Best waterproof jackets 2021: when the going gets wet, keep going

The best waterproof jackets and coats to keep you dry, whatever the weather

best waterproof jacket: people wearing Adidas Terrex SS21 Hike collection on a woodland hike
(Image credit: Adidas)

Investing in one of the best waterproof jackets is an absolute must if you're planning any sort of outdoors adventure. Even if you're expecting sunshine it's all too easy to get caught out in a sudden downpour, and having a quality waterproof in your backpack can save your expedition from getting ruined by the elements.

What should be looking for if you're in the market for one of the best waterproof jackets? For starters, forget about cheap options. If you want proper protection then you absolutely have to go for a well-made jacket constructed from quality materials, with a water- and wind-proof hood and enough waterproof pockets to keep your essentials safe and accessible. You'll also need to decide between a warmer but bulkier lined jacket, or a super-lightweight shell that'll pack up small but which you'll need to layer up with to stay warm.

Our ranking of the best waterproof jackets includes both, but we've focused on technical options that are protective, but packable. They're lightweight, yet breathable and windproof, and designed to be stowed in a backpack and whipped out when a rain shower begins (Want something warmer and less technical? Check out the best winter coats instead.)

Our handy tool will pull in all the best prices for each product on our list. Need some more buying advice? Head to the bottom of this article to learn how to choose the best waterproof jacket. If not, read on for our pick of the best waterproof jackets. 

Black Friday waterproof jacket deals
The winter sales events are on the horizon, and amongst the best Black Friday deals we always see some decent discounts on outdoor gear and apparel such as waterproof jackets. We'll be keeping a keen eye on prices and reporting on all the best sales and deals right here on T3.

The best waterproof jackets 2021

Adidas Terrex Myshelter Active waterproof jacket in three colourways

(Image credit: Adidas)

The best waterproof jacket for complete weather protection

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: 3L Gore-Tex Active membrane
Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
Reasons to buy
+Totally weatherproof+Highly visible+Practical design features
Reasons to avoid
-Sizes large

For serious protection from the elements, you'll have a hard time finding a better option than the Adidas Terrex Myshelter Active Waterproof Jacket – just so long as you can swallow the price. It comes in at the top end of the price range, but you get what you pay for in the form of 3L Gore-Tex Active fabric that'll shelter you from the worst the weather can throw at you while remaining impressively breathable.

It's an unlined shell jacket with two hand pockets that are designed to form a bulge over the lower skirt at the front, and a big inner chest pocket, and it's a seriously loose fit so don't be tempted to size up. There's a high collar that's perfect for windy conditions, and an enormous, three-way adjustable hood that you can easily fit over a helmet if you're mountain biking in a downpour.

The Adidas Terrex Myshelter Active Waterproof Jacket looks great, with some fun reflective details, and there's plenty of attention to detail that all adds up to an incredibly practical waterproof jacket that'll keep you dry in just about all conditions. Get all the details in our Adidas Terrex Myshelter Active Waterproof Jacket review.

Berghaus Sky Hiker waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Berghaus)

The best value waterproof jacket

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: Berghaus 'Hydroshell'
Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
Reasons to buy
+Statement colourways (as well as traditional options)+Great fit with deep pockets+Keenly priced
Reasons to avoid
-Pockets slightly awkardly placed

An excellent all-rounder, our current best waterproof jacket is the Berghaus Sky Hiker. Made with Berghaus' own 'Hydroshell' fabric, this jacket is breathable, waterproof and will keep you safely protected from both light showers and torrential downpours. The design includes nifty features to offer greater freedom of movement, including an underarm gusset and tailored articulation at the elbows. We found it true to size, fitting well to the body without feeling constrictive. There are also adjustable areas around the hood, cuff and base, to enable the wearer to tighten and customise the fit if required (especially useful if the wind picks up).

There's a range of colourways to choose from, including a few more 'statement' combos. We tried the blue / yellow / beige version, which features neon that both looks cool and adds a little extra visibility in the dark – but if that's a bit much for you, there's more traditional black and blue options, too. The two external pockets are nice and deep, which is useful if you want to stash a water bottle in one, although slightly awkwardly placed for quick access. There's also an internal pocket for valuables. More specialised jackets will offer more advanced features, but as a great all-rounder, you won't go wrong with this. For more on what we thought, head to our Berghaus Sky Hiker Waterproof Jacket review.

