If you are like us and love getting into the outdoors no matter the weather then you need to know which is the best gear to help not only give a decent level of protection from the elements but be the most functional for your specific needs. With an increase in wetter weather conditions here in the UK in recent years it helps to have Waterproof Clothing at hand sometimes just in case the skies open throughout the seasons. So to help everyone find the right garments for summer spritzers and wintry showers at Walking.org we have looked at our favourite Waterproof Jackets to compile a Best 5 for 2016.
Just having a jacket labelled waterproof may not always be suited to all wet weather as there can be different ratings that mean only a certain amount of water can be kept out of the fabric before it begins to soak through. Some may be only suited for light and brief showers while others have water resistance or repellence that can just stand up to moisture in the air and small amounts of droplets, plus factors like weight and bulk can determine how much wind and cooler temperatures can get through so may require zip-in compatible under layers or even a layering system. While a lot of these factors can be off-putting to the newcomer our Top 5 Waterproof Jackets for this year will clear up what conditions each one is best suited to so you can be better informed in finding one that is right for you.
Best 5 Waterproof Jackets 2016
Rab Spark Waterproof Jacket
The Rab Spark Jacket, available in women’s and men’s specific designs is a great lightweight, waterproof shell that is designed for climbing or running. The main fabric is Pertex Shield + which is waterproof to a Hydrostatic Head of 16,000 mm so is ideal for light showers and is breathable so allows any internal moisture and excess heat out to help stay dry inside and out. YKK AquaGuard zips have been used on the front chest zip and Napoleon mesh lined chest pockets which are effective at preventing water getting through so any small essentials will remain dry. Due to the lightweight and low bulk, plus stretchability means it can be worn with other layers easily when insulation is needed. The front zip zone also has an internal storm flap and a rain drain to further help stop the elements from getting inside. This Rab Spark Waterproof Jacket also has a helmet compatible hood that features a wired peak to help keep field of view clear and channel water away from the opening and can also be rolled away. Velcro cuffs and a hem drawcord give control over a better fit and reduce heat loss and when not needed it can be packed down into the left hand pocket that doubles as a stuff sack. Click Here
Marmot Essence Waterproof Jacket
This ultra-lightweight waterproof Marmot Essence Jacket has recently been updated for better all-round performance and is ideal for fast paced light hikes and alpine climbs. A Nylon Ripstop fabric has been combined with NanoPro MemBrain laminate and has fully taped seams so is waterproof against rain showers while being highly breathable, plus has some wind resistance also. This Marmot Jacket does give control over the internal climate as it has an elastic drawcord on the hem and cuffs which can prevent spindrift entry while integrated cooling vents allow any heat to escape after you have worked up a sweat. The hood is fully adjustable and has a laminated mouldable brim so you can really get a nice fit without blocking your field of view. A single chest pocket with water resistant zips is included so will keep any essential items dry in brief wet conditions. This Marmot Essence Jacket also has reflective details all the way around which is ideal if you enjoy low or no light walks as you will be much more visible. More Info
The North Face All Terrain II Waterproof Jacket
As with any product by The North Face, the Terrain II Waterproof Jacket is built with the fact that conditions can change quickly in the outdoors so performance and function is key. The TNF Terrain II can withstand more than the previous two from our Top 5 Waterproof Jackets for this year as the exterior fabric of the shell is made with GORE-TEX Performance which is abrasion resistant so wears well and can withstand some scuffs and scrapes, is also fully water and wind proof while allowing moisture to escape from inside at the same time. The stowable hood is adjustable and is helmet compatible as well so is ideal for hikes and climbs alike while a brushed chinguard adds extra comfort and reduces chafing. As with most technical shell jackets the North Face Terrain II has an adjustable hem and Velcro cuffs so you can enjoy a more secure and comfy fit while either more effectively trapping in heat or releasing some if you get too warm. There are two hand pockets and a chest pocket that can easily fit a map which is extremely convenient. If you need insulation in addition to the waterproofing this jacket provides it is compatible with North Face zip-in mid-layers to make a formidable defence against the elements. More Info
Jack Wolfskin Iceland 3 in 1 Waterproof Jacket
If you want a waterproof jacket that also has plenty of insulation rather than having to wear and carry different layers in case, the Jack Wolfskin Iceland 3 in 1 is the ideal choice from our Top 5. The outer fabric of the shell part of this double jacket is Texapore 2L so is not only obviously waterproof but windproof also and breathable while being fairly durable despite its light weight. This part of the jacket can be worn separately if you don’t need the insulation, similar to the internal jacket that can be worn if all you need is insulation. The inner jacket is made from Nanuk 200 fleece which is a warmer and heavier than a standard or microfleece and work well at maintaining insulation while you need to be active. This particular jacket has a longer cut than standard so gives more warmth around the small of the back and waist as well. Each Jack Wolfskin Iceland 3 in 1 Waterproof Jacket also has an integrated ultra-lightweight hood that can be adjusted for a nice snug fit while two side pockets and a hidden secret pocket allow for a few options for essential gear. More Info
OMM Kamleika Race Smock II Waterproof Jacket
Designed for use in the Outdoor Mountain Marathon like their rest of their gear, the OMM Kamleika Race Smock II Jacket is perfect for fast paced activities where a full range of motion is key. The Kamleika four-way stretch fabric gives a snug yet comfortable fit and moves with you and is fully waterproof and breathable as well. Due to the tight fit it has dramatically reduced the chances of any fabric flapping or making much in the way of noise, plus the peaked Mountain Hood has a lot of adjustment across the crown and face area for a better fit that is good at keeping the weather away from your face. The front two-way zip is water resistant YKK which allows for ventilation even when zipped closed so you won’t overheat. The OMM Kamleika Race Smock II Jacket also has adjustment at the hem and cuffs, the latter of which also have thumb loops to help prevent the sleeves from moving as you go. Complete with a handy chest pocket and reflective details for low-light visibility this is great for an active outdoors lifestyle. More Info
Each of our best 5 Waterproof Jackets for 2016 will give plenty of waterproof protection while out on a range of varied treks and trails with some being more suited to certain kinds of weather conditions and temperatures than others along with activities as well. As with all of our Top 5 review guides we have awarded three of our choices with specific awards as we know that overall style, affordability and all-round performance can be as critical for people as any of the other technical features.
Best Value: Jack Wolfskin 3 in 1 Jacket
Overall we felt that the Jack Wolfskin Three in One Jacket was the better value of our chosen five. While being in the middle in terms of price the versatility you get with this jacket more than makes up it as not only do you have the option of wearing a waterproof and insulating garment you can wear the waterproof shell or fleece as separate items as required so there is definitely more for you money.
Best Performance: North Face All Terrain II Jacket
The North Face All Terrain II Jacket we thought performed best overall, the durable construction ensures plenty of wear while the pocket options and addition of something as simple as the chinguard make quite a bit of difference to the overall function and wear. There is plenty of options for adjustment to get a nice and comfy fit, plus if you do need to layer up the ability to zip-in compatible North Face clothing gives a more reliable way of sealing out the elements.
Best Looks: Rab Spark Jacket
The Rab Spark Jacket has a nice overall design to it merging a more ergonomic cut with a minimalist look that will probably suit a lot of different tastes and styles. This jacket comes in a few colourway options as well for men and women with some that have contrasting elements that are eye-catching while also helping to add to the overall visibility as well.