The Best Mens Waterproof Jackets!Having a Waterproof Jacket is all well and good, but a lot of them are bulky, and leave you feeling like you're walking around in a stand-up sleeping bag. What you ideally want is a lightweight breathable waterproof jacket, this way you'll get the best of both worlds:
Lightweight waterproof protection and a jacket that will actually allow you to breathe and not feel like you're hiking in a sauna!Yes, this article is about the search for the very best hiking jackets that won't weigh you down, and we're here to review a few of the best jackets on the market today, but before we get going, it's time for a mini buyer's guide on what to look for: So sit back, relax and let's get started!
Lightweight Waterproof Jacket Buyer's Guide:There's quite a few things you need to look out for when thinking of purchasing a waterproof jacket, it's not always the case that bigger = better! At least in the Hiking World (Hey oh! ;)) Here are a few things that you should consider before purchasing a lightweight waterproof jacket, and keep in mind before spending all that hard earned money!
Waterproof RatingThe level of waterproofness can also be described as "Hydrostatic Head", and while this may sound a bit strange it basically just means that the larger the hydrostatic head, the more pressure it can withstand before leaking.
Sometimes hydrostatic head is also referred to as water column, because it's measured in terms of mm, with some jackets being able to withstand 5,000mm of "water column" before it starts to leak.Imagine if there was the waterproof jacket stretched out, and a column of water (like a waterfall) of 5 metres (5000mm) was falling on top of it, if it has a hydrostatic head rating of 5,000mm, then it can withstand and repel the water, but any higher than this and you'll start to see leaks, as the pressure of the water will push it through the fabric.
So what's the ideal Hydrostatic Pressure in a Waterproof Jacket?Well this is an interesting question , because according to the British Standards Institution, any waterproof jacket over a hydrostatic pressure rating of 1,500mm (1.5m) can be classed as waterproof. For example, most Berghaus Waterproof Jackets come with a minimum of 8,000mm hydrostatic head pressure rating, and according to Berghaus themselves, it's extremely unlikely for most jackets to even come up against 5,000mm of hydrostatic pressure anyway, let alone 8-10,000mm! As a rule of thumb, at least from what's on the market today, you'll want a jacket that has a HHPR (Hydrostatic Head Pressure Rating) of between 5,000mm-10,000mm. Anything over this is a little overkill for most people's needs.
Is GORE-TEX® Essential?Listen, here at ArcticDry we are lovers of all things waterproof, especially Goretex, and waterproof membranes in general, but GORE-TEX® isn't essential in Waterproof Jackets. It's a fantastic waterproof membrane technology, but plenty of larger companies like Northface, Berghaus, and of course us here at ArcticDry use many different types of waterproof membranes to achieve the same result.
Outer ConstructionThis is seriously vital in terms of finding the very best mens lightweight breathable waterproof jacket. This is because most companies will make their jackets with one of three designs: 2, 2.5, or 3 layers, with the central layer in 3 layer constructions being the waterproof membrane of course. Most 3 layer constructions have a coated outer fabric, middle waterproof membrane and polyurethane (PU) layer on the inside of the waterproof membrane as an extra level of waterproof protection.
HoodThe Hood is one of the key components to a waterproof jacket, and you really need to think what you'll be needing it for. If you want to shove some extra protection (Hat, Helmet etc) under there then you need to make sure its spacious enough to accommodate for this.
Also, keep in mind that the hood shouldn't be too tight, and also give you enough visibility, you don't want a hood that droops over your field of view or is lopsided, so keep this in mind.
PocketsPockets are yet another simple, yet essential part of your waterproof jacket that you'll need to consider. Some companies, or those that produce cheaper jackets may purport that their pockets are also waterproof, but this may not be the case, as it's incredibly tough to waterproof a zipper. Not impossible, but just difficult! If you're going Hiking then you'll want a waterproof jacket with pockets that can accommodate for plenty of accessories, including snacks too! (let's not forget about the snacks guys!). Ok now we've covered a few of the basics, let's get started and take a look at what we think is the best mens lightweight breathable waterproof jacket on the market today!
Best Lightweight & Waterproof Jackets
Northface Evo Triclimate Jacket
?Top Performer: Northface Evo Triclimate Waterproof JacketNorth Face have quite a reputation when it comes to waterproof jackets, and the NorthFace Evolution Tri-climate Waterproof Jacket is no exception, it is a 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket made with their DryVent technology with adjustable stowable hood & multiple pockets for plenty of storage. Their DryVent Technology is fully seam sealed and repels water from the surface, while the inner layer actually channels water vapour to the outer layer, which can also help with keeping you warm, as fundamentally any moisture that is transported away from your skin will benefit you on a hike and keep you warm.
Berghaus Fellmaster Waterproof Jacket
?Best Buy: Berghaus Fellmaster Waterproof JacketThe Berghaus Waterproof Shell Jacket is a fantastic representative of the Berghaus waterproof range, being made from their waterproof Hydro shell Elite fabric, it's a wonderfully lightweight & breathable jacket that would be perfect for hiking, fishing, boating, cycling, & many more sports! This particular model comes with an Interactive Zip which means you can zip in one of their fleece midlayers if you're a bit cold, adding some extra toastiness! The only issue a lot of people have had with this jacket is that the fleece is kind of essential, so without the fleece you may be left a little chilly while hiking or out and about. However, in general with the waterproof performance and overall construction, it's a fantastic choice to go with the Berghaus Fellmaster Waterproof Jacket.