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The 16 Best Hiking Jackets for Men and Women [2024]

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

772 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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It may seem like an easy task choosing a hiking jacket, but there are so many things to consider that you may need some help narrowing down the selection to just a few options.

Hiking jackets are unlike regular jackets, as they need to provide the utmost comfort for you in different settings. In that light, we’ve listed some of the best hiking jackets out there, as well as the main things to look out for when buying this type of jacket.

Things To Consider in a Hiking Jacket

Hiking Jacket
Hiking jackets come in a range of different styles. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

One of the main factors to consider when buying a hiking jacket is the climate where you plan to hike. Whether it’s hot, humid, or extremely cold, you might be looking for features like durable and tear-free fabric, waterproof coating, and lightweight design.

You also might want to have a packable jacket that easily fits even into your hiking backpack in case the temperature changes from what you expect.

The best hiking jackets also come in different styles, such as hardshell, softshell, insulated, and fleece jackets. So, here’s a more detailed overview of things to consider when shopping for hiking jackets that will help you make a perfect choice.

Material

Hiking Jacket Fabric
Hiking jackets are typically made from nylon, polyester, and spandex blends. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

When looking for the best hiking jackets for men and women, one thing stands universal in the selection – materials. You should opt for nylon, polyester, and spandex blends. These are, in most cases, thermal-resistant as well as waterproof for maximum hiking convenience.

Also, jackets with spandex additions can be more flexible and provide higher comfort than others. Breathable materials can also make a great difference, so make sure to thoroughly study the material before considering buying a jacket.

Jacket Type

Waterproof Jacket Layers
Hiking jackets are available as hardshell, softshell, fleece, or down jackets. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Hardshell jackets might be the best fit if you are looking for a blend of a thin protective layer yet durable and with waterproof protection. Hikers love them for their breathability and the solid protection that they offer in harsh weather conditions.

On the other hand, going for softshell jackets are a bit more lightweight and comfortable, and they also mostly come made of waterproof nylon.

Fleece jackets also make a solid choice as they are mostly wind-resistant, and despite their wool-like material, they dry quite fast in case of rain.

Finally, down jackets are also best for getting the utmost warming potential out of a thin-layered jacket.

Packable Jackets

As you might be hiking in areas where the weather changes rapidly, you should pay special attention to packable jackets. They are durable and protective in case of harsh weather conditions, only this time you can pack them into a backpack in case it’s too hot to wear a jacket.

Bottom Line: Packable jackets are getting more and more sophisticated in terms of packing functionality, and manufacturers are using different packing options like pocket self-packing.

Pockets

Hiking Jacket Pockets
Pockets give you additional space beside your backpack. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Jacket pockets can be more important than they might initially seem. They are quite useful in case you need additional space beside your backpack. You can even pack a small bottle of water or a flask into some.

In general, hikers mostly pack a compass, a map, or a phone in jacket pockets, and many hiking jackets come with more than just a pair.

The 8 Best Hiking Jackets for Men

Now that you’ve been through the basics, it’s time to bring you our list of the best hiking jackets for men.

1. All-around Hiking Jacket for Men

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Columbia Men’s Watertight Jacket

Looks can sometimes be deceiving, and the same goes for this plain-looking hiking jacket. While it seems like a standard thin hiking jacket with a hoodie, it offers several impressive features such as a durable structure and waterproof nylon fabric.

With a zippered closure, snug fit, and an abrasion-resistant chin guard, it’s a comfortable fit that’s easy to pull on and off.

With Omni-shield technology, this jacket repels moisture instead of absorbing it. This helps hikers stay dry and clean without any stains left on the jacket. The waterproof layer is still air-permeable, meaning you’ll still stay cool while wearing this jacket.

What We Like

  • Innovative Omni-shield fit

What We Don’t Like

  • It might feel too baggy for some hikers

2. Breathable Double-layered Hiking Jacket

Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket

The Marmot men’s hiking jacket is a great option for those looking for a bit of extra customization. You can adjust the hood that stows into the collar with a chin guard, which is useful in cold weather and for wind deflection. It has a seam-taped closure with a packable pocket that it can be wrapped up in.

