Packing for the weather conditions at your vacation’s final destination can be tricky. Staying warm and dry in the wet and cold will enhance your performance and keep you comfortable whatever the weather throws at you.
From ski jackets for the slopes to raincoats for unexpected showers when sightseeing, there are a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from. Having a packable, travel-ready waterproof jacket will keep any weather from dampening your vacation.
Table of contents
- Things to Consider With Waterproof Jackets
- The Best Waterproof Jackets for Women
- The Best Waterproof Jackets for Men
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Things to Consider With Waterproof Jackets
- The Best Waterproof Jackets for Women
- The Best Waterproof Jackets for Men
- Final Thoughts
Things to Consider With Waterproof Jackets
In order for your jacket to perform as well as you need it to, it must be able to repel water to keep you dry. Tightly woven fabrics with waterproof membranes or coatings prevent the rain or snow from seeping through and drenching you underneath. Moisture-wicking inners prevent an unwanted build-up of sweat while you work out in the great outdoors.
Water performance is usually measured by Hydrostatic Head (HH), which measures how much pressure there needs to be for water to penetrate the fabric. This is usually expressed as a water column in millimeters, and most jackets range from 10,000 millimeters to 30,000 millimeters.
When considering how best to keep the rain out, also consider the design and durability of the zippers and closures, as rain and water can easily find their way in if there are any gaps, and the hood must be strong enough to remain tightly wrapped around your head, even in high winds and driving rain.
While top-of-the-range ski jackets might be perfect for days on the piste, they may be too heavy and too hot for dog walks on drizzly days. Stay comfortable by choosing the right type of waterproof jacket to suit your needs.
The biggest indicator of comfort will be how breathable your jacket is. The more intensive your activity is, the more moisture you are likely to produce. Any moisture — and by this, we mean sweat — that cannot escape from inside the jacket as you pound the slopes will stay on the inside and condense to make you feel cold, hot, or sweaty.
Layering up is always the best way to handle ever-changing weather conditions, and waterproof jackets that offer multiple layers of protection are a great choice for year-round protection. Waterproof outer layers, or shells, are lightweight, breathable, and designed to repel the water rather than to keep you warm, while inner fleece layers add warmth and help to wick away moisture.
Some waterproof jackets have separate parts of the same jacket that can be worn on their own or as a set, while others simply offer insulated layers and fleece linings joined together to be worn when the mercury drops.
The more practical your waterproof jacket is, the more likely you are to love it. Pockets are a big plus in all-weather garments as they alleviate the need for waist pouches or day packs. Large zippered front pockets, discreet inner pockets, and even breast pockets all offer storage for your keys, cash, and cell phone.
Hoods are also a must-have for wet weather clothing, and some hoods are more efficient than others. Storm hoods that offer insulation and stiff peaks are designed to withstand the harshest of snowstorms on the piste, while stowable hoods that roll back into the collar of your jacket are generally best for quick showers and light rain.
If you need a higher level of protection for your face, head, and ears, definitely look for a hood that has a drawstring so it can be pulled around your face when the weather gets really bad.
Finally, some upscale waterproof jackets come complete with vents in the fabric for the ultimate in sweat-free breathability. Designed to let the moisture you generate ease its way out without letting the rainwater in, vents are a fancy touch that makes the moisture-wicking fabric even more efficient.
The shape and style of your waterproof jacket will affect how and where you wear it. There are a variety of different fits to choose from, with the most popular being:
- Casual Fit Jackets — Perfect for everyday use, these can be worn over your regular clothing. Usually longer in length, they offer effective protection against the rain, and with pockets, hoods, and other useful design additions, these types of the jacket can be worn virtually anywhere.
- Active Fit Jackets — Designed to provide some room underneath for an extra layer, these are more likely to just be long enough to cover the length of your trunk. Usually made from stronger fabric, active fit jackets often have peaked and adjustable hoods that offer far better protection around your face and ears.
- Technical Fit Jackets — Offering the ultimate in protection on the slopes and in harsh weather, these jackets are designed to sit closer to the body. Worn mostly when hiking, skiing, or climbing, more expensive models might even feature breast-level pockets that can be reached while wearing a harness, shorter body lengths, and larger hoods to cover the size of your protective helmet.
