The best waterproof jackets 2023 (2023)

This season’s 10 best waterproof jackets for hiking and backpacking, as chosen by our team of outdoor experts

A good-quality waterproof jacket is an essential item for hikers. They come in various forms, however, so choosing the right one for you can seem like a daunting process.

For any trips outside of winter, a three-season waterproof jacket will offer you the most versatility. This will protect the you from rain in the months of spring, summer and autumn when temperatures should be warmer and the weather kinder, compared to winter.

Some brands have designed minimalist, pared-down three-season jackets, featuring fewer pockets or a one-way zip, rather than two-way and hoods that are simpler with fewer adjusters and smaller peaks. The best three-season jacket, however, will be able to cope with downpours and strong winds and will come with numerous useful features. After all, walkers can experience fairly extreme weather in any month, especially if high in the mountains.

The fabric of three-season waterproof jackets should also be breathable. If it is wet and warm, the fabric needs to have the capacity to let the moisture created by sweat escape – otherwise you will end up damp inside the jacket. These days there are excellent waterproof and breathable membranes (which are also windproof). Most jackets also have a durable waterproof repellency (DWR) treatment added to the outer layer of fabric.

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Left to right: the Montane Phase, the Alpkit Balance and the Tierra Back Up

Typically, the best three-season waterproof jackets will be made with a lighter-weight fabric than a winter waterproof and many are easily packable so that they can bestowed in a rucksack when not being worn. Most of us will be carrying lighter loads in our rucksacks in the warmer months, so fabrics are not subject to the same level of abrasion (at hips and shoulders) as in winter. Even so, it is important that a three-season jacket is made to last.

Finally, colour choice may seem less important but a brighter shade will allow you to be more easily seen should you get into difficulty. Black, dark blues and greens blend in rather than stand out. Also, very light shades will show the dirt quickly.

The best waterproof jackets of 2023

This buyer’s guide contains the 10 best hardshell jackets for 2023 according to our expert reviewers Chris Townsend, David Lintern and Fiona Russell. All of the items that made it into the list have been extensively tested and assessed for their performance, practicality, value and longevity.

  • Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell Best men’s waterproof jacket | RRP: $449 | £425 (Buy now from US Only)
  • Arc’teryx Beta jacket – Best women’s waterproof jacket | RRP: $450 | £350 (Buy now from
  • Montane Phase | RRP: $479 | £300 (Buy now from
  • Tierra Back Up | RRP: £260
  • Patagonia Granite Crest | RRP: £260 (Buy now from
  • Berghaus Paclite Dynak Gore-Tex – Best value waterproof jacket | RRP: £170 (Buy now from
  • Alpkit Balance | RRP: $259.99 | £200
  • Mountain Equipment Makalu | $374.95 | £270 (Buy now from
  • Rab Arc Eco | RRP: $235 | £200 (Buy now from
  • Mountain Hardwear Exposure 2 | RRP: $650.00 | £500

How waterproofness and breathability are measured

The waterproofness of a jacket is measured by determining the height of a column of water that the fabric can withstand before it starts to leak through. The resulting figure is known as the hydrostatic head (HH) and this is expressed in millimetres – the higher the number, the more waterproof the jacket is considered to be.

The breathability of waterproof garments is determined by the “Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate” (MVTR). This test measures the amount of water vapor that can pass through the jacket’s fabric over a given period of time. The unit of measurement used is typically grams per square meter per 24 hours (g/m²/24h). The higher the MVTR rating, the more breathable the jacket is considered to be.

Some waterproof fabric examples and their ratings

Hydroshell (Berghaus) – HH: 15,000 mm | MVTR: 20,000 g/m²/24h (official)

Dermizax EV – HH: 25,000 mm | MVTR: 20,000 g/m²/24h (official)

Unbranded (Alpkit Balance) – HH: 20,000 mm | MVTR: 20,000 g/m²/24h (official)

Polartec Power Shield – HH: 20,000 mm | MVTR: 20,000 g/m²/24h (official)

Futurelight (The North Face) – HH: Unknown | MVTR: 75,000 g/m²/24h (official)

Pertex Shield – HH: 20,000 mm | MVTR: 20,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

H2No (Patagonia) – HH: 10,000mm to 20,000 mm | MVTR: 12,000 – 15,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

Omni-Tech (Columbia) – HH: 10,000 mm | MVTR: 10,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

eVent – HH: 30,000 | MVTR: 15,000 to 25,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

Gore-tex – HH: 28,000 mm | MVTR: 17,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

Gore-tec Paclite – HH: 28,000 mm | MVTR:15,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

