When it comes to choosing a new walking jacket, you have to take into account several different factors: the most obvious being weatherproof; battling off wind, rain, and sun where necessary. But other things you might want to think about are durability, length, technology, price and many walkers will want to consider something that fits in well with their walking-style (hands-free walkers want multiple pockets to store things, whereas some want adjustable sleeves and hoods that can be tucked away). Some of us carry backpacks, and some of us get need something that can be coupled with other activities like climbing and scrabbling. You might also want to consider what textile technology is at use in the making of the jacket, whether you put your faith into GORE-TEX or other breathable membranes.
The Surge Jacket by Montane is a breathable shell jacket that will keep you warm, dry and offer 4-season protection from the elements. A great, no-nonsense option for those who want a jacket that does exactly what it says on the tin. Thanks to its lightweight shell fit, it is packable and easy to whip on and off when on the trail. It features the renowned and reliable 3-layer GORE-TEX fabric with GORE C-KNIT backer technology, as well as a fully adjustable foldaway hood, wind beater zip guards, and large hand warmer pockets for the colder seasons.
Every aspect of this jacket is adjustable, from the hood to the hem, and comes in a variety of outstanding (and more subtle) colours.
Berghaus High Trails
When it comes to Berghaus, you know you’ve fallen into the hands of a reliable brand. With 50 years of experience in creating waterproof outdoors clothing, Berghaus knows their audience through-and-through and knows exactly how to accommodate a variety of preferences.
Cue the High Trails Jacket, a longer-length hooded trail jacket sporting 5 pockets (2 zipped at the chest and 2 hand warmer pockets), with Hydoshell Elite fabric keeps you dry and toasty whatever the elements have to throw at you.
Allowing you to adapt on-the-go, the High Trails jacket creates a feature out of its straps, draw-cords and tabs, keeping them easily accessible.
Paramo Alta III
Any walker and rambler will know that the mountain climate is subject to some rapid, and sometimes extreme changes. At the front of your mind you’re going to be actively seeking something that is versatile and adaptive, and the Men’s ALTA III Jacket uses Nikwax Analogy to combat the problems that other waterproof membranes have, such as a sweat-wicking.
As a jacket that is truly designed with the mountain in mind, it takes into account the exertion applied into the difficult uphill treks, not just weatherproofness. This directional sweat-wicking technology excels in the extremities, especially in humid and freezing conditions where removing the moisture away from the inside of the jacket is essential.
Features include arm vents, a wide vision hood that can be packed into the collar and 6 pockets making it perfect for the walker who likes to go hands-free.
If you’re on the lookout for something that is built to withstand the test of time, then this jacket should definitely feature on your list. As a result, this is a heavier jacket, built with durability in mind, but still lightweight enough to whip on and off while on the go.
Rab have been using the e-Vent technology, which keeps the fabric that all-important dry, and cool. Features-wise, this jacket is very back to basics and designed with the backpack user in mind; a roll-down hood secured with Velcro tabs, only two chest pockets to stow away your belongings into, an inner pocket for valuables, and reinforced shoulders to minimize impact of the backpack straps.
The Zeus jacket by Sprayway is the one to watch. Designed for the dedicated mountain sports lovers who are on the lookout for a basic shell jacket that packs a serious punch. The Zeus jacket will keep you warm and dry whatever your sporting discipline up in the hills, from battling the elements on your walk through to ice climbing and fast-paced mountain biking if you were so inclined. The hood is even designed to be helmet-savvy for this reason!
Made from the renowned GORE-Tex, a reliable go-do for durability, and there are plenty of adjustable aspects such as hood, waist, sleeves and hem that make this jacket fully customizable. Colours-wise your choice is limited to red and two shades of blue.
Of all the technical men’s jackets that we have featured so far, this one sits at the bottom of the budget list, a comfortable, won’t-break-the-bank £175. As a result, you get what you pay for- a waterproof shell jacket with two basic map-sized pockets, designed with the rucksack user in mind, and adjustable features including a hood, sleeves and hem and air vents under the arms.
While the price tag might be tempting, the downside is that this jacket is lacking the smart-textiles that have been featured in our list so far. The Balance Jacket nonetheless fulfills its role as a weatherproof jacket, a PU membrane offers a high waterproof and breathable performance, and further yet, the back is made of a sweat-wicking material to keep you dry when the going gets tough.
Ultra lightweight and versatile, this jacket can be whipped on and off with ease, making it a fantastic outdoor clothing staple, whatever your sporting discipline.