Hot Tip: Remember also that men’s and women’s waterproof jackets are designed to fit their differing shapes’ individual contours. Most noticeably, women’s jackets usually feature narrower shoulders and are wider across the hips.
Different fabrics offer differing levels of protection and breathability in wet conditions. The most commonly used waterproof materials used in coats and jackets include:
- Nylon and Polyester — While technically not 100% waterproof, these fabrics will resist water and are often used in lightweight, everyday raincoats.
- Microfiber — When coated with a special waterproofing agent, microfiber is soft and breathable and can effectively repel water and snow.
- GORE-TEX — The mother of all waterproof clothing, GORE-TEX is a waterproof and breathable membrane that can repel liquid while allowing vapor to pass straight through.
- Laminated Cotton — Incredibly breathable, this type of fabric is coated to repel rainwater.
- Polyurethane Laminate — Highly durable but heavy and a bit sweaty, this type of fabric is high on waterproofing but low on breathability.
Before you commit, look for both waterproof and breathable garments for effortless protection and comfort.
Hot Tip: If you’re getting ready for wet weather, you may want to consider taking a pair of waterproof pants too!
The Best Waterproof Jackets for Women
Designed to flatter the female form, these waterproof jackets offer exceptional protection against the elements without weighing you down.
Best Waterproof Ski Jacket
MOERDENG Women’s Waterproof Ski Jacket
Featuring a professional water-repellent coating, this pretty and protective ski jacket is perfect for wearing both on and off the slopes. Waterproof and windproof, it will keep you warm in even the most extreme of conditions, and the wear-resistant soft shell will ensure that this coat will last for many ski trips to come.
On the inside, the soft and snug fluff lining helps to ensure excellent heat retention, and the adjustable cuffs and stretchable glove holes will help to seal in warmth. The storm hood will keep the wind out and its waterproof material will keep the rain off, all while keeping your head and ears warm in cold weather.
With a relaxed fit and stylish good looks, this jacket comes in a selection of colors and designs, and the high-quality polyester structure lets the air move freely around you to ensure your stay warm without ever feeling sweaty, no matter how hard you work on the piste.
Waterproof Jacket for Heavy Rain
Columbia Women’s Switchback Iii Adjustable Waterproof Rain Jacket
This lightweight and comfortable waterproof jacket is perfect for everyday use while offering enough protection to keep you warm and dry even on the coldest winter days. Featuring an advanced waterproof Hydroplus 100% nylon shell, this jacket will keep you dry in heavy downpours without ever leaving you feeling damp and cold.
With a 100% polyester lining, this jacket offers additional warmth while being thin and lightweight enough to be used as an effective outer layer over fleeces or heavy sweaters. With a clean feminine cut, it is spacious enough to offer a full range of movement, and the classic good looks are designed to work as well on city streets as they do out in the countryside.
The stowable hood can be whipped out instantly, while the completely waterproof and adjustable cuffs and drawcord hem help keep the wind and rain out at all times. With 2 zippered pockets for keeping small essentials close at hand, and the ability to fold up small enough to fit into its very own pocket, this is a convenient and capable waterproof jacket for everyday adventures.
Lightweight With Soft Lining
Diamond Candy Women’s Rain Jacket Waterproof
With a soft, lightweight outer shell and a super-soft lining, this great-looking rain jacket is perfect for use in cold weather. Featuring water-repellent technology, heavy rain will roll right off, and the removable hood can be flipped up in an instant to keep your head dry and safely sheltered from strong winds and inclement weather.
With a thick cotton padding on the inside, this jacket will keep you warm and lock in your body heat, while the high-collar design allows you to turn the collar right up to keep your neck warm, too. Perfect for use on dog walks, shopping trips, and everyday life, you can leave your purse at home and carry your most essential belongings in the capacious zippered waterproof pockets, zipper chest pocket, and internal pocket.
Available in a selection of stunning colors and designs, this jacket offers lots of high-end touches, including heavy-duty zippers, elasticated and adjustable cuffs, and hidden zippers to keep your belongings dry in the rain.