Gore-tex Pro – HH 28,000 mm | MVTR: 25,000 g/m²/24h (estimated)

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An example of one of Gore-Tex’s fabrics (left) and TGO content editor Will demonstrating a jacket beading well (right). Photo: Giles Dean

Key features to look for on a waterproof shell

  • A decent hood – large enough to cope with a helmet or ponytail.
  • An array of roomy pockets – large enough to be crammed with gloves, snacks and maps.
  • A good waterproof coating – This is measured via something called ‘hydrostatic head’.
  • Roomy fit – The waterproof needs to be large enough to fit multiple layers underneath
  • BreathabilityMeasured in MVTR: moisture vapour transmission rate’. Zips under the arms can also help vent heat and moisture.
  • Environmental impact – Think about the materials and chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Getting the most out of clothing, through reproofing using appropriate products and repair, is the best thing we can do reduce the environmental impact of the products we buy.

Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell (Best buy – men’s)

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  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Likes: low weight, breathability
  • Dislikes: expensive, front hood adjustment
  • Price: $449 | £425 (Buy now from US Only)
  • Weight: 330g (L)

Materials: bluesign-approved AscentShell and Pertex Shield Air Diamond Fuse 30D ripstop nylon | Hood: helmet-compatible, front and rear adjustment, stiffened and wired peak | Sizes: men S-XXL (no direct women’s version; nearest equivalent is Women’s MicroGravity AscentShell Jacket, £265) | Website:

Chosen as the best men’s jacket in our tests, the Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell was found to be lightweight, comfortable and tough.

One of the main aspects that impressed us was the AscentShell fabric and the integration of Pertex Diamond Fuse fibres. This creates a lightweight material that is highly abrasion-resistant. Outdoor Research use a method called electro spinning here; this is essentially where thousands of tiny fibres are all joined up together into a web, with gaps that are big enough to expel moisture vapour but small enough to block out moisture in liquid form. It’s impressive stuff.

Adjusting the hood isn’t that smooth, but when done correctly, it does at least offer excellent protection. Pockets-wise, there are inner and outer ones on the chest that will just about hold a medium-size smartphone and there are handwarmer pockets too – these are cut off by a hipbelt but most of them are still usable.

Expect a roomy fit. Our tester Chris found the size Large to be comfortable over fairly thick insulated tops.

Read our full Outdoor Research Helium Ascentshell review.

Montane Phase Jacket

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  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: breathability, tough fabric
  • Dislikes: front hood adjustment, no chest pockets
  • Price: $479 | £300 (Buy now from
  • Weight: 460g (L)

Materials: 3-layer 40 Denier Gore-Tex Performance | Hood: front and rear adjustment, stiffened and wired peak | Front closure: YKK AquaGuard zip with internal flap | Underarm/side zips: no | Pockets: 2 handwarmer, 1 inner | adjustable drawcord | Cuffs: Velcro | Sizes: men S-XXL (women 8-16).

This is a reasonably light jacket that performed well in wintry conditions thanks to its Gore-Tex performance fabric. The hydrostatic head rating (the measurement for waterproofness) is an impressive 28,000mm and it’s also breathable too.

Then there’s the fabric durability. Rated at 40D you can count on this jacket being able to stand up to any rough branches or an abrasive rock face when you’re scrambling.

There are some nice features, including a climber-friendly two-way zip with a bottom popper to allow for quick ventilation, internal and external pockets and there’s adjustment at the hem, cuffs and hood.

Our tester Chris found that the fit was on the slim side. The Large, he said, was comfortable over a medium fleece but nothing thicker.

Read our full Montane Phase review.

Patagonia Granite Crest

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  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: lightweight, hood adjustment, recycled fabrics, underarm zips, cost
  • Dislikes: hood peak not very stiff
  • Price: RRP: £260 (Buy now from
  • Weight: 395g (M)

Materials: 3-layer H2No Performance Standard NetPlus post-consumer recycled nylon ripstop with PFC-free DWR | Hood: helmet-compatible, front and rear adjustment, stiffened peak | Front closure: watertight zip with inner flap | Underarm/side zips: two-way | Pockets: 2 handwarmer, 1 chest | Hem: adjustable drawcord | Cuffs: Velcro | Sizes: men XS-XXL (women XS-XL).

Not only is this jacket PFC-free but it also uses a fabric that’s made from recycled fishing nets in order to help to reduce ocean plastic pollution. This fabric has a good quality feel to it too; it’s soft to the touch and quiet and there’s a slight stretch to it.

