Waterproof jackets are convenient because they make it possible for us to carry on with our daily routines even when it’s raining. However, if the jacket you’re wearing isn’t breathable, the chances are that you’re still going to end up wet – drenched in sweat.
You’ll feel as if you’re wearing a plastic bag because the sweat evaporating from your body won’t have an outlet. This can be extremely challenging if you’re on a hike or participating in other rigorous outdoor activities because the heat will cause you some discomfort. That’s why you need at least one breathable waterproof jacket.
You can also add the jackets to your winter collection since they’ll help keep you dry and warm, and your base layers won’t get sweaty. Wearing wet base layers out on the trails can lead to severe problems because the decrease in warmth will make you vulnerable to hypothermia or frostbite.
We did the research and spent several hours looking for the best breathable waterproof jackets. As a result, we came up with a list of options that are guaranteed to keep you dry and offer you the ventilation you need. Our guide also highlights some of the things you need to keep in mind when making your selection.
How to Choose the Best Breathable Waterproof Jackets
The following are some of the things you need to take into consideration when shopping for a comfortable, breathable, watertight jacket.
Some jackets have features like underarm vents, back vents with flaps, zip vents on the arms, mesh, and zip-off sleeves, to mention a few. Such ventilation systems contribute to the jackets’ breathability and are often placed in areas where we sweat the most.
They allow air to flow inside the jacket and help with moisture control by speeding up the moisture-wicking process. When making your purchase, make sure the jacket you want has several ventilation features for added comfort regardless of whether you’re planning to take a stroll or hike a mountain pass.
Breathability and Waterproofing
As previously mentioned, the ideal jacket should keep you dry and let moisture out simultaneously. Some brands spray or bond polyurethane coating to the jacket fabric to make it waterproof and windproof. Although it’s an affordable solution, the coating isn’t durable. Polyurethane coated jackets are also less breathable compared to other alternatives.
Jackets with Gore-Tex technology have excellent breathability and great waterproof performance. Gore-Tex is also windproof and more durable compared to polyurethane. The tech is also common in most outdoor wear because it’s impervious to snow, rain, and sleet.
There are also other breathable waterproof fabric tech solutions like eVent, and neoshell, to mention a few. Over the years, brands like The North Face have also developed their own high-tech waterproof fabrics.
Remember, your jacket’s breathability will also depend on the waterproofing method used by the manufacturer. Always go for alternatives that will keep you dry without sacrificing breathability.
Adjustable jackets are ideal because they have straps and cords that let users tighten or loosen them as they please. They help contour the jacket to your body, providing you with a customized fit. Such features will come in handy when you need to wear a few extra layers.
Most adjustment mechanisms are located around the hood, wrists, and waists. They also help trap body heat and prevent water from leaking into the jacket.
Top 10 Breathable Waterproof Jackets
1. The North Face Men's Venture 2 Jacket
- Standard fit
- 29-inch center back length
- Breathable Ripstop exterior
The North Face is a brand that never fails to deliver. You must have come across their performance apparel, footwear, and several other products if you love the outdoors. This jacket will keep you dry thanks to its durable water repellent (DWR) finish. It’s also breathable and great for wind protection.
Most of the jacket colors feature 2.5L DryVent Nylon Ripstop. However, the heather jackets comprise of 73% Nylon and 27% Polyester. Although they have different fabrics, all the materials are recycled and waterproofed.
The jacket pockets have secure zippers. They are also shell Stowable and seam-sealed, so you can rest assured that your belongings won’t get wet or damaged. Other features that make this jacket stand out include its fabricPit zip venting for added breathability and a storm flap. The flap covers the center zipHem at the front to keep it dry.
You’ll get a relaxed fit and enough room to add extra layers if need be. Users can also wear a helmet under the hood thanks to its adjustability.
Pros & Cons
2. Marmot Women's Essential
- Machine wash
- 100% Polyester
- Leak-free design
Whether you’re looking for a travel, hiking, backpacking, or cycling jacket, this Marmot jacket has got you covered. It can withstand harsh weather because it has Gore-Tex and Paclite technology. The jacket comes highly recommended because it provides users with the perfect balance of comfort, protection, and packability.
The Gore-Tex membrane prevents water and wind from getting into the jacket. It’s also microporous and draws out internal moisture. That’s why you’re always going to be dry even when you’re wearing several layers underneath. Other features worth noting include the jacket’s weatherproofed seams. All the seams are taped to seal any potential water entry points.
For added breathability, Marmot included zippered arm vents in the jacket’s design. The vents help regulate the internal temperature by increasing the airflow and releasing any built-up moisture.
Although the jacket has three layers, it’s not as bulky compared to most layered jackets. Its inner Paclite layer is exceptionally lightweight, and the bonus is that it also protects the jacket’s interior.
Pros & Cons
3. Columbia Women's Arcadia Ii
- 100% Nylon shell
- 100% Polyester lining
- Zipper closure
Columbia offers a durable jacket with advanced Omni-Tech technology. The tech guarantees that the jacket’s fully seamed construction is waterproof and breathable. The jacket will also keep you warm because of its soft mesh lining.
