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.
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 2022
- Halti Next Generation DryMaxx Shell – Best In Test Waterproof Jacket
- CimAlp Performance 3F
- Harrier Exmoor
- Montane Pac Plus XT
- Arc’teryx Beta LT
- OMM Kamleika
- BlackYak Caracu
- Klattermusen Allgron
- Patagonia Dual Aspect
- Patagonia Storm Racer
- Rab Valiance
- Craghoppers Anderson Cagoule
- The North Face Apex Flex FutureLight
BEST BUY: Halti Next Generation DryMaxx Shell
Best for: Countryside and hill walks
Key attributes: Eco-friendly, great quality
If you’re after a good-looking, well-made jacket for countryside rambles and three-season hillwalking, Finnish brand Halti’s Next Generation shell would be a good choice. Not only is the jacket made using PFC-free recycled materials but it’s also fully recyclable and can be easily 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. That makes it a very sustainable garment.
It provides plenty of coverage in wet weather too, with a longer hem, an adjustable hood, a hem drawcord and Velcro cuff tabs. The main zip has double storm flaps to prevent leaks.
Women’s sizes: EU 32-48 (also available in a men’s fit: XS-4XL) / 2L Polyester DryMaxx Ultimate Pro fabric / Fixed hood with roll down packing / Adjustable hem and cuff flaps / Large pockets / All seams taped / Reflective details and Halti branding / Perfluorocarbon (PFC) free
Read our full Halti Next Generation Women’s DryMaxx Shell review.
|BUY NOW: HALTI.COM|
CimAlp Performance 3F Jacket
Best for: Hiking, general outdoor use
Key attributes: Versatile, practical, comfortable
CimAlp’s Performance 3F jacket is a versatile, practical and great value everyday outdoor/hiking jacket. It employs CimAlp’s own fabric technology, namely 3-layer HardShell with a windproof nylon face fabric and a waterproof-breathable membrane. Construction is commendably eco-friendly, employing organic dyeing, bluesign-certified manufacturing and a PFC-free DWR Teflon EcoElite treatment derived from renewable resources. That’s a tick in the sustainability box then.
The 3-layer fabric is very comfortable, with a pleasant next-to-skin feel compared to most 2.5-layer jackets. It’s well-made and finished nicely, so we’d also expect this jacket to be more durable than lighter alternatives. You get plenty of features, including water-resistant zippers, ventilation zips under the arms, two handwarmer pockets, two inside pockets and an adjustable hood and hem. Our favourite feature is the adjustable cuffs, since they have a little stretch for a tighter fit to lock out chilly gusts. It means they fit snugly over wrists but also over gloves without the sleeves riding up and exposing any skin.
Women’s sizes: XS-XXL / 3L HardShell fabric / Ventilation zips under the arms / 2 handwarmer pockets / 2 inside pockets / Adjustable hood / Adjustable cuffs / Windproof stretch cuff at wrists / Adjustable hem.
|BUY NOW: CIMALP.CO.UK|
Harrier Exmoor Jacket
Best For: Trail running, fast-paced hiking, just-in-case jacket
Key attributes: Compatible with race vests, plenty of venting options, fantastic price point
The Exmoor is constructed from a Polyester outer, a PU membrane and then a sprayed on PU backer. It has a lot of stretch to it, almost softshell jacket-type levels, but the material does come rated with a decent 15,000mm hydrostatic head. This will cope with heavy rain, without compromising too much on breathability.
The seams of the jacket are all fully taped, to comply with FRA race requirements. Integrated pit zips and press studs down the main zip seam allow plenty of venting options. The back panel of the jacket is shaped to fit a race vest underneath, and it’s constructed with not one, but two front zips.
Other features include the peaked hood, thumb loops at the end of each sleeve, silicone front strips (prevents race vest slipping), three zipped pockets on the front and one on the back.
Polyester outer / PU membrane and PU backer / hydrostatic head: 15,000mm / fully taped seams / integrated pit zips / press studs / peaked hood / thumb loops at the sleeves / silicone front strips / three zipped pockets at front / one back pocket / trail running vest compatible.
Read our full Harrier Exmoor review.
|BUY NOW: HARRIERRUNFREE.CO.UK|
Montane Pac Plus XT
Best for: Climbing, scrambling, hillwalking
Key attributes: Light but tough, eco-friendly aspects, good feature set
The Pac Plus XT is an evolution of the Montane Pac Plus jacket, which was released a couple of years ago. The main changes are that the face fabric has been toughened up from 30-denier to 40-denier and it’s now made from 100% recycled nylon. That’s a tick for sustainability and for lifetime durability too.
This is a jacket for fast and light adventures, whether that’s climbing, scrambling or trekking. Expect two-way YKK Aquaguard pit zips, a helmet-compatible hood with three-way adjustment and a stiffened peak, 3 useful external pockets (including two map-sized, mesh-lined hand pockets with YKK Aquaguard zips), adjustable cuffs and hem, and a full-length two-way front zip with internal storm flap. That’s a great array of features, particularly for a jacket that still weighs under 400g.
Available in women’s (8-16) and men’s (S-XXL) versions / Gore-tex Paclite Plus / helmet-friendly hood / 3 pockets / two-way main zip / two-way pit zips / cuff and hem adjustment / 100% recycled 40D face fabric.
