Best Waterproof Jackets 2024 - Outdoors Magic

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Waterproof Jackets

Best Waterproof Jackets 2024

From lightweight to heavyweight and everything in between, here are the best waterproof jackets out there in 2024

It’s vital to travel in the mountains with adequate protection from the worst the weather can throw at us and that means having a quality waterproof jacket. When you’re in the wild, you want a good rain coat that you can count on.

The most obvious concern when buying a waterproof jacket is the type of protection that you’re getting, as this influences the price, weight, breathability and of course the level of waterproofing on offer. You obviously don’t want the jacket to start leaking water after just a month of wear, yet you don’t want to pay over the odds for something that may feel a little overkill for the type of activity that you’re buying the jacket for.

There are three main types of waterproof protection to consider; wax-coated (pretty rare for technical outdoor jackets these days), PU-coated, and membrane lined jackets. Give our Buyer’s Guide to Waterproof Jackets a read to understand the differences between the three waterproof protections.

You’ll notice that membrane lined jackets are the most common in this roundup. They’re favoured for their good balance between weight, breathability and waterproofness. The most common type of waterproof membrane is of course Gore-tex, but we’ve also included some of the various own-brand waterproof technologies such as Paramo’s Nikwax Analogy and Patagonia’s H2No.

Aside from the type of waterproof protection on offer, it’s also important to consider other features that the jacket carries in order to find the best waterproof jacket for you. Choose these features based on the type of activity that you’re buying the jacket for. For instance, if you’re going to be mostly cycling and trail running then a lightweight and breathable jacket will be the best option for you. A jacket that holds a mixture of features makes for a great multi-activity jacket that can be used and abused wherever you take it.

Best Waterproof Jackets: Our Team’s Top Picks:

Many of the jackets in this selection are featured in our Outdoor 100 and our Green Gear Guide. Within these product guides, you’ll be able check out a more in depth review of each jacket, including tester’s verdicts and industry trade secrets.

  • Best Overall Waterproof Jackets: Mountain Equipment Makalu Jacket
  • Best Value Waterproof Jacket: Keela Pinnacle
  • Most Breathable Waterproof Jacket: Pàramo Velez Evolution Hybrid Smock
  • Best Lightweight Waterproof Jacket: Arc’teryx Beta Jacket
  • Best Waterproof Jacket for Harsh Weather: Keela Munro


The Expert

I’ve been reviewing outdoor gear for outdoor magazines for over 10 years now with a fair portion of that time spent as editor of this very title. Throughout the years, I’ve stood on a number of gear awards juries, including for the ISPO Awards, the OIA Awards and the Scandinavian Outdoor Awards. I’m also very lucky that my career intertwines with my hobby; I’m a long-distance hiker with numerous trails under my belt, including the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, the Cambrian Way and the Camino de Santiago. Most of my hiking is in my homeland of Wales, where a bad waterproof jacket gets found out very quickly! 

The team testing out jackets on backpacking trips and mountain runs.


How They Were Tested

I tested and reviewed the majority of the jackets included in this list and I made the final selection. Those that I didn’t test myself – mainly the women’s jackets – were instead assessed by members of our test team, who you’ll see in the photographs here. I had every single one of these jackets in my hands and I checked them over for fabric quality, design details and features.

The jackets I’ve selected cover a range of different categories. Some are light and therefore suited to things like fastpacking and ultralight backpacking, while others are heavy weight, highly durable and more suited to challenging winter conditions. To qualify for this list, the jackets needed to show quality and durability and, in particular, they needed to have the right fabrics and details in order to be reliably protective in bad weather. I also considered factors including value, cut and sustainability.

The majority of our testers, who you can see in the photographs here, are wearing size Medium or women’s size 10 jackets. These would be the usual size they would opt for.


Best Overall Waterproof Jacket

1. Mountain Equipment Makalu Jacket

Will is 5 foot 10 and is pictured here in a size M version of the Makalu. Photo: Dave Macfarlane

Price: £300
Weight: 550g
Best for: hillwalking, mountaineering
What we liked: protective, durable, innovative new fabric
What we didn’t like: quite heavy

The all-important thing to know about this is that it’s one of the first ever jackets to use Gore-tex’s brand new ePE fabric. This is a new waterproof material from Gore-tex that looks set to replace the standard version of the fabric that we’ve all come to know over the last few decades now. The reason for the switch? The old fabric contains PFCs while the new one doesn’t. PFCs, you see, are now being phased out of production by most outdoor brands due to their potential for environmental harm. 