It also has several adjustable features to provide you with a personalized fit. You’ll be able to adjust the hood and the hem to your liking. Users also like that it has zippered hand pockets for added convenience.
It’s a light jacket that’s easily foldable. You can even carry it in your pockets when you’re dealing with unpredictable weather.
Pros & Cons
4. Berghaus Gore-tex Waterproof Jacket
- Waterproof guarantee
- Made from two-layer Gore-Tex
Berghaus confidently offers a waterproof guarantee, because the jacket consists of 100% waterproof GORE-TEX fabric. It has a tough outer made of ripstop material with exceptional breathability.
The jacket is an excellent fit for guys who want a hard-wearing, durable alternative with strong tear resistance. You’ll be impressed by its performance in different settings. It also has a roll-away hood and interactive zipper to provide users with extra weather protection. You’ll have the option of zipping in compatible mid-layers for additional warmth when it gets too cold.
This Berghaus jacket also stands out because it’s fashionable. It has a soft satin lining, two well-placed hand pockets on the chest, and a conveniently deep satin-lined internal map pocket.
Pros & Cons
5. Helly Hansen Men's Crew Jacket
- 2ply fabric construction.
- 100% polyester.
- Fleece-lined pockets.
You can count on this Helly Hansen jacket when the weather calls for added protection. This jacket has Hellytech – a unique membrane on the outer layer that lets moisture molecules escape and prevents water molecules from entering the jacket.
The brand guarantees that its breathable and waterproof tech can withstand windy, wet, and cold conditions. The jacket also underwent durable water repellency treatment, so you can trust that it’s always going to keep you dry.
It has a chest, hand, and race ID back-neck pocket. The jacket also features a fleece-lined collar and a stowaway hood.
Pros & Cons
6. Outdoor Ventures Packable Rain Jacket Women
- 100% fully sealed zippers
- The hem is 1.5 inches longer
- Detailed size range
Outdoor ventures offer a multipurpose jacket with a high-quality waterproof function. It’s a must-have because you can wear it in spring, autumn, and winter as well. The jacket is lightweight and it’s also intelligently designed to occupy minimal space. You’ll have an easy time packing it in your bag or suitcase whenever you travel.
To keep you dry, its seams are fully sealed and welded with a TPU membrane. Water droplets won’t get through because the zippers are also sealed. The jacket’s outer shell consists of ripstop and high-density polyester that can withstand heavy rain since it has a 5000mm waterproof rating.
The jacket is also breathable thanks to its skin-friendly mesh lining and armpit air vents. You’ll just need to open the vents whenever you feel hot. They will help disperse excess heat, improve the air circulation in the jacket, and keep you from feeling clammy.
Users can adjust the jacket’s hood to their liking. It also has adjustable horse-hoof shaped cuffs and a cord at the bottom edge. Although you’ll get the same type of jacket regardless of the color you select, some features might vary based on your purchase.
The purple, rose, and black jackets have a built-in elastic belt and can also be folded into the left pocket. However, the orange, blue, and new black variations come with a packable carrying pouch.
Pros & Cons
7. Paradox Men's Jacket
- 80% nylon
- 20% polyester
- 2.5 layers
Stylish and functional, this rain jacket is the kind of piece that you’ll always carry with you. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Paradox went out of its way to ensure that you’ll never get wet when wearing this jacket. It is strategically seam-sealed, has a waterproof barrier, and a water-repellent finish.
The jacket also has exterior storm flaps around the center zipper for added protection. Users benefit from its reflective logo as well, since it provides extra visibility in low light conditions.
Pros & Cons
8. SWISSWELL Rain Jacket Women
- Zipper closure
- 100% nylon
- Parallel quilted design
Swisswell uses waterproof technology that wicks away moisture on contact. The brand also included a soft layer of mesh lining to prevent abrasion and ensure that you get enough ventilation. That’s why this jacket is a great choice if you’re looking for something cozy as well.
The jacket has a unique design, and its zipper closure even has reflective striping for visibility. It’s going to last you for quite some time since the waterproof film adds to its durability.
Pros & Cons
9. Jack Wolfskin Men's Chilly Morning Insulated Jacket
- Micro guard (100 g/M)
- Water column rating: 10,000 mm
- Fireproof lining
Available in four colors, this Jack Wolfskin jacket can withstand even the harshest winter conditions. To provide users with all-weather protection, the brand used Texapore. This weather protection tech is breathable, windproof, and waterproof.
For insulation, the jacket has a synthetic fiber material known as Microguard. It is less sensitive to water compared to down. Microguard is also easy to clean and provides excellent insulation, even when damp.
Pros & Cons
10. PARADOX Women's Rain Jackets
- 80% nylon shell
- 20% Polyester shell
- 100% Polyurethane coating
We close off our list with another breathable and waterproof Paradox jacket. What makes this jacket stand out is the fact that it also offers Ultraviolet protection. The jacket’s fabric has a UPF 50 rating, meaning it can block up to 98% of UV rays. You’ll be dry, safe from harmful UV rays, and comfortable even in 20-45 mph winds.
The jacket is also lightweight and fits like a glove. That’s why you should order a size up if you’re looking to add a few layers underneath.