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Best women’s waterproof jackets 2022: your shield against summer wind and rain

Hiker on a sunny day wearing waterproof jacket
Ready for summer downpours and brisk mountain winds (Image credit: Getty)

With the optimum fit for the female form, the best women's waterproof jackets give you comfort, performance and protection from the elements on the trails. With the summer hiking season fast approaching, make sure you've got one of these in your backpack for when the conditions turn.

We've tested a wide range of different jackets for women, and collected them into different categories to make it easier for you to find the right one. Lightweight waterproof jackets will be best for backpacking and day hikes when you want to travel light. If you're working to a budget, we've picked out the best cheap waterproof jackets that won't break the bank, and if you want something that will keep you dry year round, we've picked out the best multi-purpose waterproof jackets.

When it comes to an outer shell's primary function, there's a clue in the name. However, waterproof jackets do much more than repel wet conditions. A quality outer shell is also your most effective garment for fighting wind chill and as general shield against gusty conditions. The best women's waterproof jackets also boast features such as zippered pockets, helmet-compatible hoods and zippered ventilation.

What the best waterproof jackets are for you will depend on your adventure style. If trail running or summer hiking are your kind of activities, a jacket that foregoes all the bells and whistles for the sake of being a lightweight option might be ideal. If you're a winter warrior who loves nothing more than snowy ridges, you'll need a higher performing, heavy duty outer shell.

The best lightweight women's waterproof jackets

Berghaus Women’s Mehan Waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Berghaus)
A lightweight, waterproof and breathable shell made with 100% recycled Gore-Tex

Specifications

Sizes (UK): 8–18
Weight : 300g / 10.5oz
Waterproofing technology: Berghaus Hydroshell 2.5L

Reasons to buy

+
Generally good fit
+
Lightweight construction
+
Packable design
+
Eco credentials

Reasons to avoid

-
Short torso
-
One-way zips

Designed for the female physique, the Berghaus Mehan waterproof jacket is lightweight and packable, and ideal for warmer weather hiking. It is made with Hydroshell, which is Berghaus’ own waterproof and breathable technology. The lightweight 2.5 layer construction offers waterproofing, yet allows any perspiration inside the jacket to quickly transfer out. The Mehan is also one of a collection of more eco-friendly products and is has a PFC-free DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment for further waterproofing.

The fabric is stretchy, offering good freedom of movement, and there are useful zipped underarms for venting (something we particularly appreciated during our testing). Other features include soft chin guard, adjustable cuffs, dual adjustment hem, two zipped hand pockets and a peaked hood. We found the fit to be good overall, though taller women may find it a little short in the body.

Read our full Berghaus Women’s Mehan Waterproof Jacket review

Columbia OutDry Ex Lightweight Shell Jacket

(Image credit: Columbia)
A waterproof and wind resistant lightweight jacket ideal for mixed weather conditions

Specifications

Sizes: XS-XL
Weight: 6.7oz/190g
Waterproofing technology: OutDry EXTREME

Reasons to buy

+
Fully waterproof
+
Stylish design
+
Easy to wipe clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Only vented on the back
-
Only available in white

This fully waterproof running jacket from Columbia is a nice fit and longer than most jackets with reflective detail.  It has elastic cuffs and drawcord adjustable waist.

It has a hood which isn’t adjustable but when tested withstood very high speed wind and it can be stowed away on dry days. There is a large chest pocket with a drawcord for easy access and the jacket can pack down into this pocket.

This jacket is fully waterproof and has that noisy crunchy sound while running but does a fantastic job at keeping you dry. It has a vented back to allow airflow and the seams are fully sealed.

Since it’s breathability is mostly provided through the back, we would recommend not wearing this jacket with a running vest or bag. If you are looking for a stylish women's waterproof jhacket at a great price then this jacket is a great option. We’d recommend that you wear it without a running vest to ensure that you don’t overheat.

Read our full Columbia OutDry Ex Lightweight Shell Jacket review

Patagonia Storm 10 jacket

(Image credit: Patagonia)
A super practical waterproof jacket that lends itself well to layering

Specifications

Sizes: XXS–XL
Weight: 210g / 7.4oz
Waterproofing technology: H2No

Reasons to buy

+
Made from recycled materials
+
Lightweight construction
+
Roomy enough for layering

Reasons to avoid

-
No soft chin patch
-
Relatively expensive

This ultralight, three-layer rain jacket is the most-gentle on the planet that you can buy. Made from 100% recycled nylon ripstop face fabric with a soft-on-the-skin tricot backer, the jacket is fair trade certified sewn. The alpine-helmet-compatible hood adjusts with a pull-to-tighten drawcord, and the hood has slightly elasticized sides that we found helped help it stay on without being overly tight.