Better still, the fabric is impressive. We’ve used it in three different jackets now and it seems to be durable, protective and as breathable as you can expect a waterproof membrane to be. Featured here in the Mountain Equipment Makalu, it makes for a very impressive offering. During our tests, this jacket had the feel of a shell you can really trust; the kind of thing we’d reach for when we knew conditions were going to be very rough. But it’s still relatively lightweight too; we found it can serve either as that option to wear all day-long in horrible stuff or as that option to carry in your backpack, just in case some rain happens to roll in. For us, this offered everything we’d want in bad weather: a fully adjustable hood, venting pit zips, water resistant zips and, of course, a fabric that can capably block out moisture. 

There are also touches that show Mountain Equipment’s real alpine expertise. The hood, for instance, is helmet friendly, the pockets can be accessed when you’re wearing a harness or backpack with a hipbelt and the arms are articulated so the hem doesn’t lift up when you’re reaching high for a hold. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / 75D fabric / Gore-tex ePE membrane / helmet-friendly adjustable hood / underarm vents / two-way main zip / press stud at zip base / 2 x handwarmer pockets / 1 x chest pocket.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 23/24. Read our full Mountain Equipment Makalu review.



Best Lightweight Waterproof Jacket

2. Arc’teryx Beta Jacket

Price: £350
Weight: 300g
Best for: Hiking, climbing, backpacking and day-to-day use
What we liked: light but durable, simple aesthetic
What we didn’t like: lacking pit zips

There’s no denying that the Arc’teryx brand is hugely popular at the moment with its reputation even crossing beyond the outdoor realm and this, the Beta Jacket, is up there as one of its most sought after products. But is it any good? Yes, it is actually. It’s a really decent jacket. 

OK, it’s expensive (though not the most expensive in this test) but it does ooze quality. The materials are all high-spec, the details are all carefully thought through and, from our experience, it offers the kind of performance any hiker or climber would want from a waterproof jacket.

The Beta uses a Gore-tex waterproof membrane that’s sandwiched between a lightweight shell and a C-knit backer and the resulting fabric feels durable but also very light and packable. From our experience, this thing’s so light you can stuff it in your backpack and completely forget it’s there. Then, when you need it, it’ll offer dependable protection without too much clamminess and it’ll fend off a bit of rough stuff too – we found it held up really well when exposed to rough rock while scrambling. 

Arc’teryx describe the Beta jacket as being multi-use. We’d define it as being suitable for hiking, climbing and some not-too-gnarly alpine climbing. It’s a little on the heavy side as a jacket for running, but it’s not wholly inappropriate for that kind of stuff. We’d recommend looking at the Beta LT if you want something for fast tempos.

OM editor Will tried this in a medium, his usual size, and he said it fitted perfectly over a baselayer and mid layer but it’s cut a little too athletically to be worn over a bulky layer of insulation.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Gore-tex membrane / adjustable hood / internal zipped pocket / zipped hand warmer pockets / water resistant zips throughout / bluesign approved / articulated arms. 

Selected for our Outdoor 100 product guide – Here’s our full Arc’teryx Beta Jacket Review.



Best Value Waterproof Jacket

3. Keela Pinnacle

Price: £195
Weight: 405g
Best for: Hiking, mountaineering
What we liked: durable, lots of handy details, good value
What we didn’t like: quite heavy

From our experiences, the Keela Pinnacle offers the same kind of protection and performance that you’d get from a £300 Gore-tex jacket, just at a much lower price. 

Keela is a Scottish brand that does things a little differently to some of the more well-known brands. Its designers think outside of the box, coming up with their own fabrics and clever design details, and this results in great products like this.

It’s a useful, versatile jacket with some really nice details, including glove-friendly zipper tabs, a big moldable peak, two-way zips and huge vents at the armpits. We found the three-layer fabric to be protective and durable and it has a slight bit of stretch to it to give that touch more of dynamism when you’re reaching up for a hold in this thing. 

