Need a hard shell to keep out the rain or snow and keep you dry? See our top picks in waterproof shells and jackets below, thanks to hundreds of independent reviews and ratings by hikers, backpackers, alpinists, backcountry skiers, trail runners, and paddlers.
The best waterproof jackets, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on July 8, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Waterproof Jacket Reviews
Mountain Hardwear's Exposure/2 is a lightweight Gore-Tex Paclite Plus shell that does a nice job keeping you dry in rainy weather and should be very wind-resistant. It features basic adjustments at the cuff, hem, and hood, and saves weight through an otherwise simple design; think of this as an entry-level Gore-Tex hard shell. Lightweight material and a lack of advanced fit and features limit this three-season rain shell’s appeal for backcountry or more technical use. Affordable pricing and function… Full review
The Arc'teryx Beta LT Jacket is an excellent all-around, waterproof, reasonably lightweight jacket for the majority of one's outdoor activities. I've owned mine for five years and have hiked, skied, and traveled with it, and it's still in great shape with minimal wear. The Gore-tex Pro has kept me dry and comfortable even in heavy rain and snow. The jacket is pricey at $549 retail (2020 MSRP), but there are sales and close-out colors. It's a versatile jacket and even after years of use mine remains… Full review
Three-layer shell...Mammut has been tops for me. I have come back to the Masao hard shell last year after owning one when they were introduced. Been through some eVent and 3L Gore-tex. This jacket is light, waterproof, warm, rugged, and fits nicely. This model is cursed with tricky zippers, but once you train yourself to it the rest of the jacket makes up for it. I've had A+ experience with Mammut's staff in Vermont. So to pack away when you want, and protect you when you need, this shell is better… Full review
Exceptional active shell for those in alpine climates and those that use a helmet. I purchased the Microgravity direct from OR in the Lime color, which is a cool color. Overall I liked the fit and feel of the jacket and the Ascentshell material. For reference I am 5'7" 165 and ordered a Large for layering underneath, which fit slightly baggy as expected. A medium would have been more fitted but lacked the layering ability. I asked OR ahead of time about DWR treatments and was told the Ascentshell… Full review
The Outdoor Research Microgravity Jacket attempts to bridge the gap between hard and soft shell, and I think it succeeds for the most part. Decently weatherproof and almost unbelievably breathable, it feels soft on the skin, doesn’t leave me clammy, stretches without constraining, and is silent compared to most other outer shells. It is definitely my favorite shell to date, but be warned if you stand around in the rain and don’t work it off, you will get damp. A few minor negatives...fiddly… Full review
Breathability at a good price. Kilpi = Shield in Finish as it reflects the company's philosophy to protect the user from the elements and it's a pretty popular brand here due to its cheap price and good looking products. Hastar is the company's flagship hardshell due to its impressive numbers. It features detachable powder skirt, pit zips, Recco reflector, five waterproof external pockets with glove-friendly pulls, one internal, adjustable hood with semi stiff brim, and adjustable velcro cuffs. Full review
The H5 is a lightweight Gore-Tex Active shell jacked designed to breathe while you're out being active and to pack away in a tiny space while you aren't. This jacket is probably radder than you. Truly, you probably don't need a jacket this good. An end to the question, "Hmmm, should I pack a hard shell?" This review may contain satire. Literal people take precautions! Gore H5 Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket Right up front I'm going to say this: Do whatever you have to so you can afford one of these… Full review
The Gore H5 Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket is a lightweight, functional and very comfortable waterproof shell designed for "fast hiking." It served perfectly as my one and only windbreaker/rain jacket for five months on the trail, through a variety of harsh conditions. I wore it primarily for warmth but also to keep dry during many prolonged rainstorms. It fits well under a backpack and still repels water after extended wear-and-tear. It's the most durable and reliable lightweight rain jacket that… Full review
Patagonia's PowSlayer Jacket is a premium, lightweight yet durable, waterproof snowsports jacket for the backcountry-focused skier and rider. It works equally well for inbounds and side-country trips too. Its Gore-Tex Pro fabric keeps out all types of precipitation—not just powder—reliably and comfortably all day long, though overall sizing is roomy. With its 100-percent recycled face fabric, the PowSlayer brings together environmental credibility and technical waterproof/breathable performance… Full review