A lot of the time when planning for exploring routes and trails in the outdoors can be spent on making sure you have the correct footwear to ensure that your feet have the best support and protection possible, but generally not as much attention goes on outerwear like coats and jackets as most make do with their winter coats or something cheap that offers a limited amount of water resistance.
Choosing the right waterproof jacket is essential as it can afford decent protection from the elements, can be both insulating and breathable so they can be worn all year-round whether walking through the wilderness or just to the shops. Finding the right one for you can be the tricky part as a number of brands offer different types with varying features and at differing prices which isn’t always an indicator of quality so getting to a starting point is what everyone needs.
Choosing the right Waterproof Jacket
By looking at what we think are the best choices for our top 5 waterproof jackets for this year we have tried to get a varied selection to cover the most common needs which includes everything from performance and protection from the elements to lightweight comfort and budget as even when not in tough financial times no one wants to spend the Earth on something that hopefully is there just in case you need it when the weather turns.
Also we have tried to choose from different brands as there are many that have a lot to offer and at very high quality and always have their own unique designs which some people prefer over others as style is just as important as technical features and performance. So check out our top 5 waterproof jackets for this year:
Designed as a versatile multi-sports jacket that cleverly can be worn to fit men and women the OMM Kamleika race jacket is fully waterproof and will keep you protected from the wind too so it’s perfect for any walking activity during the warmer months, plus it’s breathable as well so if you work up a sweat it will help keep you cool and dry on the inside of it. This jacket does have some great features like the four-way Gelanots stretch fabric that gives you a tight yet comfortable fit and plenty of movement, plus a roll away hood that has a peak and fully adjustable face draw cord giving you better protection when the downpour gets heavier. It even has nice reflective detail on the sleeves and rear making it ideal for night time running or walking. While the price may be a little more than you might want to pay out you can’t beat the comfort, fit and protection this gives.
The TNF Gotham jacket is better suited to winter walks and hikes rather than running as this effectively blends a stylish bomber design with climate protection for your body and handy functional features. It gives you protection from the rain and wind plus offers 550 down fill power HyVent insulation and seam-sealed protection so it keeps the elements out and warmth inside and it has a number of secure pockets to help smaller items you need to carry stay safe from the weather and even a specific internal media pocket with cord guide so you can still listen to your favourite music even in the worst the skies have to throw at you. This waterproof jacket really does give you a substantial amount of comfort, warmth and protection you want from cold weather outerwear and with the option of adding a faux fur trim to the fixed hood you can add a little more to the already fashionable style and warmth.
This is an all-weather jacket much like the Gotham jacket but has much less bulk making it ideal if your outdoor excursions are much more active like running routes instead of walking them. The brand’s own Omni technology used in this particular jacket is the Heat and Tech variations which basically means that the exterior is fully waterproof and seam sealed which includes the exterior pockets while the inside is thermal reflective and insulated and if things do get a little too warm the underarm venting helps to keep it breathable. The Columbia Mia Monte jacket also has a handy removable hood so you don’t have the annoyance of it flapping around when running without need of it.
If your travels are more likely to take you up snow covered slopes than through say sunny woodland you’re going to need a walking jacket that’s not only waterproof but extremely warm too. The Merrell Kinbrook Jacket is not only waterproof thanks to a dual-layer Opti-Shell that not only keeps you dry, but is breathable as well and also has a water resistant exterior which sheds moisture from any snow or rain that comes into contact with it. It has 150g Opti-Warm insulation which is both lightweight and synthetic to help keep the bulk down letting you have more movement than other snow jackets are able to give and in addition they also have a Sherpa fleece back panel and collar and cuff linings for added warmth and to help keep heat trapped inside.
This fashionable women’s waterproof jacket is perfect for any season thanks to a waterproof and breathable HyVent fabric that is also nylon ripstop so if the terrain becomes unforgiving you won’t have to worry about snags or tears if you brush up against any rough rocks or branches. The North Face Bella waterproof jacket has a number of handy adjustable features like the hood with hidden drawcord for not only a more comfortable fit but better protection from any sudden downpour, a hem cinch cord and Velcro cuff tabs plus you can very easily fold it up and stow it into a pocket when it’s not needed.
It doesn’t matter whether your walking activities take you around nearby streets or up to your favourite slopes on the mountainside as there will be a waterproof jacket for your needs in our top 5 for 2013. Of course you know what type of route and climate your prefer, but the details above still may not have a clear choice for you, so to make it a little bit easier these three awards should help you make a better decision depending on the key aspects people usually focus on.
Best Value: Merrell Kinbrook Jacket
This is not only one of the cheapest of the jackets in the list but is also packed with the most features and versatility. While it may be a little too warm for summertime showers even with the breathable aspect of the fabric, this will keep you warm and well covered in a rainstorm and a blizzard, plus it is very comfortable and feels supportive and thanks to the low-bulk insulation it feels like a much lighter equivalent. The water resistant feature that sheds moisture away is a great addition to an overall great jacket.
Best Performance: OMM Kamleika Race Jacket
Offering protection from the wind and rain and at a very light weight this is great for a get up and go jacket and as it’s breathable even if it warms up you still stay cool, it’s ideal for wherever your routes are taking you during the spring and summer months. The four-way stretch fabric is something that sets this completely apart from the others as it fits well to any body shape provided you get the right size and feels so comfy it almost has the supportive second skin-like feel of a base layer. Having a fully adjustable roll away hood is very handy for extra protection from the elements as and when you want. The price makes it one of the most expensive of the top 5 but in this case it’s worth the extra.
Best Looks: Columbia Mia Monte Jacket
Overall this jacket has a lot to offer being suitable for all times of the year so it is one of the most versatile of our choices and while at first glance it may look fairly standard as far as jacket designs go it has quite a clean minimalist look with no obvious bulk, or pockets that look as though they’ll tear away if they get snagged. Columbia offers the Mia Monte waterproof jacket in a number of different colourways too giving a lot more individual choice rather than a couple of general variations.
So there you have it, our top five waterproof (and in most cases windproof as well) jackets for this year and hopefully you have found either the jacket best suited to you or have a much better idea what to look for if you have already pegged a few different ones in your previous searches.