If you’re planning to spend time outdoors, it’s important to have the right gear to keep you protected and comfortable. One of the most essential pieces of outdoor gear is a waterproof jacket. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about waterproof jackets, including what to look for when buying one and some of the best options available on the market.
Why You Need a Waterproof Jacket
A waterproof jacket is an essential piece of gear for any outdoor activity, from hiking to camping to fishing. It keeps you dry and comfortable in wet weather conditions, preventing hypothermia and other health issues that can arise from exposure to rain or snow. Additionally, a good waterproof jacket can protect you from wind and cold, keeping you warm and comfortable during your outdoor activities.
What to Look for When Buying a Waterproof Jacket
When shopping for a waterproof jacket, there are several important factors to consider:
The most important feature of a waterproof jacket is, of course, its ability to keep you dry. Look for jackets that have a waterproof rating of at least 10,000mm. Jackets with higher ratings will be more waterproof and more expensive.
While it’s important to keep water out, you also want to make sure that sweat can escape. Look for jackets with a breathability rating of at least 10,000g/m²/24hrs. Jackets with higher ratings will be more breathable and more expensive.
A waterproof jacket should be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor activities. Look for jackets made with high-quality materials like Gore-Tex or eVent, and make sure that the seams are sealed to prevent water from seeping in.
A good waterproof jacket should fit well and allow for freedom of movement. Look for jackets with adjustable hoods, cuffs, and waistbands to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.
Lastly, consider the style of the jacket. Do you want a full-zip or half-zip jacket? Do you want a hooded or non-hooded jacket? Consider your personal preferences and the activities you’ll be doing to choose the right style of jacket.
Top Waterproof Jackets for Outdoor Activities
Here are some of the best waterproof jackets on the market for outdoor activities:
1. Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket
The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket is a popular choice for hikers and backpackers. It’s made with a 3-layer waterproof/breathable fabric that’s both lightweight and durable. The jacket also features a helmet-compatible hood and adjustable cuffs and waistband for a customizable fit.
2. The North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0 Jacket
The North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0 Jacket is a great option for those who want a jacket that’s both waterproof and windproof. It’s made with a Gore-Tex membrane that’s both waterproof and breathable, and the jacket also features a soft knit face and stretch-woven backer for added comfort.
3. Columbia OutDry Ex Eco Tech Shell Jacket
The Columbia OutDry Ex Eco Tech Shell Jacket is a sustainable option for those who want a waterproof jacket that’s also environmentally friendly. It’s made with a waterproof/breathable OutDry Extreme membrane and is made with 100% recycled materials.
4. Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket
The Arc’teryx Zeta SL Jacket is a lightweight and compact option for those who want a jacket that’s easy to pack and carry. It’s made with a Gore-Tex Paclite Plus membrane that’s both waterproof and breathable, and the jacket features an adjustable hood and hem for a customizable fit
5. Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
The Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket is an ultralight option for those who want a waterproof jacket that won’t weigh them down. It’s made with a 2.5-layer waterproof/breathable Pertex Shield fabric and features a fully adjustable hood and elastic cuffs to keep out rain and wind.
A good waterproof jacket is an essential piece of outdoor gear for anyone who spends time outdoors. When shopping for a waterproof jacket, make sure to consider factors like waterproofing, breathability, durability, fit, and style. With the right waterproof jacket, you can stay dry and comfortable during any outdoor activity.
How do I know if my waterproof jacket needs to be re-waterproofed?
If your waterproof jacket is no longer repelling water and is starting to absorb it instead, it’s time to re-waterproof it. You can do this by washing it with a special waterproofing detergent and then applying a waterproofing spray or wax.
Can I wear a waterproof jacket in hot weather?
While a waterproof jacket is designed to keep you dry in wet weather, it can also make you sweat in hot weather. Look for jackets with high breathability ratings if you plan to wear them in hot weather.
How do I wash my waterproof jacket?
Most waterproof jackets can be washed in a machine using a mild detergent. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
How do I choose the right size of waterproof jacket?
It’s important to choose a waterproof jacket that fits well to ensure maximum protection from the rain. Look for jackets that allow for freedom of movement and have adjustable features like cuffs and waistbands to ensure a snug fit.
Can I wear a waterproof jacket for activities like skiing or snowboarding?
Yes, a waterproof jacket is an essential piece of gear for activities like skiing or snowboarding. Look for jackets with high waterproof and breathability ratings to keep you dry and comfortable during these activities.