From our tests, we found it to be a great three-season option that would be excellent for day hiking and backpacking. It has a huge helmet-compatible hood that can be adjusted to give good protection whilst allowing visibility, the front drawcords are external ones and so are easily tightened with the jacket fully zipped up and it has a stiffened peak too – though this lacks structure and can distort in the wind.

Other features include large hand pockets, a fully sized chest pocket that can accommodate a map, and long underarm zips for ventilation.

Read our full Patagonia Granite Crest review.

Tierra Back Up

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  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: lightweight, hood adjustment, breathability, cost, underarm zips, mosquito net
  • Dislikes: no chest pockets, hood peak not very stiff
  • Price: £260
  • Weight: 355g (L)

Materials: 50 denier Gore-Tex Paclite polyester with PFC-free DWR | Hood: front and rear adjustment, stiffened peak | Front closure: one-way zip with inner and outer flaps | Underarm/side zips: yes | Pockets: 2 handwarmer | Hem: adjustable drawcord | Cuffs: Velcro | Sizes: men S-XXL (women XS-XL).

Tierra are a Swedish company that specialise in wet weather gear – no less than the Swedish Alpine Mountain Rescue association are equipped with their kit.

This particular jacket, the Back Up, uses Gore-Tex Paclite. This has a hydrostatic head of 28,000mm, high levels of breathability and it’s also lightweight and packable – all the right ingredients of a backpacking jacket then.

The Tierra Back Up hood fits well and has external front drawcords and cordlocks, making it easy to adjust. The hood isn’t helmet-compatible, so there isn’t masses of material to cinch down when you’re not wearing one. The peak is small and it’s not very stiff.

The pockets are roomy. Unfortunately they’re cut off when wearing a backpack with a hipbelt but the top of them can still be used. There are no chest or inner pockets.

One extra feature that will be useful in the summer months is a stuff sack that doubles as a midge net!

Read our full Tierra Back Up review.

Rab Arc Eco

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  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Likes: Eco credentials, a great all-rounder, cost, weight.
  • Dislikes: Could use one more pocket.
  • Price: RRP: $235 | £200 (Buy now from
  • Weight: 436g

Materials: 3-layer Pertex Shield recycled polyester ‘Revolve’, recycled inner, PFC-free DWR | Features: part-wired 3-way adjustable hood, 2 large pockets | Sizes: S-XXL | Women’s version: yes | Website:

The Rab Arc Eco was given Gold in our TGO awards for sustainability and it has really stood out from the other men’s waterproofs here too. On test since last autumn, the fully recycled fabric has so far resisted wear and tear, with the 20,000 hydrostatic head and 15,000 MVTR (breathability rating), continuing to keep us completely dry.

Our tester found the cut of the jacket is quite long, and perhaps overly roomy at the chest, but this does at least allow for layering. The sleeves are Velcro-adjusted, and the hem adjusted by two toggles. As for pockets, there are only two very large handwarmers, situated just high enough to be useable whilst wearing a rucksack.

Perhaps not a jacket for the depths of winter but it is a light, simple, cheap and more environmentally-friendly option for backpacking and hillwalking.

Read our fullRab Arc Eco review here

Mountain Hardwear Exposure 2

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  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: Good hood, great cut, durability
  • Dislikes: Cost
  • Price: RRP: $650.00 | £500

Weight: 484g | Materials: 3-layer Gore-Tex, recycled nylon outer, bluesign-approved | Features: stiffened hood, 6 pockets | Sizes: S-XL | Women’s version: yes (£450) | Website:

This is the most expensive option on our list of the best waterproof jackets for men. Thankfully, there’s a lot to like about the alpine-orientated Mountain Hardware Exposure 2. It offers an excellent mix of protection, weight and features, and includes top-spec Gore-Tex Pro waterproof lining, which is both robust and breathable. It’s expensive, but it offers good value for the hefty price.

Expect an outer fabric that is 100% recycled; pit zips to allow for extra ventilation; an adjustable hood that has a stiffened (not wired) peak; a hem that’s adjusted by two simple cinch lock ring pulls; two big, well-placed Napoleon pockets and, finally, two ribcage handwarmers, all with big-glove-friendly pulls.

Read our fullMountain Hardware Exposure 2 Review here

Arc’teryx Beta Jacket – Best buy women’s jacket

The best waterproof jackets 2023 (9)

  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: lightweight, roomy
  • Dislikes: price, colours
  • Price: RRP: $450 | £350 (Buy now from
  • Weight: 269g (S)

Materials: 3-layer Gore-Tex with Gore C-Knit backer | Hood: stiffened peak, single volume adjuster | Front closure: WaterTight Vislon front zip, internal storm flap | Underarm/side zips: no | Pockets: three: two zipped hand packets and a zipped internal pocket | Hem: drawcord, two toggle adjusters | Cuffs: Velcro | Sizes: XXS-XXL (men XS-XXL).

