When it comes to walking, we usually focus on what goes on your feet. But it’s been so wet this week, we felt we should give our recommendations on the best waterproof jackets to keep you warm and dry while you’re out on your walk.
A good waterproof jacket is the most important item of waterproof clothing you can ever own, because you’ll often wear it over your smart or casual clothing. Waterproof trousers for example aren’t quite the same. You only wear them if you know you’re really going to get wet.
As you’re probably aware, there are an overwhelming number of waterproof jackets on the market from an equally huge range of outdoor brands. Many you’ll have heard of, like Berghaus and North Face. Other brands like Hi Gear and Sprayway are less well known, but offer a variety of essential and specialist features to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts.
Our Top 5 Waterproof Jackets for 2011
We’ve drawn on our own personal experience in selecting our top 5 waterproof jackets and chosen to stay within a £100 budget. Because, let’s be honest, you can’t justify spending more than that on a waterproof jacket if you’re just going for a walk.
As always, our selection of products range from the bare essentials to high performance comfort and style, but waterproofing, windproofing, breathability, lightweight comfort and fit are all factors in our final decisions.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are men’s versions of the ladies waterproof jackets lists here in more traditional, manly colours of course.
So without further ado, let’s show you our top 5:
Perfect for the sudden summer downpours, this ProClimate jacket is lightweight and packable in any daypack, work bag or rucksack. It’s an ideal ‘just in case’ waterproof jacket for when you may find yourself caught in the rain. It may not win any points for style, but for bare waterproof essentials at an unbeatable price, you really won’t find better..
HiGear Women’s Purge 3-in-1 Jacket
Okay, it’s not just a waterproof jacket, you get a fleece with this one too, making it a 3-in-1 jacket. But the fleece is designed to fit perfectly with the jacket, so that’s definitely a plus. The fleece liner is removable too, making it nice and light for the summer. The waterproof jacket seams are taped for complete protection and wind resistance. There’s a full length zip for fast fitting (when the rain’s coming down!) and while hoods have a tendency to be too big or too small, with the Hi Gear you can easily adjust the volume of the hood to perfectly fit your head. A mens version is also available.
Berghaus Men’s RG1 Waterproof Jacket
Now we’re getting into the serious waterproof jackets with this Berghaus RG1. It’s one of the most versatile jackets we’ve ever worn and it weighs just 540g, so it’s ideal for summer.
Despite its light weight, it’s hard wearing, completely windproof, waterproof and highly breathable with a moisture wicking liner to keep you cool. Although you’ll definitely need something warmer underneath for when the weather turns cold.
The hood nearly rolls away into the collar when it’s not needed and the two outer zip pockets have micro fleece lining inside to keep your hands warm too. So there’s certainly a lot to like.
The North Face Women’s Resolve Waterproof Jacket
For the same money North Face gives you a waterproof jacket that’s a little thicker, a tiny bit heavier and a tad warmer. When compared to the Berghaus RG1, it’s an incredibly similar jacket, being lightweight and breathable as well as completely windproof and waterproof. Moisture wicking inner linings keep you cool and dry while water simply rolls right off the outer shell. The only difference is the slight increase in weight and warmth as well as a more fitted cut. So depending on your needs, it could come down to a choice of which brand name you prefer.
Sprayway Men’s Nyx Waterproof Jacket
Costing just under £100, a Sprayway Nyx is for people who take their walking in all weather seriously, or simply prefer to splash out on top quality clothing for added comfort and protection.
This is a completely waterproof, windproof and highly breathable Gore-Tex hard shell jacket designed for bad weather conditions. It’s also fully featured for ease of use with plenty of large pockets, a fixed two way adjustable hood which rolls down neatly when not in use and dries off very quickly, plus moisture wicking mesh lining and taped seams to keep you cool and dry. If you plan on getting caught in a storm this summer, you’ll have nothing to worry about!
Whether you’re a dog walker, a casual stroller or an outdoors expert, one of these five waterproof jackets will have everything you need for the wet weather.
You’ll already know how far you walk, how regularly and how wet you like it, so to make choosing easy, we’ve created three awards to help you prioritise what’s important to you in a waterproof jacket.
Best Value: Hi Gear 3-In-1
When it comes to affordable waterproof clothing, we felt the Hi Gear 3-in-1 was a great choice. We especially liked how it had been designed to fit very comfortably with the fleece. The fully adjustable hood volume is also a fantastic feature. Overall, a comfortable and very versatile waterproof jacket.
Best Performance: Berghaus RG1
Incredibly light at just 540g, this Berghaus RG1 is perfect for waterproof protection in the warm summer months. If you feel cold, simply wear a fleece underneath. Lightweight, hard wearing, completely windproof, waterproof and highly breathable, it ticks all the boxes for both casual walkers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The hood rolls away nearly and the micro fleece pockets are pleasant feature to keep your hands toasty and warm for when the weather turns really cold. Considering the price point, it’s an excellent choice.
Best Looks: North Face Resolve
Offering style before purpose, the North Face Resolve jacket is every bit as good as the Berghaus RG1, but where it lacks features it makes up for in comfort, fit and design. But North Face clothing fans wouldn’t have it any other way! Overall the jacket is a little thicker and a little heavier, but the fit is better and the brand name more fashionable if that’s one of your priorities.
It was a close match between the North Face and Berghaus jackets for the last two awards. While one focuses on features and the other on fit, we expect most people to choose between them based on brand. Outdoor types will prefer the Berghaus brand while the more fashion minded will choose North Face, but both are excellent choices. Meanwhile the Hi Gear offers fantastic protection on a budget.
So whatever you’re planning to spend and wherever your walks may take you, our top 5 walking boots should have something for everyone.