Best Waterproof Jackets For Women 2020 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Waterproof Jackets For Women 2020

12 of the latest waterproof jackets for women that have impressed our team of testers the most...

When looking to choose the right women’s waterproof jacket it’s important to consider the type of activity or activities you’ll be needing it for and the environments and seasons you’ll be using it in. For Munro bagging in the Highlands for instance, the best waterproof jacket for women will be one that’s tough and able to cope with very wet weather and cold temperatures, whereas if you need something for trail running in Spain during summer, then you’ll want something that’ll keep the rain out but that will be light and packable as it will probably remain in your bag for the duration. In assessing the suitability of a particular jacket, the main factors you want to consider are weight, packability, durability and most importantly, the levels of weather protection and breathability.

There are three different types of waterproof protection to consider: membrane lined, PU coated and wax proofed. They all have various advantages and disadvantages over each other, particularly when it comes to breathability, but the most popular form tends to be membranes which will offer good waterproof protection while still providing a level of breathability. Check out our Buyers Guide to Waterproof Jackets for more on the differences between these.

Related: Best Down Jackets for Women

Related: Best Women’s Walking Boots

Technical features worth considering, and that we have addressed in these reviews, are how well the hood holds (if it lifts off at the slightest bit of wind it can be useless), pocket options and whether any of them will hold an OS map, how the zips are protected (if they’re not waterproof is there at least a storm flap?) and also adjustment options on the hem, neck and cuffs.

There’s also the fit. Baggy and loose means ventilation and also gives the options for layering underneath whereas a close trim can be more aerodynamic in strong winds and can also offer a lower weight overall.

Best Waterproof Jackets for Women in 2020

The majority of the jackets that made it into our list of the top jackets for women featured in our Outdoors Magic Winter 100 and the Outdoors Magic Summer 100 in previous years.

Images: Chris Johnson

BEST BUY: Berghaus Changste Jacket

Price: £290
Weight: 375g

“It’s very interesting stuff; a three-layer design that’s so air permeable you can blow through it.”

Berghaus have used a total of three different Gore-tex fabrics on this jacket, and the result is something that’s extremely technical, protective and functional. It features a helmet-compatible good, arm articulation, two-way zip plus useful pocket options and has clever vents tucked away throughout it to prevent you from getting clammy. “I couldn’t believe how light this is considering how well it coped with the heavy rain I wore it though,” said Outdoors Magic gear tester, Anna Blackwell. “It’s incredibly breathable and I particularly like the stretch fabric at the cuffs.”

Full Specifications

Also available in a men’s version / Featuring Gore-Tex PACLITE PLUS, Gore-Tex Active Shell and Topo Stretch / storm vent on shoulders / two-way zip with button at the base / elasticated sleeves / YKK Aquaguard zips / bluesign approved.

Read our full Berghaus Changste Jacket Review


Columbia OutDry Ex Reign

Price: £155
Weight: 380g

“This breakthrough tech from Columbia has been around for a few years now, and we rate it highly.”

This is the latest and lightest jacket in Columbia’s innovative OutDry range of jackets. Its cleverly made waterproof membrane is on the outside of the jacket instead of being sandwiched between an inner and outer layer as is the common practice. By getting rid of that outer fabric, they’ve completely removed the risk of the jacket’s shell wetting out and causing the waterproof membrane to lose its breathability. The added bonus is that with this is that it’s very eco-friendly method.

“It offers some excellent weather protection,” said our tester Hannah Morris. “It’s so good to have that constant beading when moisture hits it. I like the amount of ventilation potential as well.”

Full Specifications

Available for men and women / OutDry waterproof membrane / 100% nylon ripstop, 100% polyester mesh / adjustable hood with visor / mesh handwarmer pockets / drop tail.

Read our full Columbia OutDry Ex Reign Jacket Review


Arc’teryx Beta LT

Price: £420
Weight: 315g

“…an effective all-rounder when it comes to wintery mountain activities.”

Lightweight but still durable, waterproof but still breathable, the Beta LT couldn’t be much better. Canadian brand Arc’teryx are specialists in mountaineering, climbing and snow sports, so you can expect plenty of features designed to help you through the rough stuff – features like a helmet compatible storm hood, protective water-resistant zips and glove-friendly cord locks. It’s top-level stuff and unsurprisingly comes at the top-level price of £420.

