Best Lightweight Waterproof Jackets 2020 | Top 10 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Lightweight Waterproof Jackets 2020 | Top 10

Looking for a waterproof jacket for fast and light adventures? Here are some options we recommended...

We’ve tested the best new lightweight waterproof jackets for 2020, suitable for everything from walking and hiking to trail running in the hills and mountains. The key criteria with all waterproof jackets are performance, value and how protective they feel; but with lightweight spring and summer jackets we were also interested in how packable they are for stashing in your backpack when they aren’t needed.

We’ve chosen jackets from the top brands using a variety of fabrics – top names including Gore-Tex plus leading own-brand fabrics. All the jackets are guaranteed 100% waterproof but come with a variety of options in terms of hoods, materials, pockets and stuff-sacks.

One of the main things to consider when choosing a lightweight and packable waterproof jacket is how much you’re prepared to compromise on features. Some super-lightweight jackets save grams by cutting back on things like adjustable hoods, cuffs, hems and zipped pockets; so consider what’s most important to you in a shell before buying.

For more information on choosing the right waterproof jacket, it’s worth checking out our waterproof jackets buyer’s guide. Or if you’re after a more heavyweight and durable offering, then take a look at our Best Waterproof Jackets article for a roundup of our top picks.

Our Favourite Lightweight Waterproof Jackets

Click the links below to navigate straight to each review.


Gore R7 ShakeDry Jacket

Price: £260
Weight: 118g

This new ultra light version of Gore-Tex called ShakeDry has been designed for people who want protection during high tempo activities; when it’s essential that the fabrics they’re wearing are light, water and wind proof as well as capable of managing hot, moist air.

Used here in the R7, the result is a jacket that weighs just 118g. The secret is that in ShakeDry, the membrane is switched to the outside of the jacket and the shell fabric, which you normally find on waterproof jackets, is removed altogether, therefore meaning there’s nothing to become saturated. Water will simply bead and run straight off, and the jacket will… shake dry.

The ultralight stats have been achieved not just by removing the outer fabric, but also by simplifying the feature set, taking a minimalist approach. There’s a simple hood with an elasticated rim, a full main zip, elasticated cuffs and then zipped handpockets – one of which doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket itself. When you’ve packed it all away, the result is a minuscule bundle the size of a fist.

OK so you have something that’s light, waterproof, and remarkably breathable also, but there’s a catch, and that’s that the Gore R7 isn’t very durable. It isn’t the kind of jacket to wear with a backpack, the risk here being that the straps and back panel might rub away and compromise the longevity of the membrane in these areas. So this ultimately discounts it as something to use for hikes and runs of more than a few miles, or for climbing or scrambling, but for those quick evening runs, or for cycling, it’s perfect.

Ultra light, breathable, doesn’t wet out

Lack of durability

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Gore-Tex ShakeDry waterproof membrane / Close-ditting hood / full length main zip / zipped hand pockets / elasticated hem and cuffs / front zip pocket that doubles as stash / athletic fit.

Salewa Puez Aqua 3 Powertex

Price: £90
Weight: 307g

If you spend time walking or hiking in Europe you’ll see lots of people wearing Salewa gear, and the main reason is because in general it’s very good. The Puez Aqua 3 Powertex ticks pretty much every box for a lightweight waterproof jacket in terms of weight, bulk and performance. Add in the fact it looks and feels good with a price of less than £100, and you realise you’re getting excellent value for money.

The 2.5-layer Powertex waterproof fabric can handle everything from showers to torrential downpours and has a nice soft feel to it. The cut is quite slim and athletic, with a well-fitting elasticated hood, plus adjustable cuffs and hem. It’s a shame the hood can’t be fully tightened or adjusted, but that’s the price you pay for the weight saving.

In terms of packability, you can scrunch the Puez Aqua 3 Powertex down pretty small inside its own hood, so it’s nice and easy to store until the heavens open and you need some protection. Overall, we’re very impressed. For the price, it’s very hard to beat.

Outstanding value, great look and feel, nice cut, adjustable cuffs and hem, two zipped pockets

Non-adjustable hood

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-5XL (men’s), 4-18 (women’s) / Bluesign approved Powertex 2.5L fabric, two zipped pockets / weight 307g, ergonomically shaped sleeves / elastic bindings on cuff and hem.


Alpkit Gravitas

Price: £129
Weight: 170g

As ever from Alpkit, the Gravitas is a well designed lightweight and packable waterproof jacket that does everything you’d expect at a bargain price. For the impressive weight of 170g, you get a decent feature set with a wired and adjustable hood, zipped chest pocket and adjustable hem. You also get a supplied stuff-sack that allows you to crush it down to roughly the size of a large orange and pop it in your backpack until you need it.

The 3-layer material doesn’t feel too thin for a jacket this light and although we’d probably have preferred a little more coverage below the waist, in use the Alpkit Gravitas felt great and performed well on both hikes and trail runs in the wind and rain.

