Best Sustainable Waterproof Jackets Reviewed 2021 - Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Gear, Equipment, News, Reviews, Forums, Walking Routes and More at OutdoorsMagic.com

Share

Group Tests and Best Buys

Best Sustainable Waterproof Jackets Reviewed 2021

Sustainability is quite a hard thing to measure when it comes to outdoor gear manufacture. OK, a jacket might be made out of recycled materials, but then there are other factors to consider, like the process of recycling, or the shipping of the product. There are also cases when a product might come with recycled materials but then have a membrane containing virgin plastics. In other words, there’s a lot to consider when looking for the best sustainable waterproof jacket.

Related: Best Vegan Walking Boots
Related: Best Synthetic Insulated Jacket

And that’s why we’re going to say this up front: not all of the products on this page are totally impact free. What we’ve done here is select the brands and their products that display admirable, progressive efforts towards sustainability. Granted, some of them are carbon-neutral, and we’ll make sure to highlight those ones, but others will just be low-impact, and again, we’ll highlight those ones too. Rest assured, all of the brands included here are ones that, from what we’ve seen, are genuinely committed to lowering their impact on the environment.

Eco-Friendly Waterproof Jackets: What To Look For

Here are some of the aspects worth inspecting when you’re in search of a sustainably made waterproof jacket. The most sustainable waterproof shell will tick all of the following boxes.

Recycled materials

Many brands are now using recycled materials in their products – in fact, it’s not far from becoming the norm. What you need to look out for, however, is the extent of these recycled materials, because some jackets might use a recycled face fabric but then virgin plastic will make up the rest of it, including the membrane, lining, zips etc.

By and large, recycled nylon tends to be stronger and more durable than recycled polyester, so that’s the material to look for. It’s less commonly seen, however, as the process of recycling is trickier and subsequently more expensive.

Recyclable materials

When buying a hardshell jacket, check whether it’s recyclable. If it is, brands will often state this on the product listing. Check out our advice on what to do with old outdoor gear for details on how you can go about recycling a jacket that’s no longer usable.

Repairability

Far too many jackets get wasted simply because of something small like a zip malfunction. Thankfully, more and more brands are now making their jackets with repairability in mind. So, before making a purchase, just check what the brand (and reviewers) have said about the product’s repairability. It’s worth looking at whether the brand has its own repair policy.

Non-hazardous chemicals

Not so long ago, just about every waterproof jacket came with a durable water repellent treatment containing potentially eco-hazardous chemicals called PFCs. Fortunately, many brands are now shunning these and turning to alternatives but there are still cases where the chemicals are being used. Bear in mind that Gore-tex jackets will contain PFCs, though Gore states that these are a variant of no environmental concern.

The 10 Best Sustainable Waterproof Jackets Reviewed

Here’s our round up of what we consider to be the most eco-friendly waterproof jackets currently on the market. Follow the links with each one to read a full review from our gear test team.

  • Páramo Velez – Best Sustainable Waterproof Jacket Tested
  • Ortovox 3L Deep Shell
  • Fjällräven High Coast Hydratic
  • Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Pro
  • Patagonia Dual Aspect
  • Craghoppers Dynamic 12000
  • Halti Next Generation Jacket
  • Klättermusen Allgron 2.0
  • Montane Pac Plus XT
  • Columbia OutDry Ex Eco Tech II

 Best Buy: Páramo Velez

Price: £300
Weight: 605g
Eco rating: 9/10

This jacket is very different to all the other jackets on this page and that’s because it doesn’t use a waterproof membrane. Instead, it uses something called Nikwax Analogy which is basically a combination of quick drying synthetic fabrics that are treated with a special Nikwax hydrophobic solution. You know that clammy feeling you get in a jacket with a membrane like Gore-tex? You don’t get that with this system from Páramo and that’s why it’s perfect for any wet weather hikes in mild temperatures and/or during strenuous activity. And what’s particularly good about Nikwax is that it’s water based and contains no hazardous chemicals – so no PFCs then. What’s more, the materials used for the Velez are all fair trade certified and the jacket can be recycled at the end of its life.