Read our full Montane Pac Plus XT jacket review.
|BUY NOW: MONTANE.COM|
Arc’teryx Beta LT
Best for: Climbing, mountaineering, hiking and backpacking
Key attributes: Quality build and durable, breathable materials
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.
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.
|BUY NOW: ARCTERYX.COM|
Best for: trail and ultra running
Key attributes: Stretchy, breathable and quiet fabric
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.
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.
|BUY NOW: THEOMM.COM|
Black Yak Caracu Jacket
Best for: Hiking, trekking, summer climbing
Key attributes: Lightweight, packable, protective
The Black Yak Caracu is a lightweight but fully-featured mountain shell that is easy to stash in a pack but protective enough to fend off everything from light drizzle to a full-on downpour. It’s the quintessential outdoors all-rounder; a versatile multi-activity shell for three-season hiking, trekking, mountaineering and climbing. The Gore-Tex Paclite Plus waterproof-breathable membrane works well whether you’re out in cold, dry conditions or trekking in hot and humid weather.
It’s also light and packable enough to be a good ‘just in case’ jacket on day hikes or multi-day trips, but protective enough to fend off wild weather from spring through autumn. Tipping the scales at 285g for a women’s medium, it offers a high level of weather protection with only a small weight penalty. As such, it’s a viable choice for lightweight backpacking and alpine climbing too.
In terms of features, there’s a large, helmet-compatible hood with three-point adjustment and a laminated brim to keep rain from dripping down onto your face. The two-way main zip is a highly water-resistant YKK Aquaguard reverse coil design, as are those that are used for the two hand pockets. There are also two-way pit zips to help you dump heat fast. The rear of the jacket has a pronounced drop tail for added rear coverage, while the hem and cuffs are all adjustable.
Sizes XS-XL / 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite Plus waterproof-breathable membrane / Helmet compatible hood / Three point hood adjustment / Laminated hood brim / YKK AQUAGUARD Reverse Coil Double Slider Centre Front Zip / Double Slider Underarm Ventilation Zippers / Drop tail design / Two hand pockets with laminated YKK AQUAGUARD zipper closure / Adjustable hem.
|BUY NOW: GLOBAL.BLACKYAK.COM|
Klättermusen Allgron 2.0
Best for: Climbing, mountaineering, hillwalking, hiking
Key attributes: Eco-friendly, high-spec, well-built
This jacket is aimed at mountain-loving climbers, with features designed for technical use. This includes RECCO reflectors in case of avalanche, while the pockets and main zip, for example, have been deliberately positioned so as to not interfere with a climbing harness and the arms are articulated to allow high, unhindered reaches. You also get a 3D-adjustable peaked hood and underarm ventilation. The sleeve cuffs feature adjustable toggles and elastic sleeve ends, so they can be worn over the wrist or as little thumb loops to help the sleeves stay put.
The Klättermusen Allgron 2.0 is made from Ultramid Biomass Balanced Polyamide, which is a more sustainable way to produce synthetic fabrics. It also has a PFC-free durable water repellent coating. The fabric has a slight bit of stretch to it but it also feels hardy – you can sense it’ll stand up to most abrasion and ultimately last a long time.
Unisex XS-XXL / 3L Cutan made from 50% Ultramid Bio-Mass Balanced Polyamide and 50% Polyamide / bluesign approved fabric / PFC-free / water column rating: 20,000 mm, MVTR: > 20,000 g/m/24h / fixed adjustable peaked hood / venting zips underarms / RECCO reflector.
Read our full Klättermusen Women’s Allgron 2.0 jacket review
|BUY NOW: KLATTERMUSEN.COM|
Patagonia Dual Aspect
Best for: Technical assaults, stormy weather, alpine climbing
Key attributes: Eco-friendly, fully-featured, protective, stormproof
In an era of so-called ‘green-washing’ by many consumer brands, it’s refreshing to think that Patagonia walks the walk as well as talking the talk. The latest Dual Aspect jacket is a case in point, employing a 3-layer H2No Performance Standard fabric made from a 100% recycled nylon ripstop face with a slick jersey backer, a waterproof/breathable PU-based membrane and a PFC-free durable water repellent finish. The garment is also Fair Trade Certified sewn in Vietnam, with the membrane supplied by Toray industries in Japan. Both factories are audited and monitored for their ethical standards.
All the details that you’d expect in a technical mountain shell are present and correct. That includes a helmet-compatible hood with a laminated visor and reinforced brim, plus two-way adjustment. There’s a two-way main zip, two chest pockets with storm flaps; two watertight handwarmer pockets, two-way pit zips for ventilation, engineered underarm gussets, low-profile Velcro cuffs, a hem drawcord and a built-In RECCO avalanche reflector. All that in a shell that tips the scales at under 500g.
Eco-friendly brand / 3-layer H2No Performance Standard fabric made from 100% recycled nylon ripstop face / waterproof-breathable PU-based membrane / PFC-free DWR finish / Fair Trade Certified / helmet-compatible hood / laminated visor / two-way main zip / two chest pockets with storm flaps / watertight handwarmer poackets / two-way pit zips / underarm gussets / Velcro cuffs / hem drawcord /built-in RECCO avalanche reflector / 30-denier ECONYL nylon face fabric.
Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2021/22 – Read our full Patagonia Dual Aspect jacket review.
|BUY NOW: EU.PATAGONIA.COM|