From our experience using the Pinnacle, we’d call it your three-season work horse. It’s the kind of jacket that will come in handy for anything from alpine-style climbing through to scrambling, hillwalking and just day-to-day use. The cut was noteworthy too; we found it to be loose enough to accommodate a thick layer of insulation underneath but it didn’t come across as bulky or baggy either. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Aquaflex Extreme 3-layer fabric / underarm vents / 2 x chest pockets / 2 x hand pockets / two-way zip / adjustable hood / internal storm flap / reflective details / Velcro cuffs / adjustable hem.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 23/24. Read our full Keela Pinnacle review.



Best Breathable Waterproof Jacket

4. Páramo Velez Evolution Hybrid Smock

OM editor Will, who’s 5 foot 10, wearing the Velez Evo in a size M. Photo: Dave Macfarlane

Price: £360
Weight: 720g
Best for: winter hiking, mountaineering, ski touring
What we liked: breathable, long-lasting, free from hazardous chemicals
What we didn’t like: heavy, zips are small and fiddly

Páramo’s Velez Evolution Hybrid Smock is very different to other waterproof garments. In terms of design approach, it is both unusual and innovative. It boasts twin full-length zips that run up each side of its front. These are backed with internal storm flaps with poppers on them. The advantage of this design, besides the fact that you don’t have to pull it over your head to get it on and off, is that you get the potential for excellent ventilation from hem to chin.

What’s also different about this jacket is that it uses a soft, rustle-free Nikwax Analogy system instead of a crinkly waterproof membrane. This is a two-layer construction that consists of a highly wind and water-resistant polyester face fabric that’s treated with Nikwax to repel rain and snow. Meanwhile, a zoned pump liner inside the jacket works to move sweat and general clamminess away from your body, keeping you warm, dry and comfortable. We’ve tested out numerous Paramo garments that feature this over the years and we rate it very highly; it’s protective, but it’s also highly breathable, saving you from that clammy feeling that you can get in membrane-lined jackets. This smock is no different. We did find it is quite heavy and warm, however, and because of this, we’d recommend this as an option for winter use or for any days throughout the year when you know you’re going to need to wear your jacket for the whole hike. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Nikwax Analogy fabric / front zipped vents and vents on arms / reflective details throughout / adjustable helmet with wire peak / Velcro cuffs / adjustment at hem / kangaroo pocket and tunnel pockets for hands / PFC-free / Guaranteed Fair Trade.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 23/24. Read our full Páramo Velez Evo Hybrid Smock review.



5. Patagonia Granite Crest

Our tester Harris wearing the Granite Crest in a size M, his usual size. Harris is 5 foot 10.

Price: £240
Weight: 400g
Best for: Hiking, backpacking
What we liked: eco-friendly, good features, protective, stretchy but durable fabric
What we didn’t like: wets out quite quickly

The Granite Crest comes with all the eco credentials we’ve come to expect from Patagonia. With a three-layer construction using the brand’s own H2No waterproof-breathable tech, it’s designed to be both high performance and responsibly made, using recycled fabrics with no nasty PFC-based water repellent treatments.

Hannah Bailey in the women's Granite Crest. Photos: Rupert Shanks

It’s a well-equipped jacket too, ticking all the boxes for a reliable hillwalking shell. The main zip and external chest pocket feature laminated, water-resistant zips, while those on the two hand pockets and pit zips are both reverse-coil designs, protected by storm flaps. The hood has a laminated brim and three-point adjustment. It cinches in well, offering good face protection.

The main thing we liked about the Granite Crest is the light feel and stretchiness that the fabric provides. It doesn’t actually feel that waterproof but we can say from experience that it definitely is.

Full Specifications

H2No three-layer waterproof fabric / 100% recycled fabric / PFC-free waterproofing / fair trade certified sewn / laminated main zip and external chest pocket / water-resistant zips / two hand pockets / pit zips / storm flap protection throughout / hood with laminated brim and three-point adjustment / roomy fit / Velcro cuff tabs / single hem drawcord / stuffs away into chest pocket.

Read our full Patagonia Granite Crest review.


6. Tierra Nevado

Price: £370
Weight: 440g
Best for: hiking and alpine climbing
What we liked: protective hood, good ventilation options
What we didn’t like: strange pocket configuration

Tierra is a Swedish brand that has been making some very good products of late. This, the Nevado jacket, is a case in point. Selected for our Outdoor 100 for 2023/24, we tested out a women’s version of this on a series of hikes, most notably in the Cairngorms national park, and were impressed by the fabric and technical touches that make this suitable for anything from summer backpacking through to alpine mountaineering. 

