33 Best Waterproof Jackets For Hiking in 2023

Last Updated on 27/08/2023

best waterproof jackets for hiking

All the Best Waterproof Jackets for Hiking For The Past 10 Years

If you want to stay dry on your next hiking trip, you might want to check out these 33 best waterproof jackets for hiking or be prepared to get wet. we share the most waterproof hiking jackets we have tested for over a decade all in one place. You will learn how some jackets changed the game and others just do it better.

Hiking in soggy clothes can get cold very quickly and isn’t much fun at all. similarly, there is nothing worse than buying a cheap waterproof one only to discover it doesn’t really work when you need it most. As your final barrier of protection between you and the elements, you need to be able to trust your waterproof gear.

The Top-rated waterproof hiking jackets Available today combine waterproofing, breathability, weight, style, and functionality (along with other technical features) to reach the highest levels of performance ever seen before. Sealed seams, adjustable climbing helmet-compatible hoods, pit zips for ventilation, stormproof flaps, and splash-proof zips are just some of the added features you can expect from the Best hiking raincoats.

Before you make up your mind about buying a hiking jacket, you might want to consider the pros and cons of getting a rain poncho instead.

33 Best Waterproof Hiking Jackets

To view the full list of waterproof hiking jackets in a table format so that you can organize them by weight and score, then click here.

Arc’teryx Beta SV Waterproof Jacket

Arcteryx Beta SV Stormproof Jacket
  • Weight: 485 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: Beta SV

The Arc’terYx Beta SV is an all-round hiking jacket for people who wear their gear hard and long. The SV stands for severe weather garment and will withstand whatever conditions are thrown at it. perfect for harsh mountain environments and year-round use with plenty of space to layer up underneath. Pit zips under the arms help ventilate the jacket on warm days, and the articulated fit works very nicely with every movement. Also available in other hybrid variations.



Montane Air Waterproof Jacket

Montane Air Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 350 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Pertex® Shield Ap Fabric with 100% Nylon Rip-Stop Face and Advanced Air Porous Membrane.
  • Women’s: air

The Montane Air jacket is built for year-round protection with rugged outdoor activities in mind. The bi-component membrane pushes the moisture from condensation to keep you dry inside and out, which is great for hiking or working outdoors. With a hydrostatic head of 20,000mm, the air jacket is both lightweight and tough for its division.



Patagonia Super Alpine Waterproof Jacket

Patagonia Super Alpine Waterproof Coat
  • Weight: 430  g
  • Material: 2.5 Layer H2 No® Performance Standard
  • Women’s: super Alpine

The Patagonia Super Alpine is a rugged and totally waterproof hiking jacket designed for extended exposure to the harshest conditions. Despite the tough nature of this jacket, it remains incredibly nimble and lightweight. Ideal for alpine conditions as well as technical hiking, the slim fit has a longer hem which increases your protection and reduces bulk when worn under a harness or backpack.



Montbell Torrent Flier Waterproof Jacket

Montbell Torrent Flier Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 343 g
  • Material: 2.5-Layer Gore-Tex® Pac Lite® Technology
  • Women’s: peak Shell

The Montbell Torrent Flier waterproof hiking jacket is designed for exploring big terrain in comfort. With simple adjustability and old school minimalist design, this jacket is perfect for backcountry trails and lightweight trekkers. The 12 D ballistic airtight ripstop nylon fabric is tough and resistant to snags, while the Gore-Tex® Pac Lite® technology takes care of the waterproofing and breathability. I cannot fault anything about this jacket; it’s perfect for hiking and backpacking.



Rab Neo Alpine Waterproof Jacket

Rab Neo Alpine Rain Jacket
  • Weight: 376 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Polartec Neo Shell Stretch
  • Women’s: neo Guide

The Rab Neo Alpine is a minimalist climbing jacket that is incredibly breathable and waterproof. The Polartec neo-shell membrane pulls water vapor out from inside the jacket and is tested to excel in low levels of pressure (like at the top of a mountain). The stretchy fabric allows excellent freedom of movement, and the tailored fit means you aren’t exposed when stretching or wearing a harness.



Marmot Exum Ridge Waterproof Jacket

Marmot Exum Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 332 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Active
  • Women’s: exum Ridge

The Marmot Exum Ridge is a lightweight waterproof jacket for fast and mobile quests. The lightweight material is not to be underestimated, though,  this jacket is completely weatherproof from the wind and heavy rain. The 3-layer Gore-Tex® active waterproof shell is highly breathable and has extra weather protection to keep out blustery storms.



