The best hiking jackets for men and women | Berghaus, The North Face, Patagonia and more

Our updated guide to the outdoor jackets and coats that won’t let you down
Essential hiking jackets for men and women

For hikers, finding the right outdoor jacket is one of the toughest decisions to make, especially for those people that tend to travel to different locations. Where one jacket may be perfect for a hike through the winter countryside, its benefits may be unnecessary or even hamper you if the terrain and weather change.

That becomes even trickier when you're the type of hiker that likes to tackle mountains – when the weather and temperature at the bottom can be vastly different from that at the top.

For most people, the key to picking up the right jacket comes down to versatility. The ideal jacket should offer a good balance between protection from the elements without being too bulky or difficult to stow away when needed. Get your layering game on point and you can combine two jackets together and switch between them at the drop of a hat.

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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.

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

Quechua NH500 Waterproof Jacket

Quechua NH500 Waterproof Jacket

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.

Rab Kinetic Alpine Jacket

Rab Kinetic Alpine Jacket

British-born mountain wear 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 weather and all seasons, the Kinetic Alpine is an excellent option.


Marmot Precip Eco Hardshell Rain Jacket

Marmot Precip Eco Hardshell Rain Jacket

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 helps 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 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.


Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket

Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket

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.

Best insulated hiking jackets for women

Columbia Powder Lite Hooded Jacket

Columbia Powder Lite Hooded Jacket

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.

Best lightweight hiking jackets for men

Picture Wailer Jacket

Picture Wailer Jacket

For hikes in changeable conditions, you need a jacket that won't take up too much space in your backpack when you're not using it. This option from Picture is a great choice if you're not quite sure what the weather has in store and can be easily stowed away in its own front pocket when you don't need it.

Made from ripstop fabric, the Wailer Jacket is designed to protect you against the worst the wind can throw at you with a Teflon EcoElite DWR finish to keep you dry.

The large front pocket can be used to store the essentials you need to hand and it features an elasticated hood and wrist cuffs to keep you warm and dry whatever the conditions.

We've found it's a great option for spring/autumn hikes as well as a good choice for trips where you're going from ground level to high elevation, when the temperature and wind can change quickly but you don't want to lug unnecessary clothing around all day.

Thanks to Picture's focus on sustainability, the jacket is also made from 100% Recycled Polyester, which means you're not only getting a fantastic piece of kit but you're buying responsibly as well.

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody

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 hard wearing 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.

Best waterproof hiking jackets for men

Columbia OutDry Extreme Mesh Waterproof Shell Jacket

The best hiking jackets for men and women | Berghaus, The North Face, Patagonia and more

They don't come much more formidable when it comes to the rain than this little number from Columbia. The outer waterproof membrane will handle the worst the weather can throw at you without the unwanted bulk of most extreme jackets out there.

When you first get your hands on the jacket it can feel slightly plasticky to the touch, which can be off-putting before you try it on, however, inside is a softer mesh fabric to ensure it sits comfortably against the skin.

There's a nice amount of room available as well, so it's a good option for hikers that like layer up throughout the day, offering plenty of space for insulated garments to keep you warm in a storm.

Features include zippered hand pockets, a chin guard, an adjustable hood, cuffs, and you can neatly pack it away into its own pocket when it isn't being used.

For a jacket that offers so much protection against the rain and wind, we were surprised at how small it packs down. It's a great option if you want a high level of protection but don't want to sacrifice space in your rucksack – especially if you're in a climate where the weather can go from mild to extreme at the drop of a hat.

Berghaus Deluge Pro 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

Berghaus Deluge Pro 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

The Deluge Pro 2.0 is a great option if you're looking for protection from the weather without unnecessary weight being added to your pack. The two-layer Hydroshell fabric can fend off the worst of the wind and rain whilst still being thin enough to easily stow away when not in use.

In addition, the jacket features a hood and hem that can easily be adjusted for a snug fit when the weather is at its worst. There are also two handy zipped pockets at the front for storing essentials like a phone or a compass.