The Gore-tex three-layer fabric had durability and a nice bit of flex, while the large two-way pit zips give good control over the internal climate of the jacket. The hood was perhaps our favourite aspect of this as it has a good range of volume adjustment and provides a lot of secure protection from the elements thanks to its large moldable peak and high collar. 

There was one thing we didn’t like so much about this: the chest pocket. Strangely, this pocket connects with one of the hand warmer pockets and, while this will have its uses, there’s the risk of placing your phone or keys into the chest pocket and losing them because you haven’t realised that the other zip into the pocket is open. Still, this is a well-built jacket with excellent performance in rough conditions and overall we liked it a lot. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Gore-tex fabric witbh C-knit backer / helmet-friendly hood with moldable peak / pit zip ventilation / two-way main zipper / hipbelt and harness friendly pockets. 

Selected for our Outdoor 100 2023/24. Read our full Tierra Nevado review.




7. Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket

OM editor Will wearing the Odin jacket in a size M – that’s his usual size. He’s 5 foot 10.

Price: £460
Weight: 400g
Best for: hiking, mountaineering
What we liked: sustainable, innovative, lightweight but durable
What we didn’t like: nothing

The headline innovation here is Helly Hansen’s new Lifa Infinity technology. The jacket boasts a fully waterproof/breathable membrane, bonded to a tough face fabric and a soft backer. In other words, it’s a similar three-layer construction to most premium waterproofs. Usually, some sort of chemical solvent is needed to bond the different layers together, but Helly have managed to achieve the same result without the use of chemicals, by heating and stretching the material.

In addition to the membrane, the garment is built with sturdy, recycled nylon and finished with a durable water-repellent treatment that is free from harmful PFCs.

It’s packed with mountain-ready features too. The hood is fully adjustable and sized to accommodate a climbing helmet, while the elevated hand pockets are placed high up so you can still access them even if wearing a climbing harness or a rucksack hipbelt. A smaller external chest pocket will accommodate a phone, and the zipper incorporates a safety whistle. The jacket itself also has an in-built RECCO avalanche recovery reflector. Underarm pit zips provide ventilation when working hard, while chunky Velcro cuff tabs ensure a secure seal over gloves. Drawcord hem adjustment keeps out chilly gusts.

There’s plenty of length in the arms and torso for good all-round coverage, and the hood has a stiffened brim to give extra protection for the face. It’s a premium shell but one that we found provided us with reliable waterproof protection in the worst of weather.

Full Specifications

Designed in collaboration with Canadian Search and Rescue Teams / Lifa Infinity fully waterproof-breathable three-layer membrane / chemical-free membrane / recycled nylon / PFC-free water-repellent treatment / adjustable helmet-compatible hood with stiffened brim / elevated hand pockets / small zipped external chest pocket / in-built RECCO avalanche rescue reflector / underarm pit zips / Velcro cuff tabs /  drawcord hem adjustment.

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2021. Read our full Helly Hansen Odin 1 Infinity Shell jacket review


8. Rab Downpour Eco

Ian is wearing a size medium here. He’s 6 foot 1 and would normally wear a size Large.

Price: £125
Weight: 320g
Best for: eco-conscious hikers, challenging British weather
What we liked: good value, recycled materials,  packs away small
What we didn’t like: not the most breathable jacket

As well as being excellent value, the Downpour Eco Jacket is a clear indicator of Rab’s drive towards truly sustainable products, being forged from recycled materials and designed with further recycling in mind. However, there’s no compromise on quality here. The jacket is also incredibly packable thanks to the way it stuffs into its own hand pocket. Excellent for lightweight backpacking, that’s for sure. 

The Downpour uses a recycled 2.5-layer Pertex Revolve fabric for both its inner and outer membrane. Unlike some of their rivals, Rab are already using fluorocarbon-free DWR to treat the fabric, bestowing it with its waterproof qualities. Testing has awarded the Downpour a hydrostatic head rating of 20,000mm, meaning it can withstand all but the worst deluges.

