Five of the best lightweight waterproof jackets reviewed (2018)

There’s no need to be weighed down by a heavy waterproof jacket in summer, so here’s the best waterproof jackets that weigh less than 350g.

Weights

Manufacturers often give average weights or the weight of the medium jacket. All the jackets here were weighed when tested, so our stated weights may vary from manufacturers’.

Ventilation

Even the best waterproof and breathable fabrics allow condensation to form, so it’s important that you can increase ventilation. A front zip can be used for venting, as can pit zips, while mesh linings in pockets also increase airflow. Lightweight jackets are often fitted with mesh pockets but this may not be ideal for really wet weather as they may also allow water to pass through.

Hoods

The hood should fit snugly so it doesn’t blow off, but it must also move so you can see where you are going. The peak may become bent, so look for a wired peak that can be reshaped.

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Zips

Normal jacket zips aren’t waterproof, so are usually covered by a single or double stormflap, but these are often removed on lightweight jackets. Water-resistant zips are commonly used on high-priced jackets, and some of these are fitted with an internal flap to channel away any water that gets thorough.

Pockets

Big pockets are great for storing maps, guidebooks and GPS receivers, but they can also be used to protect your hands from wind and rain. Rucksack belts may obscure access to some pockets, so make sure they are well positioned to avoid this problem.

Fabrics

Higher-priced jackets will generally use the most waterproof and breathable materials available, so while there may be small differences between them this will be difficult to notice on the hill. Your comfort levels therefore will often be dictated by features such as hood, pocket and sleeve design. In contrast, lower-priced jackets generally have fabrics that are less breathable and may be less waterproof. Fabrics described as 2-layer or 2.5-layer tend to gather more condensation than fabrics described as 3-layer. Thin fabrics also tend to buckle in the wind, so they feel colder than stiffer fabrics that can trap warm air inside.


Rab Downpour Plus £130

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 329g (size L)
  • Material 2.5-layer Pertex Shield Plus

It's good

This offers exceptional lightweight performance for the price. So you get excellent chest pockets that easily take an OS map while wearing a rucksack. They are also sealed rather than mesh-lined, so they won’t allow water to easily pass through the jacket. The 2.5-layer fabric has a Dry Touch treatment on the inside to help manage condensation, but you also get pit zips to allow extra ventilation. The hood is great too, thanks to a wired peak and great drawcords at the face and rear, all of which combine to allow great vision as you move your head.

However

This is not the lightest jacket you can get, and it also feels slightly cold and clammy compared to a 3-layer fabric that controls condensation even better. A third chest pocket would be useful, like many lightweight jackets, but at least the two main pockets you get are great. There is very little wrong here if you want a practical lightweight jacket for hillwalking, but some details are better on higher-priced jackets.

Verdict

 For £130 this is a superb lightweight jacket, but a bit more budget may bring a few benefits.

  • Features 5/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 5/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 92%

Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra £165

  • Men’s XS-XL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 202g (size L)
  • Material 2.5-layer 20-denier Pertex Shield with stretch

It's good

The 2.5-layer fabric is stretchy and very thin, which shaves off some weight. I found this jacket fitted closely while still providing very good freedom of movement without the hem or cuffs riding up. There are two main pockets with mesh linings, which are easily accessed while wearing a rucksack belt and just about take an OS map. The hood is elasticated at the back and has face drawcords as well as a wired peak. A nice touch is a section of soft brushed fabric at the chin behind the zip. The weight is very impressive for what you get too.

However

Those two pockets are mesh-lined, so water can potentially creep through this jacket, but also it is a tight squeeze to get an OS map into them. Also the cuffs are elasticated rather than having Velcro adjustment, so you cannot control their fit as well as others. The hood fit and movement is acceptable, but it does not move as well with the head as others. Finally, the fabric feels more cold and clammy than stiffer 3-layer fabrics.

Verdict

A lighter jacket with stretchy material – but the cuffs, pockets and hood are not perfect.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 3/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 76%

Alpkit Balance £175

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s 8-16
  • Weight 338g (size L)
  • Material 3-layer laminate with nylon face and PU/PTFE membrane

It's good

The 3-layer fabric feels a little tougher than lighter jackets, and also it benefits from a thin bi-component knit backer to manage condensation better than some lighter jackets. You get two good-sized pockets that take an OS map easily while wearing a rucksack. The pockets are mesh lined which reduces cost, weight and increases airflow for condensation control. The hood is very good thanks to a wired peak and excellent fit and movement. There is reasonable movement in the sleeves too. All that for this price and weight is hard to beat for hillwalking and backpacking.

However

It would be great if the pockets were sealed rather than mesh to help keep water out. Also a third pocket on the chest would be really useful. While the fabric is thicker than other lightweights, it still buckles easily in the wind more than heavier jackets. A slight niggle is that you do get a little movement in the cuffs when raising your arms such as during a scramble. There are lighter and lower priced jackets.

Verdict

The hood and 3-layer fabric set this jacket apart from others, but the mesh-lined pockets may let water in.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 84%

Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow £190

  • Men’s XS-XL
  • Women’s XS-XL
  • Weight 309g (size L)
  • Material 2.5-layer H2No 30d stretch nylon

It's good

Having a third chest pocket sets this jacket apart, and can be used for a GPS receiver while the two, larger main pockets can store OS maps or used as handwarmers. All these pockets are sealed rather than mesh, so water can’t creep through them easily. There are also pit zips for added ventilation. The main fabric has stretch, the body is slightly longer than others and there is good freedom of movement. The hood gets rear volume adjustment, fits very closely and moves well with the head.