In testing, we found the jacket did an impressive job at balancing comfort with performance. The lightweight design makes it a great option for those hikes where the weather can change on a whim, as well as mountain routes when the higher altitudes require the quick addition of an extra layer.

We also found the fit was comfortable, offering enough room to add a couple of base layers underneath or a mid layer jacket.

Adidas Terrex Myshelter Gore-tex Rain Jacket

Adidas Terrex Myshelter Gore-tex Rain Rain Jacket

The Myshelter Rain Jacket is designed to give an impressive level of protection from the elements without being too thick or bulky. The Gore-tex shell can tackle the worst that the wind and rain can throw whilst still feeling light and breathable; something that makes it a great option if you want to stay dry in milder conditions.

In addition to the breathable active Gore-tex membrane, there are also handy underarm vents to help keep you cool, which, in addition to an oversized fit that promotes a good range of motion, makes things a lot easier when you're tackling tougher terrain or need to do some scrambling.

If you're planning on heading into lower temperatures, the jacket works well as a top layer, offering enough space to fit additional layers underneath, and includes an adjustable hem and hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs so you can tighten it up to keep the rain out.

Features include a two-way full zip with a high collar, side pockets and an inner chest pocket, a helmet-compatible hood for climbing, and reflective details to keep you visible.


Haglöfs Grym Evo Jacket

Haglöfs Grym Evo Jacket

A weather-beating three-layer jacket 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.



Patagonia Houdini Jacket

Patagonia Houdini Jacket

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.


Fjällraven Keb Jacket

Fjällraven Keb Jacket

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 into 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 the snow will have to work hard to get inside.


Finisterre Borealis Jacket

Finisterre Borealis Jacket

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

Best insulated hiking jackets for men

The North Face Summit Series L3 50/50 Hooded Down Jacket

The North Face Summit Series L3 50/50 Hooded Down Jacket

The Summit Series from The North Face may be a bit hardcore for the occasional dog walk but if you're looking for an insulated jacket that'll keep you snug in extreme weather, it's an investment worth making.

Stuffed with 800-fill ProDown, the L3 50/50 Hooded Down Jacket retains a high level of body heat whilst still being incredibly light and minimal. What's more, is that the insulation also retains its loft when the jacket gets wet.

Designed specifically for mountaineering, the jacket offers an exceptional range of movement and comfort whilst still delivering the protection you'd expect from much thicker, heavier options. It also means that it comes with easy-access raised side pockets and quick-pull zips that allow you to access important items when you need them. Additional features include a hood that fits over your helmet and a stuffsack, which means you can store it away when you don't need it and hang it off a belt or bag.

In testing, we've found that the L3 50/50 Hooded Down Jacket is a great option for those people that need protection from the cold as well as an adequate range of motion when performing outdoor activities, whether that climbing, technical hiking or working out in the cold.


Berghaus Ronnas Reflect Insulated Jacket

Berghaus Ronnas Reflect Insulated Jacket

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 from 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 hand-warming 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.

The North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket

The North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket

The Thermoball Eco is perfect when you want a high level of warmth without the bulk associated with many insulated jackets. The lean design makes it a great option to match with a waterproof top layer in tough weather, but it can equally hold its own in most conditions due to the Thermoball insulation; keeping you warm even when it's wet.

As well as being made from 100% post-consumer recycled content, the lightweight jacket includes a host of features despite its sleek appearance. For storage, there are two large front zipped pockets, as well as one internal chest pocket for keeping valuables safe, and those front pockets can also be used to stow the jacket away neatly when it's not in use.

In addition, there's an elasticated cinch cord around the hem of the jacket and elastic-bound cuffs to prevent heat from escaping.

Our favourite aspect of the Thermoball Eco Jacket is its versatility. On tough hikes in bad conditions, it can form an essential part of a layering system. For daily use in the winter, its slim design and modern style make it a great option for anyone looking for a jacket in the colder months.

Tags:    Trekking
Tagged    Trekking