12 Best Hiking Jackets For 2023 – Get Walking Year Round

12 Best Hiking Jackets For Walking

Hikers say that there’s no bad weather its just you are wearing the wrong clothes!  Well living in Scotland i am not quite sure I agree as boy oh boy does it rain here!   However I do agree that when you are going on a walk, hike or climb you have to be wearing the right clothes.

Since the British weather changes at a moment’s notice (and sometimes, even without it!), being protected against wind, rain, and storms is important.  Getting wet & cold miles from home it can lead to hyperthermia and worse!

To keep us warm and waterproof on our hikes my husband trusts his Marmot waterproof hiking jacket, while I’m loyal to Rab Women’s waterproof jacket

When it comes to keeping our little ones happy on walks my vote goes to the Jack Wolfskin Unisex jacket for kids.  All of these Hiking Jackets are reviewed in our best hiking jackets article below. 

No time to read reviews? Then here are our quick links to buy your hiking jackets and waterproof coats right now from our best picks.of 

Marmot Men's Minimalist Jacket New, Waterproof GORE-TEX Jacket, Lightweight...
  • This minimalist jacket is Marmot Classic rain Jacket; the 2.5-Layer design offers ideal protection against rain and wind and features a small packing size and low weight
  • Thanks to the dual-layer GORE-TEX Paclite membrane and 100% taped seams, this hard-shell jacket is absolutely water and wind-proof; thanks to the dwr treatment, water droplets and dirt simply drip off
Trespass Men's Accelerator II Waterproof Softshell Jacket with Removable...
  • Adjustable zip off hood jacket
  • Waterproof up to 8000 mm
Mountain Warehouse Fell Womens 3 in 1 Jacket -Water Resistant Rain Jacket,...
  • Water-resistant - Treated with durable water repellent (DWR), droplets will bead and roll off the fabric. Ideal for Light rain, or limited exposure to rain
  • Detachable Inner Jacket - This clothing can be worn on its own or with the outer
Mountain Warehouse Lightning 3 in 1 Kids Waterproof Jacket - Taped Seams...
  • Waterproof - Tested to 2,000mm
  • Taped Seams - All seams are taped to make this item fully waterproof
Berghaus Men's Paclite 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Shell Jacket | Lightweight |...
  • WATERPROOF GUARANTEE: GORE-TEX PACLITE fabric technology provides fully waterproof protection
  • EXTREMELY LIGHTWEIGHT: Ideal for activities where you want to travel light
Marmot Women's Hardshell Rain Jacket, Platinum, M
  • This functional jacket is parts of Marmot Extreme Classics and offers ideal value for the money, combined with excellent performance for all types of outdoor activities
  • Equipped with NanoPro Eco, one of the most advanced coatings on the market, this 2.5-Layer rain Jacket is extremely breathable at absolutely wind and water-proof at the same time
Trespass Qikpac - Waterproof Jacket / Packaway Raincoat for Boys and Girls...
28 Reviews
Berghaus Men's Activity Polartec Thermal Pro Interactive Fleece Jacket,...
  • ENHANCED INSULATION: Stay warm with Polartec Thermal Pro fleece that is able to trap heat whilst remaining highly breathable
  • INTERACTIVE: When rain clouds gather you can zip into one of Interactive waterproof outers in seconds – for ultimate layered protection
Helly Hansen W Daybreaker Fleece Jacket Womens Navy L
  • This super-lightweight full zip design is a must-have
  • With great full year versatility, this lightweight brushed fleece top works just as well for both sport and casual
THE NORTH FACE Osolita Jacket Fleece - Tnf Black, M
  • Super-soft and Cosy high-pile silken fleece
  • Secure-zip hand pockets

Want to learn more about any of our best hiking jackets above then click here to leap straight to our in-depth reviews of the best waterproof jackets, fleeces and cagoules for 2023.

Guide to Buying the Best Hiking Jacket

With so many walking jackets and hiking coats on the market its hard to know which one is right for you.  To help narrow down your choices of hiking wear ask yourself these following questions and then read our in-depth buyers guide to hiking jackets :

  1. What types of hiking jackets are there?
  2. What kind of hiking am I going to do?
  3. How long will my hike be?
  4. Will I need protection from the rain, wind, or both?