With a 2.5-layer NanoPro fabric, it makes a breathable jacket and heavy-duty protector at the same time. In addition, the dry-touch finish lets you stay dry at all times, even when it pours, and the comfort of this jacket isn’t compromised due to the added layer and additional features.

What We Like

  • A breathable yet highly protective all-season jacket

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t come in XS size

3. Sweater-like Hiking Jacket

Columbia Men’s Ascender Softshell Jacket

If you are looking for something more versatile that resembles a regular sweater, you can go with this Columbia men’s jacket. It’s a 100% polyester jacket with a wind-resistant shell that repels the breeze well. The look of this jacket makes it look like a plain sweater, so it’s a fashionable addition to your hiking accessories.

It has 1 large pocket on the left side next to the Columbia logo, and the durable material will make it last for years of hikes to come. The softshell fabric is surprisingly efficient in wind protection and is water-resistant, which makes it a perfect blend of convenience and great looks.

What We Like

  • Superb comfort with weather-resistant fabric

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have a hood

4. Lightweight Water-resistant Jacket

Amazon Essentials Men’s Lightweight Water-Resistant Puffer Jacket

If you are planning on hiking in warmer climates, this packable puffer jacket is the ultimate choice. It’s extremely lightweight and packs into any pocket when folded. On top of that, it still provides water-resistant protection and solid wind protection in case you encounter colder weather.

This jacket is made of 100% nylon with a stand-up collar, 2 larger pockets on the sides, and a baggy fit. This jacket even comes with its own bag where you can pack it up and carry it along in your hiking backpack until the time comes to wear it.

What We Like

  • Packable softshell jacket

What We Don’t Like

  • Great for cool weather rather than cold

5. Sporty Hiking Jacket With Hooded Windbreaker

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Champion Store Packable Lightweight Jacket

This athletic-type Champion jacket is a great fit for those looking for extra comfort with the large storage capacity that the front pocket offers. It’s a 100% polyester jacket and features a scuba collar with a hood and can pack into its large pocket that we mentioned.

It’s a perfect softshell fit for hikers looking for a water-repelling, sporty jacket. It’s also convenient for maintenance as it can be machine-washed. With a wear-resistant coating and proven Champion quality in the area of athletic wear and jackets, you can make this option your long-term hiking companion.

What We Like

  • Packs into a large pocket

What We Don’t Like

  • Single-layer fabric

6. Heavy-duty Cold Weather Hiking Jacket

MAGCOMSEN Men’s Hooded Tactical Jacket Water Resistant

This hooded tactical jacket is as protective as a softshell hiking jacket can be. It’s the ultimate choice for cold weather and winter-like conditions, as it can also be used for snowboarding or skiing.

One thing that makes it an impressive option for hiking is the addition of 8 pockets in total, with 2 in the back, 2 in the front, and 2 on each sleeve. With this hiking jacket, you will be able to tackle the harshest of weather conditions and have additional storage space, so you don’t have to overstuff your backpack.

In addition, the jacket has fleece fabric with a drawstring waist, adjustable hood, and a vent zipper underneath each arm.

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty fleece jacket with 8 pockets

What We Don’t Like

  • Just a few color options

7. Rain Jacket for Hiking with Hideaway Hood

TEZO Men’s Rain Jacket with Hooded Hiking Coat

This hiking jacket by Tezo has many desirable features. It comes with a detachable windproof hood, breathable material, and a zippered pocket on the front that can be used for mobile phones or other items needed to be kept at hand.

Its professional, polyester, waterproof coating makes it a perfect solution for rainy weather. It also has great insulation and a TPU membrane which should ensure that you feel both comfortable and warm while hiking in wet weather.

Once the clouds clear out, you can simply detach the hood. The mesh fabric lining makes it more breathable than you might imagine.