Our tester demonstrating the hood low profile. Photo: Chris Johnson
Cuff tabs allow large gloves to be worn beneath. Photo: Chris Johnson

The front is zippered up its length, with a button fastening on the brushed tricot chin guard. Handy zippered handwarmer pockets are large enough to stash a map, whilst you can open up the pit zips for added ventilation. All the zippers are protected by a storm guard flap, enhancing the jacket’s ability to fend off the element and there’s fully adjustable Velcro cuffs, giving you the option to loosen when donning gloves. The Downpour is also non-helmet compatible, so climbers, alpinists and winter walkers are better served by some of Rab’s more high-end options.

Full Specifications

Climate neutral company / recycled 2.5-layer Pertex Revolve fabric inner and outer membrane / PFC-free DWR / hydrostatic head rating of 20,000mmm / brushed tricot chin guard / zippered map-sized pockets / pit zips / storm guard flap protected zippers / hood adjustment points at front and rear /polymer peak on hood / non-helmet compatible / hem adjustment points / adjustable Velcro cuff tabs / regular fit. 

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2021/22 – Here’s our full Rab Downpour Eco review. 



9. Klättermusen Asynja

Price: £349
Weight: 345g
Best for: Hillwalking, backpacking, climbing
What we liked: good eco-creds, breathable, high-spec
What we didn’t like: outer fabric wets out quickly

There’s a lot to like about this jacket. Actually, there’s a lot to like about this brand as a whole. From our experience of testing their gear over the last few years, every product they make seems to be really well thought through and it’s clear they put a lot of effort into lowering their environmental impact too.

In this case, with the Asynja, the brand have used a 100% recycled face fabric and no eco-hazardous PFCs are present throughout. It’s high spec too, with the brand’s impressive three-layer Cutan fabric deployed here. This stuff’s protective but breathable and it also has a nice bit of stretch to it. What we also found quite noteworthy about it is its silence; this doesn’t swish and rustle like many other 3-layer shells.

Our team trialling the Asynja out in the Highlands of Scotland. Photo: Michael Drummond

Using it out in the Highlands of Scotland and in Albania’s Accursed Mountains, this thing helped our testers see off some long days of rain. Given its light weight and packability, it also proved to be a handy option for those days when it spent more time in the pack than being worn. Basically, you can stash it away and forget it’s there.

Whether it’s for hiking or climbing or simply just wearing to work, the Asynja is a versatile, stylish jacket that might be somewhat pricey, but it does at least ooze quality.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / 3-layer Cutan fabric / 20,000mm HH / 20,000 gg/m² / slanted two-way zipper / 3D-adjustable hood with integrated brim / mesh hipbelt friendly pockets / zipped chest pocket / 100% recycled polyamide bluesign approved fabric / fluorocarbon free.

Read our full Klättermusen Asynja review.



10. Haglöfs L.I.M GTX

Our tester Harris using the L.I.M GTX out in the Scottish Highlands earlier this season. Photos: Michael Drummond

Price: £230
Weight: 204g
Best for: hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running
What we liked: lightweight and highly packable, high-spec fabric
What we didn’t like: lack of hood adjustment

L.I.M, in case you weren’t aware, stands for less is more and that name does describe this waterproof jacket quite well. It’s simple but will deliver the goods when it needs to be pulled out of your backpack when the heavens open.

It’s actually an evolution of a previous model, with new venting hand pockets added and updated materials.

Haglöfs have employed 2.5-layer Gore-tex Paclite Plus waterproof fabrics here. This involves a membrane that’s glued to a light outer material with a PU on the inside that guards the membrane from internal abrasion and prevents sweat and dirt from blocking up the membrane’s pores. It’s features the latest generation of Gore-tex Paclite, which now has a protective dry-touch carbon print instead of a raised backer. It definitely feels nicer against the skin than the slick and clammy Paclite fabrics of old, yet it still has the same qualities of high packability and low weight.

Overall, it’s a protective yet impressively packable jacket with top-level performance and excellent comfort. It also has a neat and streamlined cut that makes this well suited to fast and light adventures. Our tester was 5 foot 10 and had this in his usual size, a size M, and it fitted perfectly, offering an athletic fit but still with plenty of room for layers underneath.

Full Specifications

Men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL / Gore-Tex Paclite Plus waterproof shell / non-adjustable hood with elasticated rim and laminated and reinforced peak / water-resistant zips / zippered mesh pockets / elasticated cuffs / adjustable hem / reflective details.