At £350, the Arc’teryx Beta is one of the more expensive options out there, but it is at least very high in quality.

It uses a three-layer Gore-tex fabric, including a light shell layer, the membrane underneath and then a C-knit backer which helps to wick moisture and to protect the membrane from abrasion and body oils (which can block up the membrane’s pores).

The fabric has a durable feel to it, but the jacket is still lightweight and packable, so Arc’teryx have struck a really good balance here.

Features include a soft fabric chin guard, an adjustable helmet-friendly hood, Velcro cuffs and glove-friendly zip pulls. There are three zipped pockets, including two hand pockets at the right height for wearing with a rucksack, as well as an internal zipped laminated pocket that is big enough to accommodate a large smartphone.

Read our full Arc’teryx Beta jacket review.

Berghaus Paclite Dynak Gore-Tex – Best value waterproof jacket

The best waterproof jackets 2023 (10)

  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: packable, price, climate-friendly
  • Dislikes: hood minimalist
  • Price: RRP: £170 (Buy now from
  • Weight: 292g (10)

Materials: 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite, taped seams | Hood: stiffened, one adjuster | Front closure: YKK front zip, internal storm flap | Underarm/side zips: no | Pockets: two zipped hand pockets | Hem: drawcord, two toggle adjusters | Cuffs: Velcro | Sizes: women UK8-18 (men XS-XXL).

£170 is excellent value for a jacket of this calibre. It’s light, it’s durable, it’s breathable and protective and it’s well furnished with features – there’s a lot to like here.

It’s not quite as nice to wear as a 3-layer shell if you’re forced to keep it on for extended periods but the inner face does at least have a built-in carbon backer instead of a clingy drop liner or printed ‘half-layer’ like many cheaper 2.5-layer PU-based shells and that means it provides reasonable comfort levels. We found that it only started to feel a bit clammy when really working hard uphill.

The one-way, water-resistant main zip has an internal storm flap and a comfortable microfibre chin guard. The two hand pockets are a decent size and are placed high enough to stay out of the way of a backpack hip belt. The pocket zips aren’t watertight but they do have double storm flaps – so there’s peace of mind there.

The overall fit is fairly relaxed, especially compared to trimmer fitting shells, with room for a layer or two underneath.

Read our full Berghaus Paclite Dynak Gore-Tex review.

Alpkit Balance

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  • Rating: 4/5
  • Likes: stretch fabric, hood
  • Dislikes: weight, small sizing
  • Price: $259.99 | £200
  • Weight: 364g (10)

Materials: outer: 90% nylon/10% spandex, PU membrane; inner: polyester knit backer | Hood: wired, three hood adjusters | Front closure: one-way zip, internal storm flap | Underarm/side zips: no | Pockets: 2 zipped hand pockets | Hem: drawcord, 2 toggle adjusters | Cuffs: Velcro | Men’s version: women UK6-20 (men XS-XXL).

Peak District-based brand Alpkit have made a name for themselves in recent years, producing functional kit that doesn’t come at eye-watering prices.

This particular product from them, the Balance, is certainly reliable. It’ll keep out wind and rain while providing a decent level of breathability too. Weight-wise, it’s not the lightest of three-season shells, but it’s not heavy either.

It was the hood that our tester liked the most about this jacket. In fact, she said it was the best hood out of the crop of jackets she tested. She was also impressed by some of the “thoughtful details” including its collar snap which allows you to open the front zip without the jacket flapping at the neck.

Read our full Alpkit Balance jacket review.

Mountain Equipment Makalu Jacket

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  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Likes: Excellent hood, tough
  • Dislikes: No frills
  • Price: $374.95 | £270 (Buy now from
  • Weight: 500g (M)

Materials:3-layer 75D/recycled 50D Gore-Tex, PFC-free DWR | Features: internal and external chest pocket, torso pockets, pit zips | Sizes: UK8-16 | Men’s version: Yes | Website:

The Makalu from Mountain Equipment went down well in our tests, mainly due to its tried-and-tested features and strong build quality. It’s not the most expensive jacket in the test – although at £270 it’s still quite a sizeable amount of money to part with. But for that you get a well-designed, robust and versatile waterproof that should last several seasons.

Its main body is 100% recycled 50 denier, with tougher 75 denier on the wear points. The entire shell has been treated with a PFC-free (less environmentally damaging) DWR to repel water.