OK Páramo isn’t 100% waterproof, but from our experience, it’ll keep you dry in all but the most prolonged and vicious of downpours, and even then, the fabric dries extremely quickly, so you won’t end up staying wet for long when the rain eases.

Read our full Páramo Velez review

MORE INFO PARAMO-CLOTHING.COM

Patagonia Dual Aspect

Price: £450
Weight:
465g
Eco rating:
9/10

This is the first ever H2No waterproof jacket from Patagonia that doesn’t contain any PFCs. The brand certainly took its time to make this move, their excuse being that they weren’t happy with the durability and performance of any of the PFC-free alternatives available. After extensive tests throughout a Cairngorm winter, they’re apparently satisfied with what they’ve developed.

As well as being PFC-free, this 3-layer alpine shell is made with a 100% recycled ripstop nylon face fabric and it’s Fair Trade Certified sewn.

Useful details include two-way pit zips for ventilation, a built in RECCO reflector and harness/hipbelt friendly pockets.

Read our full Patagonia Dual Aspect review

BUY NOW: PATAGONIA.COM

Ortovox 3L Deep Shell

Price: £650
Weight: 396g
Eco rating: 9/10

This hardy shell jacket for backcountry skiers and mountaineers is climate neutral according to German brand Ortovox. That means it was produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible, whilst any unavoidable CO2 emissions have been offset.

It uses a waterproof system, called Demizax EV, that contains no PFCs and that doesn’t require reproofing. From our experience of this membrane, it’s got an impressively long performance lifespan, meaning you should get a good number of years out of this thing.

The merino insulation that lines sections of this, including on the chest and on the chin, is all ethically sourced and produced in line with the brand’s own wool promise and it’s manufactured under fair working conditions in conformity with the Fair Wear Foundation.

Read our full Ortovox 3L Deep Shell review

BUY NOW: ORTOVOX.COM

Montane Pac Plus XT

Price: £240
Weight: 375g
Eco rating: 5/10

This lightweight jacket for fast and light mountain activities has a face fabric that’s made from 100% recycled materials derived from plastic bottles. The other materials, however, are not recycled.

The membrane it uses is Gore-tex Paclite Plus and it’s worth bearing in mind that this contains PFCs – albeit a variant of them that, according to Gore, are of ‘no environmental concern’.

Montane are a brand that offers repair services in-house for non-warranty related issues, so if any wear and tear occurs over the course of the jacket’s life, it can be sent off for fixing up.

Features include pit zips for ventilation, glove-friendly zipper tabs, a stashable hood, stormproof hood and map sized handwarmer pockets.

Read our full Montane Pac Plus XT review

BUY NOW: MONTANE.COM

Craghoppers Dynamic 12000

Price: £120
Weight:
570g
Eco rating:
7/10

Craghoppers’ award winning Dynamic 12000 jacket has a face fabric made from a recycled polyester fabric with around 60 plastic bottles used to make each jacket. The Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment applied to this is similarly eco-friendly, using EcoShield plant-based chemistry rather than the harmful and persistent perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) found in many other waterproof jackets.

Interestingly, the Dynamic 12000 is equipped with a special mesh lining imbued with six natural minerals and these, Craghoppers say, reflect your body’s own infra-red rays back into the body to improve the circulation of oxygen-rich blood and encourage cell regeneration.

Considering the eco credentials and the fact that this has picked up an ISPO award – one of the biggest awards in the industry – we’d say £120 is a very reasonable price for this.

Read our full Craghoppers Dynamic 12000 review

BUY NOW: CRAGHOPPERS.COM

 

Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity

Price: £600
Weight: 600g
Eco rating: 7/10

This is a jacket that’s made without any added chemicals and that means no eco-hazardous PFCs are present in the fabric’s water repellent treatment (DWR). There isn’t actually a water repellent treatment here at all – that’s something you very rarely see with three-layer waterproof products. Helly Hansen say there’s no need for one, with their unique Lifa yarns being able to do the job without any added help (more on that further down). The other indirect advantage of not using a DWR is that the jacket won’t require tumble drying after washing in order to reactivate the treatment, which ultimately makes the jacket less energy intensive.