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23 – Here’s our full Haglofs L.I.M GTX Jacket Review


11. Fjällräven Keb Eco Shell

Will (and his dog Teilo) out using the Keb Eco Shell in the Welsh Valleys. Will is wearing a size M here.

Price: £525
Weight: 520g
Best for: Hiking, hillwalking, ski touring
What we liked: gusseted pockets, good eco credentials, quality materials
What we didn’t like: no hand pockets, price

When Fjällräven released this jacket around a decade ago, it drew a fair bit of attention for being one of the earlier examples of a rain shell that didn’t contain nasty PFCs within its durable water resistant treatment. Fast-forward to today and the jacket is still PFC-free and it’s largely unchanged, save for a few minor aesthetic adjustments and the addition of recycled and recyclable materials. 

Our crew here at Outdoors Magic tested the original extensively and we’ve also been testing the latest update. Places we’ve used it include on the Fjällräven Classic Trek and on a 100 mile winter backpack through the Welsh mountains. Over the course of these trips, it has stood out for its functionality, with useful pockets and venting options, a protective hood and a well-articulated design. We’ve found the fabric to be reliably weatherproof and breathable and it’s got a nice bit of stretch to it, making it durable but also comfortable. 

We’ve found it a little heavy for long-distance backpacking in good conditions, but it’s definitely an option to turn to if you’re expecting to face up to some consistently rough conditions. The price tag is high, that’s for sure, but we’ve found this to be a very well made, high-spec jacket. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / hydrophilic Eco-Shell recycled polyester fabric / zipped vents at sides / two-way main zip with press stud at base / three-way hood with mouldable peak / gusseted chest pockets with inner mesh pockets.

Read our full Fjällräven Keb Eco Shell review



Best Jacket For Harsh Weather

12. Keela Munro Jacket

Our tester Jordan is wearing a size L here – his usual size. Jordan is 6 foot 1.

Price: £210
Weight: 1124g
Best for: mountaineering, winter hillwalking
What we liked: durable, protective, long-lasting and decked out in features
What we didn’t like: can get hot, very heavy

This is just about as protective as waterproof jackets get. In fact, we can’t think of any other jacket we’d want with us when we’re out on a Scottish mountain and all hell is letting loose.

Our tester Rob using the Munro near Glencoe

This might be too heavy to serve as the kind of jacket for summer hiking, where it’s likely to spend a lot of time your backpack, but if you’re in the market for a burly fortress of a jacket to wear on cold and wet weather mountain adventures – and it would probably also make a decent ski jacket as well – this one’s a compelling option, especially when you consider the relatively reasonable price tag.

The Munro uses a material called System Dual Protection. It’s essentially a 2-layer hard shell that combines a waterproof and windproof outer fabric with a special drop liner. The laminated face fabric keeps water out, while a high wicking hydrophilic mesh inner draws moisture away from the body. Between the two layers, an air gap creates a natural thermal barrier, protecting against heat loss.

Does it work? Well, yes, in certain conditions. On test the Munro proved to be breathable enough when its pit zips were opened up, and the double-layer construction gives it a reassuring protective feel too.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / System Dual Protection fabric / four-way adjustable rollaway hood with protective wired peak / neck baffle with one-handed drawcord adjustment / two-way front zipper with double storm-flap, hook-and-loop closure and snap fasteners / two large, zipped chest pockets protected by storm-flaps / internal zipped pocket, sized to take an OS map / secure mobile phone pocket / reinforced shoulder panels for extra durability / underarm ventilation zips with double storm-flaps.

Selected for our 2021/22 Outdoor 100. Read our full Keela Munro Jacket review.



Haglöfs Spitz GTX Pro

Price: £550
Weight: 510g
Best for: alpine climbing and winter hiking
What we liked: Gore-tex Pro fabric, excellent articulation
What we didn’t like: expensive and the oversized cuffs seem unnecessary

This is a high-end jacket with some excellent fabrics and technical details. We included it in our Outdoor 100 product guide for 2023/24, taking it to the mountains of Scotland for extensive testing, and we liked what we saw. It’s a jacket that’s highly durable but still surprisingly lightweight and, in the rough conditions we faced up to it in, we felt highly protected and sealed in. The climate within the jacket always felt cool and dry and the long pit zips added high levels of airflow when it was needed. 