The coated, waterproof front zipper is reinforced with an internal storm flap and a zipper garage. The jacket’s three pockets (a left-chest pocket, and two front pocket). have coated, watertight zippers welded in. The jacket self-stuffs into the left-chest pocket. A hidden Recco reflector helps rescuers find you if you’re lost or injured.

This jacket is cut for movement; it’s not too loose, not too tight, not so technical that we couldn’t wear it any day, and it had plenty of room to layer underneath when it was both rainy and cold.

Read our full Patagonia Storm 10 review

The best cheap women's waterproof jackets

Craghoppers Atlas Jacket

(Image credit: Craghoppers)
A simple, effective, smart and affordable waterproof for women, with generous pockets

Specifications

Sizes: XS / S / M / L / XL /XXL
Weight: 440g / 15.5oz
Waterproofing technology: AquaDry membrane

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive design
+
Affordably priced
+
Roomy pockets

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively heavy
-
Particularly slim-fitting

If you do most of your walking around sea level and don’t require a high-end jacket, and you don’t want the headache of comparing techie features, take a look at the Craghoppers’ Atlas jacket. Priced very attractively, this simple and streamlined coat ticks all the crucial boxes – it’s waterproofed to 8,000mm and repels rain effectively. It has three pockets, including one designed to fit a map snugly, and the hood is well-fitting and stays put even in wind.

This jacket is one of the heavier ones we tested, and curvy women will definitely need to order a size up to get a roomy enough fit, but if you’re after a fuss-free waterproof for low level country walks, this is a sensible choice.

Read our full Craghoppers Atlas Jacket review

Marmot Precip Eco waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Marmot)
Excellent value for one of the best women’s waterproof jackets on the market

Specifications

Sizes: XS–XL
Weight: 291g / 9.2oz
Waterproofing technology: Marmot NanoPro

Reasons to buy

+
Superb value
+
Recycled materials used
+
Good freedom of movement

Reasons to avoid

-
Hand pockets are on the small side

A two-layer jacket so popular that it’s been in Marmot’s line for 20 years, the always affordable Precip is 100% seam taped, so it’s fully waterproof. The attached hood is adjustable and rolls into the jacket collar for storage to keep it from flapping around. Pit zips add unrestricted venting. It’s cut for freedom of movement with Velcro cuffs and an elastic drawcord waist to seal out weather.

For 2022, Precip is now also lower impact as well: the PFC-free Nylon face fabric is recycled and longer-lasting than ever thanks to a new microporous coating. We also really loved the tailored cut of this garment. An excellent jacket for the price tag - probably the best women's waterproof jacket out there for buyers on a budget. 

Read our full Marmot Precip Eco review

The best multi-purpose women's waterproof jackets

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket

(Image credit: The North Face)

North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket

A great all-rounder that matches good waterproofing with a great fit for all-day comfort

Specifications

Sizes: XS-XL
Weight: 300g / 10.6oz
Waterproofing technology: TNF Futurelight

Reasons to buy

+
Recycled material
+
Comfortable high neck
+
Works well with a backpack
+
Smart, flattering cut

Reasons to avoid

-
Light colors can look dirty easily

Drizzle won’t stop play if you’ve got this jacket from The North Face handy. The two main factors we look for in a winter jacket are reliable rainproofing and good windproofing, and the Dryzzle really delivered on both when on test, even in heavy storms. One of the standout features is the high neck, which offers good protection and is still comfortable to wear when fully zipped up – this and the adjustable hood go far to keep your face protected. The adjustable hem and cuffs further help to get a comfortable fit that will trap in body heat on colder days. The longer hem keeps your lower torso warm, and stops the jacket riding up when worn with a backpack, too.

We like the look of the Dryzzle, which is flattering to wear and comes in smart, neutral shades – but we’d definitely recommend choosing one of the darker colorways, as the pale orange will show dirt quickly once you’ve been out on muddy adventures. 