Arc’teryx Alpha SV Waterproof Jacket

Arcteryx Alpha SV Best Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 490 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: alpha Sv

The Arc’teryx Alpha SV is one of the best waterproof jackets for hiking in severe alpine conditions for extended periods of time. Like the Mammut Nordland pro, this jacket may be a little excessive for your average hike, but it doesn’t hurt to be over-prepared if it doesn’t add any extra weight. As one of the hardest-wearing jackets on this list, you should look at something like this as an investment for the next 10 – 20 years.

Read our full Arc’teryx alpha sv review Here!



Mountain Equipment Lhotse Waterproof Jacket

Mountain Equipment Lhotse Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 530 g
  • Material: 3-Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: manaslu

The Mountain Equipment Lhotse is an award-winning mountaineering waterproof jacket for tackling blizzards and rain with a positive attitude.  The articulated fit and helmet-compatible hood give you lots of freedom to move naturally without feeling too baggy. The Lhotse jacket has multiple adjustments on the hood, cuffs, and hem for a more customized fit and also has underarm pit zips for ventilation. This is how I expect a modern waterproof jacket to look.



Outdoor Research Foray Waterproof Jacket

Outdoor Research Foray Packable Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 463 g
  • Material: 2 Layer Gore-Tex® Paclite®
  • Women’s: aspire

The Outdoor Research Foray is an undeniably nice jacket to look at, but it also performs like a champ. 100% waterproof and tested in the harshest conditions on the planet, this hard shell from outdoor research is a reliable bit of kit. packable into its own left-hand pocket with Ykk® Aqua Guard® zippers, internal front storm flap, and torso flo™ venting from hem to bicep. It is easy to see why this is one of the best waterproof hiking jackets around.



Berghaus Extrem 8000 Pro Waterproof Jacket

Berghaus Extrem 8000 Pro Shell
  • Weight: 590 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: extrem Sumcham

The Berghaus Extrem 8000 Pro is a high-performance mountaineering jacket with one of the best fits on this list of the top waterproof jackets. The hood is expandable to accommodate climbing helmets and uses magnets to reduce the amount of loose material when not in use. the balance between durability, breathability, and weight makes this a serious contender for most waterproof hiking jackets.



Paramo Velez Waterproof Jacket

Paramo Velez Active Outdoors Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 605 g
  • Material: Nikwax Analogy® Waterproof
  • Women’s: Velez

The Paramo Velez waterproof shell jacket uses Nikwax analogy® Fabric to direct moisture from the inside to the outside while at the same time preventing any moisture from the outside from getting in. clever stuff really. Suited to high-intensity activities all year round, this is a great jacket to buy for hiking and backpacking. Quite often, you see hikers wearing a paramo jacket that is 20 years old or something, so I assume they have a good reputation for going the distance.



Rab Spark Waterproof Jacket

Rab Spark Waterproof Hiking Jacket
  • Weight: 302 g
  • Material: 2.5 Layer Pertex Shield+ Stretch
  • Women’s: spark

The Rab Spark is another lightweight waterproof hiking jacket that has been stripped down to the essentials to save on weight and reduce pack size. The regular fit allows space for a base and mid-layers to be worn underneath, and the stretchy fabric doesn’t restrict your movement while climbing. Amongst other things, I also like the way the spark jacket looks and feels, which is important if you plan to wear this jacket for more than wilderness adventures.



Black Diamond Sharp End Shell Waterproof Jacket

Black Diamond Sharp End Shell Waterproof
  • Weight: 455 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: [easyazon_Link Keywords=”women’s Black Diamond Sharp End Shell” Locale=”us” Tag=”gearassistant-20″]sharp End Shell[/easyazon_Link]

The Black Diamond Sharp End Shell is a trusted waterproof jacket that can be worn over multiple layers and still keep a full range of movement. It is lightweight and durable with excellent breathability thanks in part to both the gore-tex pro fabric and ventilation zips under the pits. The sharp end shell provides a reliable barrier to the elements that can be packed up small, which is all most hikers are looking for.



Montane Minimus 777 Waterproof Jacket

Montane Minimus 777 Waterproof Jacket

  • Weight: 140 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Pertex® Shield+ Fabric Combines 7 D 100% Nylon Face, 7-Micron Laminate Film, and 7 D Tricot Backing
  • Women’s: minimus or minimus stretch

The Montane Minimus 777 is an ultra-lightweight and packable waterproof jacket that is great for hiking in summer and spring. The 20,000mm hydrostatic head will keep you dry in a heavy downpour, and the minimal design allows it to stuff into its only pocket on the chest. The lack of adjustability and pockets might put some people off, but I am sure that the weight, size, and performance will turn more people on.