What We Like

  • Cold weather protection with waterproof coating

What We Don’t Like

  • Not as durable as some other big brands

8. Warm Thermal Puffer Jacket

BALEAF Men’s Lightweight Warm Puffer Jacket

This zippered hiking jacket is one of the best options overall for male hikers due to the double material and comfort provided. It’s a 95% polyester jacket with added spandex for extra flexibility. Coming with a detachable hood, it’s an equally efficient option both for rainy weather and warmer climates.

This jacket for hikers is also a superb choice due to the back reflective stripe and abrasion-resistant coating. It’s also waterproof and keeps you warm with its soft inner fabric. The breathable fit isn’t the only benefit for hiking either, as it also has a windproof hood and a large inner pocket for a phone or water bottle.

What We Like

  • Flexible and breathable

What We Don’t Like

  • Single-layered fabric on the sleeves

The 8 Best Hiking Jackets for Women

We know that women are just as passionate about hiking as men are, so here’s the list of our top picks in hiking jackets specially designed for women.

1. Thin, Sporty Hiking Jacket for Women

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Columbia Women’s Arcadia Jacket

For a hiking jacket as thin as it is, Columbia’s Women’s Arcadia Jacket is a must-have for female hikers. It comes with Columbia’s signature air-permeable protection layer to allow maximum waterproof and wind protection.

It also stays breathable and is lightweight and compact enough for it to be packed into a pocket. The material is 100% durable nylon and features a mesh lining that keeps you warm and comfortable. Just like the Columbia men’s option, this jacket is also equipped with Omni-tech technology.

This is a superb choice for a hiking jacket that is efficient in all-weather protection.

WhatWe Like

  • The air-permeable layer

What We Don’t Like

  • Not much pocket space

2. Lightweight Durable Women’s Hiking Jacket

Marmot Women’s Precip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

Marmot’s hiking jackets for women are so versatile that you are sure to find that this option meets your needs. One of this jacket’s main features is the NanoPro extra-durable protective layer that keeps you warm and dry at all times, even when in rainy weather.

The 2.5-layer technology includes a water-resistant microporous coating so liquid simply slides down the material. Because of this, you will never feel wet, and the jacket won’t gain weight due to absorbed moisture.

Other than preventing you from getting soaked, this jacket does its job with an adjustable hood and chin guard.

What We Like

  • Ultimate rain protection with NanoPro layer

What We Don’t Like

  • Only comes as a regular-fit jacket

3. Women’s Jacket With Hideaway Hood

Columbia Women’s Switchback Jacket

If you are looking for a blend of superior comfort and breathability, accompanied by a waterproof layer in a jacket, this one is the real deal. Columbia Women’s Switchback jacket is a superb solution for hikers due to waterproof Hydroplus technology and its 100% nylon shell closure.

It has a modern classic cut, and the protective hood can be hidden away. This waterproof and windproof hood should suffice in protecting you from harsh weather while hiking. Also, its Switchback jacket has a drawcord adjustable hem, 2 zippered hand pockets, and a packable design.

What We Like

  • Waterproof packable jacket

What We Don’t Like

  • Isn’t the most protective option for cold weather

4. Lightweight Option With Packable Bag

Amazon Essentials Women’s Lightweight Long-Sleeve Jacket

One of the best options for women’s hiking jackets for warmer climate zones is Amazon Essentials’ packable jacket. It comes with a jacket bag included, and you can use it to store the jacket itself, carry it along with you on hikes, or place it in your hiking backpack.

This softshell jacket is perfect for hiking due to its 100% polyester material and zippered closure. It’s a perfect fit for hikers that wish to have utmost breathability, thanks to its thin layer of fabric.

It also has 2 large pockets on the front that you can use for storing hiking accessories or a phone. You don’t have to be especially careful while washing this jacket since it’s machine-wash friendly. Thanks to easy washing capabilities and the durable material, you should be able to use it for camping trips for many years to come.

What We Like

  • Thin camping jacket with a packable bag

What We Don’t Like

  • Not great for extremely cold weather

5. Windbreaker and Waterproof

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BALEAF Women’s Running Rain Jacket

Hiking jackets with windbreaker layers and waterproof designs are in high demand, and one of the best women’s jackets is this rain jacket. It’s perfectly optimized to handle the rain and features a waterproof coating with a roll-away hood with adjustable drawcords.