Alpkit describe it as being designed for ‘running, racing and fast & light adventures’ and although we’d agree with that it’s probably at its best for running and cycling, it also doubles up as an excellent back-up waterproof layer for hiking in spring and summer. Walkers would probably like an extra pocket and adjustable cuffs to complete the feature set, but maybe we’re just being picky,

Tough 3-layer fabric, low weight, great packability, adjustable wired hood and hem, supplied stuff-sack

Just a single pocket, no cuff adjustment

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-XXL (men’s), 8-16 (women’s) / Fully-taped seams / water-resistant front zip with internal flap / adjustable hood with wired peak / adjustable hem / zipped chest pocket / stuff-sack included.

Salomon La Cote Flex 2.5L

Price: £130
Weight: 299g

There’s a lot to like about the Salomon La Cote Flex 2.5L waterproof jacket. It offers fantastic waterproof and windproof protection thanks to the 2.5-layer waterproof fabric, while also feeling comfortable and allowing you to move completely unrestricted on your hikes and hillwalks.

The two-tone design looks quite cool (although there’s a plain black version if you prefer a more understated look), and you get a comprehensive feature set for your £130. The two zipped external pockets have a mesh lining for increased airflow, the hood and hem have adjustable drawcords, and the cuffs can be tailored to your wrists with adjustable Velcro tabs.

The fit is long enough to comfortably cover your waist with space for extra layers underneath, and the material has an impressively soft and rustle-free feel to it. The weight is starting to creep up slightly compared to others in this test, but it still feels very lightweight and packable for storing in your pack on spring and summer days. An excellent hiking jacket.

Comfortable with great freedom of movement; fully adjustable hood, hem and cuffs; two zipped pockets, water-resistant front zip

Slightly heavier and less packable than others on test

Full Specifications

Sizes S-XXL (men’s), XS-XL (women’s) / 2.5-layer waterproof fabric / two zipped pockets; water-resistant zip / adjustable hood, hem and cuffs.

Outdoor Research Helium II

Price: £155
Weight: 180g

The Outdoor Research Helium II is a super-lightweight outer layer that can be stuffed into its own internal pocket. The first thing you’ll notice when you pick it up is how thin and minimal it feels. Outdoor Research say it’s ‘built for flash-storm protection’ and that’s a good way to look at it. We think this makes a great emergency layer in the mountains, because it’s easy to carry and offers full waterproof protection when you need it.

It has a fairly roomy feel with enough space underneath for an insulating mid-layer, with the hem dropping just below the waistline for full torso protection. In terms of feature-set, it has fully taped seams with an adjustable hood and hem, elasticated wrists, zipped chest pocket and reflective logos.

We have a couple of small gripes, like the rustly material and a slightly sticky main zip; but mostly this is a very good option for lightweight waterproof protection on spring and summer walks and hikes.

Extremely lightweight, easily packable, nice reflective details, fully-taped seams, good features for such a minimal jacket

Non-adjustable wrists, noisy material, slightly sticky main zip

Full Specifications

Sizes S-XXL (men’s), XS-XL (women’s) / Pertex Shield fabric / fully taped seams / YKK AquaGuard zips / reflective logos / integrated stuff sack / carabiner loop / 2 pockets (1 zipped).


Haglöfs L.I.M Proof Multi Jacket

Price: £160
Weight: 237g

The Haglöfs L.I.M Proof Multi Jacket ticks all the boxes for a summer shell. It’s fully waterproof, weighs less than 240g, packs down small in your pack and has a stylish two-tone design. The fit isn’t necessarily loose, but it feels roomy enough to wear a couple of layers underneath if you’re hiking somewhere that’s likely to have low temperatures.

We liked the fact the zipped hand pockets are positioned above the rucksack hipbelt so you get good access to them at all times – a simple touch that often gets ignored in hillwalking jackets. The hood, cuffs and hem are all elasticated so offer good freedom of movement; but none of them are adjustable so you can’t adapt it to your body shape.

Overall, though, there isn’t a lot to dislike with this jacket from the Haglöfs ‘Less is More’ range. The price is good, the fit is good and there’s no arguing with the performance. It all comes down to how much value you place on being able to adjust key areas of the jacket.

Good price, low weight, roomy, with well-thought-out pocket placements

No adjustment on hood, cuffs or hem

Full Specifications

Sizes XS-XXL (men’s), XS-XXL (women’s) / Haglöfs Proof 2.5L fabric, 2 zipped pockets, fluorocarbon free DWR treated surfaces, elasticated hem and cuffs, mesh windows in pockets to enhance airflow, reflective details.

Berghaus Hyper 140

Price: £180
Weight: 138g

Berghaus have been releasing versions of the Hyper for the past few years, and this new release for spring 2019 is just as impressive as its predecessors. It doesn’t match the astonishing 75g weight of the Berghaus Vapourlite Hyper Smock 2.0, but as far as super-lightweight hiking waterproofs go this takes some beating.

