The weather is becoming more stormy and you may need a good waterproof jacket, here we have you covered with the best value guide.
Like most things these days you will have cheap, medium-range and high quality, with jackets though it is not always the case! some of the cheapest jackets we have tested outperform some of the best brands on the market.
We tested several Triboard jackets from Decathlon and everyone outperformed jackets that cost over £200! the Triboard jackets tested were no more than £60.
Trespass jackets and Regatta are two well known cheaper waterproof firms and with the jackets tested had different results, it was found both had breathability issues, and all jackets had leaked in moderate rain within half an hour, we did not test the Trespass DLX range.
Karrimor is another brand well known and offers some of the best value in sportswear and waterproofs, the cheaper you go the more issues with breathability and how long the jacket remained waterproof, the jackets tested lasted about the same as Trespass and Regatta although the Helium range which costs £60 was highly breathable and lasted longer in moderate rain.
They have some jackets that are over £100 and one we tested was made with ‘Event’ fabric, this jacket was so breathable it was like having no jacket on! it outperformed rival Gore-Tex by miles, the only problem was it was not that waterproof.
Mountain Warehouse jackets are very cheap and have a variety to choose from, for us they were a complete letdown, even the best jacket that they claim is highly waterproof lasts no more than twenty minutes in moderate rain, however, they are nice fitting jackets.
With these jackets we suggest to use your DWR spray because Mountain Warehouse jackets are cheap, the testing may not have been done properly and so the DWR that they put on will be minimal or so cheap it will be of no use in rain.
The bigger brands like The North Face, Berghaus, Sprayway, Haglofs, Marmot and Rab and all the others offer some amazing products.
Berghaus more than every other firm uses Gore-Tex products, Gore-Tex is simply a very stretched out marry gold glove! so stretched out that on a microscopic level tiny holes appear, so tiny rain cannot enter but sweat does.
The Gore-Tex membrane is stuck to the inner face of the jacket, its claimed it will keep you dry, however, what is keeping you dry is the DWR and to a degree the taped seams.
Gore-Tex is highly breathable although nowhere near as good as Event although still good enough to keep you dry inside which is incredibly important, in cheaper jackets you will sweat, and all your clothes will end up drenched more so if you are doing any activity, this sweat will lower your body temperature which will give you the chills remember that when buying a jacket.
Big sports brands also do some great jackets, Adidas and Nike will provide you with good protection inside and out, Adidas has a range called ‘Terrex’ which is incredibly waterproof and breathable, however, some of the jackets are not taped up.
Having no taped seams on a jacket or waterproof pants is not waterproof! any rain that gets on the items mentioned will get through quickly, at a microscopic level the stitching has created huge holes.
Keeping yourself warm and waterproof we suggest a couple of things, for both adult and child, get a synthetic jacket from Berghaus called ‘Hydroloft’ or similar to another brand. it will keep you warm and dry, it is breathable.
Down jackets we do not recommend due to animal cruelty, it is also true that the feathers end up everywhere more so on something cheaper, when the feathers get wet they may end up in a mash at the bottom of your jacket.
Insulated jackets that have a synthetic fibres are much better for breathability, Mountain Warehouse does some good jackets and cheap, we suggest buying a jacket and adding a DWR treatment on the outer this will give the jacket better waterproof protection.
A DWR (Durable Water Protection) can be applied easily, either wash it in, or spray it on, and is very cheap! one bottle under £10, Nixwax is recommended.
If you buy a great jacket that is made from Gore-Tex it is guaranteed to keep you dry, remember to follow all instructions before washing a waterproof jacket or pants, using a softner rips up any DWR on any jacket.
We will be doing a special guide to the best waterproof walking shoes and trainers very soon so look out for it.