Patagonia Torrentshell Waterproof Jacket

Patagonia Torentshell Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 342 g
  • Material: 2.5 Layer H2 No® Performance Standard
  • Women’s: torrentshell

The Patagonia Torrentshell is a simple but effective waterproof and breathable rain jacket for hiking. It isn’t trying to impress with looks, although I do quite like the minimal design; more importantly, Patagonia continues to lead the way when it comes to responsible and Eco-friendly materials And manufacturing. The 100% recycled nylon face fabric does not interfere with performance in the slightest and actually feels softer than most waterproof jackets.



The North Face Dryzzle Waterproof Jacket

North Face Dryzzle Waterproof Hiking Jacket
  • Weight: 366 g
  • Material: 2 Layer Gore-Tex® Paclite® Shell
  • Women’s: dryzzle

The North Face Dryzzle is a great entry-level waterproof jacket for people who like to spend time outdoors and don’t want to get wet. it is lightweight and packable enough to fit in any backpack and comes in a variety of attractive colors. The pit zips are very much appreciated when you need some extra ventilation, and the waterproofing will keep you dry when you need it the most.



Mountain Equipment Tupilak Waterproof Jacket

Mountain Equipment Tupilak Waterproof Climbing Jacket
  • Weight: 545 g
  • Material: 3-Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: ogre

The Mountain equipment Tupilak is a technical shell jacket for alpine and expedition climbing in the most challenging conditions. The freedom of movement in the arms and super alpine hood convinced me this is one of the best waterproof climbing jackets I’ve ever tested. Two large chest pockets will fit all your essentials, and all the zips, including pit vents, are highly water-resistant. The tupilak has an articulated fit for climbing rough terrain and is more robust than your average pack-away raincoat by a long way.



Outdoor Research Helium Ii Waterproof Jacket

Outdoor Research Helium II Ultralight Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 180 g / 6.4 oz
  • Material: 2.5 Layer Pertex® Shield+
  • Women’s: helium ii

The Outdoor research Helium ii is one of the most lightweight waterproof jackets on this list, weighing just 6.4 ounces. As you might expect from an ultralight raincoat, it has minimal features and packs into its own pocket. Ideal for clipping on your belt or backpack for fast and easy access on the go. weather can be unpredictable and go from showers to sunny and back again all day long, but the helium it will always be right there when you need it (if you buy this cool jacket).



Rab Flashpoint Waterproof Jacket

Rab Flashpoint Rain Jacket
  • Weight: 210 g
  • Material: 3 LayeR Pertex Shield+
  • Women’s: flashpoint

The Rab Flashpoint is a super lightweight waterproof jacket for hiking. The adjustable hood is fully compatible with climbing helmets, and the chest pocket is fitted with ykk® Aqua guard® Zips to keep maps and valuables dry. the jacket is very minimal in design without lacking important features. Packing inside its own chest pocket means you can keep this in your bag without much bother, even if you don’t expect any rain.



Marmot Minimalist Waterproof Jacket

Marmot Minimalist Waterproof Hard Shell
  • Weight: 425 g
  • Material: 2 Layer Gore-Tex® Paclite®
  • Women’s: minimalist

The Marmot Minimalist is a great value-for-money waterproof jacket that weighs just 15 oz and packs down small for keeping in your backpack. It is called the minimalist for a reason, but it still has some nice features. Underarm zippers, adjustable hood, and angel-wing™ movement construction allow you to adjust to the environment with unhindered freedom of movement.



Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell Waterproof Jacket

Fjallraven Keb ECO Shell Waterproof Hikers Jacket
  • Weight: 570 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Eco-Shell Stretch
  • Women’s: keb eco shell

The Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell is made from recyclable and sustainable polyester with all production emissions being climate compensated. It is good to know that your products are made ethically and responsibly, but it’s even better to have a badass waterproof jacket that will keep you dry no matter what. Good job the Keb Eco Shell ticks both of these boxes and provides durable, stretchy comfort for hiking and climbing.