Read our full North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket review

Arc’Teryx Zeta AR Jacket

(Image credit: Arc’Teryx)
A high-performing all-rounder waterproof for all kinds of hikes in wind, rain and snow

Specifications

Sizes: XS - XXL
Weight: 425g / 15 oz
Waterproofing technology: N70p 3L Gore-Tex fabric with Gore C-Knit backer technology

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent protection
+
Good breathability
+
Great all-day comfort

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively expensive
-
Not lightweight

The ‘AR’ in the Zeta jacket’s name stands for ‘All Round’, which does a good job of summing up the activities and adventures you can take on when reach for this jacket. Like all Arc’Teryx kit we’ve tested, this women's waterproof jacket is top-quality and reliably high-performing – and it comes with a price tag to match. So what do you get for such an expensive jacket? The Zeta really is excellent. It’s fully waterproof and windproof, and looks set to stay that way for years of use thanks to a Gore-Tex membrane.

A longer length offers good protection and sits nicely under a backpack even when you’re hiking all day, and the well-placed pockets are also rucksack-compatible. The hood and collar are well designed and easily adjustable to protect your face and neck. This jacket stood out on test for its versatility, too – it’s fully breathable when you’re moving fast (pit zips help) but traps in warmth when you stop, and there’s plenty of room (without being too boxy) for layers underneath. It’s basically everything we look for in a decent women's waterproof jacket – just better. If you want to treat yourself to a reliable jacket for unreliable weather, this is worth the splurge.

Read our full Arc’Teryx Zeta AR Jacket review

Jack Wolfskin JWP Shell waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Jack Wolfskin)
A clean cut jacket that’s just as good looking and high performing on a commute to work as it is on a weekend adventure

Specifications

Sizes: XS- XXL
Waterproofing technology: Texapore Ecosphere Stretch 2L
Best for: hiking, climbing and general wear

Reasons to buy

+
Stretchy material
+
Many colors and sizes
+
PFC free

Reasons to avoid

-
No phone pocket
-
Short cut

The fully waterproof, stretchy JWP Shell jacket is designed to be the only raincoat you need in any given situation, whether you’re in the city or out in the wilds. It has two hand pockets (one of which doubles as a stuff pocket for the jacket when you’re not wearing it), an adjustable hem and a fixed hood with changeable volume. Reflective bits help keep you safe in poor visibility, and wrist Velcro seals out moisture. The neck also zips up high, which adds warmth when it’s both wet and cold, and a cozy microfiber patch at the top of the zipper prevents chafing. 

The jacket is cut to hip length, which works perfectly when you’re also wearing rain pants, or in light precipitation, but can otherwise leave you a little exposed in heavy rain. We loved the amount of stretch, which allows you full range of motion. And both shell and lining are made from 100% recycled material, which gets a tick from us.

Read our full Jack Wolfskin JWP Shell review

Adidas Terrex Myshelter Gore-Tex Active Rain Jacket

(Image credit: Adidas)
Lightweight, breathable wet weather protection that doesn’t hold back on features

Specifications

Sizes: XS-XL
Weight: 360g / 12.6oz
Waterproofing Technology: Gore-Tex Active Shell 100% nylon plain weave

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable fabric and underarm vents
+
Helmet compatible hood
+
Lots of pockets
+
Large enough to fit over bulky jackets

Reasons to avoid

-
Not ultra packable
-
May run too large for some

On the rack, this stylish rain jacket is designed for getting moving in wet weather, repelling moisture and providing plenty of great breathability for when you work up a sweat, and has plenty of bells and whistles to help justify its premium price. The three layer active nylon shell is made from the lightest and most breathable membrane from Gore-Tex and keeps the rain at bay, and is enhanced by a high zipped collar, adjustable cuffs and hem and an adjustable hood that stays up even on the gustiest of days. The hood is designed to fit over a helmet, and the jacket is designed to run a little large so it will fit over a fleece or down jacket, making this a viable outer layer for wet spring ski days as well as for rainy hikes.

This women's waterproof jacket doesn’t pack down the smallest, and it comes with a substantial price tag, but it’s lightweight, effective, durable and looks good enough to wear around town as well as one the trails.