The reason this is grey? It’s because the fabric is solution dyed – a technique that reduces the use of chemicals and water compared to standard dyeing processes.

Details on this durable alpine shell include easy-to-use cuff tabs, one-handed adjustment at the hem, a comfortable chin guard and harness/hipbelt compatible pockets. There are the useful extra details as well, including a removable powder skirt, interior valuables/lift pass pocket, RECCO reflector and glove friendly zipper tabs.

Read our full Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity review

BUY NOW: HELLYHANSEN.COM

Halti Next Generation

Price: £249
Weight:
600g
Eco rating:
6/10

Not only is the jacket (which is also available in a men’s version) made using PFC-free recycled materials but it’s designed so that it can easily be recycled when its use comes to an end. It’s also designed so that it can be repaired (whether that’s by the user or by Halti) with the zips, tabs and panels all easy enough to remove and replace if they happen to wear out.

The main material used here is a two-layer Polyester with 50% recycled content. The outer has a very durable feel to it but it’s still soft and smooth to the touch. You’ve then got a mix of mesh and a silky Polyester as a lining on the inside.

Read our full Halti Next Generation review

BUY NOW: HALTI.COM

Klättermusen Allgron 2.0

Price: £372
Weight:
624g
Eco rating:
10/10

The Klättermusen Allgron 2.0 is made from a material called Ultramid Bio-mass Balance which is a Polyamide that’s derived from renewable resources. The water resistant coating is also completely free from any eco-hazardous fluorocarbon chemicals.

Like the Halti jacket in this list, the zip has been designed so that it can be replaced if and when it breaks, so the jacket won’t have to go to the landfill due to one small malfunction. There’s also the overall durability of the Allgron 2.0. You can sense it’ll stand up to most abrasion and ultimately last a long time. When it comes to sustainability, that should be the first box that brands are looking to tick.

Read our full Klättermusen Allgron 2.0 review

BUY NOW: KLATTERMUSEN.COM

Columbia OutDry Ex Eco II Tech

Price: £130
Weight:
450g
Eco rating:
6/10

OutDry Extreme is the first ever waterproof and breathable rainwear that has a durable waterproof layer on the outside and soft, wicking fabric on the inside. Rather than hide the waterproof membrane beneath an outer fabric, this concept puts the most important part of a rain jacket (the bit that keeps you dry) front and centre. Arguably the best thing about this tech is that it doesn’t require the use of a DWR water repellency treatment on the face fabric. Why? Because there is no face fabric. And that means no PFCs. On top of that, there’s also the fact that all of the jacket’s trims are made from recycled materials. That includes the zip, toggles, eyelets, washers, labels and threads. The main fabrics are not made from recycled materials.

Read our full Columbia OutDry Ex Eco II Tech review.

BUY NOW COLUMBIASPORTSWEAR.CO.UK

 

Fjällräven High Coast Hydratic

Price: £200
Weight:
317g
Eco rating:
9/10

Like almost all of Fjällräven’s kit, the High Coast Hydratic is an eco-friendly garment, made from recycled nylon with a PFC-free waterproof-breathable laminate and durable water repellent finish.

The face fabric is 100% polyamide – more commonly called nylon to you and me – and this is entirely made from recycled content. This is backed with a PU (polyurethane) waterproof-breathable laminate and finished with a raised inner print for improved performance and better next-to-skin comfort.

The jacket’s feature set is relatively simple but it gives you all you’re likely to need for everyday use and weekend rambles. This includes a three-way adjustable hood and zipped hand pockets, as well as underarm pit zips for ventilation.

Read our full Fjällräven High Coast Hydratic review

BUY NOW: BLACKLEAF.COM

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production