A standard Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is employed here. It’s not the top spec Gore-Tex Pro but the quality is still impressive.

Our tester’s favourite aspect of this jacket is the hood. They found it roomy and adjustable and they liked that it has a stiffened brim and a wire peak.

See our full review of the Mountain Equipment Women’s Makalu Jacket Review here

How we tested them

Chris Townsend wore the jackets on low- and high-level walks in the Cairngorms and Monadhliath hills in autumn and winter, often in rain and sometimes in blizzards. Similarly David Lintern also conducted most of his tests within the eastern Highlands.

Fiona tested the jackets on the hills of Scotland and in a range of weather conditions, from cold, wet and windy through to warmer, windier and wetter!

What makes a good waterproof jacket?

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  • Fabric

The type of fabric determines how ‘breathable’ a garment will be. More expensive fabrics are usually more breathable than cheaper ones. The thickness of a fabric affects durability. The thinnest ones are lighter in weight but less suitable for prolonged wear or rough usage.

  • DWR

Most waterproof fabrics have a durable water repellency (DWR) treatment that causes rain to bead up and run off the garment. Whilst no DWR is really durable the best for many years were fluorocarbons (PFCs). However, these have been found to be harmful to health and to persist a very long time in food chains and the environment, so they are being phased out and replaced with more environmentally friendly though usually less durable alternatives. Whatever the DWR it will wear off eventually, so the outer starts to soak up water. This doesn’t mean the jacket is leaking but it does mean breathability will be reduced so condensation will occur more readily. The DWR can be replaced with various wash-in and spray-on treatments.

  • Hood

On the best waterproof jackets, hoods should be easily adjusted and ideally move with your head. A wired or stiffened peak is useful in wind driven rain. Helmet-compatible hoods should have volume adjusters so they can be reduced in size without affecting your vision for non-helmet wear.

  • Front Closure

Water-resistant zips are now standard in the best waterproof jackets. These are not fully waterproof all the time and should have an inner flap to repel any rain that gets through. A standard zip with external and internal flaps is more secure but found on few garments these days.

  • Ventilation

Underarm/side zips can be awkward to use but do allow good ventilation at a crucial place. They can often be used in rain when the front zip has to be fully closed. Zips that curve under the armpits are effective but the most difficult to adjust. Pockets can be opened for ventilation too if they are mesh lined.

  • Cuffs

Cuffs that can be opened wide are good for ventilation in the arms. Elasticised and narrow cuffs can lead to sweaty wrists.

  • Pockets

Whilst not essential, pockets that are accessible when wearing a rucksack hipbelt are useful for items like compass, phone, snacks, map (if large enough), hat and gloves and feature on many of the best waterproof jackets. Pockets can leak though so need water-resistant zips and/or covering flaps.

  • Fit

For the most efficient breathability, the best waterproof jackets should fit fairly closely. At the same time, they shouldn’t be so tight that they restrict movement. And a jacket should fit comfortably over all the layers you might need to wear underneath it. Size labels should be taken as a guide only – they’re not consistent between makes.

How to look after your waterproof jacket

Looking after waterproof jackets can be trickier than a normal piece of clothing; they require a certain amount of upkeep if they are to continue to keep you dry and perform well for a long time. Dirty jackets don’t let body moisture through very well, so you get damp from condensation building up inside the jacket as you sweat quicker. The Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment on the outside of most waterproofs that causes rain to bead and run off rather than soak in can also wear off and need replacing over time. This also leads to condensation as the garment is then less breathable.

Related: Best walking boots for hiking

There are two main elements to waterproof jacket care: washing, and restoring the jacket’s DWR treatment. Our guide on how to look after your waterproof jacket will further help you to understand common problems with hardshells and how to manage them.


The best waterproof jackets 2023? ›

Something can be considered “waterproof” once it has a rating of 3000mm. This is the amount of water pressure the fabric can endure before water gets through. However, that level won't be nearly enough for stormy weather or marine work.

What is the best rating for a waterproof jacket? ›

Choosing the best waterproof jacket for you is essential.
1. Waterproof Ratings.
0 – 1,500mmWater resistant / SnowproofVery light rain
1,500mm – 5,000mmWaterproofLight to average rain
5,000mmVery WaterproofModerate to heavy rain
10,000mm – 20,000mmHighly WaterproofHeavy rain
Mar 30, 2023

Is 3000mm waterproof enough jacket? ›

Something can be considered “waterproof” once it has a rating of 3000mm. This is the amount of water pressure the fabric can endure before water gets through. However, that level won't be nearly enough for stormy weather or marine work.