Arc'teryx Beta LT waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Arc'teryx)

An outstanding, mountain-ready waterproof jacket

Specifications
Type: shell
Waterproofing: GORE-TEX
Pockets: 2 external
Reasons to buy
+Ingenious design+Premium quality+Lightweight and durable
Reasons to avoid
-No internal pockets

Don't be fooled by that deceptively simple design: the Arc'teryx Beta LT is one of the very best waterproof jackets around. The 3L GORE-TEX waterproof is lightweight yet super-robust, and impeccable quality. All the features, from the external pockets to the pit zips, and deep, helmet-compatible hood, have neat touches that help elevate this jacket and justify that higher price-tag. For example, the hand pockets have extra material at the bottom to create a bellows effect, not only making them more usable but also more long-lasting, and the rear hood bungee has a different pull to the front ones, so it can be more easily operated blind. Head to our Arc'Teryx Beta LT jacket review for more information.

Finisterre Stormbird waterproof jacketT3 Award Winner sponsored by Wiggle

(Image credit: Finisterre)

The best eco-friendly waterproof jacket – and a T3 Award winner

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: FC-free DWR finish
Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
HH: 20k
Reasons to buy
+Nice and breathable+Recycled fabric and components+Great, windproof fit on hood+Soft-touch, brushed inner layer
Reasons to avoid
-Zips are a little clunky

Looking for an eco-friendly option? Our best premium waterproof jacket is the Finisterre's Stormbird, and it has a 2021 T3 Award to its name too, in the Outdoors category. Sitting at the top of the Finisterre waterproof jacket range, the Stormbird is made from 100% recycled nylon with a planet-friendly FC-free DWR finish no slouch when it comes to performance: it boasts a 20k hydrostatic head rating, plus two-way waterproof zips and taped seams to ensure you stay completely dry, even in the wettest conditions. The triple-layered fabric is flexible, not crinkly, and impressively breathable – you won't end up in a sweaty mess as you try and complete that hike in the rain. Plus, the brushed polyester inner layer is soft and pleasant to the touch, making it comfy if you've got short sleeves on underneath. 

The fit is 'active' (i.e. not very fitted) and designed to be work as a shell over mid-layers. We tried the women's version and found the sizing on the generous side. There are plenty of places to adjust the jacket to improve the fit to your body, including velcro on the sleeves, and elastic in the hems. We were especially impressed with the design of the hood. The combination of a generous fit, peaked design, 3-point adjustment, and high neck guard means it'll stay up and keep you dry and protected in the windiest weather. 

There's an internal chest pocket for valuables, and two large hand pockets, placed high up so as to remain accessible if you've got a backpack waist strap fastened. If we had to nit-pick, we found the zips a little clunky to open and close, but it's a very minor complaint on what is an otherwise excellent waterproof jacket. 

Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Jack Wolfskin)

The best cheap waterproof jacket

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: Texapore O2+ Dobby
Pockets: Two hand pockets, inner pocket, secret pocket
HH: 20K
Reasons to buy
+Super comfy cut+Stylish looks+Excellent hood
Reasons to avoid
-Not as breathable as some

The Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak Jacket is a surprisingly impressive waterproof jacket, combining strong performance against the elements with a smart and stylish design. Standouts are the concealed adjusters and excellent hood, as well as the sporty alpine-style cut, which is nice and comfortable in use. It's not the most lightweight option on our list, and the Texapore isn’t quite as breathable as some more expensive options. But overall, it's still a strong recommendation. Read our Jack Wolfskin Eagle Peak Jacket review for more info.

Maier Sports Metor M waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Maier)

6. Maier Sports Metor M

A great value, packable waterproof that's ideal for hikers

Specifications
Type: shell
Waterproofing: water-repellent PFC-free finish
Pockets: 4, including 1 internal
HH : 10K
Reasons to buy
+Super soft+Packs into its own pocket+Loads of colour options
Reasons to avoid
-There are pricier options with more features

If you're on a slightly tighter budget, the best waterproof jacket for you is the Maier Sports Metor M. It delivers excellent value for money for what it offers. The first thing you notice when wearing the Maier Metor M is that it's soft. So soft. This jacket's mTEX 10.000 membrane also makes it seriously windproof, waterproof and breathable, and at just 550g, it's light enough to stuff in a backpack. Its hood has a handy rim for windy conditions as well as Velcro and poppers to keep it snugly in place, but unlike most, it's also detachable. However, the Metor M's stroke of genius is that it packs away into one of its hand-pockets, turning it into a travel-friendly package complete with a carabiner to hook it onto a belt or bag. Comfy and so easy to travel with, the Metor M is a hugely impressive effort.

Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Shell Jacket

(Image credit: Helly Hansen Odin )

The best high-performance waterproof jacket for backcountry skiing and hiking

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing : Lifa Infinity Pro
Pockets: 2 internal, 3 extenal (including ski pass pocket)
Reasons to buy
+Lots of useful pockets+Sustainable fabric+Skiing features+Hood fits a helmet
Reasons to avoid
-For specialised use

The most versatile jacket for layering? A high-end choice for sure, the Odin Mountain Infinity Shell Jacket is a waterproof jacket ideal for hiking and mountaineering in all kinds of conditions, but it's also designed with skiers in mind. The large hand pockets are placed slightly higher than usual so they're not blocked by a backpack's hip belt. The jacket is also harness-compatible, while the large peaked and full adjustable hood can be worn over a helmet. There are zipped underarm vents and interior pockets for phones etc. while also inside is a zip-on, zip-off powder skirt and a stretch pocket for ski goggles. 

Fabulous design aside, this jacket is just as much about sustainability. Its sees the debut of Helly Hansen's proprietary polypropylene-based LIFA Infinity Pro, a three-layer fabric with a breathable microporous membrane that's water repellent and durable, but PFC-free. Its all-season shell design means you're going to need layers underneath in cold conditions, but here's a super-serious waterproof jacket that uses the very latest tech yet treads lightly on both you and the planet. Head to our Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Shell Jacket review for more. 

The North Face Mountain Light Waterproof Jacket

(Image credit: The North Face)

The best waterproof jacket for use about town

Specifications
Type: insulated
Waterproofing: Futurelight
Pockets: 2 external, one internal chest
Reasons to buy
+Very robust+Technical materials+Cool 90s styling
Reasons to avoid
-Not really for active use

A more heavyweight option, The North Face Mountain Light Waterproof Jacket is ideal if you want to look cool but keep dry: this jacket combines 90s styling with technical fabrics. The bulkier build and various design flourishes are more suited to use about town than up a mountain, but there's still plenty to like here. The robust construction and relaxed fit lend themselves well to being wrapped around the wearer you like a massive expedition-grade jacket, the retro-styled adjusters all work surprisingly well, its pretty breathable and, of course, extremely waterproof. Head to our North Face Retro Mountain Light jacket review to find out more, or for some alternative insulated options, check out our roundup of the best winter coats for men

Jack Wolfskin Offshore jacket in orange and blue colourways

(Image credit: Jack Wolfskin)

A streamlined design and soft feel

Specifications
Type: shell
Waterproofing: Texapore
Pockets: 2 hand, 1 internal
HH : 20k
Reasons to buy
+Soft touch fabric+Recycled fabric+Decent all round performance
Reasons to avoid
-Less performant than more technical shells

Launched as part of the autumn/winter 2021 collection, the Jack Wolfskin Offshore Jacket sits in the middle of this brand's jacket selection, but stands out thanks to a swathe of eco-friendly features and a streamlined, low-key design with some maritime-inspired touches. A low-profile cut and soft face fabric keep things comfy and an extra mesh liner around the torso adds a touch of warmth. Made from 100% recycled fabric, the waterproofing isn't quite as high performing as more technical options but does the job perfectly well for everyday use, plus the breathability and windproofing are solid. A great choice for everyday wear. To find out more, check out our full Jack Wolfskin Offshore Jacket review.

Paramo Men's Alta III Jacket waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Paramo)

10. Paramo Alta III waterproof jacket

The best waterproof jacket for hikers

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: Nikwax Analogy fabric
Pockets: 2 hand pockets, 1 chest pocket, 1 map pocket, 2 internal pockets
Reasons to buy
+Wired-peak hood and upper arm vents+Reinforced back panel+Loads of pockets
Reasons to avoid
-Overkill for casual use

The Paramo Alta III waterproof jacket boasts some extra features that make it an especially good choice for hikers. One of the highlights is surely the wired-peak hood, which stows in the collar, but crucially gives you ultimate visibility when you're in wet and windy conditions. It's made from Nikwax Analogy Waterproof fabric, which guards against water leaking, while a waist cord ensures a really snug fit that keeps out the wind. There's also a clever design to help stop the build-up of sweat, and its adjustable cuffs can be easily rolled-up for cooling while upper arm vents can be unzipped to let a little air in. Rather unusually, it’s also got a reinforced back panel to make carrying a backpack a little more bearable. 