Types of Hiking Jackets

Windproof jackets: These are made from synthetic materials and offer protection from the wind. They’re breathable and many provide some level water resistance (but dont mistake this for waterproof). If you’re worried about wind chill, you should try adding a windproof hiking jacket to your layering system.

Rain jackets: Once upon a time, these heavy jackets were made of unbreathable plastic. But modern technology (gore tex etc) has changed the scenario. Today’s rain jackets are softer, lighter, stretchable, and more breathable than ever. These jackets are waterproof enough to handle multi-day hikes through light rain or drizzle. They can even protect you against the predictable deluge during commuting hours.  They are the perfect dog walking coats as well…not to heavy, not too expensive!

Waterproof jackets: These are your ideal bet in heavy rains. Hiking waterproof jackets keep out the water and are breathable to allow the air to escape while you’re busy overcoming the trail challenges. This wicking technology keeps you dry on the inside and prevents you getting overheated or soaked in sweat.

Fleece jackets: They may not be windproof or waterproof, but are comfortable, light, durable, warm for their weight, and soft. These features make them fit for all non-extreme outdoor activities on any mild day.  They are also great for layering under waterproof hiking jackets if needed.

Cagouls/packaway jackets: These lightweight packaway jackets are ideal for backpacking as they can be rolled up in a compact package and carried easily. During your summer hikes where there’s a possibility of storms, these jackets can be your saviour. They can also serve you well if you need packable rain jackets for the work commute or on a dog walk, or school run!

Things to Look For in a Good Hiking Jacket

Functionality: Your hiking jacket should be breathable, waterproof, and windproof. This way, it’ll let you avoid getting overheated  and sweaty.   The best hiking coats will use wik¡cking technology to hold the sweat off your skin and keep you dry!

Waterproof breathable hiking jackets will also offer protection against the elements. You should ensure your hiking or walking jacket is lightweight and fits like a second skin.

When looking for lightweight waterproof jackets, you should remember it’s the membranes, which are thin films made of synthetic materials that make a jacket entirely waterproof.  Waterproof walker jackets typically have two types of membranes – microporous and non-porous membranes. 

NeoShell or Gore-Tex are microporous membranes that let water vapour molecules escape through the synthetic blockade. 

Non-porous membranes, such as Dermizax, Ceplex, Venturi Sympatex, or Texapore allow water vapour to escape through the fabric’s molecular units.

Size: A good mountaineer jacket should have additional room to let you add a layer of clothing underneath. But it should also provide some space for air to move around. This will help keep the moisture out and keep you warm during the walk or hike.

Environmental conditions: You should know the altitude, weather, and temperature of the place you’re heading to. For instance, if your hiking terrain is likely to have rainy weather, wearing a waterproof jacket is your safest bet. But if your destination tends to have a greater variety in temperature, you may choose a flexible hiking jacket with a removable outer shell.  These often have a fleece inside and waterproof outer jacket you can remove unless needed

Warmth: Depending on the type of terrain you plan to head to and the activities you want to take up, you should consider how much warmth your jacket should offer. For instance, breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex hiking jackets are ideal for more active wearers or warmer weather. For colder terrains, a soft shell hiking jacket with an inner lining made of fleece will provide adequate warmth and comfort.

Weight: It’s another important factor that you need to consider before buying a hiking jacket. When going on a hike that involves a lot of climbing, jumping, and stretching, choosing a lightweight and flexible jacket is wiser than a heavy jacket that can restrict your movements. 

It also pays to have a hiking jacket that can be easily rolled and packed into your bag without increasing your load. But when you’re looking for the best waterproof dog walking coat, a heavier variety won’t be of much trouble.  

Quickly before we go into our in depth reviews of our best hiking jackets, here are quick links to our other picnic and hiking essentials on the site.  If you have all these, you are sure to have the perfect time when you go outdoors!

Can you think of another essential outdoor or picnic items I need to include? If so drop me a line in the comments.

photographer gecbc4f3b5 1920 2024

In-depth Reviews of the Best Hiking Jackets

Overall Best Men's Hiking Jacket (water/windproof)

Marmot Men's Minimalist Jacket New, Waterproof GORE-TEX Jacket, Lightweight Rain Jacket, Windproof Raincoat, Breathable...
OVERALL BEST Men's Hiking Jacket - This lightweight, versatile, and sturdy windproof jacket holds well under high winds and pouring rain. Since it packs down small, carrying it on your hikes won’t spell trouble.