Most Versatile Ski Jacket
Wantdo Women’s 3 in 1 Waterproof Ski Jacket
Keep warm even in extreme conditions with this excellent double-layered ski jacket. Made from super durable and lightweight Taslan fabric, this gorgeous jacket has a professional outer shell that will ensure you remain dry in heavy rain and even snow.
With different ways to wear it, you can layer up for super cold conditions or strip back to suit variations in temperatures and conditions. The waterproof outer shell can be worn on its own or in addition to the insulated and fully lined puffer jacket for double the protection and warmth.
Incredibly practical for use in all settings, this jacket also features multiple pockets in which you can stash your essentials, and the super-strong and waterproof zippers will keep your belongings dry even in the snow.
Perfect for downhill skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, hiking, and other outdoor sports, the high neck design, complete with underarm vents and a stowable and removable windproof hood, makes this a great choice for women who like to work out in all weathers.
Most Fashionable Waterproof Ski Jacket
GEMYSE Women’s Mountain Waterproof Ski Snow Jacket
With a relaxed fit and fashionable good looks, this is an excellent choice for outdoor winter activities. Warm and durable, this jacket has a thick outer shell that is waterproof to a level of 10000mm/H20, and the high-quality zippers are also designed to keep heavy rain out.
With a microporous structure, the water-resistant construction remains completely breathable to help prevent sweating, and the polyester lining wicks away moisture and dries super quickly, even when very wet.
On the inside, the soft lining is comfortable against the skin, and the insulation will keep you warm in the snow. With adjustable Velcro cuffs and stretchable gloves with thumb holes, this coat will seal in your body heat and prevent the wind and chill from creeping in.
With an inside windproof snap skirt, a detachable storm hood, a stand-up collar, and a full zipper closure, this beautiful ski jacket has been designed to keep your entire upper body warm, dry, and well protected.
Multiple internal and external zippered pockets are super useful for keeping your most essential items close at hand, and coming in a choice of stylish colors, this is a brilliant jacket that looks great both on and off the piste.
Best Everyday Waterproof
Arthas Women Light Rain Jacket Waterproof
With a longer length and lightweight design, this is an excellent choice for everyday adventures. The polyester-spandex construction is able to effortlessly repel moderate rain and moisture, and the detachable hood will keep your head protected from sudden downpours.
The stylish design is enhanced by a drawstring waist and attractive striped lining, and the sleeves can be extended to their full length or rolled up for wet conditions in warmer weather. The high-density fabric has an upscale look and feel, and the full-length zipper with additional snap closures will help to keep the wind out while you walk.
Available in a choice of stylish colors, this lightweight jacket can easily be carried in your day pack, and the polyester and linen construction helps to prevent wrinkles even when folded. With deep front flap pockets, this jacket offers useful storage and excellent protection against the rain.
Best Waterproof Winter Coat
Suokeni Women’s Waterproof Ski Jacket
This waterproof winter coat offers a waterproof pressure level of 20000mm/H20 and a breathability rating of 3000 g. With waterproof zippers and a high-density construction, it has been designed to keep you warm and dry in even the harshest of conditions.
The windbreaker shell has an adjustable and detachable hood complete with a peak for effective protection against wind and rainwater. The strong textile fibers are designed to help protect against scratches and grazes during accidental slips and falls.
Hardwearing and extremely good-looking, this jacket also excels on the inside with a 180-gram lightweight, warm cotton interior that has been constructed to lock in body heat to help regulate your temperature.
With 2 zippered side pockets, a waterproof pressing glue breast pocket, and a zippered inner pocket, you can easily keep your cell phone, ski pass, wallet, and other essentials close at hand. Available in a choice of colors, this is an impressively practical ski jacket that is suitable for use all through the winter.
Best Pack-Away Raincoat
Avoogue Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket
Complete with its very own stuff sack, this pack-away rain jacket is lightweight, easy to wear, and highly effective in wet and snowy conditions. Waterproof and windproof, this hooded rain jacket is made from super-soft material that has been designed to keep you cool even in tropical rainstorms.
Light against the skin and featuring a casual, loose fit design, this jacket can be thrown over your regular clothes to keep you well-protected in sudden downpours. With a drawstring hood and hem, you can pull this jacket around you to keep the rain out, and the waterproof zipper and cuffed sleeve hems will ensure that even driving rain never seeps in.
