Haglöfs L.I.M Proof Multi Jacket
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Best of the Bunch: Our Favourite Lightweight Jackets
Vaude Simony 2.5L Jacket II
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
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
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
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.
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