Best Waterproof Jackets: What to look for and where to buy

Due to the unpredictability of British weather, owning a robust and reliable waterproof jacket can be the difference between a good camping trip, and a bad one. Therefore, we recommend investing in a jacket that looks good, will last a long time and most importantly, keep you dry. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of the best waterproof jackets to protect you from the rain, and what to look out for when making such an important decision.

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Our favourite waterproof jackets

Whether you’re hiking in a thunderstorm, spending time in the snow or caught in an April shower, these jackets are guaranteed to keep you dry.

Berghaus Paclite 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

Berghaus Paclite

Available in a range of colours and sizes, Berghaus’ Paclite 2.0 is the ideal jacket for any outdoor adventure. This jacket boasts innovative Gore-Tex fabric technology, keeping you dry in the most adverse weather conditions. The Paclite 2.0 packs down to a tiny size, meaning you can easily store it in your backpack when the weather turns, and the sun starts to shine.

The versatile waterproof shell ensures protection from the rain despite being incredibly lightweight, making it easier to carry and wear. If the weather is testing, this jacket provides extra protection from the fully adjustable fixed hood. The breathable fabric means you can layer with a fleece underneath on a particularly cold day.

View this jacket, prices from £150.00

Columbia Cascade Ridge II Softshell Jacket

Columbia 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.

View this jacket, prices from £75.00

Craghoppers Susa Jacket

Craghoppers 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.

View this jacket, prices from £30.00

Mountain Equipment Saltoro Jacket

Mountain Equipment Saltoro

Designed for all types of trekking, the Mountain Equipment Saltoro Jacket is the ideal choice for the most adventurous outdoor explorer. Despite being very tough, this jacket is also very light, making it comfortable to wear during a long-distance hike. The Saltoro boasts Gore-Tex fabric, keeping you warm and dry in inclement mountainous conditions.

The shoulders hold heavier layering, guarding against abrasion from your weighty rucksack. Mountain Equipment designed this jacket with an “Alpine fit”, with articulated, pre-shaped sleeves for unrestrictive, all-day use. The fully adjustable Mountain HC Hood is a reliable refuge in wet weather.

View this jacket, prices from £240.00

North Face Quest Insulated Jacket

North Face insulated

Boasting a winning combination of style and durability, North Face is one of the most popular brands on the waterproof jacket market. The Quest jacket is synthetically insulated, reducing heat loss and increasing warmth – even in the coldest temperatures. Exhibiting Dryvent technology, the waterproof fabric provides an impenetrable barrier against moisture.

Designed for the hiking season, the North Fact Quest has breathable technology that helps regulate your body temperature and keeps you comfortable through challenging hikes. The Quest also boasts secure zip hand pockets, elasticated cuffs and knit lining on the neck and chin guards.

View this jacket, prices from £101.50

Patagonia Calcite Jacket

Patagonia Calcite

With a minimalist aesthetic, the Patagonia Calcite possesses a sleek and durable design. The 2.5-layer Gore-Tex Paclite Plus fabric offers complete protection from water and wind, making it perfect for alpine climbing and mountain skiing.

The Calcite’s alpine helmet-compatible hood with laminated visor provides comfort and protects with a waterproof and breathable barrier. The jacket’s shell fabrics are coated with durable water repellent, resisting rain, wind and snow. The large zipped hand pockets allow for plenty of essentials and make sure they are safe while on the move.

View this jacket, prices from £175.00

Peter Storm Downpour Waterproof Jacket

With 100% peached polyester, the Peter Storm Downpour keeps you dry whether you’re caught in a light shower or a heavy thunderstorm. With prices starting at around £30, this jacket promises high quality for a low price. This stylish jacket has a roll-away adjustable hood, with a self-fabric chin-guard and Velcro closure.

Available in a number of colours, the Downpour is designed with breathable lining, ensuring a comfortable experience whatever the temperature. This jacket is perfect for dog-walking, hiking, and casual wear.

View this jacket, prices from £30.00

Rab Kangri Gore-Tex Jacket

Rab Kangri

With a sleek design and handy features, the Rab Kangri Gore-Tex is a robust jacket designed for avid adventurers. Protecting without restricting movement, the Kangri is an excellent jacket whether you’re hill-hiking in wintertime or scrambling in spring showers.

Made from hardwearing Gore-Tex material, this jacket will deflect the rain, allowing you to explore whatever the weather. This 3-layer waterproof has a fleece-lined chin guard and back neck, ensuring comfort and warmth as well as dryness. The fully adjustable mountain hood allows you to shelter from the wind and rain, but crucially still allows good vision.

View this jacket, prices from £280.00

What you need to know before buying a waterproof jacket

With so many waterproof jackets on the market, all in different shapes, colours and materials, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. Here are the top 10 things to look out for when choosing your waterproof jacket.

1. Waterproof

The most important aspect to consider when buying a waterproof jacket - is whether it will keep you dry. Jackets are assigned a waterproof rating which is measured in millimetres – the higher the rating, the more water-resistant.

2. Appearance

It’s important to like your jacket from an aesthetic perspective, as you’re more likely to wear it if you think it looks good on you. Whether you prefer a minimalist design or an attractive pattern, make sure you like the way it looks.

3. Weight

If your jacket is too heavy, it will be uncomfortable to wear on long-distance hikes. Also, if you’re carrying your jacket in your rucksack, a lightweight jacket will be more comfortable to carry.

4. Warmth

Waterproof jackets shouldn’t just keep you dry; they should keep you warm too - consider this when choosing your jacket. Also, consider whether there is room to layer beneath the jacket.

5. Features

Like most things, it’s the small details that can really make the difference. Check to see which features are included in your jacket, such as an adjustable hood, elasticated cuffs and drawcords.

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6. Technology

All the jackets in this list feature innovative water-resistant technology. Talk to experts in the shop and find out which fabric is most resilient.

7. Manoeuvrability

Whether you’re taking the dog for a walk or embarking on a long-distance hike, you will need to be able to manoeuvre in your jacket. While your jacket should have waterproof technology, this shouldn’t restrict your movement.

8. Breathability

Breathability is a crucial factor when choosing a waterproof jacket. Low-quality jackets might keep the rain off, but the fabric won’t allow your body to breathe or manage the moisture inside the jacket as well as outside.

9. Pockets

When trying on your jacket, test the pockets and make sure they feel safe and secure. When hiking, you want plenty of space for your valuables. Zip pockets will ensure your valuables are safe while on the move.

10. Packability

If the sun starts to beam after you’ve been caught in a shower, you might want to take your jacket off and put it into your backpack. Test the packability of your jacket and find out how much space it will take up in your backpack.

Are you looking for more expert advice on gear? Read our comprehensive guide on walking boots. If you’ve bought your new waterproof jacket but you’re not sure where to take it first, take a look at some holiday ideas to help inspire your next camping trip. Also, before you buy, don’t forget to check out the member discounts area to see if you can make a saving on your favourite coat