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As the summer wanes and autumn approaches, it’s inevitable that the familiar sight of black rain clouds gathering on the horizon will greet us once again.
The cooler, less humid autumn weather can be perfect for hiking around the UK, but the autumn months can also be colder ones, and as autumn turns into winter, they invariably become wetter, too.
We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the best waterproof jackets for hiking in the autumn months, but first we’ll discuss a little bit about what to look for in a waterproof jacket, some things to consider when you’re buying a new one and which elements are the ones to look for if you’re out and about hiking.
What to look for in a waterproof jacket?
If you’re hiking, weight, size and bulkiness are important factors to consider in a waterproof hiking jacket.
You will need to have the freedom to move and feel agile and not inhibited, so we’d recommend trying on a few lightweight options to see how it feels when you’re at full stretch.
Hiking waterproof jackets also need to be extremely breathable or thin enough to be successfully layered – otherwise, you’ll overheat very quickly when on the move.
What do waterproof ratings mean?
Waterproof ratings are in ‘mm’, and signify the maximum amount of water a garment can take before it no longer can keep back the flood.
This usually ranges from about 10,000 to 20/30,000mm, so more than good enough for most grey UK days. That being said, every jacket has its limits, so it pays to do you research if you’re heading into the jungle, for example.
When it comes to fit, it’s also worth mentioning adjustment options, so we recommend looking for jackets that have good hem cords and the ability to fit a helmet underneath – good hood adjustment options are a must.
We also really like the wired-hem hoods that stay up a lot easier in the wind and rain….there is nothing more annoying that having to keep pulling up your hood again every thirty seconds because it can’t stay in place!
Here’s our list of some of the best waterproof jackets on the market at the moment.
Although they’re priced at the top-end of the waterproof and technical jacket sector, we’re a fan of Klattermusen’s jackets and currently on sale, this is the perfect ‘pack and go’ piece, offering unisex versatility with a quick over the hood approach that reduces weight and dramatically improves packability.
It’s a modern take on the classic Klattermusen anorak, and we liked the fact is also features a zip pocket for stowing away essentials.
A great everyday wear waterproof at an affordable price for a semi-technical jacket, this Jack Wolfskin option offers a 20,000mm waterproof rating and excellent breathability.
We liked that both the outer material and the membrane is made from recycled polyester – and generally the jacket itself feels well-made, durable and usable in all conditions. It’s light too, so highly recommended for something like the daily commute.
This is a new for this season, 3-layer waterproof jacket that’s durable, versatile and has the ability to be worn everyday or take your adventures to the next level.
Like other jackets on the market at the moment, it is constructed using 100% post-consumer recycled polyester, saving the material from the dump and ensuring it is also recyclable when you’re finished with it.
A great option for lightweight adventures too – the jacket packs down into its own pocket and has two easy-access chest pockets for map and equipment storage.
Currently a half-price bargain, down to £45 from £90, we’d really recommend this Columbia option as a great day-to-day waterproof that serves as a warmth-inducing puffer too, featuring a reflective liner that keeps you protected in the inclement UK weather.
We’d trust this jacket as an excellent everyday option for the commute, evenings out and after camping trips or beach swims – a good all-rounder for an affordable price.
This is a great active jacket choice for the budget-conscious, and as is often the case with Craghopper’s products, their technical ability often outweighs their price-tag.
A streamlined AquaDry membrane stretch construction makes it a good option for layering, and as a day-to-day option we can’t fault its simple design, no-nonsense approach and eco credentials (each jacket is made of approximately 50 recycled bottles).
There’s no doubt that Berghaus are excellent at making jackets that are good all-rounders – and this is a great day-to-day option that doesn’t compromise on quality but doesn’t break the bank either.
The internal pockets are big and deep, meaning it’s easy to carry maps and larger guides. We also thought it was a comfortable fit, with Berghaus’s ‘Hydroshell’ fabric doing an excellent job in the all-important breathability stakes.
Quite simply one of the best waterproof jackets around, and one we come back to time and again when we’re heading into the hills.
We love its ‘mountain-ready’ approach – it’s ready for pretty much anything you throw at it, and although it looks simple, its lightweight design and durable quality makes up for its steep price-tag.
One of the best waterproof jackets around and if you invest, it’s likely to last you a very long time indeed.