2 large pockets offer quick and easy access to your essentials, and the lightweight and breathable design is easy to dry out after soaking. This jacket is perfect for days out and use when traveling with a longer length to offer full body protection and a selection of colors to choose from.
Hot Tip: Make sure your belongings stay dry too with these great waterproof backpacks.
The Best Waterproof Jackets for Men
Strong and durable, these waterproof jackets are tough enough to handle extreme terrain while still offering a full range of movement.
Best All-Around Waterproof Jacket
Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket
Available in a wide selection of colors and designs, this lightweight yet highly durable waterproof jacket is perfect for use in wet and windy weather. Featuring Columbia’s patented advanced technology, the finely crafted waterproof nylon shell can deftly handle anything from a light shower to a heavy downpour at a moment’s notice.
100% waterproof, this jacket remains lightweight enough to be carried everywhere with you. Offering upscale features such as an abrasion-resistant chin guard for your ongoing comfort, even when fully zipped up, as well as drawstring cuffs and an elastic hem to keep the wind out, this jacket offers excellent protection against both wind and rain.
With a slim silhouette and a soft interior lining, this jacket can easily be worn over your regular clothing, and the zippered closure offers a secure fit while still offering a full range of movement. With an Omni-Shield coating, this awesome waterproof jacket also has the ability to repel moisture and dry quickly to avoid stains.
The Big Brand Option
The North Face Men’s Resolve Waterproof Jacket
Made from 100% nylon ripstop DryVent fabric, this jacket offers impressive protection with a durable water-repellant (DWR) finish to keep you dry when the heavens open. Lightweight enough to be packed in your backpack without wrinkling and versatile enough to be worn over your regular clothing, this protective rain jacket is easy to wear.
Perfect for hiking, this rain jacket has an attached adjustable hood that can be stowed in the collar when the rain lets up. With elasticated cuffs that fit over your gloves to offer an uninterrupted stream of warmth in the cold, a hem cinch-cord that offers a customized fit around the waist, and a storm flap with a hook and loop closure to cover the front zip, this waterproof jacket will keep you snug and warm whatever the weather.
Hand pockets with secure zippers offer a practical safe space in which to carry your phone, wallet, or other small essentials, and being lightweight enough to easily carry everywhere with you, this is an excellent choice for outdoor adventurers.
Best Waterproof Ski Jacket
Wantdo Men’s Mountain Waterproof Ski Jacket
This handsome ski jacket offers incredible protection against rain and wind. With a professional waterproof coating, this raincoat can work in pressure up to 1,000 millimeters, and with 240 grams of polyester lining, it can offer impressive thermal insulation, even in extreme cold.
With an internal windproof buckle skirt and drawstring hem, this coat will wrap around you tightly to keep your body heat in and the cold out in almost any conditions. Adjustable hook and loop cuffs make light work of powder snow, and the adjustable hood will protect your head from the wind and the rain or can be removed completely if you don’t need to use it.
With 2 zippered pockets to keep your hands warm and your cell phone within easy reach, and a large internal pocket that is perfect for storing your cash, wallet, or keychain, this jacket is highly functional and incredibly protective.
Best Waterproof Jacket for Cycling
BALEAF Men’s Waterproof Cycling Running Rain Jacket
Lightweight enough to be worn when cycling or running, this 100% nylon waterproof jacket can easily be packed in your backpack for emergency use when the weather turns. With 3 reflective logos that provide high visibility even in low light and heavy rain, this hooded jacket is an excellent choice for those who like to exercise in all weathers.
Made from a water-resistant and breathable material, this jacket is designed to keep you dry throughout the seasons. It offers a custom-made fit with a drawstring adjustable hem, and the elasticated cuffs help keep your regular clothing dry underneath. The funnel hood with cord adjusters will protect your face from getting wet in the driving rain, and the relaxed fit is spacious enough to wear over fleeces and warm sweaters in cooler weather.
Offering 2 side zipper pockets, you can tuck your hands away or keep your essentials close, and the 7-inch wide back pocket can be used to fold the jacket into, forming a compact pouch for super easy transportation when not in use.
