How to Choose the Best Packable Waterproof Jacket for Hiking

How to Choose the Best Packable Waterproof Jacket for Hiking
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When it comes to spending time outdoors, you don’t want rain to put a damper on your hiking plans. That’s why having the right waterproof jacket is an essential piece of kit for any hiker who wants to stay comfortable and perform at their best no matter what Mother Nature throws their way. But with so many options out there, how do you pick the best packable waterproof jacket for hiking? In this blog post, we’ll go over all the features that make up a great protective shell as well as tips and tricks on how to find one that ticks off all your boxes. So if you’re looking for an effective barrier from wet weather and still want something light enough to take with you everywhere – let’s get started!

Identify Your Needs

When you’re planning a hike, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your jacket will keep you dry and comfortable. That’s why it’s important to choose the right packable waterproof jacket for your needs. There are many factors to consider when selecting the best one, including material, breathability, and fit.

Choose a Material

If the forecast predicts rain, it’s best to opt for a packable jacket crafted using an ultra-light waterproof fabric, like GORE-TEX® or eVent. These materials are thoughtfully designed to repel water while permitting the escape of moisture vapor, which ensures you don’t get drenched and clammy while trekking rigorously for extended periods.

You can explore a range of options to pick a jacket that meets your needs. A good quality waterproof jacket also protects you from hypothermia and any unexpected weather changes, so it is always a good idea to pack one for any outdoor excursion.

Pay Attention to Waterproof Ratings

When choosing a jacket to protect you from the elements, it’s important to pay close attention to the waterproof ratings. These ratings typically range from 5K for mild weather conditions up to 25K for more extreme weather patterns.

It’s best to opt for a jacket that fits your climate needs. You don’t want to overdo it with a rating that’s too high for your needs, or underestimate the level of protection required for your adventure.

For hiking, a rating of 10,000 mm or more is generally recommended to keep you dry and comfortable. Remember, the right jacket can make all the difference in ensuring an enjoyable and worry-free outdoor experience.

Look for Breathability

When on an outdoor adventure, weather can be unpredictable. A packable waterproof jacket is a must-have for those ‘just in case’ moments.

When picking a jacket, it’s essential to consider not only its water-resistant capabilities but also its breathability, as days spent hiking or exploring can lead to excess heat and sweating. You want a jacket that provides ventilation without sacrificing dryness.

Look for jackets with mesh panels or pit zips that allow air circulation while keeping moisture out. This will help regulate body temperature while preserving comfort and performance.

Weight and packability

In addition to the previously mentioned features, selecting a lightweight packable waterproof jacket is crucial. Not only will it shield you from the elements, it will also effortlessly fold into its own pocket or dry bag, which can be swiftly stored in your rucksack.

No need to worry about bulky items, water seepage or carrying excess gear during long hikes or mountain expeditions. With your mind off the unpredictable weather, you can fully revel in the adventure without feeling weighed down.


When choosing a hiking jacket, durability is key. Your jacket should be able to endure the inevitable wear and tear of the trail.

To ensure its longevity, look for jackets made with high-quality, water-resistant materials. For added protection, opt for jackets that are reinforced in high-wear areas such as the shoulders or elbows.

A durable and reliable hiking jacket will keep you warm and comfortable while also protecting you from the elements.

Check The Fit

Finally, make sure that the fit of the jacket is both comfortable and practical for outdoor activities. It should allow room for layering underneath when temperatures drop, while still fitting snugly enough so as not to be a hindrance.

By having adjustable cuffs and hemline, the jacket can be easily tailored to your body shape as needed throughout different types of terrain or climate changes during your hike, providing flexibility and comfort all day long.

3 Packable Waterproof Jackets We Recommend

Top Of The Range

Berghaus Paclite Dynax Gore-Tex Waterproof Jacket


  • WATERPROOF: 2L GORE-TEX PACLITE provides full waterproof protection that’s famously lightweight and breathable
  • Shell: 100% Polyester with Eptfe Membrane
  • PACKABLE: Built with only the features you need so it 
  • 6 colours

Budget Option

Regatta Womens Pack It III Waterproof Packable Jacket


  • Durable water repellent finish
  • Taped seams
  • 100% Polyamide
  • 2 lower pockets with hook and loop fastening
  • 21 colours

Best Seller

Regatta Men’s Pack-it Lightweight Packaway Jacket


  • This Regatta Pack It Jacket is crafted with full zip fastening and long sleeves for a secure fit.
  • It features two hand pockets for a classic look and is a lightweight construction.
  • 100% Polyamide
  • 21 colours


With little research and careful consideration of key features that would best suit your particular hike, finding the ideal lightweight hard shell shouldn’t be too challenging. Breathability, waterproofing, durability, and mobility are crucial aspects to look for when choosing the perfect hard shell. These jackets will keep you dry, warm, and functioning comfortably in any environment!

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