Montane Endurance Pro Waterproof Jacket

Montane Endurance Pro Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 532 g
  • Material: 3 Layer 40 Denier Gore-Tex® Pro with Tough 70 Denier Gore-Tex® Pro Reinforcement
  • Women’s: alpine pro

The Montane Endurance Pro is a fully-featured waterproof jacket designed for climbers and alpine enthusiasts. Plenty of well-placed pockets with Ykk matte aqua guard® zips and the fully adjustable hood mean that even if it is raining sideways, the rain will keep rolling off. the articulated design means that the jacket and sleeves will hardly move when you are climbing/reaching up.



Mammut Meron Waterproof Jacket

Mammut Meron Waterproof Backpacking Jacket
  • Weight: 575 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: runbold pro hs

The Mammut Meron is a durable and robust hardshell waterproof jacket suitable for mountain hiking and hard-wearing activities. The large front pockets are easily accessible through harnesses and backpack straps and come in very handy for maps and tall snacks. Underarm ventilation is protected by splashproof zippers, and the front zip features Ykk vislon® splash-proof technology.



Patagonia M10 Waterproof Jacket

Patagonia M10 Outdoor Rain Jacket
  • Weight: 266 g
  • Material: 3 Layer H2 No® Performance Standard
  • Women’s: m10

The Patagonia M10 is another lightweight waterproof hiking jacket that will pack into its own pocket for storage and weighs under 300 grams. The two handwarmer pockets are nice and high for access over a hip belt, and the third chest pocket is convenient to keep your valuables in. if fast and light is your style, then check out the M10 for exactly that.



Rab Muztag Waterproof Jacket

Rab Muztag Waterproof Hard Shell
  • Weight: 306 g
  • Material: 3 Layer EVent DV Storm
  • Women’s: muztag

The Rab Muztag is a lightweight mountain climbing jacket designed for use in summer and spring or as a backup to a softshell jacket. The breathable and waterproof e vent dv storm fabric is durable and will pack down very small. Ykk Aqua guard® zips are used on both chest pockets and the front zip, which also has an internal storm flap. Ideal for fast and light activities, which require as much breathability as they do waterproofing.



Arc’teryx Theta AR Waterproof Jacket

Arcteryx Theta AR Stormproof Jacket
  • Weight: 485 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: theta ar

The Arc’teryx Theta AR is slightly longer than other waterproof jackets from Arc’teryx, and so offers the most coverage. This would probably make a good waterproof jacket for tall people as well as people who might want to use their jacket for mountain biking. Fully waterproof, rugged, comfortable, and weighing in at under 500 grams make this an easy choice for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.



Columbia out Dry Ex Diamond Shell Waterproof Jacket

Columbia OutDry EX Diamond Shell

The Columbia Out Dry Ex Diamond Shell is an exciting waterproof hiking jacket with a bold waterproof layer on the outside and soft wicking fabric on the inside. The idea is that water vapor will be drawn away from your body and can escape through a wicking membrane fused directly to the shell. These jackets are actually more hardcore than people give them credit for, and if nothing else, they will last a very long time.



Fjallraven Abisko Eco Shell Waterproof Jacket

Fjallraven Abisko ECO Shell Waterproof
  • Weight: 340 g
  • Material: 2.5 Layer Eco-Shell Stretch
  • Women’s: abisko eco shell

The Fjallraven Abisko Eco Shell is a lightweight waterproof jacket with four-way stretch and excellent breathability. Designed for spring and summer use in mountainous terrain, this jacket is fairly minimal but also very packable. I think it looks great in purple but I would be happy to keep this in my backpack in any of the colors available.



Musto LPX Waterproof Jacket

Musto LPX Waterproof Sailing Jacket for Hiking
  • Weight: 500 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex®
  • Women’s: lpx

The Musto LPX is a lightweight sailing jacket that can be used as a waterproof hiking jacket. Hikers may choose a brand like Musto Because they know they can trust a sailing jacket to keep them dry. the problem with most sailing jackets is that they usually have very poor breathability. The LPX jacket is different and allows you to hike in it without instant condensation build-up. if sailing is your side hustle, then this may just be the best waterproof jacket for you.



Haglofs Astral Iii Waterproof Jacket

Haglofs Astral III Waterproof Top
  • Weight: 635 g
  • Material: 2 Layer Gore-Tex®
  • Women’s: astral iii

Tha Haglofs Astral iii is a rugged waterproof hardshell for hiking and outdoor pursuits. With a focus on high-quality over saving grams, this jacket is not the most packable or lightweight. It does, however, offer excellent waterproofing and better durability than thinner jackets. Overall, this is a well-balanced all-rounder that will protect you from storms and last for many years.



