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 October 19, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Waterproof Jacket Reviews
Helly Hansen’s Odin 3D Air Shell raises the bar for competitors claiming their rain shells are both waterproof and breathable. Minimizing the feeling of plastic against your skin, the jacket is amazingly comfortable and decently lightweight. This jacket is truly the most breathable rain shell I have ever worn hiking and camping. A significant con is the inability to cinch up the sleeves at the wrist to keep water out though. When sitting down to write up my own review, I read a number of reviews… Full review
The Helium Rain Jacket is Outdoor Research’s latest version of its Helium line of very lightweight compact rain jackets. The Helium Rain Jacket is a very minimalist design that strives to be a durable, lightweight rain jacket that packs down into a very small package. With respect to durability, weight, and packability the Helium design is second to none and is probably one of if not the smallest and lightest jackets available, but with its primary function as a rain jacket, the Helium is best… Full review
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