19 best waterproof jackets 2018

Waterproof coats and jackets to keep you dry from the inevitable wet British weather

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If you’re heading to the hills in spring, summer, autumn or winter in the UK, getting the best waterproof jacket is key. Be it light drizzle or a torrential downpour, chances are you’ll find yourself faced with rain, which is why T3 has collected the top lightweight men's coats money can buy. 

How to buy the best waterproof jacket for you

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, though.

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 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. 

We've also got some brightly coloured options that might be a smart choice on long hikes up a mountain, especially if you're often a lone ranger, and two of the best waterproof jackets from one of our favourite eco-friendly friends.  

The best waterproof jackets you can buy today

Best waterproof jackets: North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0

1. The North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0

Ultra-soft and impossibly dry

Reasons to buy
+Superb wind protection+Light weight+Great colourways

The North Face has seriously upgraded its infamous Apex Flex GTX Jacket creating a much lighter, more stream-lined version of waterproof jacket, with refreshed mountain-colour styling.

TNF have shaved a total of 40g of the weight of the original, but managed to maintain all the performance of its predecessor. The Apex Flex GTX 2.0 now weights 800g, and is also 12% more breathable. 

The three-layer Gore-Tex shell blocks out the wet to keep you dry, while a soft-knit face and stretch-knit backer delivers all the comfort of your favourite hoodie. The super-light construction helps keep you nimble across challenging terrain.

Best waterproof jackets: Musto XVR BR1 Jacket

2. Musto XVR BR1 Jacket

Good enough for royalty

Reasons to buy
+Modular+Outstanding waterproof protection+Articulated sleeves

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 why the Duchess of Cambridge wears one. 

The XVR BR1 offers outstanding waterproof protection, is breathable and can be paired with combined with a XVR Primaloft Dock jacket when the conditions get really cold. Why do we say outstanding waterproof protection? For a garment to be deemed waterproof, industry standards require 1,500mm of water to be able to sit on the fabrics surface for 24 hours before it starts to leak. The XVR can take 5,000mm. 

Best waterproof jackets: Columbia Outdry Extreme Platinum

3. Columbia Outdry Extreme Platinum

Solid waterproofing on the outside, soft wicking fabric on the inside

Reasons to buy
+Enough room for layers underneath+Adjustable hood+Super technical

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.

Best waterproof jackets: Arc'teryx Mens Beta AR Jacket

4. Arc'teryx Mens Beta AR Jacket

Plenty of room for all your essentials like GPS or phone

Reasons to buy
+Large Pockets+3L Gore-tex+Helmet-compatible hood

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. This ultra-minimalist jacket 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.

best waterproof jackets: Patagonia Men's Torrentshell Jacket

5. Patagonia Men's Torrentshell Jacket

Crafted from H2No fabric

Reasons to buy
+Casual style+Large zipped hand pockets+DWR finish

The Men's Torrentshell from Patagonia is a durable and breathable waterproof shell that utilises H2No fabric to keep you dry and comfortable. Its minimalist design makes it perfect for those who are discovering the outdoors, but it also looks at home in more urban environments.

It's lightweight and fuss free with an adjustable hood, it has everything you need. There are also two large zipped hand pockets to stash your essentials while on the move.

Best waterproof jackets: Montane Mens Minimus 777 Jacket

6. Montane Mens Minimus 777 Jacket

Perfect for arduous mountain treks

Reasons to buy
+Keeps rain out, lets sweat out+Engineered for fast moving activities+Weighs just 140 grams

This lightweight and breathable three-layer waterproof alpine shell from Montane is specifically engineered for fast moving activities where weight saving is essential. It uses a Pertex Shield+ laminate which combines a seven-denier nylon face, a seven-micron breathable membrane, and a super light seven-denier tricot backer.

That results in a breathable jacket which weighs just 140 grams. Articulated arms are tailored specifically to reduce hem lift, while all the seams are engineered to be as strong as possible.

Best waterproof jackets: Berghaus Mens Hillwalker Jacket

7. Berghaus Mens Hillwalker Jacket

Perfect for rough and tumble walks

Reasons to buy
+Great fit+Gore-Tex Shell+Taped seams

If your outdoor activities tend to involve a little more rough and tumble – whether it's navigating through brambles, or rubbing shoulders with mates down the pub - you might want to consider a jacket that's a little more hardwearing. The Hillwalker from Berghaus is just that – with an outer construction crafted from Gore-Tex Performance Shell, it can withstand tearing and abrasion that bit better than conventional lightweight jackets. It's also got taped seams to keep you dry and free of sweat on light walks.

Best waterproof jackets: Mammut Men's Masao Jacket

8. Mammut Men's Masao Jacket

Lightweight and highly technical

Reasons to buy
+Plain colour+Can be folded into a compact package+Underarm ventilation zips

The Mammut Masao is a lightweight and technical water-resistant jacket with a Drytech Premium 3L shell. The coat features underarm pit zips, which allow you to dump any excess heat quickly while on the move without sacrificing water protection. The Masao can be folded into an incredibly compact package, making it a great companion for various activities.

Best waterproof jackets: Haglöfs Mens Astral III Jacket

9. Haglöfs Mens Astral III Jacket

A versatile trekking jacket

Reasons to buy
+DWR treated surfaces+Storm flaps+Bluesign approved

This waterproof jacket from Haglöfs is for trekking, offering well balanced features and performance. Fully featured, and built in lightweight Gore-Tex 2L fabric, this is perfect if you're walking hills and smaller mountains. The hood has a laminated, wire-reinforced peak to keep the rain out of your eyes, too.

