Photo: Finisterre

    From Finisterre to Fjallraven – which is the best waterproof?

    12 August 2020

    With the breezy spring days behind us, our attention turns to the summer and early autumn showers. If you haven’t already got a decent waterproof, it’s a packing essential for your outdoor trips. There can be bewildering array of jackets to choose from, and the terminology used can get quite technical, so it’s worth doing a little research into the kind of jacket you’re looking for. Ask yourself what you need it for – is to accompany you on those evening runs? Or perhaps you’d like to take it hiking. Do you need it to be lightweight and portable for travelling?

    In this article, we’ve featured jackets that tick all of these boxes and more, and are amongst the best waterproof coats out there on the market at the moment. There’s a range of prices and features on offer – some big-name brands and some lesser known ones. There are also some highly sustainable options listed here, with 100 per cent recycled fabric becoming a go-to for most manufacturers.

    Finisterre Rainbird, £110

    Winning Wanderlust’s best travel waterproof award, the Rainbird is a new addition to Cornwall-based Finisterre’s range, and it most definitely deserves its inclusion on this list. True to form, Finisterre have excelled on the sustainability front, with the coat being made of 100% recycled polyester and finished with an FC (fluorocarbon) free finish. We really liked its soft and stretchy feel – and the fully taped seams ensures it is waterproof in the heaviest of downpours and the lightest of persistent drizzle.

    Jack Wolfskin JWP Hardshell, £110

    This is an excellent everyday jacket that packs up small, perfect for travelling, keeping out wind and rain as you’d expect from a highly developed outdoor brand. It only weighs 340g, one of the lightest coats in this list, has a fixed hood and is created for urban travellers in mind. It perhaps doesn’t have quite the credentials of the more hardcore outdoor jackets here, but it’s a perfect every day, reliable rain jacket that won’t take up much space. One of the ones you’ll keep going back to for daily use.

    Montane Element Stretch Jacket, £190

    This jacket is on of our favourites on the list. It’s a flattering shape, and constructed using AQUA PRO STRETCH, a 3-layer waterproof fabric with excellent breathability. Testing it, we could feel the stretch in the fabric and it allowed the jacket to be comfortable as more of an ‘active fit’ – climbing and scrambling over hilly terrain in the rain. The large pockets are a really nice feature, as they’re designed to be perfectly ‘map-sized.’ Another benefit is that Montane’s clothing is guaranteed for their lifetime against faults in workmanship and materials.

     Berghaus Highland Ridge Jacket, £220

    This coat appeals to those who want to hike with the right look. A traditional Highland style is combined with excellent waterproof abilities – and there’s a feeling of sturdiness and durability throughout every aspect of the coat. Breathable 2-layer GORE-TEX does the job as the top layer, and the coat is big enough to add an all-important fleece or warm jumper underneath. The coat feels well made and able to withstand tough conditions.

    On Weather Jacket, £190

    The On Weather Jacket will appeal to keen runners and those who need a technically advanced and developed waterproof solution. Ultralight protection is the name of the game with the On Weather Jacket, and given On’s emerging prominence in the running world, that’s no surprise. We’d quite happily take this on a tough trail run as well as a quiet run through the park – little thoughtful additions like the cap hood that stays up when you’re running and the waterproof zip pocket to keep valuables make this jacket a worthy addition to this article.

    Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell, £450

    A worthy inclusion on any list such as this, the Keb Eco Shell is one of the best premium waterproof coats out there, and if you’ve got a little bit more money to spend, is highly recommended. It features a three-layer shell with pockets within easy reach – including a handy and deep chest pocket, and everything is adjustable to ensure your belongings stay within easy reach. Its stretchy fabric moves to the contours of your body as well, so it’s good for more active sports in poor weather such as hiking and backcountry skiing.

    Patagonia Rainshadow Jacket, £200

    Light and stretchy, the Rainshadow coat features Patagonia’s standard advanced technology and sustainable fabric, using a 3-layer system with H2No fabric which is also breathable and stretchy enough to feel comfortable if wearing for a long time. It also features a two-way-adjustable hood with a laminated visor, which stows away with a simplified cord-and-hook design. As always with Patagonia, the fabric is certified as bluesign®approved, which means it has committed to using at least 90 per cent bluesign® approved sustainable materials.

    North Face Packable Waterproof Fanorak Jacket, £87

    This one’s on sale at the moment, which makes it an absolute steal for the money. North Face have been creating user-friendly, technically advanced outdoor and waterproof clothing for decades, so there’s no surprise that one of their jackets features on this list. We really liked the fact that this one can be packed into its own pocket, which makes it super lightweight and portable. The half-zip means it’s easy to pull over almost anything quickly when the rain starts, and when the rain starts, it can be packed up and turned into a bum-bag for carrying. An excellent idea.

    Keela Saxon Jacket, £104.95

    Designed with the active sports user in mind, the Keela Saxon jacket is super thin, super lightweight and features a hood that can fit over a helmet as well as a scooped back to avoid drips when using it on a bicycle. We tested the new orange version, which we found especially useful in dusk/dark as it features additional reflective patches – certainly useful for runners and cyclists when the nights draw in.

    Snugpak Torrent, £164.95

    One of the nicest things about the Snugpak Torrent is the Softie® insulation, which provides a warming layer in the toughest of conditions. It also has fully waterproof taped seams, a fully detachable insulated hood that can be rolled away or removed, and deep pockets with thermal linings. Ventilations zips underneath the arms help regulate the coat’s breathability. Rated down to -10C as the ‘low rating,’ this is definitely a waterproof coat we’d trust to keep you warm as well as dry.