What is the most waterproof rating? ›

IP68: The Top IP Waterproof Rating

Since 8 is the highest number on the IP water rating scale, any IP enclosure with a rating ending in 8 offers the best possible waterproof protection. However, IP68 is usually acknowledged as the most protective IP waterproof rating in common use.

What is better waterproof or water repellent jacket? ›

In the simplest sense, a waterproof jacket offers the highest level of protection from rain and snow. While a water-resistant jacket offers a good, but lower level of protection.

Is 5000 waterproof enough? ›

If you are buying a waterproof coat for walking about town or dropping the kids to school, a waterproof rating of 2,000-5,000mm will be more than enough. If you were planning a weekend in the mountains, we would advise a rating of 5,000-8,000mm as the conditions can be much harsher.

What does 5000 mm waterproof rating mean? ›

0-5,000 mm. No resistance to some resistance to moisture. Light rain, dry snow, no pressure. 6,000-10,000 mm. Rainproof and waterproof under light pressure.

Is 30K waterproof good? ›

30,000 mm. 30K fabrics are extremely waterproof and will keep you dry when moving through strong rain or heavy snow. After decades of field testing outerwear, we consider anything above 20K truly waterproof. All Jones outerwear that contains a waterproof membrane is rated 20K waterproof or higher.

How good is 10,000 mm waterproof? ›

Thus a 10,000mm waterproof rating means the garment can withstand 10,000mm of rainfall in a single day without letting moisture in. The higher the number, the more waterproof the item will be. Gore-Tex®, for example, has a waterproof rating of 28,000mm.

How good is 8000 waterproof? ›

Three Raindrops: Waterproof Rating over 8000 mm Products with three water drops protect against both heavy rain and higher water pressure. This means they're perfect for kids who love to spend all day sitting and splashing in rain puddles.

What is better than Gore-Tex? ›

The most sustainable GORE-TEX alternative fabric is waxed cotton. Waxed cotton is exactly like it sounds: wax (typically beeswax or linseed) is applied to cotton, giving the cloth a hydrophobic coating. Nature applied to nature. That's it.

Is Gore-Tex 100% waterproof? ›

Every product in the original GORE‑TEX products range is waterproof, windproof, and breathable and many come with additional benefits.

What material is 100% waterproof? ›

Polyurethane Laminate is the fabric of all fabrics that are waterproof in its own right. PUL is a polyester fabric that has a plastic backing comprising a thin waterproof layer. Polyurethane Laminate is a completely waterproof fabric, as well as being breathable and flexible.

What is better than waterproof? ›

Water-resistant fabric is typically more lightweight and breathable than waterproof alternatives, so it might be a preferable choice for athletes or outdoor enthusiasts.

How do I choose a waterproof rain jacket? ›

The top 5 things to look for when buying a raincoat
  1. Waterproof fabric. The most obvious first feature one would expect from any decent raincoat is that they have used waterproof fabric - and not just water repellent fabric/treatment. ...
  2. Sealed seams. ...
  3. A good hood. ...
  4. Breathability. ...
  5. Length.
Sep 6, 2018

Why is my waterproof jacket not waterproof? ›

Most times, it's dirt and crud that are covering the water-repellent coating, making your jacket soak up water. Also important to note, using household detergents to clean can leave behind residues that attract water, so it's important to use a technical cleaner for items with water-repellent coatings.

How good is 20K waterproofing? ›

Higher numbers mean more water resistant fabric. A fabric rated 20k for waterproofness resists approximately 66 feet of liquid stacked up in that 1-inch square tube before any seepage begins.

Is 10K waterproof good for rain? ›

A rating of up to 10K is enough to handle light to average rain for a short amount of time. Ratings between 10K and 15K can handle a moderate amount of rain for much longer, and jackets rated between 15K and 20K or higher are serious shells for heavy, intense rain over a prolonged period.

What is the standard for waterproof grade? ›

The ratings widely accepted as 'waterproof' for most general purposes are IP65, IP66 and IP67. However, one common misconception regarding weatherproofing is that items intended for prolonged outdoor use require the highest numerical IP ratings for moisture resistance.”

What does 10000 waterproof jacket mean? ›

The higher the column of water, the more waterproof the garment is. So, if the column of water measures 10,000mm before the water penetrates the material, it has a rating of 10k waterproofing. A jacket with a 20k waterproofing rating is therefore even more waterproof than one with a 10k rating.

How many mm waterproof is Gore-Tex? ›

All Gore-Tex fabrics have a waterproof rating of 28,000 mm which is significantly higher than almost all other materials.

