The Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak Jacket is a classic waterproof shell designed for hiking, with a range of colourways that won’t embarrass around town. Indeed, our test unit’s ebony/grey/fire red combination is eye-catching, retro but still sharp, quite an achievement in a waterproof.
Jack Wolfskin claims that the design has been vetted and approved by the professional mountain guides of the ALPINSCHULE INNSBRUCK (ASI Reisen), and that’s quite easy to believe when looking at the details here. But does it deserve a place in our best waterproof jacket guide? Let's take a look…
Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak Jacket review: design
The outer fabric is Jack Wolfskin’s own Texapore O2+ Dobby, while the inner is mainly mesh with stretch-style edging (Texapore is JW's own-brand weather protection technology – used instead of the likes of Gore-Tex). While mesh liners are often used to cover up less-well-breathing shell materials, this one feels slightly luxurious due to the stretch surround, which merges into zips, collar and hem.
There are two external hand pockets, one external chest stash for more delicate items and an internal chest pocket to boot. None of these are particularly substantial pockets, (no map stowage here) but they’re perfectly adequate for the basics, and the hand pockets are lined for a premium feel.
The cut is sporty, with minimal spare material to flap about, which is great for weight-saving and fast-but-light escapades, less good for layering in varying conditions (unless you’ve upsized to accommodate that). The articulated arms are well designed too, allowing plenty of movement before lifting the hem, and boasting simple velcro tabs to tighten down the sleeves.
Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak Jacket Review: performance and comfort
Thanks to a well-judged cut and the liner, this is an immediately comfortable jacket to slip on, and without much in the way of extraneous adjusters, it’s quick to get set up. The main zip is reversed and laminated as is usually the case, as are the pocket zips.
So far, so standard, but the hood is a bit of a revelation. Semi-concealed adjusters and bungees allow two-way adjustment very neatly indeed, clamping the hood around the head to protect against the very worst of weather.
The hood is excellent even in high winds, thanks to the ingeniously hidden adjusters, which are also positioned neatly to allow easy use even in gloves, a feature that speaks volumes to the alpine testing claims. The stiffened peak is relatively modest, so not quite enough for extreme weather, but ideal for standard downpours.
The Texapore O2+ Dobby shell has a DWR coating, so successfully laughed in the face of several robust downpours in testing, and we’re in no doubt that even once that coating has worn off the underlying fabric will hold up to ‘weather’ very well.
In standard hiking mode on the flat, the breathability is fine, but with more energetic pursuits some moisture does build-up, although that’s just as true for most waterproof shells to some extent. Overall it’s less breathable than some higher-end fabrics, but perfectly adequate for hiking and general use.
Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak Jacket Review: verdict
The Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak is a surprisingly good waterproof jacket, both in performance and styling terms. The effective but concealed adjusters and excellent hood are real high points, and the sporty alpine-style cut is slick but comfortable in use. On the downside, the Texapore isn’t quite as breathable as some more expensive options, and the added liner and mesh pushes the weight up to 500g (size M), which is on the heavier side of a light shell. Overall, though, a great hiking waterproof with some nice alpine-derived touches. There are more technical shells out there, but they’re probably less comfortable.