Wearing the jacket on steep scrambles we found it was perfectly articulated with the hem, which is cut quite high, not lifting when reaching for hand holds above the head. We also liked the well designed hood, which moves with your head and can accommodate a helmet, and the array of pockets were useful – particularly the ones on the chest which are big enough for a map or a large pair of gloves. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and womens versions / Gore-tex Pro 3-layer fabric / helmet-friendly hood / harness friendly pockets / two-way main zip / pit zip ventilation.



What To Look For When Buying a Waterproof Jacket

Venting – This not only comes from the breathability of the fabric, but manufacturers are also able to increase venting through the use of pit zips and mesh lined pockets.

Zips and pockets – The type of zip a jacket has influences how waterproof the jacket is. Premium zipper technology creates a zip that locks together tight, to remove the need for a PU or fabric coating that covers the entire zip. However, this also adds a little more to the price of the jacket.

Hoods – Hoods come in a variety of shapes, sizes and adjustability, which all depend on the type of brand you’re looking to buy – it’s again important to try them on before you buy. You’ll be looking for a good range of adjustability and if you’re climbing a lot, then a helmet compatible hood is essential.

Pockets – A good all-round jacket will hold a few pockets for stuffing various items in throughout the day. Considering the pockets based on the activity you’re buying the jacket for is important, as if you’re frequently strapping your backpack up, then you don’t want pockets that can’t be used whilst wearing a pack. Similarly, Napoleon chest pockets are essential for climbers who are frequently wearing a harness over their waterproof jacket.

Understanding Waterproof Membranes

Rain jackets are essential for staying dry in wet conditions, but not all are created equal. Key to their effectiveness is the waterproof membrane, a specialised layer within the jacket’s fabric. It acts as a barrier to prevent water from entering while allowing moisture vapour to escape. There are various types of waterproof membranes, each with unique properties. Notable options include Gore-Tex, known for its exceptional waterproofing and breathability; eVent, highly breathable and waterproof; Pertex Shield, known for its lightweight qualities, and H2No by Patagonia, which is highly regarded for its sustainability and protection. There are numerous other options out there though, with many brands offering their own proprietary waterproof fabrics.

Some details to look for when choosing a waterproof jacket. Pictured: the Haglofs Spitz GTX Pro

These membranes work in different ways, though most feature microscopic pores that are smaller than water droplets but larger than water vapour molecules – so water can only pass through in vapour form and not in liquid form.

These membranes are typically laminated to the jacket’s inner surface, preventing rain from penetrating while allowing sweat and moisture to escape. On the outside, you’ll tend to find a durable fabric that protects the membrane from abrasion, while on the inside you tend to find liner fabrics that protect the membrane, wick moisture and add next-to-skin comfort.

Waterproof Rating (mm H2O)

This rating, often referred to as the hydrostatic head, represents the amount of water pressure a fabric can withstand before water penetrates. The measurement is in millimetres of water. For example, a rain jacket with a 10,000mm waterproof rating can withstand the pressure of a 10,000mm (10-meter) column of water before it starts to leak. Higher numbers indicate better waterproofing. Generally, a rating of 5,000mm is suitable for light rain, while 10,000mm and above is ideal for heavy rain and more extreme conditions. For something like a Gore-tex jacket, you can often expect a hydrostatic head of over 20,000mm.

Breathability Rating (g/m²/24h)

This rating measures how well a fabric allows moisture vapour (sweat) to escape from the inside of the jacket to the outside. It’s typically expressed in grams per square meter over a 24-hour period. The higher the number, the more breathable the fabric. A breathable waterproof jacket helps regulate your body temperature and prevents you from feeling sweaty and clammy. A good range for breathability is 5,000g/m²/24h to 20,000g/m²/24h, with higher values indicating better performance. Gore-tex don’t tend to give figures for the breathability of their jackets but they tend to be rated to at least 20,000g/m²/24h – there are some membranes with far, far higher rating though, with Polartec NeoShell arguably being the most notable example.

How to Wash and Reproof a Waterproof Jacket

Since it was discovered that the chemicals (PFCs) used to add water repellency to jackets were bad for the environment and companies subsequently stopped using these, there’s a strong case to say that more recently produced waterproof jackets (without PFCs) can saturate quickly. As such, it’s essential to keep reproofing such items if you want them to perform at their best for you. Fortunately, brands such as Nikwax offer solutions that can be applied at home in a quick and easy way.


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