Montbell Convertible Rain Jacket

Montbell Convertible Rain Jacket
  • Weight: 256 g
  • Material: 3-Layer Dry-Tec™ Technology
  • Women’s: n/a

The Montbell Convertible Rain Jacket is a lightweight and packable waterproof coat with a twist – you can zip off the arms! This is a great idea for those hot and humid climates where you don’t care if your arms get wet because it isn’t cold. This rain jacket from Montbell is also an excellent idea if you are in particularly bad weather and to wear this over a softshell or less waterproof jacket as a kind of second/third skin.



Mammut Nordwand Pro Waterproof Jacket

Mammut Nordwand Pro Waterproof Trekking Jacket
  • Weight: 610 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Pro
  • Women’s: mittellegri pro

The Mammut Nordwand Pro is designed for serious high alpine climbing and professional expeditions but works perfectly well for hiking and everyday use too, albeit a little bit overkill. It has all the technical features you could ever dream of, including things like ventilation pit zips, a monkhood system, a detachable snow skirt, and a reinforced hood shield, amongst other things. This jacket is not messing around!



The North Face Apex Flex Waterproof Jacket

North Face Apex Flex Waterproof Jacket
  • Weight: 680 g
  • Material: 3 Layer Gore-Tex® Soft Woven Face  with Knit Backer
  • Women’s: apex flex

The North Face Apex Flex is a super soft and fully waterproof rain jacket that is hard to pin down as either a soft shell or a hard shell. It is stretchy, comfortable, and soft yet rugged and totally waterproof. One set of features that may be appealing to some people is the knit backer for extra warmth on windy days and underarm vents for warmer conditions. Not the lightest option on this list of the best waterproof jackets, but very comfortable for everyday use, stylish, and versatile for everyday use.



Top 10 Womens Waterproof Jackets

Choosing the Best Waterproof Hiking Jacket for Your Outdoor Needs

The biggest differences between designated waterproof hiking jackets and everyday Raincoats are their breathability and weight. When you are Hiking with a backpack full of equipment, you need to pack as light as possible, and you don’t often have much extra space for non-essential items. Waterproofs are essential For most hiking trips, and so any space saved here is space gained for food and water.

Your average mac-in-a-sac style anoraks are ok for light showers or wearing at a music festival, but if you are spending or plan on spending much time outdoors in a wet or windy climate then you need something with more protection. Cheap waterproof jackets Are not designed for hiking and often lack any kind of sealed seams, ventilation, or articulation in the fit, let alone not being all that waterproof in the first place.

High-quality waterproof hiking jackets Are not cheap, but just because you are paying a lot of money for something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your research before buying the first one you see. we have tried to do as much of the legwork as we can by providing the most popular and trusted jackets in one place and including what we think are some of the most important features for you to compare. Only by comparing the best of what is available can you find the perfect hardshell jacket for hiking.

This list has been composed of some of our Favorite waterproof jackets Currently available (2017), and although we feel it accurately displays most of the top performers in the industry – at the end of the day this is just our opinion. Use your best judgment when making any big decision and go for the Best that you can afford. there is no such thing as a “best waterproof jackets brand” or a “universally recognized top pick”, but certain jackets will always perform better than others in certain situations.

5 Things to Look for In a Waterproof Hiking Jacket

Here are the five most important things to look for in a waterproof hiking jacket:


First and foremost is how much rain it can take. You can get a rough idea of this by looking for a hydrostatic head rating in the linked product listings. Things to look for beyond the Materials are; sealed seams, waterproof zips, an adjustable hood, and a good fit. for more information on waterproof fabrics, scroll down the page or check out this article comparing Gore-Tex and Event side by side.


Breathability is the main difference between hiking hard shells and regular raincoats. Because hiking often demands high levels of intensive activity, it can be hard to maintain a consistent temperature. Perspiration can build up quickly and soak you from the inside, which can be just as dangerous as getting soaked by the rain in cold conditions. Breathable fabric is paramount to a versatile hiking waterproof jacket, and pit zips/ventilation pockets are a huge advantage.


Waterproof hard shells are inherently windproof and will block out the wind very well. There are, however, some different features that can make a big difference to your protection. The main things to look for are adjustable cuffs, hem, collar, and hood to help you seal any gaps where the wind can reach your skin. A well-fitted waterproof jacket will also help increase your coverage, and having a generous collar will protect your neck and face from the ice-cold wind.


