If you're heading to the hills in spring, summer, autumn or winter in the UK, getting the best waterproof jacket is key (let's face it, it's going to rain), which is why T3 has collected the top lightweight men's coats money can buy.
Purchasing a good hard shell which will stand up to the rigour of a day's worth of rain isn't as straightforward as it might seem.
First of all, you need to get to grips with some overly-technical terms, such as Gore-Tex, Polartec, and rain flap, and then you need to figure out what you're going to be using your rain jacket for, other than, er, staying dry that is.
If you'll be climbing up some Great British hills then check out our guide to the best hiking boots and take a look at the Canada Goose Alderwood Shell, if you're trail running check out our favourite trail running shoes and the INOV-8 Race Ultra Race Shell HZ U, and if you're commuting why not take a look at the best backpacks around plus the North Face Men's Fuseform Eragon Wind Jacket.
- If you're looking for something a little warmer, check out T3's best winter jacket buying guide
1. Canada Goose Alderwood Shell
Packs tightly away for easy storage
Canada Goose is well known for its Arctic down jackets, but the Alderwood Shell is a lightweight coat which will protect you from wind, rain, sleet, or even light snow. The new S16 design has been crafted from a laminated microporous bi-durance.5 layer fabric. It features a two-way adjustable hood, suede lined collar, mesh panel, and it can be folded into the left-hand exterior pocket.
2. Columbia OutDry Extreme Platinum
Solid waterproofing on the outside, soft wicking frbaric on the inside
According to Columbia, OutDry Extreme is the first ever water and breathable fabric technology constructed with a waterproof layer on the outside and soft, wicking fabric inside. It's all very technical, but essentially means the rugged exterior features millions of microscopic perforations that allow water vapor to escape but don't let any water in - which is exactly what you want with a waterproof coat, really.
This is part of Columbia's Titanium line, which means the shell is fully seam-sealed with bold, external seam tape and packs high-tech Light Rail zippers.
3. Hunter Original 3-Layer Poncho
Goes perfectly with your Hunter wellies
More well known for its pricey wellies, Hunter has also turned its hand towards all-weather clothing. We love this soft and lightweight unisex poncho. It's completely waterproof and crafted from three layers of breathable ripstop fabric with welded seams. Featuring an AquaGuard zip, large internal pocket at the front, and Hunter heritage brand mark placed on the top snap.
Available from , but be quick they're selling out fast.
4. Mammut Runbold Light IS
Lightweight and stylish
The Mammut Runbold is a lightweight and stylish water-resistant jacket insulated with 40g Primaloft Silver. The coat is reversible, and the interior is a contrasting colour, so can be worn either way depending on your outfit. The Runbold can be folded into an incredibly compact package, and even paired with Mammut's foldable Runbold trousers for a fully-foldable wardrobe.
5. Musto Biome BR1
Good enough for royalty
With its roots firmly in sailing, Musto knows a thing or two about dealing with adverse weather conditions and waterproofing. It also knows how to make functional look appealing, which is probably the Duchess of Cambridge wears one. The Biome BR1 is fully waterproof, breathable and filled with PrimaLoft Black Insulation Eco. The handwarmer pockets are tricot lined to keep your hands warm too.
6. The North Face Men's Fuseform Eragon Wind Jacket
So light you wouldn't know it's on
Despite its name, this shell from North Face is completely windproof AND waterproof, using FuseForm technology to take minimalism, weight saving, and performance to the next level. Engineered from totally waterproof fabric (0CFM) with transitions from a ripstop on the yoke and sleeves to a plain weave for adding durability where it's needed. Best of all it weighs in at a mere 140g.
7. Patagonia Alpine Houdini
There one moment and gone the next
The Patagonia Alpine Houdini is there one moment, then folded away and gone the next... see what they did there? This featherweight shell is now H2No Performance Standard, offers an ultralight 100% nylon ripstop shell with a DWR finish (durable water repellent) and a waterproof/breathable membrane.
It's emergency rainwear suitable for the UK or half-way up the Jungfrau, that blocks wind and rain. When you're done with it, the coat packs into a single chest pocket and clips onto your rucksack. Perfect for carrying everywhere you go.
8. Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody
Perfect for a run in the rain
Canadian outfit Arc'teryx is renowned for its huge range of technical outdoor clothing, whether it's mountain climbing or running up a hill, but it also caters for the more 'casual' outdoors person with its range of hard shells. The ultra-minimalist hoody is lightweight and breathable; its Gore-Tex shell treated with Permanent Beading Surface protection for increased defence from the elements whilst keeping you cool inside.
9. Haglöfs Roc Spirit
A versatile mountaineering jacket
This waterproof jacket from Haglöfs is for hardcore climbing, not your leisurely trek up a hill in the Lake District. Fully featured, and built in lightweight 3L Gore-Tex Pro fabric, this is perfect if you're after something a bit more extreme. The hood has a laminated, wire-reinforced peak to keep the rain out of your eyes, too.
10. Helly Hansen Odin Minimalist
Would probably keep you dry during Ragnarok
Named after thunder god Thor's even more badass dad, this lightweight jacket has sealed zips and waterproof fabric to fend off storms. What's more, the reflective trim keeps you visible during the most apocalyptic conditions.
Head over to page two for more excellent waterproof jackets...