The anti-splashing outer layer makes it a great option for colder weather, as it’s equally effective against the wind and the rain. All liquid simply slides down when encountering this material, so you can use it for care-free hikes in the rain.

This jacket has 5 pockets which place it at the top of our list in terms of convenient hiking features. The lightweight material makes it a great option for hikers, along with the packable design.

What We Like

  • Waterproof coating and adjustable hood

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t come in XS size

6. Lightweight Hooded Softshell Jacket

Little Donkey Andy Women’s Lightweight Jacket

As one of the best water-repellent solutions, Little Donkey Andy’s women’s jacket is a great fit for hiking. It features a breathable and waterproof membrane that allows for the highest comfort and a windproof mid-layer.

The thing that makes this jacket especially interesting for hikers is the added stretch due to the 5% spandex blend in 95% polyester material. This lets you move freely and comfortably with the jacket on and still have heavy-duty protection against the bad weather.

It has an adjustable hood and drawcord adjustment at hems, so you can adjust the jacket how it suits you the best.

What We Like

  • Adjustable water-repellent jacket

What We Don’t Like

  • Tighter fit

7. Packable and Lightweight

Avoogue Raincoat Women Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

This rain jacket for women is great for hiking because it comes with its own storage bag that is perfect for storing the jacket itself. It also has a hooded windbreaker and is lightweight, so you can pack it up among the rest of your hiking equipment and carry it along easily.

This option has a baggy fit jacket with a quick-drying outer layer. It’s also waterproof and windproof with an elastic cuff that secures it in place and also secures you when it comes to remaining completely dry. The drawstring and elastic zipper also make it a customizable hiking jacket with a carrying pouch you can use to store it.

What We Like

  • Adjustable and packable

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have much pocket space

8. Heavy-duty Women’s Hiking Jacket

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Diamond Candy Women’s Rain Jacket Waterproof with Hood

The Diamond Candy Women’s rain jacket for hiking is a great solution for cold climates and rainy weather. It’s filled with useful features that ensure you remain dry and warm at all times, such as the fuzzy lining and large removable hood.

Of course, it’s also waterproof and windproof and has an optimized design based on the feedback of hikers. Because of this, it has a newly added collar hook and larger pockets. With 2 waterproof hand pockets and 1 large internal pocket, it makes a great solution if you need some extra storage space for hiking accessories.

Adjustable cuffs help keep you nice and warm, while the adjustable collar is sturdy enough to protect you from the harshest wind. You can still reduce the pressure and adjust it to protect your neck just when you need it.

What We Like

  • Optimized for cold weather

What We Don’t Like

  • Is a bit heavier than the other jackets

Final Thoughts

Now that you are aware of all the durable and waterproof types of hiking jackets, you can make the right choice. Hopefully, our guide will lead you through the selection so you can choose the best hardshell or softshell jackets for your hiking trips.

All that’s left now is for you to decide on what type of climate you will be hiking in so that you can make the best jacket selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are hiking jackets different from ski jackets?

While hiking jackets for colder weather might seem a bit like ski jackets, the 2 are completely different. Hiking jackets are more versatile in terms of pockets, packable design, and adjustability, as you might find yourself hiking in different weather conditions.

How do you choose the best hiking jacket?

To choose the best hiking jacket for your needs, you should first determine the weather conditions of the area where you often hike. On top of that, there are different types, such as hardshell, fleece, softshell, and down jackets, you can choose from.

How should a hiking jacket fit?

Hiking jackets shouldn’t be too tight in fit, some are close to baggy to allow you easier movement and flexibility. They are often made of breathable materials, which allows you to hike for hours, so they shouldn’t sit too close to the body.

How durable are hiking jackets?

Hiking jackets are highly durable due to double layers of high-grade materials. As a result, they are almost always waterproof and windproof and are made to withstand the harshest of weather conditions. Durable hiking jackets are often made of high-quality polyester and nylon blends, along with some occasional spandex to increase flexibility.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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