How can you tell if a jacket is waterproof? ›

Waterproof jackets will also have taped seams and waterproof zips. You can also identify if a jacket is waterproof due to the fabric composition on the fabric care label. The fabric care label can be found on the inside seam of the jacket and will state whether or not it's a waterproof material.

What is 25000 mm waterproof rating? ›

25,000mm is when you start to get into that more 'black and white' level of waterproofing, ie. if it's above 25k, then it's never going to let water in.

What is GORE-TEX waterproofness? ›

Each square inch of the GORE‑TEX membrane has nine billion pores. Each of these tiny holes is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet. This is what makes the membrane in everything in the original GORE-TEX products range waterproof: rain and snow simply cannot get in.

What waterproof rating is DryVent? ›

DryVent 2L

The inner layer utilises a DryVent PU (polyurethane) coating with micro-pores, which quickly wicks away moisture and keeps rain at bay. The end result is an absolutely waterproof and very comfortable material with a hydrostatic head of 25,000mm. It is perfect for both skiwear and everyday wear.

What is 20000 mm waterproof? ›

A Basic Guide to Understanding Waterproof and Breathable Membranes
Hydrostatic Head (mm)Water ResistanceUsable Conditions
16,000-20,000 mmRainproof and waterproof under high pressure.Heavy rain, wet snow, some pressure.
20,000 mm+Rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure.Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.
3 more rows
Mar 2, 2018

How long is Gore Tex waterproof? ›

If your Gore-Tex clothing is properly cared for, it should remain waterproof for 3-5 years. It can easily last for ten years or more if you store it properly and don't wear it that much. Of course, with regular active use, friction and heat can cause the DWR to break down more quickly.

What are the different types of waterproof jackets? ›

There are three main types of waterproof protection to consider; wax-coated (pretty rare for technical outdoor jackets these days), PU-coated, and membrane lined jackets.

What is the difference between waterproof and Gore Tex? ›

The central differences between GORE-TEX and normal waterproofs is the former's fabric reliability, versatility and broad range of uses. Everyday generic waterproofs are usually made from PVC, polyurethane, rubber or vinyl materials.

What does 100% waterproof mean? ›

At The North Face®, when we say a fabric is waterproof we mean it's impervious to water. We test our waterproof fabrics in lab conditions to ensure the fabric can withstand a given amount of water. Once the fabric passes that test, it can be called 100% waterproof.

How deep can IPX8 go? ›

IPX8 is based on testing conditions where the device is submerged in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. These devices are not advised for beach or pool use, and they are not dust-resistant.

What is the strongest waterproof material? ›

1. POLYURETHANE. Polyurethane is considered one of the best waterproofing materials.

What material is completely waterproof? ›

Polyester and Nylon

These synthetic fabrics have been around for years in everything from clothing to waterproof pads. Polyester and nylon material has a tight weave making it water-resistant.

Is Gore-Tex being discontinued? ›

Unfortunately, the Gore-Tex Shakedry technology is no longer offered from Gore Fabrics due to ongoing supply challenges, but we are excited about the Gore-Tex Shakedry technology and therefore did invest into our inventory position last year to ensure we can offer it until the current inventory runs out."

Why is my Gore-Tex no longer waterproof? ›


Washing and drying your gloves correctly helps to maintain their water repellency. When water no longer beads and runs off after washing and drying, you'll need to reapply a durable water repellent (DWR). Use a water repellent spray for textile gloves.

Why is my Gore-Tex not waterproof? ›

No, Gore-Tex is indeed completely waterproof by design, unless the membrane got physically damaged. The coating that wears off has the job to make sure the water doesn't soak into the face fabric but beads off.

Why is my Gore-Tex jacket not waterproof? ›

Waterproofing a Gore-Tex Jacket will eventually be required because despite the inner layer being a breathable waterproof membrane, the outer layer (shell) of the jacket will lose its waterproofing, soak up water and stay wet, blocking the effect of the Gore Tex.

What are 5 waterproof material? ›

The fabric is usually natural or synthetic that is laminated to or coated with waterproof materials like rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU), silicone elastomer, fluoropolymers, and wax.

What fabric does not absorb water? ›

Polyester and nylon are water-resistant because they are made from materials with a chemistry that is similar to plastic. Instead of water being absorbed by the fibre it sits on, droplets stay on the surface and move around the fabric by running along the weave.

Which waterproof technology is best? ›

Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is perhaps the most famous waterproof, breathable brand, if only because they reportedly were the first to develop it.