The Hyper 140 is by far the lightest jacket we tested, which gives it a big tick, but it would be impossible to make those weight gains without sacrifices elsewhere. You get a 2.5-layer Hydroshell Elite waterproof fabric, two external zipped pockets and supplied stuff-sack that lets you scrunch it down to roughly the size of an apple – perfect for stashing either in your pack or pocket on days with a risk of rain.

The downsides are a very thin and slightly rustly material that offers little insulation, plus no adjustment on the hood, cuffs and hem. The price is also quite high for a back-up layer, but there’s no arguing that the Hyper 140 is a superb lightweight waterproof layer for warm spring and summer days.

Amazingly low weight and small packed size; good for walking, running and cycling; two zipped pockets; supplied stuff-sack

Thin and slightly rustly material; no cuff, hood or hem adjustment

Full Specifications

Sizes: XS-XL (men’s) / Hydroshell Elite 2.5L fabric / hydrostatic head of 20,000mm / YKK AquaGuard Vision front zips / ergonomic cuffs / 2 zipped external pockets / internal security pockets.

Rab Kinetic Plus

Price: £180
Weight: 317g

The Kinetic Plus is a very interesting waterproof jacket from Rab. It has all the flexibility, comfort and versatility of a softshell, with a stretchy Proflex waterproof membrane hidden inside to keep you dry when the heavens open. With a hydrostatic head of 10,000mm it can’t compete with purely dedicated waterproof jackets for being completely impervious to rain, but it’s not far behind.

We were big fans of the Kinetic Plus as soon as we opened it – thanks to the impressive flex in the material and body-hugging slim fit – but we were even bigger fans once we started using it. The jacket moves brilliantly with your body as you walk and the soft, brushed material feels extremely breathable.

At 317g there are lighter waterproof jackets out there, but the Kinetic Plus makes up for that by feeling so different to its competitors. It has two huge zipped pockets, a Velcro adjustment on the wired peak and wrist cuffs, and feels as breathable as a soft shell with the added bonus of that stretchy waterproof layer. Bravo Rab!

Superb comfort, great freedom of movement, excellent breathability, adjustable hood and cuffs, two large zipped pockets

Lower hydrostatic head than others on test, no hem adjustment

Full Specifications

Sizes S-XXL (men’s), 8-16 (women’s) / Proflex waterproof fabric / taped seams / stretch hood with stiffened peak / YKK AquaGuard water-resistant front zip / Velcro adjustment on hood and cuffs.

Vaude Simony 2.5L Jacket II

Price: £195
Weight: 296g

The Vaude Simony 2.5L Jacket II is a brilliantly designed spring and summer hiking waterproof, with all the features you’d want to keep you safe and dry in all conditions. It’s fully waterproof and windproof with an impressive feature set – plus a low weight of just 296g.

You get two external pockets and one internal pocket, zipped underarm ventilation for hiking on hot days, a fully adjustable hood that moves well with your head, adjustable Velcro cuffs and an adjustable drawcord hem.

Add in the fact that the Simony looks and feels great, has a price of less than £200, and gets eco-friendly points for its use of sustainable materials, and you’ve pretty much got the perfect summer waterproof.

Weighs less than 300g; full adjustment of hood, cuffs and hem; underarm ventilation, 3 zipped pockets

Price creeping towards £200, supplied stuff sack would be a nice touch

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-XXL (men’s), 32-46 (women’s) / Ceplex Advanced 2.5 layer waterproofing / two handwarmer pockets with waterproof zips / two-way front zip / underarm zips / adjustable hood / drawcord hem / Bluesign approved.

Mammut Meron Light

Price: £329
Weight: 357g

The Mammut Meron Light is an impressively lightweight waterproof jacket, considering the fact it’s made from tough 3-layer Gore-Tex Active fabric that can handle Alpine terrain and any kind of weather conditions.

The price of £329 is quite eye-watering, but you’re getting a serious amount of jacket for your money here. The Meron Light has a nice slim and athletic fit; a protective, helmet compatible and fully-adjustable hood that moves well with your head; fully adjustable wrist cuffs; plus two large external zipped pockets that can still be reached when wearing rucksack hip belts and climbing harnesses.

As you’d expect for price and quality of material used, this is a high-end jacket with high-end performance. It performs well and feels great while hillwalking and hiking, although we were slightly surprised to discover that the hem is elasticated rather than fully adjustable. The big advantage of the Mammut Meron Light, though, is that it can be used all year-round.

Built for all weather and terrain, durable, athletic fit, protective and adjustable hood, adjustable cuffs, two large well-positioned pockets

Weight creeping up, high price, no hem adjustment

Full Specifications

Sizes S-XXL (men’s), XS-XL (women’s) / 3-layer Gore-Tex Active fabric / hydrostatic head of 28,000mm / 2 zipped pockets / YKK Vision front zip / adjustable cuffs and Velcro fasteners / elasticated hem.

Written by: Oli Reed and Will Renwick

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Best Waterproof Jackets 2017

Best Softshell Jackets 2019

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