Full Specifications

Available for men / Gore-Tex Pro 3L Shell / helmet compatible, fully adjustable storm hood / Cohaesive cordlocks / harness friendly / chin guard with microsuede / drop tail / adjustable hem / handwarmer pockets / internal chest pocket with zip.

Read our full Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket review (men’s


OMM Kamleika

Price: £180
Weight: 225g

“This is right at the top end of the scale in terms of protection and performance.”

This offering from the mountain marathon specialists is made from a waterproof fabric that’s lightweight and that also has a bit of stretch to it. We’ve tried it out in a number of jackets that use it and it’s never failed us. One for the runners, OMM’s jacket has a practical design to help you comfortably and quickly cover ground in bad weather. It has an aerodynamic close fit, pockets that double up as vents, thumb loops to stop the sleeves from riding up and a hood that holds closely and comfortably.

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version / 20,000mm hydro head / 4-way stretch – YKK Aquaguard zip / fully adjustable peaked hood / reflective detail / adaptable cuffs / zipped hand pockets / reflective detail / drop tail / available in black red or purple.

Read our full OMM Kamleika Jacket review

Haglöfs Virgo

Price: £260
Weight: 395g

“Less is more is the motto as far as the looks of this jacket go, but don’t let the simplistic aesthetics fool you…”

If you’re looking for something a bit technical and that’s made for really bad weather but that won’t weigh you down too much, then look no further than the Virgo by Swedish brand Haglöfs. For anything from camping microadventures, to speedy ascents in the Alps, it’s an aesthetically simple jacket that should serve a range of activities.

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version / 2L Gore-Tex fabric / mesh-lined torso / mid-mounted hand warmer pockets / two-way adjustable hood with reinforced peak / cord adjustment on the hem / Velcro cuffs.

Read our full Haglöfs Virgo review


Páramo Alta III

Price: £275
Weight: 705g

“…it’s a moisture-wicking, weatherproof jacket that can be worn all day in the mountains.”

Páramo do things differently and with excellent results. What we’re mostly referring to here is their style of waterproofing. They don’t use conventional membranes, instead their jackets are treated with a clever wash-in solution called Nikwax Analogy. This repels water mightily effectively and makes fabrics dry faster. Best of all, it’s eco-friendly – which is something Páramo have long been able to boast ahead of other brands. This jacket is cut differently to the others on show here, with a much longer length that comes down to about mid-thigh. Some hikers might see this as a good thing, but fast and light hikers or trail runners probably won’t.

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version / Nikwax Analogy treated / upper arm vents / two handwarmer pockets / large external map pocket / internal pocket for valuables / fully adjustable hood with wired peak / hood stoves in collar / two-way locking front zip with poppered internal storm flap / adjustable cuffs / waist cord adjustment.


Jack Wolfskin Sierra Pass

Price: £150
Weight: 430g

“Waterproof, windproof, breathable, and fully recyclable – the Sierra Jacket gets a big thumbs up from me…”

We were excited to hear about the release of this jacket when it was first previewed around a year ago, and we’re pleased to tell you it’s now finally on the market. The reason for our hype is because this waterproof jacket is the first ever one to be made from 100 per cent recycled materials, and that includes the waterproof membrane. And it’s a good performing jacket as well, that’s the truly remarkable thing about it – just ask our team of testers.

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version / 100% recycled Texapore Ecoshpere 2L membrane / water column rating: 20,000 mm, MVTR: > 15,000 g/m²/24h / fixed hood with back cinch / venting zips underarms / reflectors.

Read our full Jack Wolfskin Sierra Pass review


Patagonia Cloud Ridge

Price: £225
Weight: 343g

“Weighing in at 343g, the Cloud Ridge is one lightweight package…”

Patagonia are well-known for their efforts in defending the environment, whether that’s fighting against government policies, encouraging people to reuse or recycle their kit rather than buying new Patagonia stuff or using recycled face fabrics in their waterproof jackets, as is the case here. The jacket itself is constructed nicely, with smart touches like the microfleece at the back of the neck and on the chinguard, and also the ventilating hand pockets and helmet compatible hood. With it’s climber-friendly features and simple aesthetic, it’s another one of those jackets that’s versatile enough to use for extreme stuff but also for short and simple jaunts.

