The 18 best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

These outdoor jackets and coats won’t let you down when you’re out on the trails
18 essential jackets for men and women

Where to start when looking for a new hiking jacket? So many brands, so many technical terms, so little time. Well, this list will help. We’ve narrowed the field down, from insulated mid layers to waterproof shells – choose one of these top hiking jackets and you can stride out onto the moors confident that if the weather turns apocalyptic, you’ll still be protected.

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Sustainability and environmentally-aware options are playing an increasingly important role in brands’ development and consumers’ purchasing priorities, so this is reflected in the choices. There are also a range of hiking jackets, from packable windproofs to mid-layers and waterproof hardshells.

The key is to wear one and pack another for when the weather takes a turn south. Beware the difference between ‘water resistant’ and ‘waterproof’ too – water resistant means the jacket will withstand light showers but not prolonged downpours; for that you'll need a fully waterproof model, ideally with taped seams.

Here's our pick of the best hiking jackets you can buy right now.

Best waterproof hiking jackets for women

Arc'teryx Zeta Lightweight Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

Arc'teryx is famed for its high-end, high performance outdoor apparel. If you're heading for a serious hiking holiday somewhere with unpredictable weather, this Zeta lightweight jacket is a solid investment. Weighing under 300 grams, the jacket is made with triple layer Gore-Tex fabric to protect against wind and rain.

The hood is the brand's signature StormHood design, which cinches at the back for a personalised fit and is cut to maximise your peripheral vision. The slim-fitting design helps trap in extra heat with enough room for a few layers, while gusseted underarms help you move freely in the upper body. You can safely store a smartphone or other tech in its laminated internal pocket, plus the Velcro cuffed sleeves will stop moisture sneaking inside.

While this is a big price tag for a casual hiker, this is a brilliant choice if you make regular trips and want a reliable, lightweight piece of kit.

Sizes: XS to XL

Quechua NH500 Waterproof Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

At just £29.99, this jacket by Quechua is an absolute steal. As part of quality testing, it was put through an hour long water test which replicated the conditions of a rain shower, something it passed with flying colours thanks to its water repellent fabric. Its seams are taped too, to prevent any water creeping in, plus its mesh lining helps stop condensation gathering inside on humid days.

The crossover detail on the collar with a draw cord around the face will keep you well-covered in case of wind. It can also be turned into a shoulder bag for storage. Quechua suggest it's best for one-day walks, so it probably wouldn't stand up to a long adventure, but if you're an occasional hiker or just need extra protection on a bad weather dog walk, it's ideal.

Sizes: XS to XXL

The North Face Printed Fanorak Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

Super lightweight and coming in two colourful prints, this jacket from The North Face is a must for hikes in changeable weather. The anorak-style design is made from durable fabric which provides protection from powerful winds, plus offers shelter from rain thanks to its waterproof properties.

The loose fit allows for ventilation and its hood can be worn loose or pulled in tight with the draw cord. The jacket is cut longer than most, sitting over the top of the legs, so it provides a touch more warmth and protection than shorter, traditional designs. It can even be packed up and tucked into its own kangaroo pocket, which leaves it stored as a handy over-shoulder or bum bag – perfect for when the weather perks up.

Sizes: XS to XL

Rab Kinetic Alpine Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

British-born mountainwear company Rab has been on the scene for nearly 40 years and remains a frontrunner in the outdoor clothing industry. This jacket is made with Rab's own Proflex fabric, which features a waterproof outer layer and breathable inner layer with a comfortable amount of stretch. At just 340 grams it's incredibly lightweight – which, combined with its sweat-wicking lining, makes it ideal for hikes in any weather.

The front zip features a YKK AquaGuard internal storm flap to keep you dry in case of sudden downpours, with the same material at the pockets to protect whatever you have stashed. If you're looking to invest in a reliable, durable jacket that will suit you in all weathers and all seasons, the Kinetic Alpine is an excellent option.

Sizes: 8 to 16

Marmot Precip Eco Hardshell Rain Jacket

The best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

This jacket has been one of the most popular outdoor options in Marmot's range for a good few years now. Considering the price and the functional features it includes, it's not hard to see why.

Designed to take on whatever the wind or rain can muster, the Precip Eco Hardshell incorporates NanoPro Eco, a coating that help protect against the elements whilst ensuring that it's still breathable for more physically taxing activities.

For the price, you'd be hard-pressed to find an outdoor jacket that has the same level of protection, whilst still offering an impressive freedom of movement.

As well as a generously comfortable fit, there's an adjustable hood that can be stowed away and ventilation zippers under the arms for when you need to cool off.

Sizes: XS to XXL

Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket

The best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

A consistent favorite amongst outdoor types, the Aspire jacket is an all-rounder shell that delivers on multiple fronts.

Despite its high level of waterproofing and protection against the elements, it's an impressively lightweight and compact design. In addition, it's also incredibly soft to the touch with a fit that makes it look as good on the peaks as it does on the daily commute.