Best Military-Style Waterproof Jacket
ANTARCTICA Waterproof Military Tactical Jacket
Keep yourself dry and warm in all weather conditions with this awesome military-style tactical jacket. This jacket is packed with protective features from long rides in the rain to winter hikes and even paintball in the woods.
With a waterproof polyester shell and 8,000-millimeter fleece inner, this jacket is comfortable to wear, while the moisture-wicking fabric and breathable vent zipper design offer rapid evaporation of moisture in the body. For better protection in heavy downpours, the portable hood with a 3D hat brim can also be stored as a stand-up collar when not in use.
Adjustable wrist cuffs and a drawstring waist help to keep the chill out and the multi-functional pockets allow you to store smaller items while keeping your hands free when enjoying a wide range of outdoor sports and activities. Available in a selection of colors, this handsome-looking waterproof jacket will keep you warm and dry.
Best Heavyweight Waterproof Jacket
Soukeni Waterproof Ski Jacket
Designed to be incredibly durable, this jacket is made from anti-scratch and incredibly wear-resistant fabric, making it suitable for even the most extreme of outdoor activities, even in the winter. With a waterproofing level of 20000mm/H20 and a breathability rating of 3000 g, this is a highly protective garment that is breathable on the inside and water-resistant on the outside.
With an adjustable and detachable wind hood made from high-density fabric, you can protect your ears and face from heavy downpours and howling gales and use the drawstring to pull it closer around your head. With a 180-gram lightweight cotton lining, this jacket feels soft against your skin and is designed to lock in body heat to create a protective layer against the wind and cold.
With 2 zippered side pockets, a waterproof pressing glue breast pocket, and a discreet zippered inner pocket, this jacket offers plenty of scope for keeping your most essential items by your side, and the durable and hardwearing polymer blend material will ensure that this jacket stays with you for many adventures to come.
Best Multi-Purpose Waterproof Jacket
CAMEL CROWN 3 in 1 Waterproof Snow Jacket
Designed to offer premium protection when skiing, hiking, camping, and climbing, this jacket is also versatile and lightweight enough to wear when sightseeing, shopping, or even just while out walking on a cloudy day.
As a multi-purpose garment, this set features a waterproof shell and a warm inner fleece jacket that can be worn on their own or together to offer the ultimate in warmth and waterproofing.
The outer shell has a waterproof index of up to 10000mm/H20, seamless waterproof zippers, and adjustable windproof hook and loops, while the adjustable and detachable insulated storm hood with stand-up collar will help to keep both the wind and the rain out. Perfect for use on the slopes, this jacket repels falling snow, and the adjustable cuffs and full-length zipper will keep the chill of high winds away from your body.
With 2 zippered hand pockets on the outer shell, as well as a supporting fixture hole for earphones on the inside, this is a practical alternative to having to carry a small day sack with you, and the combination of the inner fleece jacket and the protective shell is perfect for use in harsh winter conditions.
Hot Tip: If you’re planning on taking your new waterproof jacket on a ski trip, check out our printable packing list so you don’t forget anything.
Best Everyday Ski Jacket
CIOR Men’s Waterproof Ski Jacket
With a professional water-repellent coating, this jacket offers excellent protection against rain and snow. Featuring ultra-lightweight warm cotton padding, it is also incredibly warm and will help you maintain your temperature even in the coldest conditions.
With the outer shell rain jacket being waterproof up to 10,000 millimeters, the drawstring storm hood will ensure that your face stays dry in heavy downpours and your ears are well-protected from strong winds. The adjustable cuffs and stretchable gloves with thumbholes help to seal in the warmth, and the inside windproof snap powder skirt and internal drawstring hem help to prevent chills from creeping in.
Multiple zippered pockets made this jacket all the more practical, and the internal secure media pocket and earphone line fastening and supporting fixture lets you listen to your favorite sounds while you walk. Available in a selection of smart colorways, this is a brilliant ski jacket that is lightweight and versatile enough to be worn every day.
From pack-away raincoats for sudden downpours to multi-layer ski jackets that will protect you on the piste, a waterproof jacket is worth its weight in gold. With the ability to keep you dry on the outside and wick away unwanted moisture on the inside, all of these awesome jackets are an investment in your comfort and performance, wherever you are headed.