Fjällräven Mens Keb Eco-Shell waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Fjällräven)

11. Fjällräven Mens Keb Eco-Shell Jacket

A top quality, hi-tech waterproof jacket

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: Eco-shell fabric with DWR finish
Pockets: 2 chest pockets, 2 elastic mesh inner pockets
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Recyclable Eco-Shell fabric+Wired-peak hood+Two handy chest pockets 
Reasons to avoid
-Overkill for casual use

The Fjällräven Mens Keb Eco-Shell Jacket kinda does it all. This clever technical waterproof jacket has been designed by people who know what it's like to hike. For starters, it has no hand-pockets. Why not? If you’ve ever hauled a backpack up a slope you'll know that the hip-belt blocks access to hand pockets. So they're replaced here by impressively deep and well-designed chest pockets that are both roomy and have elasticated pouches to store gadgets (and even a loop-though for headphones). 

Other unique features include a wired hood that stands up to fierce weather and can fit over a ski or cycling helmet, while ventilation openings at the side allow the sweaty hiker to let off steam. In use the Keb Eco-Shell feels custom-made for the mountains, and it stays dry in driving rain thanks to both a flap behind the zip, and its stretchy recycled polyester Eco-Shell fabric. Unlike many waterproofs that fabric is made without the use of harmful PFC chemicals, so needs a squirt of re-proofing spray slightly more often. However, a waterproof jacket this special worth the hassle.

Marmot Bantamweight waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Marmot)

12. Marmot Bantamweight Men's Jacket

The best super-lightweight waterproof jacket

Specifications
Type: lightweight shell
Waterproofing: Pertex Shield with DWR finish
Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
Reasons to buy
+Stupidly lightweight at 5oz+Decent feature set+Astonishing packability 
Reasons to avoid
-Not PFC-free

The Marmot Bantamweight jacket is many things, but the most impressive is that it’s very, very light. Clocking in at under 140g, this is 'the lightest fully featured rain jacket' Marmot has ever made. Making super-light waterproofs has been a fun game for years, but making them actually functional in bad weather is very tricky. Here, Pertex Shield 2.5 Layer Fabric with two-way stretch takes care of the weight drop without losing shape and function, while internal and two external pockets give storage space. Finally, an adjustable hood and hem leave you fully equipped for sudden outdoor dampness or strong winds – and all for half the weight of a can of Coke. 

How to choose the best waterproof jacket

First up is to determine whether a jacket is fully waterproof or just water repellent. The best waterproof jackets keep you completely dry – think a mountain peak in driving rain – while water repellent jackets guard against light showers of the kind that quickly come and go. When choosing the best waterproof jacket for you, let that distinction dominate your choice. 

What are you going to be using your waterproof jacket for most regularly? Are we talking multi-day hikes in summer where something lightweight – and which packs down small – would make your life easier? Or are you going to be using it mainly for walking the dog on rainy days? In which case go for something bulkier and lined for extra warmth.  

Either way, waterproof jackets with eco-friendly credentials are now all the rage among the top brands. This welcome trend centres on garments that don't use PFCs (PerFluorinated Compounds), toxic chemicals that saturate our environment. They've traditionally been used to make weatherproof clothing because of its water and dirt-repellent characteristics. The top brands now actively eschew PFCs in favour of new eco-friendly fabrics and make a big noise about them. 

As well as guarding against water, these new fabrics are generally breathable to limit how clammy and sweaty you get while being active. Some are quick-drying, which is useful when you're out walking in showers. 

However, with many of these options, you'll still need to layer-up to stay warm in cold conditions, so you'll also want to pick up one of the best fleece jackets and one of the best base layers. That way you can keep you warm when the temperature dips and strip off when it warms up. 

The colour you choose may not seem important, but brightly coloured options are a wise choice if you plan to hike up mountains. That will keep you visible as well as dry as you proudly march up a mountain or go for a long hike while wrapped in the waterproof jacket of your dreams.

The best value waterproof jacket

Specifications
Type: Shell
Waterproofing: Berghaus 'Hydroshell'
Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
Reasons to buy
+Statement colourways (as well as traditional options)+Great fit with deep pockets+Keenly priced
Reasons to avoid
-Pockets slightly awkardly placed