Along with the GORE-TEX build, it combines a number of smart features to make it a formidable protector against the weather: sealed seams, water-resistant zippers, an adjustable hood and secure fitting wrists. When you don't need it, the jacket can also be stored in its own pocket and stuffed in your pack.

That level of protection may sound like things might start to get a little bit hot in warmer weather, but don't worry, Outdoor Research has incorporated a host of design elements to ensure a high level of breathability, the most impressive being fully extendable pit vents.

Sizes: XS to XL

Best insulated hiking jackets for women

Columbia Powder Lite Hooded Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

If you're heading to cooler climes or want to prep for the winter, this hooded jacket from Columbia is a smart-looking option. The padded shell exterior is resistant to water and features a reflective lining to magnify body heat for maximum warmth, while its hood is cleverly structured for a snug fit around your head.

There are pockets with zips for storage (or for tucking cold hands away) plus an internal zipped pocket for valuables. Coming in 11 different designs, you can opt for bold colours like turquoise or pomegranate, or a more subtle monochrome look that will be just as well suited to city-wear as the mountains.

Sizes: XS to XL

Ortovox Swisswool Piz Bial Jacket

The 17 best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

There aren't many jackets out there that can compare with Ortovox's Swisswool Piz Bial for sheer style. Fortunately for us outdoor folk it's also an impressive piece of kit when you look under the hood as well.

The major plus point of the jacket, aside from being one of the most lightweight options, is that it's reversible, offering a high performing mix of an external wind protecting and water resistant fabric called Pertex Quantum and an incredibly warm and cozy internal wool construction. That combination makes for an exceptional all-rounder jacket that's primarily designed for for ski touring – a function that means it's well qualified to take on the worst hiking can throw at you.

As well as Merino mesh inserts in the front pockets for keeping your hands warm, there's a large breast pocket for for storing maps and snacks, elasticated cuffs, a high level of breathability and it's produced and processed in an environmentally-friendly way. The fact that you have two different colour options in one jacket is just a bonus.

Sizes: XS to XL

Best waterproof hiking jackets for men

Picture Abstral Jacket

The 17 best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

The Abstral jacket offers a formidable level of protection against the elements that delivers a host of features despite its surprisingly lightweight design. And, being made by sustainability champions Picture Organic Clothing, it's also made with 40% recycled polyester.

The thin DryPlay membrane, twinned with an ecological water-repellent Teflon treatment, means that the jacket can withstand the worst the weather can throw at you, whilst the 10K G breathability rating stops you getting hot and sweaty as you clamber up a steep ascent.

The Abstral jacket is one of the best options out there if you're looking for a piece of kit that delivers the goods all year round. In the warmer months, you can pack it into its own side pocket and leave it in your bag until you need it – like if the weather suddenly changes when you're on your way to the top of a mountain.

When it gets really cold there's ample room for layering, whilst the breathable material means that you won't end up with a drenched top when you're putting in some major hiking effort.

Other features include adjustable sleeves with velcro tabs to keep your appendages watertight, zipped side pockets, reflective badges across the front and an ergonomic and elasticated hood.

Haglöfs Grym Evo Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

A weather-beating three-layer jacket that was created with the environment in mind, with the outer of the three layers constructed from 100% recycled materials. This is one tough piece of kit – it won’t fail you in an unexpected storm, and the shell is robust and feels like it could handle anything that it encounters and come away victorious.

It also moves away from a PFC waterproof coating, which can result in fluorocarbon entering our environment when the coating wears, to a more environmentally friendly DWR coating. It’s available in three colours. Our favourite: the ‘desert yellow’ – we like something that makes us stand out on the trails.

Sizes: XS to XXL

Patagonia Houdini Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

An absolutely essential piece of kit and one that every hiker should own. Firstly, it tips the scales at just 102g: the weight of a newborn kitten. It packs down small enough to fit in the tiniest pocket, or you can attach it to your belt or bag loop so it’s there if you need it.

It’s also 100% recycled nylon ripstop with a DWR finish, which means it’s water repellent rather than waterproof. A perfect option for when the temperature drops and the wind picks up, maybe with a little moisture in the air. Unpack it, throw it on and you’ll stay warm.

Sizes: XS to XL

Fjällraven Keb Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

This Swedish outdoor brand is a big deal in fashion-focused hiking jackets, and the Keb is at the very top of its output. The Keb is designed to allow for more movement while trekking via stretchable panels on the shoulders and under the arms, so will cover whatever type of hike you opt for, whether that's a leisurely stroll or a heart-rate rising climb.

The hood, shoulders, front and lower back also feature the company’s G-1000 Eco, which, with regular Greenland waxing, will keep the water out. It has an abundance of pockets – from big ones to fit OS maps in to tiny ones to stash loose change. The hood, when on, also extends out to Kenny-from-South Park-levels – you can roll the trim back, or if the weather is full-on blizzard, disappear inside it, meaning snow will have to work hard to get inside.

