Waterproof Jackets

6 of the Best Waterproof Climbing Jackets 2016 /17

We take a look at a selection of waterproof climbing jackets as we head into winter.

We’ve checked out six of the top waterproof shell jackets on the market that are specifically tailored for climbing. By this we mean they have a more active fit, added breathability, lightweight and have features that only climbers would need.

Many of the jackets, although climbing-specific, also have features you’d see on a regular all-round shell, which you can learn more about in our waterproof jackets buyer’s guide.

Arc’teryx Beta SV Jacket

Built for brutal alpine conditions, the Beta SV is Arc’teryx’s latest all-round waterproof shell jacket following the very popular Arc’teryx Beta LT, which is also designed for climbing and other mountain activities.

The jacket is built with the light, rugged, durable, windrproof and very breathable Gore-Tex Pro fabric – a material already proven in severe conditions.

But it’s not all about the fabric, it’s also made the list as it has a helmet compatible StormHood with glove-friendly cordlocks and WaterTight zips for extra waterproofness.

On top of that, it’s been sculpted using the Ergonomic 3-Dimensional patterning to give the climber more freedom of movement during each session. All this for under 500 grams, but it will cost you a few bob.

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Berghaus 8000 Pro Jacket

The British brand’s latest all-round mountain waterproof shell, the Berghaus 8000 Pro is built to be a hard nut in poor weather conditions while delivering on climbing-specific performance.

When you think of Berghaus, you think of no nonsense ruggedness coupled with high-quality fabrics and cut – the 8000 Pro is just that.

Together with the proper durable, breathable, lightweight Gore-Tex Pro fabric, it has two Berghaus-specific technologies in the Xpanse Hood and Expanse Back.

The hood is helmet compatible designed with magnets to tuck it away when not in use and the back system provides “unrivalled” freedom of movement across the back and shoulders when climbing. Heavier than Arc’teryx’s jacket, but a good deal cheaper.

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Mountain Equipment Tupilak Jacket

A properly stripped back alipine expedition jacket from Mountain Equipment, the Tupilak is designed for climbing on the biggest faces and toughest lines.

Like a majority of the jackets in this selection, the Tupilak is built with a 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro fabric for breathability and durability when tackling tough lines, but it’s the fit that makes it a world-class garment.

Just like previous Mountain Equipment waterproofs, the Tupilak has broad shoulders for added movement with a high-cut, close-fitting waist for better harness usability.

And with serious helmet capacity, the Super Alpine Hood is an additional and vital climbing-specific feature which really makes this a top-of-the-range garment.

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Paramo Enduro Jacket

Enduro by name, Enduro by nature, the classic Paramo all-round waterproof shell is still the durable beast it once was but has now been updated with a more streamlined fit, temperature control and mountain functionality.

Paramo, acknowledged for producing durable, versatile garments without the finesse of some other brands, is now pushing towards a more technical side of the outdoors market.

The Enduro is a great example of this as it has a really neat cut without the bagginess of old and has brilliant breathability thanks to its Nikwax Analogy waterproof fabric system – the ultimate features for mountain climbing performance.

It also has a a helmet compatible hood and a harness compatible design around the waist for climbing-specific use, while the double pit zips gives increased ventilation. Heavy in comparison to its counterparts, but reasonably priced for how long it could stick around for.

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Montane Endurance Pro Jacket

Another jacket on our list that’s set out to tackle the worst mountain conditions, Montane’s Endurance Pro is an updated version of the Alpine Endurance, constructed with two types of Gore-Tex.

The lightweight 40 Denier (measurement for the fineness of a fabric) Gore-Tex Pro fabric is combined with the more robust 70 Denier for added strength in high-wear areas like the shoulders, hips and forearms.

As with most of these serious mountains shells, the hood is helmet and winter headwear compatible, while the full length AquaGuard front zip is highly water resistant and is two way for easy access when climbing.

There’s even thought for a man’s beard with the roll over beardguard lined with brushed fine microfleece for next-to-skin comfort and lack of irritation. Good weight too so its mid-to-high price tag is expected.

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Black Diamond Sharp End Jacket

A real streamlined, go-faster jacket from the US-based brand, the Sharp End definitely has what we call the “x-factor”, especially as a winter climbing jacket.

During ice climbing or general mountaineering it is vital to have freedom of movement in the arms and hips, and even more so when the weather is dire. This is where the Gore-Tex Pro fabric and trimmed down, packable build comes in.

There are heaps of extra features like the Velcro cuff tabs for easy adjustment, AquaGuard zips for added water resistance and cord-lock technology in the hem for one-handed adjustments, which all make the jacket very usable for climbers.

However, although the hood is helmet compatible it does not have a built-in faceguard, but this could potentially be sorted out with a balaclava or buff. Very slick design and better used in alpine conditions than UK.

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