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version / 3L H2No Performance Shell / 100% recycled polyester ripstop face fabric / two ventilating hand pockets / helmet-compatible hood with laminated visor / watertight front zip / adjustable hem and cuffs / stows away into stuff sack.


Sprayway Era

Price: £180
Weight: 453g

“The Era comes with a range of cleverly designed pockets that hit the storage nail on the hillwalking head.”

Here’s one to consider if you want to get your hands on a Gore-Tex jacket but don’t want to be forking out an eye-watering price for it. It’s a decent jacket that certainly will do the job for any day hikes in the UK hills.

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version / 2L Gore-Tex / mesh and taffeta lining / fully adjustable hood with wired peak / mesh-lined ventilation pockets / concealed external map pocket behind front zip storm flap / internal stash pocket / drawcord adjustable hem.


Rab Valiance

Price: £300
Weight: 615g

“…one of the most impressive and effective heavy-duty winter options on the market right now.”

Something a bit different to finish on. You get two-for-one with the Rab Valiance: a down jacket and a waterproof jacket. It uses an 800 fill power quality down which is housed within a fully waterproof construction involving a smart Pertex Shield outer and fully taped seams. It’s not the most packable of jackets but it’ll prove very handy for wet and cold evenings at camp, or for long and cold days where the rain just won’t go away.

Full Specifications

Available in a mens version / Pertex Shield outer / 100% nylon inner / 800 Fill Power European Goose Down (160g) / Nikwax Hydrophobic treatment / synthetic filled helmet compatible hood  with wired peak / 2 hand warmer pockets / internal valuables pocket / drawcord adjustment on hood and hem / stuffsack.

Read our full Rab Valiance Jacket review


Gore R7 ShakeDry Jacket

Price: £260
Weight: 118g

“This is ideal as an option to carry in summer, just in case there’s a shower, and then to wear right through winter during evening runs .”

ShakeDry by Gore features an impressive new form of waterproofing that gets rid of the problem of your jacket ‘wetting out’. That is to say they’ve done away with the outer shell fabric you normally see on a waterproof and left the membrane exposed on the outside. As well as giving you permanent moisture beading, this development also makes for a very light and very breathable jacket that’s absolutely ideal for wearing during wet weather runs.

Related: Best Waterproof Overtrousers

“I wore this in the Brecon Beacons while it was bucketing down and it was very impressive,” said our tester Nic Hardy. “You could see the moisture beading right off it and it was also noticeably very breathable and without any issues on that front.”

Full Specifications

Available in a men’s version also / close fitting hood / Gore-Tec Active membrane / reinforced and elasticated hem / front zip pocket doubles as a stow-away pocket.

Read our full Gore R7 ShakeDry Jacket Review


The North Face FutureLight Summit L5

Price: £550
Weight: 660g

The FutureLight part of this jacket’s name refers to its membrane, which is rather special. In fact, The North Face have called it the most breathable waterproof fabric ever created and they might just be right there. We’ve tried a number of products that feature it over the past year, including the Summit L5 featured here, and we’ve been very impressed. It really is breathable – and it gives a nice bit of stretch to boot.

There’s plenty to like from an eco perspective as well. It’s produced in solar-powered factories, is made from over 90% recycled materials and there are none of those nasty PFCs used either.

The jacket itself, the North Face FutureLight Summit L5, is very much a high mountain option and the price tag reflects that. It’s designed to protect the wearer through some mightily rough conditions and help them carry and operate all of their technical equipment. What we mean here is that it’s cut for harness and helmet compatibility and there are loads of deep pockets in all the right places. There are also plenty of adjustment options so that you can really hunker down in it.

Full Specifications

Three-layer 70D x 70D 93% nylon fabric with 7% elastane / 3D ergonomic patterning / fully adjustable, helmet-compatible hood with perforated chin guard and wire brim / two chest pockets and bellowed front pocket – all harness-compatible / three internal pockets / internal elastic thumb loops.

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2019/20 – Here’s our full The North Face Apex FutureLight L5 Summit review. 


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