What is better rain resistant or waterproof? ›

Waterproof fabric offers the greatest amount of protection from rain. If you're looking for the ultimate protection from rain, snow, or even just general exposure to water, choose a waterproof fabric.

What are the different levels of waterproof? ›

Protection from water
  • IPX0: The product offers no special protection from water.
  • IPX1: Can resist water that drips vertically onto the product.
  • IPX2: Can resist water that hits the product at a 15° angle or less.
  • IPX3: Can take water sprays of up to 60°.
  • IPX4: Is resistant to water splashes from any direction.
Dec 4, 2015

What is a fully waterproof jacket? ›

Waterproof Jacket

This means the jacket has a waterproof coating on the outer fabric with fully taped seams and it may have a built in membrane lining. A membrane lining is a sheet of material with lots of tiny holes in it to help with breathability, because these holes are so small no water can penetrate it.

What material is best for rain jacket? ›

There are several types of waterproof materials that are used in rain jackets, but most fall into three categories: rubberized raingear, coated nylon, and Gore-TEX. Rubberized or plastic jackets usually made from PVC are excellent at repelling water and often very inexpensive.

Should a rain jacket be tight or loose? ›

Fit The fit should encourage layering underneath, but shouldn't be too loose. Remember that you should be able to cinch your rainwear down so it's snug enough if the weather turns. Move your arms, bend your knees. A full range of motion is essential.

How can I increase the waterproofing of my jacket? ›

A waterproof spray will help reproof your jacket to maximise its waterproofing and breathability. Always wash your coat first if re-proofing using a waterproof spray. Dirt and oil can clog up the breathable membrane found in many waterproof jackets, making it feel as though water is penetrating through the fabric.

How often should you wash waterproof jacket? ›

However, unless unworn, with regular use you should aim to wash your jacket around once every month or so if you want to keep it in top condition. A good quality waterproof can be washed in the washing machine using a gear oriented cleaner such as Nikwax Tech Wash or Grangers Performance Wash.

How long does waterproofing last on jackets? ›

How long does waterproofing last on a jacket? You should reproof your waterproof clothing around every 6-12 months, depending on how much you use it.

Is a 20000 waterproof rating good? ›

20k waterproofing: A very high waterproof rating. 28k waterproofing: Goretex fabrics are the only ones to achieve this, the highest waterproof rating in skiwear. Higher waterproof ratings do exist but at the expense of breathability and so so they are not used for ski clothing.

What does 10 000 mm waterproof jacket mean? ›

A "mm/24 hours" rating refers to the amount of rainfall a fabric can withstand in a single day. Thus a 10,000mm waterproof rating means the garment can withstand 10,000mm of rainfall in a single day without letting moisture in. The higher the number, the more waterproof the item will be.

Is 2000 mm waterproof good? ›

The minimum standard for a jacket to be waterproof is 1,500mm so a jacket with a waterproof rating of 2,000mm would be suitable for moderate rain.

What does 10K waterproof jacket mean? ›

Hydrostatic head, measured in millimeters (mm), is a measure of how waterproof a fabric is. In the case of a 10k or 10,000 mm fabric, if you put a cylinder with inner dimensions of 1” x 1” over a piece of said fabric, you could fill it with water to a height of 10,000 mm (10m) before water would begin to leak through.

What does 20K 20K waterproof mean? ›

The tube is filled with water, and the water's height in millimeters when leakage begins becomes the waterproof rating. A piece of fabric that can withstand 20,000mm of water pressure will have a rating of 20,000mm or 20K.

Is 15000 mm waterproof enough? ›

15,000mm is reliable and solid for use all over the mountain, in all weathers. 15,000mm is more waterproofing than most riders will ever need. As we get above 20,000mm, you're looking at serious performance. Most brands' 'performance' or technical ranges tend to be in this category.

Is 10K waterproof enough for rain? ›

A rating of up to 10K is enough to handle light to average rain for a short amount of time. Ratings between 10K and 15K can handle a moderate amount of rain for much longer, and jackets rated between 15K and 20K or higher are serious shells for heavy, intense rain over a prolonged period.

How waterproof is 3000hh? ›

Take for example a polyester tent that has a hydrostatic head of 3000mm. This would mean that it can hold a column of water that is 3000mm tall. Any more and water will start to seep through the material. Hence, the higher the hydrostatic head value of a material, the more water-resistant it is.

What is the difference between waterproof and GORE-TEX? ›

The central differences between GORE-TEX and normal waterproofs is the former's fabric reliability, versatility and broad range of uses. Everyday generic waterproofs are usually made from PVC, polyurethane, rubber or vinyl materials.


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