Jacket
Key features: highly packable, helmet-compatible hood
If you’re looking for a versatile waterproof jacket for multiple outdoor pursuits, this could be a great choice.
This lightweight hardshell jacket packs a punch when it comes to outdoor sporting while providing a flattering and practical fit. Pocket fiend? This jacket has you covered with two zip hip pockets, a zippered chest pocket and a small, zipped pocket on the back which is ideal for bikers.
Reflective piping helps you to stay visible and the neck comes up nice and high when fully zipped to prevent the worst downpours getting in.
3. Montane Women's Spirit Waterproof Jacket
Key features: GORE-TEX PACLITE®, highly packable
Don’t be fooled by how lightweight this jacket is. This offers strong wind and rain protection.
This is the ideal jacket for walking enthusiasts to stuff into a pack, ready for any turbulent weather. The GORE-TEX jacket is fully taped, so able to protect you in heavy showers. The adjustable hood, internal storm flap on the front zip, and drawstring at the hem offer extra waterproof capability.
Coming in 4 colours, the super soft feeling waterproof is a stylish and highly functional offering from Montane.
4. Fjallraven Women's Vardag Hydratic Anorak
Key features: 50% recycled materials, everyday wear
This stylish addition to any wardrobe is as suitable for a weekend walking adventure as the commute to work.
The 2.5 layers of recycled polyester on this jacket protect well from wind and rain, and the side zippers not only assist in putting on and taking off, but they can also offer additional ventilation. Two zippered pockets offer storage; if you need to pack the jacket away, it’ll fit into its top-loading pocket.
5. The North Face Women's Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT™ Jacket
Key features: streamlined look, breathability
Designed for hiking, this versatile, high-performance jacket will keep you dry in the most extreme conditions.
This iconic jacket has sealed seams to keep the water out while the breathable membrane still allows air to circulate to keep you dry. FlashDry™ fabric inside wicks moisture away from your skin, so you’re guaranteed a comfortable hiking trip, even in warm weather. Adjust your hood, cuffs, and hem to get the perfect fit and keep the wind and rain out.
Five of the best waterproof jackets for men
1. Berghaus Men's Paclite 2.0 Jacket
Key features: lightweight, extremely packable
This Berghaus jacket offers complete waterproof protection with GORE-TEX PACLITE® fabric making it lightweight and easy to pack away.
The classic design has an adjustable hood, cuffs, and two pockets for storing essentials. With four colours, you can pick your favourite and add this to your walking set-up with no regrets.
2. Columbia Men’s Horizons Pine™ 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket
£235, www. columbiasportswear.co.uk
Key features: multi-layer design, versatility
Customise this jacket for any season to not only keep you dry but to beat the winter chill too.
The outer shell of this jacket is completely waterproof with sealed seams, adjustable cuffs, and a removable hood. When the weather is not only wet but cold, too, you can zip in the fleece, which makes this a versatile choice for year-round use.
Dual entry hand pockets are a nice bonus, as are the zippered chest pockets, which are always useful.
3. Arc’teryx Beta Jacket Men's
Key features: breathability, individuality
This Arc’teryx jacket is designed for the mountains and easily withstands a rainy day of hiking.
GORE-TEX fabric with GORE C-KNIT™ technology has been engineered to be excellently breathable. You’ll stay dry no matter what the weather throws your way in this streamlined design. Taped seams, an adjustable hood and watertight zippers ensure the rain stays out.
The Beta comes with different coloured zippers, so you’ll be in for a surprise if you order online. You can, of course, buy in person if you’re looking for a specific colour.
4. Helly Hansen Men's Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket
Key features: extremely weatherproof, built for professional mountaineers
Designed with the help of Search and Rescue teams, this is an investment piece for those that need serious weather protection.
This Helly Hansen jacket is an incredibly popular model, and it’s not hard to see why. Lightweight but durable, the jacket's professional-grade membrane is waterproof and breathable. A helmet-compatible hood, Recco® transponder and rescue whistle make this a brilliant option for serious mountaineers.
5. The North Face Men’s Quest Insulated Jacket
Key Features: insulation, breathability
If you don't want to layer up under your jacket or want something for winter use, this is a high-spec option from The North Face.
Synthetic insulation maintains airflow and compresses easily, so you can still pack this into your backpack when it’s not needed. The adjustable hem, high neck with chin guard and adjustable hood are all brilliant at keeping the rain out and the heat in when you need it most.
For more inspiration and recommendations on equipment, visit our advice hub.