Even in the summer, British weather is often cold and rainy so windproof jackets can prove vital in helping you brave the elements. In the cooler weather, they can make a great improvement to a walking experience due to fabrics and materials which are designed to keep you warm and dry.
There are many different types of windproof jackets, each offering varying features such as; insulation, waterproofing, flexibility, plus extra accessories, such as hoods, attachments and different pockets. While it is excellent to have such a broad choice, it may also be confusing and daunting if you are unfamiliar with a lot of these factors due to possibly being a beginner in terms of walking in cooler temperatures. So to help you find the right windproof jackets; we’ve created our Top 5 for 2016.
Our Best 5 Windproof Walking Jackets 2016
Haglofs Men’s Trail Jacket
The Haglofs Trail jacket is ideal for the colder weather but also versatile to be worn in warmer weather as it is breathable but can also protect you from the windy and wet weather when called upon. It features DWR (Durable Water Repellent); which is an extra layer to strengthen its ability to repel the elements and allow it to fight off water and snow faster and more efficiently. It is also a more fashionable choice, being aesthetically pleasing with its simple appearance and no shoulder and side seams. This also helps avoid chafing and irritation during walking. The Haglofs Windproof Trail Jacket has a large, adjustable hood with cords and toggles to make it a tighter, snugger fit for you and to allow the jacket to become more compact and warmer in the cool temperatures. Similarly, it also has adjustable Velcro cuffs and an adjustable hem, making the Haglofs jacket fit you more comfortably and help you avoid feeling the cool breeze. It also has two large hand pockets and one large chest pocket, with zips to allow you to store extra accessories for your trek with no extra use of energy used by carrying them. This Haglofs trail jacket also has a Bluesign mark, which is a standard for environmental health and safety in the treatment of materials in the clothing industry, due to its use of environmental fabrics.
Montane Featherlite Men’s Pull on Jacket
This Montane Featherlite Mens Pull-on Jacket provides great comfort during intense mountain trekking. It features Pertex Quantum fabric which is windproof, water repellent, extremely comfortable and also has a lot of strength despite being so lightweight, making it a great extra layer over insulating fabrics. The lightweight materials allow you to feel comfortable and as though you aren’t even wearing it. Similar to the Haglofs Trail jacket, this Montane Pull On also features DWR, allowing it to be a great, speedy, water and snow repellent. Furthermore, this Montane Featherlite has YKK zips which are another great feature as their strong, locking teeth give the elements less chance of reaching you. As well as this, the jacket has French seams and elasticated cuffs and hem to prevent weather entry and heat loss during walking. Also, this Montane jacket has articulated sleeves meaning the joints of the elbows fit the natural ergonomics of your body, enabling you to make free movement and flexibility despite its slim fit.
Rab Lunar Women’s Jacket
An even lighter weight version of the previously successful Lunar Pull-On jacket, but with slight twists such as a full-length zip feature; the ladies version of the Rab Lunar jacket is made from lightweight materials and allows you to still be mobile and active despite wearing the extra layer by itself, but is most effective over another layer of insulation. Made from Matrix SWS fabric, this Rab jacket has impressive durability, stretch, and extra wind protection as a result of the single weave pattern of the material. Furthermore, this stretchy material gives you more freedom to move than a standard jacket and is ideal for activities such as climbing and walking, plus makes it an ideal choice for use in strong winds but can also keep you cool when needed in the warmer weather. Another bonus feature to this multi-purpose jacket is its under helmet hood; a low-key, tight fit hood that can be worn comfortably under a helmet for sports when necessary. To combat odour generated from excessive use during sports, it has Polygiene Stay Fresh which prevents the build-up of odour-causing microbes. This jacket also comes with DWR to prevent you getting cold and wet when the weather is against you. This jacket also comes with YKK zips to fight the bad weather and keep you warm. But for when the weather changes and you become warm, you can simply fold it up to a small size and put it in the sack it comes with; and then easily access it again later if required.
Snugpak Venture Search and Rescue Windtop Jacket
Designed with advice from the UK search and rescue community, the Snugpak Venture Search and Rescue Windtop Jacket was designed to help you on a wide range of S & R operations and also as in local countryside and parks, scrambling on mountain routes, rock climbing and more. The Snugpak Venture S&R is also ideally worn with a long-sleeve base layer as it is much lighter than most comparable jackets. Its Paratex Micro material and DWR finish allows this Snugpak jacket to dry quickly and repel the elements, so you can remain focused on the task at hand with no distraction from the weather. It also has extra, exploration based features such as a large chest pocket to store maps, torches, or other accessories, plus hook and loop patches for reflective pads to stay visible in the dark.
OMM Rotor Smock Jacket
Made using PointZero inside and out with a PrimaLoft One 40g filling, the OMM Rotor Smock Jacket keeps you warm at all times. This is a thin, lightweight microfibre insulation jacket that keeps you dry and warm regardless of the weather, with a windproof layer that also keeps you protected from strong winds, and allows you to enjoy your walk distraction/nuisance-free. The On Mountain Marathon jacket also has Velcro cuffs and an elasticated drawcord hem to avoid heat less while preventing the cold temperature reaching you. A soft lined collar and chin optimises comfort and makes you feel relaxed during your walk. The single pocket on the OMM jacket is a large, insulated one over the abdominal area, allowing you to keep large objects in there with little extra weight. It is also reversible for use as a fleece pillow when the jacket is packed tightly together, making it ideal for camping.
We hope our Top 5 Windproof Jackets for 2016 has something that appeals to you and your needs, but if you need a little more guidance to help you choose the perfect jacket, we have three awards for value, performance and looks.
Best Value: Montane Featherlite Men’s Pull on Jacket
Not just the least expensive on the Top 5 list, this Montane Featherlite Pull-On has lots of extra features making it great value for money, such as its lightweight material, Pertex Quantum technology, articulated sleeves, DWR fabrics, and YKK zips; all enhancing your walking experience and allowing you to successfully fight the elements.
Best Performance: Haglofs Trail Mens Jacket
The weather-combatting features alone on this Haglofs Trail Jacket, such as its adjustable hood and DWR, make it a great performer for walkers and allow you to trek with full concentration and joy, even in bad weather conditions.
Best Looks: Snugpak Venture Search and Rescue Windtop Jacket
Very fashionable and so much so that the Snugpak Venture S + R Windtop Jacket could be multi-purposed and used for other leisure or trend purposes due to its cuffed sleeves and elasticated hem, and its stylish front pocket. The collar also looks trendy when zipped to your chin.
Written by Ryan Petterson