Sizes: XS to XXL

Finisterre Borealis Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

Increasing numbers of outdoor clothing manufacturers are beginning to produce sustainable goods, and Finisterre has been at the forefront of this movement for a while. Its new Borealis waterproof jacket is made from regenerated fibres (which come from recycled polyester and nylon), is FC-free, meaning no chemicals are leached into the environment, and is down-free, instead filled with the company’s S-form insulation made from 92% recycled polyester.

Aside from these admirable sustainable qualities, the jacket looks incredible, with the orange lining contrasting stylishly with the dark-navy outer. The warming insulation means it’s perfect for winter, and raindrops simply roll off the two-layer laminated outer surface.

Sizes: XS to XXL

Adidas Terrex Primeknit Rain Jacket

The best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

This light and comfortable hiking jacket that will protect you from the elements without weighing you down or hampering your mobility.

Made with body mapping technology, the jacket is designed to regulate your temperature as you travel through varied weather. The Climaproof fabric will keep you feeling warm and dry in the wind, rain and snow whilst still allowing for the evaporation of sweat – meaning you don't have to keep taking it on and off as you heat up.

As well as a fully adjustable hood and a high collar to keep your face warm, it features hook-and-loop cuffs to protect against the cold, a chest pocket to keep valuables safe and a four-way stretch fabric to allow for movement – which is great if your hikes involve any scrambling.

Note that the jacket does tend to size slightly smaller, so ordering a size up is advised, especially if you want some room to wear base or midlayers.

Sizes: XS to XXL

Sprayway Torridon Jacket

The 17 best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

The Torridon jacket is an old favorite in hiking circles that goes all the way back to the 1980s. This recent upgrade takes that popular design and evolves it for modern-day hikers.

For full-on weather protection, it's one of the best options out there, offering a 3-layer Gore-Tex design that's built to take on the toughest onslaught of wind and rain that you're likely to find. That high level of protection from the elements doesn't come without a price though and the Torridon is one bulky shell.

Aside from the noticeable durability benefits of the tough build, there's also an equally weatherproof adjustable hood, a 2-way front zip with double storm guard, two zipped hand pockets, internal softshell and stretch mesh pockets and adjustable cuffs. One very useful feature is the addition of pit zips for ventilation, which come in very handy as things can get quite hot in the Torridon

Sizes: S to XXL

Best insulated hiking jackets for men

Berghaus Ronnas Reflect Insulated Jacket

The best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

When it comes to keeping yourself warm whilst clambering up a mountain in the winter, you can't go far wrong with this beast from Berghaus.

This chunky insulated jacket is made with Berghaus' Hydrodown material, which is designed to prevent it getting soggy when you're in damp conditions. In addition, it's covered in NikWax, so although it's not an all-out waterproof jacket, it'll still keep you warm and dry in most conditions. Want more? There's also a Pertex Quantum outer which helps to protect you from the wind.

When you put on the Ronnas Reflect it feels a bit like you've stepped into a cosy sleeping bag, complete with some rather nice handwarming pockets in the front and an extremely snug-fitting adjustable hood. Perfect for long walks in the winter months when you want one jacket to fight off the elements. If you're a fan of layering, however, you'll need a much larger waterproof to cover it.

If your focus is to buy responsibly, the Ronnas Reflect contains Bluesign approved fabrics and RDS Certified down.

Sizes: XS to 3XL

Rab Nimbus Jacket

The best hiking jackets: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

An insulated jacket that comes into its own on cold days out on the heaths, this is stuffed with synthetic insulation that mimics the effects of a down filling, which means it’s less expensive and, at 502g, not too heavy. It’s water-resistant rather than waterproof, so can withstand showers, but if you get caught in a downpour, you’re going to end up getting wet.

The design has one zipped internal security pocket, and two zipped handwarmer pockets, the left side of which doubles as an integrated stuff sack that can be clipped to your belt or bag. The benefit of that being that you can take it with you with minimal effort even if there’s just the slightest chance of cold weather.

A great option for people that want a versatile jacket that can be used as a mid-layer under a hardshell, or as an outer layer on its own. Definitely one to file under ‘necessity’.

Sizes: S to XXL

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody

The best hiking jackets for men and women: North Face, Patagonia, Quechua and more

A great lightweight option that works as an insulated standalone jacket or a warm mid-layer in wet, windy conditions, the Atom LT Hoody is a popular jacket due to its versatility across multiple conditions.

The fabric incorporates a Tyono 20 denier shell with DWR treatment which makes it hardwearing and durable piece of kit which, along with the compressible Coreloft synthetic insulation, means this surprisingly lightweight jacket punches far above its weight.

The fit is slightly on the snug side but the breathable Polartec Power stretch panels on the sides mean that mobility isn't an issue, allowing for it to be used from hiking to technical climbs where enhanced movement is a necessity.

Other features include a fully adjustable and helmet-compatible hood, articulated elbows, gusseted underarms for mobility and comfort, a full front zip with wind flap, stretch-knit cuffs, two pockets and an internal chest pocket. It can also be stored in its own packet when not needed.

Tags:    Trekking
Tagged    Trekking