Read our full Adidas Terrex Myshelter Gore-Tex Active Rain Jacket review

Eddie Bauer Freshline Jacket

(Image credit: Eddie Bauer)
A lightweight but versatile shell, suitable for all sorts of cold play, and made from recycled material

Specifications

Sizes: XS-XL
Weight: 680g/24oz
Waterproofing Technology: three-layer eVent Expedition and Alpine fabrics

Reasons to buy

+
Made with 100% recycled fabric
+
Sleeves have thumb loops
+
Massive chest pockets
+
Clean-release draw cords

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited colors

Eddie Bauer’s Fineline 3L shell is one of the brand’s most tried and true styles. Recently, it’s been upgraded with a 100% recycled polyester three-layer fabric, and four-way stretch. Made for frontside and backcountry skiing, ice climbing when it’s wet, snowshoeing, winter peak bagging and more, this jacket has a removable snow skirt, a helmet compatible hood, and a RECCO detector to help locate you in an emergency. Full-length pit zips vent the jacket, chest pockets extend all the way to the jacket armpits, and a pass pocket on the shoulder simplifies scanning at the ski lift. The fabric in this jacket feels softer and less crinkly than most other fully waterproof shells we’ve tested, but is still fully waterproof, seam taped and breathable.

Read our full Eddie Bauer BC Fineline Jacket review

Mammut Kento HS Hooded waterproof jacket

(Image credit: Mammut)
The best women’s waterproof jacket for year-round use, with enough weight to resist wind

Specifications

Sizes: XS–XXL
Weight: 372g/13.1oz
Waterproofing Technology: Mammut Dry Technology Pro

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect weight for year-round use
+
Fair-wear certified

Reasons to avoid

-
Membrane sticky against skin

A jacket capable in all four seasons, the Kento HS has a more generous cut than many of Mammut’s very Euro-styled jackets, and this was the most robust mountain-focused jacket we tested. Mammut’s stretchy Kento HS has the heft to protect from extreme weather, including wind, rain, sleet, and more. The hood is compatible with alpine ski and climbing helmets and all of the jacket’s zippers are waterproof, including its pit zips. Load up the Kento’s chest pockets – they’re accessible with a harness on. The hood and hem adjust with drawcords, and the cuffs adjust with Velcro straps. Oversized hand pockets are big enough to hold backcountry ski-climbing skins, and the medium-cut is perfect with softshell pants or rain pants.

The Polyamide face, polyurethane membrane jacket is Bluesign-certified and uses a durable water repellent that is PFC-free. Fair Wear certification means that Mammut is working towards systematically improving working conditions throughout its supply chain. If you’re looking for one jacket for year-round use, this one is a great choice.

Read our full Mammut Kento HS Hooded Jacket review

Best women's waterproof jackets comparison table
JacketRRPWeightWaterproofing technologyBest use
Berghaus Women's Mehan Waterproof Jacket£150 (UK) / €180 (EU)300g / 10.5ozBerghaus HydroshellWarm weather hiking in the mountains
Columbia OutDry Ex Lightweight Shell Jacket$199 (US) / £180190g / 6.7ozColumbia OutDry EXTREMETrail running in wet conditions
Patagonia Storm 10$299 (US) / £320 (UK)210g / 7.4ozH2NoYear round hiking
Craghoppers Atlas Jacket£85 (UK)440g / 15.5ozAquaDry membraneCountry walks
Marmot Precip Eco$100 (US)/ £110 (UK) / €120 (EU)291g / 9.2ozMarmot NanoProCountry walks and warm season hillwalking
The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket$265 (US) / £200 (UK)300g / 10.6ozTNF FuturelightYear round hiking
Arc’Teryx Zeta AR Jacket$583 (US) / £440 (UK)425g / 15 ozN70p 3L GORE-TEX fabric with Gore C-Knit backerYear round hiking
Jack Wolfskin JWP Shell$130 (US) / £130 (UK)360g / 12.7ozTexapore Ecosphere Stretch 2LHiking, climbing and general wear
Adidas Terrex Myshelter GORE-TEX Active Rain Jacket$350 (US) / £350 (UK)360g / 12.6ozGORE-TEX Active Shell 100% nylon plain weaveHiking, skiing and snowboarding
Eddie Bauer Freshline Jacket$549 (US)680g/24oz3-Layer eVent Expedition and Alpine fabricsWinter pursuits
Mammut Kento HS Hooded$229 (US)/ £190 (UK)372g/13.1ozMammut dry technology proYear round hiking

How we test women's waterproof jackets

Our female reviewers test waterproof jackets and shell layers during rainy and snowy weather in a range of environments, from hills and peaks to coastal paths and woodlands, on day walks and longer adventures. Features (including waterproofing, breathability, ventilation, materials, style, pockets, hoods, snow skirt, weight and overall comfort) are tested against claims made by the brand, and we assess factors such as value for money, durability, functionality and environmental impact.

