Soft, light and packable, we can hardly believe the premium protection this hardshell delivers, with zero punches pulled when it comes to eco credentials
Lightweight and packable design
Soft and comfortable to wear
Waterproof and breathable with pit zips
Adjustable hood, cuffs and hem
Hand warming pockets a little far back
Hood could be a little bigger
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Jack Wolfskin Highest Peak 3L Jacket : first impressions
Jack Wolfskin’s most popular waterproof jacket has had a makeover, and it’s now better for the planet while offering you premium protection against the rain. This hardshell jacket is surprisingly soft to touch but easily seals out the rain with its fully waterproof membrane, taped seams, waterproof zips and lots of adjustability when the weather starts blowing sideways. If you’re wearing it in milder weather, the membrane breathes well plus you can unzip the pits to dump heat. When it’s chilly, cinch the hood tighter and keep out any drafts.
• List price: $239.95 / £210
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes: S - XXXL men’s / XS - XXL women’s
• Weight: 380g / 13.4 oz (women’s small)
• Materials: Polyester
• Colors: Apple butter, Graphite, Sea green, Black, Cold coffee, Black olive
• Best use: Hiking
Great waterproof jackets might be on every corner these days, but not all are so great for the planet during production, so we were really pleased to see the eco creds on this garment. This jacket is Bluesign-approved, made with recycled components that are cutoffs from Jack Wolfskin’s production line, all for a smaller footprint – once it’s hanging in your closet, it’s really up to you to make sure it has a long life.
Two zipped hand warming pockets plus an inner pocket leave plenty of space for carrying gear, though we couldn’t help but feel that the hand warming pockets are a little further back than they should be and we couldn’t access them when wearing our backpacks with the hip belt fastened. We also felt the hood could be just a fraction bigger to offer more protection, but love how snugly it cinches in the wind. Other than those tiny points where there’s minor room for improvement, what we’ve got here is a good quality, dependable shell for wet weather hikes.
Jack Wolfskin Highest Peak 3L Jacket: in the field
Living on a rainy island such as Britain, I’m never too far from a day in which I can benefit from a good waterproof jacket. I recently got to test the Highest Peak on a drizzly hike in the Lake District which started out wet until we popped up above the clouds for glorious views, then got wetter again as we descended. I’ve also had it out on a few hikes in Scotland including a bracingly cold day up Ben Lomond.
Here’s how it performed:
Sizing and fit
I wear a small and tested a small and think this fits true to size. It had enough room to wear over two fleeces (it was a pre-dawn start and I’d been camping in my car so I was extra chilly at the trailhead) and I personally wouldn’t size down for a more streamlined fit as I think this is more functional.
Waterproofing and breathability
The membrane on this jacket is watertight and it has all the usual components like fully taped seams, waterproof zips, low-wicking barriers and storm flaps to avoid any disasters. I wore up a very steep slope with two fleeces underneath which, I’ll admit, was overkill, but once I removed a fleece I was pretty comfortable and really pleased with the breathability.
The hood only has a small, soft peak so it could be bigger to provide more coverage, but it cinches really well and doesn’t obstruct my line of vision at all, plus it’s more packable than a stiffer hood.
Weight and packability
For a three-layer shell, this jacket is light and surprisingly packable so it would be a no brainer to carry on any hike. Mine packs down to about the size of a burrito.
Comfort and storage
The fabric on this jacket is extra soft to touch and not at all stiff or rustly and the chin guard feels really nice against my face. It’s got a good amount of storage with three zipped pockets, but oddly I feel that the hand warming pockets are about one inch back from where they should be. It’s not a disaster, but I do notice it every time I want to use them. The inner pocket is great for sheltering a phone, though I must say I prefer a chest pocket so I don’t have to unzip.
Extra features and value
In terms of features, this is a pretty uncomplicated jacket and they’ve focused more on weather protection than on bells and whistles. The only thing I might like to se is a two-way zip.
Compared to the Kammweg jacket, this is significantly more affordable and offers great protection at a lighter weight. I think you get similar value for a less shocking price, and of course I love the sustainability creds and that Jack Wolfskin is essentially recycling their offcut material into new jackets.
Jack Wolfskin Highest Peak 3L: the bottom line
If you want a soft, packable and reliable waterproof jacket for wet weather hikes, this one offers brilliant value for money and leaves a smaller footprint on the planet.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.