Durability is important, to say the least, but typically, the more lightweight you go – the less durable the material is. so, durability is often a key decision-making factor when choosing a jacket to meet your demands. You must find the right balance between durability and other features to get the best waterproof jacket for your purpose. One thing to remember is that the more durable a jacket is, the longer it will last with proper care.


The small features and technical details are what can make or break a great waterproof jacket for hiking. Adjustability and fit are key features, but things like the hood, zips, pockets (harness and backpack friendly), packability, ventilation, and compatibility with climbing helmets can be just as important.

Types of Waterproof Fabric

There are two main types of waterproof fabrics – coated and laminate/membrane – as well as other innovative constructions like Paramo. coated fabrics are typically made using polyurethane (PU) on the inside of the fabric and then coated to become 2 – 3 layer construction. Laminates or membranes like Gore-tex or Event consist of millions of micropores that let moisture evaporate from the inside but do not let any water in from the outside. This is what makes them both completely waterproof and highly breathable.

Waterproof Jacket Ratings

The Hydrostatic head is an industry-standard measurement for demonstrating a fabric’s resistance or proofing to water. The tests are done by pulling a piece of fabric tight over a sealed tube and then slowly increasing water pressure to the breaking point. This is measured in millimeters by raising a vertical tube of water and measuring the height. Below are some Rough guides to the hydrostatic head ratings in waterproof hiking jackets.

  • 0 – 1,500mm – Water-resistant and not really suitable for hiking.
  • 1,500mm – 5,000mm – Waterproof in light showers but not suitable for mountain hiking.
  • 5,000mm – 10,000mm – Waterproof in light to moderate rain but still not ideal for all conditions.
  • 10,000mm – 20,000mm – Highly waterproof for use in moderate to heavy rain.
  • 20,000mm – 30,000mm+ – Totally waterproof for full protection against the worst conditions and suitable for all kinds of outdoor pursuits.

Intended Use

As mentioned before, Weatherproof hiking jackets Are specifically designed to meet the demands of challenging terrain and conditions. Thankfully, all these features translate to most other outdoor activities and even cityscapes very well. Climbing jackets are similar to hiking jackets, although tending to have a more articulated fit for stretching and maneuvering through awkward positions. If you need to be as light as possible, then make that your main focus; if you want something to be tough and durable, then look for that, but consider future uses as well as immediate ones when making the final decision.

Care and Maintenance

Care and maintenance of waterproof jackets is something that should be done fairly regularly and doesn’t take very long. To make sure your jacket remains breathable, be sure to wipe the surfaces with a sponge or cloth to clear the micropores of any debris every month or so. Waterproof treatments Should be used as recommended by the manufacturer, but you will know when it needs doing when the jacket stops beading water off and instead starts to absorb it.

Nikwax have an excellent range of waterproof jacket cleaning products and reproofing treatments for almost every kind of material.

Which Waterproof Jacket Material is Best for Hiking?

There are three contenders for the best material for waterproof jackets: Gore-Tex, eVent, and Pertex Sheild+. They all have their subtle differences in breathability, durability, and the variations that are available but for the most part, they are very similar to one another.


Gore-Tex comes in multiple formats, from the Paclite, which is ultra-thin and lightweight, to the triple-layer performance construction, which will last forever. Gore-Tex is made by laminating a waterproof membrane to other material layers in either 2-layers, 2.5-layers, or 3-layers, depending on the purpose. Gore-Tex is probably the most waterproof and durable waterproof fabric for rain jackets.


eVent fabric is known to be almost as waterproof as Gore-Tex but slightly more breathable and just as tough. Hikers may prefer eVent fabric for waterproof jackets as they don’t seem to get as much condensation build-up on the inside. I have found that my eVent jackets do need to be treated with water-repellency products more often than my Gore-Tex jackets to keep the water beading off.

Pertex Shield+

Pertex Sheild+ is a really lightweight and breathable material that is often used in trail running waterproof jackets because they are the best at dealing with perspiration. Pertex Sheild+ is just as durable as Gore-Tex and eVent when it comes to tears, but long term, the outer coating can wear thin over time if you wear them hard. I have been using my Pertex waterproof jacket more and more recently as it is just so comfortable and great for any kind of mild weather.


Thanks for reading this list of the best waterproof jackets for hiking.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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  1. Brian O'Dell 16/04/2017 at 00:38

    Are any if these produced in North America or Europe? Any of them besides Patagonia sustainability produced? Thanks

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