Choosing the best women’s waterproof jacket

Knowing how to stay dry when hiking, or during any outdoor pursuit is crucial if you are out for any length of time. It’s important to scope out the best women’s waterproof jackets for you based on how and where you’ll be wearing yours. For high output activities, consider a jacket that’s ultralight and air permeable. If you’ll likely get hammered by deluges day after day, opt for a tougher jacket, and one that provides a little warmth too. If you’re buying a waterproof jacket for a specific sport, like cycling or running, pick one that has the features to make your days out the best the most comfortable they can be.

Deciding what to wear hiking is never easy, but the bottom line is this: opt for gear that provides a little more protection than you're likely to need in the worst conditions you might encounter.  

best women's waterproof jackets: hiker looking wistful

Waterproof jackets are also highly wind resistant, so are often the optimum base layer even on dry days (Image credit: Getty)

Fabric

Different outdoor brands deploy different technologies to make these jackets waterproof. Usually, an outer DWR (durable water repellency) layer is applied. This is what make raindrops bead on the surface of the jacket in such a satisfying way. Adventurers who take pride in looking after their kit can restore the DWR finish by washing a jacket with a specialist cleaning product, such as Nikwax, and then tumble-drying it. The second line of defence is the shell or barrier fabric, which gives the best rain jackets their structure, anti-abrasion protection, and determines whether it’s supple or stiff, silent or noisy.

Membrane

Attached to the outer shell is a membrane, the scientific bit of the design, which stops water soaking through but lets sweat evaporate out as vapour – to deliver so-called breathability. Many brands use GORE-TEX, the best-known membrane, but other options like Pertex Shield and eVent also exist. Many gear manufacturers have developed their own technologies along similar lines – such as The North Face with Futurelight and Revolution Race with their Hypershell Pro. The membrane is typically protected by an inner mesh. Different types of membrane provide varying degrees of waterproofing, which is usually denoted by their hydrostatic head

Our guide to breathable waterproof fabrics explains the differences between the various options.

best women's waterproof jackets: woman in waterproof jacket

The best women's waterproof jackets are both waterproof and breathable (Image credit: Getty)

Ventilation

In-store swing tags may promise that the best women's waterproof jackets are both waterproof and breathable, but the truth is that you’ll still feel sweaty climbing a hill in damp conditions with a backpack. If you've got your layering right, with a base layer and a mid layer (such as a fleece jacket), there will be times when your waterproof on top of all this is just too much, even when it's raining. Strategically designed vents and (arm) pit zips that facilitate a flow of air through the best rain jackets and can reduce condensation and leave you feeling less sweaty.

Hood

For maximum protection the hood needs to cover the whole of your head, ideally with enough space to accommodate a your best hiking hat underneath in winter. Climbers and mountaineers need to check the hood can swallow a helmet, too. The hoods of the best women's waterproof jackets move with your head (for unobstructed vision when crossing a road), so a cinch or ties are useful to secure a snug fit. Make sure any ties tuck away unless you fancy being whipped in the face when it’s windy. Finally, a stiff, wired hood will keep its shape in a gale.

best women's waterproof jackets: hiker looking out across Derwent Water in the Lakes

Enjoying the views on a cloudy day in the English Lake District (Image credit: Getty)

Fit

The main difference between unisex models and the best women's waterproof jackets is the way they fit. However, don't be tempted to go for a jacket that fits too snuggly, as on colder days you may end up wanting to wear several layers underneath. Leave enough space for wearing a base layer and mid layers (check out our quick guide to mid layers) , such as down jackets and fleeces. Jacket length is a matter of taste – longer jackets naturally offer greater protection – and adjustable cuffs and hem will keep you warm and watertight or let you spill heat by loosening them.

Price

Remember, the most expensive jackets may or may not be the optimum choice for your needs. Balance budget and features, and rest assured that even a jacket with a membrane you’ve never heard of will likely still be great if it has the features you need. Gore-Tex remains the category leader, but it’s not the only choice.

Vermont-based writer, photographer and adventurer, Berne reports on hiking, biking, skiing, overlanding, travel, climbing and kayaking for category-leading publications in the U.S., Europe and beyond. In the field, she’s been asked to deliver a herd of llamas to a Bolivian mountaintop corral, had first fat-biking descents in Alaska, helped establish East Greenland’s first sport climbing and biked the length of Jordan. She’s worked to help brands clean up their materials and manufacturing, and has had guns pulled on her in at least three continents.