Best waterproof jackets: Helly Hansen Mens Voss Jacket

10. Helly Hansen Mens Voss Jacket

Would probably keep you dry during Ragnarok

Reasons to buy
+Highly visible+Classic design+Affordable

This iconic design is has been protecting fishermen in the coldest of seas in all kinds of weather. The lightweight jacket has welded seams and is made from Helox+ (100% polyurethane) waterproof fabric to fend off storms. What's more, the bright yellow keeps you visible during the most apocalyptic conditions.

Best waterproof jackets: Rab Mens Downpour Plus Jacket

11. Rab Mens Downpour Plus Jacket

Your new best friend for rainy days

Reasons to buy
+Fleece-lined chin guard+Left pocket doubles as integrated stuff sack+Great colour and fit

Weighing in at 340g, with our new best friend Pertex Shield 2.5 layer fabric in its corner, the Downpour Plus from Rab disperses rain along its surface for quicker evaporation. There's a fleece lined chin guard, and the left pocket doubles as integrated stuff sack.

Best waterproof jackets: Fjallraven Men's Sten Jacket

12. Fjallraven Men's Sten Jacket

This stylish, natural jacket fits right in with nature

Reasons to buy
+Everyday wearability+Natural+Great brand

In 1960, Åke Nordin founded Fjӓllrӓven in his basement in the Swedish town of Örnsköldsvik. From its very first innovative framed backpacks and lightweight outdoor jackets, Fjӓllrӓven has stayed true to its original mission of making it easier for more people to enjoy and stay comfortable in the great outdoors. 

The Sten is a comfortable jacket made with durable G-1000 and G-1000 Lite fabric. It's a practical everyday garment that also works well in nature. It can be waxed for added protection from wind and rain.

Best waterproof jackets: Fjallaven Keb Men’s Eco-Shell Jacket

13. Fjallaven Keb Men’s Eco-Shell Jacket

A waterproof shell made from recycled polyester

Reasons to buy
+Environmentally conscious brand+PFC free 
Reasons to avoid
-DWR water repellent needs to be kept up

If you want to go one step further into the realms of sustainable, environmentally friendly outdoor gear, look no further than this Fjallaven Eco Shell.

Completely wind and waterproof, this jacket is made up of three layers to keep you warm and dry in changeable weather conditions. The hood is adjustable, with room for a helmet, making this a great choice if you're looking for a waterproof jacket to keep you dry whilst enjoying cycling, or other active pursuits.  

It's made from recycled polyester and is PFC  (a water repelling compound that doesn't break down) free, making it the best waterproof jacket choice for the environmentally conscious. Instead, Fjallaven use DWR. 

Best waterproof jackets: Tog24 Thorne Men's Milatex Jacket

14. Tog24 Thorne Men's Milatex Jacket

A ideal year-round waterproof shield

Reasons to buy
+Casual style+Affordable+Windproof ripstop fabric 

While it won't win any awards for technical innovation, Tog24's simple waterproof jacket is all you need in a shower. It might not have the super-technical functions of the others garments on this list, but it looks good and can be worn in urban environments as well as natural ones. The waterproof, breathable and windproof ripstop fabric features a mesh-and-taffeta lining, as well as a rollaway hood with fused peak for extra protection.

Best waterproof jackets: INOV-8 Race Ultra Race Shell HZ U

15. INOV-8 Race Ultra Race Shell HZ U

Perfect for hitting a trail run

Reasons to buy
+Transparent+Packs away easily
Reasons to avoid
-Not very breathable

Made for trail runners, this is the lightest jacket INOV-8 make, coming in at a featherweight 125g. That's less than something that weighs 126g! The fabric is transparent so your race number remains visible, and it can pack away into the hood.

Best waterproof jackets: Canada Goose Mens Riverhead Jacket

16. Canada Goose Mens Riverhead Jacket

Waterproof fabric with a buttery-soft finish

Reasons to buy
+Sueded tricot lined flap pockets +Underarm venting+Great brand

Canada Goose is well known for its Arctic down jackets, but the Riverhead is a lightweight coat which will protect you from wind, rain, sleet, or even light snow. The new S18 design has been crafted from Strati-dry 3L three layer fabric. It features a two-way adjustable hood, suede lined pockets, underarm venting to enhance, and adjustable cuffs with snap closure.

Best waterproof jackets: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Lite

17. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Lite

Perfect for just in case

Reasons to buy
+Super lightweight

At just 87g, this is one of the lightest waterproof hard shell jackets we know of, allowing you to pack it down to almost nothing and carry it at all times - perfect for minimal adventures. This low weight doesn't sacrifice its water-shedding abilities, with 15D ripstop nylon fabric and Z-Grav technology built in, which combines waterproofing and breathability to take care of any water, whether it's on the inside or outside.

Best waterproof jackets: Odlo Air Minimal

18. Odlo Air Minimal

Perfect for any occasion you're working up a sweat

Reasons to buy
+Perfectly breathable

Norwegian-born Odlo designs its gear to suit a variety of outdoor activities - erring on the sporty side - and its latest jacket, the Air Minimal, is just that: perfect for any occasion where you're working up a big sweat, such as running or cycling. It has a high level of waterproofing thanks to Pertex, so it's able to quickly wick away moisture so you don't feel clammy.

Best waterproof jackets: Outdoor Research Helium II

19. Outdoor Research Helium II

Helium is lighter than air (almost)

Reasons to buy
+Comes with a carabiner for attaching to packs

Built to protect you during torrential downpours, the Helium is lighter than air - see what they did there? Made from Pertex Shield+ fabric, which is breathable as well as a water defender. It folds into its own tiny, 180g pouch with a carabiner for attaching to packs or harnesses.