How To Choose Waterproof Jacket For Your Hiking Adventures

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How To Choose Waterproof Jacket For Your Hiking Adventures


There’s nothing more unpleasant than wearing wet clothes? Being a child in Cornwall, UK, which is home to an average of 156 rainy days a year, as well as a tendency to provide all four seasons in one day, I’ve had my fair share of rainy dog walks or thru-hikes as well as bike rides. If I stayed inside each time the weather got poor, I’d be unable to go out therefore a waterproof jacket that is well-made has become one of my most-used items.

The majority of waterproof jackets aren’t made equal, and although a see-through poncho might be ideal for a rainy day it’s not going to assist in a snowstorm. Here’s what you should be thinking about.

The difference is what’s between water-repellent and waterproof?

If you’re looking to have solid protection against the elements, buy a waterproof jacket not only water-resistant. Waterproof gear can provide protection from light showers but lets water in very quickly.

A waterproof coat can stand against more extreme situations, but if do not purchase a jacket that is breathable, you’ll be prone to condensation on the inside of the coat instead. If you exercise hard, it will leave you soaked and uncomfortable. In search of a coat with a waterproof membrane is a great option to ensure that it is comfortable and lets the moisture escape. You’ve probably heard of Gore-Tex one of the most renowned waterproof membranes that are available. It works by using small pores that are just small enough to prevent drops of rain from entering the jacket, yet big enough to let sweat wick out. Gore-Tex isn’t the only waterproof membrane on the market and a variety of outdoor brands now offer different versions.

If your jacket hasn’t been as waterproof as it used to be and you’re not sure why the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to purchase a brand new one. A water-repellent, durable coating (DWR) can be applied on the outside of a water-resistant or waterproof jacket. If the jacket begins to lose impermeability, it’s a breeze to reapply the DWR yourself. To determine whether your jacket requires a DWR replenishment, simply splash it with water and observe if the water beads and falls off. If it does, you’re fine. If it leaves dark, wet patches of fabric instead, it’s the right time to buy a DWR replenishment item and recoat your coat.

What can I do to determine the degree of protection a waterproof jacket offers me?

There’s a great scale to use for this, and many outlets will have a waterproof rating alongside their jackets. The minimum is 5,000mm of waterproofing needed for a coat for it to count as water-proof, and not only water-resistant, but it’s not enough to stand for much beyond light rain or drizzle. 10,000mm-15,000mm is sufficient for most downpours, and 20,000mm and upwards is recommended for extremely intense conditions and heavy downpours however, the jackets will generally be heavier.

What is the best fit I should go for?

Given that you’re probably not walking around in one bikini or waterproof jacket, buy a jacket with enough space to layer. To be able to wear a few layers under my jacket, I realized that the Arcteryx Alpha SV jacket was the perfect option for me. For three-season hiking the best waterproof jacket lets you wear a base layer and a down jacket underneath should suffice. However, for winter mountaineering, you’ll require something more spacious to allow you to layer up.

What additional features are beneficial?

You should look for jackets with taped seams. This indicates that the seams inside are sealed and prevent the water from entering through the tiny holes. Storm flaps are a great option: flaps with an outer layer that protect zips of the jacket and are another open area where rain could get in. For most of my adventures, I like the rain jacket with a peaked hood. It keeps the rain out of your eyes, whereas jackets that only have a drawstring hood let the rain run down your face.