However

That third pocket is a little small, so won’t take chunky guidebooks or maps, and access to the lower pockets is easily obscured by rucksack belts. While the hood does fit and move with the head well, it leaves the head more exposed than others as the peak is very small, and the sides of the hood don’t come very far forward. Finally, the material is a little colder and more clammy than stiffer 3-layer fabrics.

Verdict

Well-featured jacket with Patagonia’s eco-credentials, but some minor details could be better.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 5/5
  • Comfort 3/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 4/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 80%

Rohan Elite £249

  • Men’s S-XXL
  • Women’s XS-L
  • Weight 303g (size L)
  • Material 3-layer Barricade

It's good

This is a 3-layer nylon fabric with high levels of waterproofness and breathability, but equally important is that this jacket has sealed rather than mesh pockets as well as a stormflap behind the front zip, which all adds up to more water resistance than many other lightweight jackets. Importantly it still has a good weight and the two pockets easily take an OS map, and you can access those pockets reasonably well while wearing a rucksack. The hood has a wired peak and also a great fit and movement with the head. So for general walking this is pretty good.

However

The fit is quite baggy compared to others, and also we noticed the hem and cuffs tended to ride up more easily than others. So this is fine for walking but less ideal for scrambling. The main two pockets are nice and large, but items tend to sink to their bottom, which places them below a rucksack hipbelt, so retrieval is not ideal. There are lighter and lower priced options.

Verdict

Good 3-layer fabric with sealed rather than mesh pockets but the fit is not ideal.

  • Features 4/5
  • Fit 4/5
  • Comfort 4/5
  • In use 4/5
  • Value for money 3/5
  • OVERALL SCORE 76%

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Rohan Pinnacle III (2014)

Features
Rohan clothing generally sports lots of pockets; but with the Pinnacle III you get just two on the outside, though they are well-positioned above the waist- or hipbelt of a rucksack to allow access. You also get a zipped internal pocket. There are two zipped side vents as well to help manage condensation inside the jacket. The helmet-compatible hood gets a wired peak with face and rear volume drawcords. 3/5

Fit
It’s available for men in sizes S-XL and for women in sizes S-L – a slightly smaller range than other jackets. The big advantage of this over most is that it’s much longer, and the size L for example easily covered my crotch so I didn’t need to wear overtrousers so readily. The sleeve fit isn’t so great, as the cuffs rode up a little, and the body was a little billowy and needed a waist drawcord. But the hood fits really well. 4/5

Comfort
Three-layer Barricade fabric offering top-of-the-league waterproofness and breathability makes this a basically comfortable jacket. Yes 2-layer garments with mesh linings or superlight jackets are more comfortable, but the 3-layer material is durable and comfortable when the wind is battering you into submission – and that’s often what really matters. 5/5

In use
On the hill the Rohan Pinnacle III is a great jacket. That extra body length is a real bonus to walkers in particular. The cuffs do ride up, though, which is a drawback when scrambling. The hood is one of the best here and so overall this performs best when hillwalking and Munro-bagging, rather than when used for scrambling and mountaineering. 4/5

Value
Good price, good weight and good features, but not stunning apart from extra length. 4/5

Verdict
The Rohan Pinnacle III is a good hillwalking jacket thanks to that extra length, but others are better if you don’t need it.
4.0/5

www.rohan.co.uk

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2014

 


Rohan Elite (2014)

A frequent favourite in Trail tests, the Elite uses Rohan’s own fabric, Barricade Elite, which offers performance that is equal to the best in the industry. I’ve been using the jacket for several years and find that on the hill it is just as impressive. At only 334g the Elite packs in a host of useful features for heading onto the hills. The body is short like most lightweights and has an exposed front zip of the more water-resistant variety with a very stiff internal baffle to keep any leaks under control. There are an excellent pair of chest-mounted pockets, which aren’t mesh-lined, so they keep water out more readily than most. These pockets are huge and they’re ideal for stashing a map, guidebook or just for warming hands. The Rohan Elite’s hood can be rolled down and secured at the collar in mild conditions, but when the heavens open the stiffened peak and excellent fit and movement will really be appreciated. The hood drawcords extend around the outside, rather than through internal channels, so they look a bit messy, but they work well. The fabric feels a little like paper, but so far I haven’t torn my older version of this jacket, although I think it’s necessary to treat it a little more carefully than some heavier models.

Specifications:

Fabric Barricade Elite

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes XS-L

External pockets 2

Stowable hood? yes

Side/pit zips? no

Weight 329g (men’s size L)

Website www.rohan.co.uk

Verdict

Thehood and pocket design set the Rohan Elite apart from many competitors, the only drawbacks being the price tag and the slightly fragile feel of the fabric. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2014

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Rohan Mountain Guide (2013)

Rohan’s optimistically titled Mountain Guide jacket is the same length in the body as the Berghaus Hurricane and jointly these are the longest jackets we looked at. That length makes the Mountain Guide ideal for travel and general walking as it provides more weather protection than shorter jackets. The pockets are a little annoying though as they are placed at hip level and extend to the hem, so they are not easily accessed above or below a rucksack with a hipbelt and yet the length of this jacket would allow them to be accessed below a rucksack belt if they were positioned lower. There are two Napoleon pockets on the chest tucked away behind the stormflap that protects the main zip, and these two pockets are ideal for maps or a GPS receiver. The hood is pretty good too, thanks to a large wired peak and a good fit that allows easy movement with the head when looking around. The hood can also be rolled into a zipped pocket in the collar. The sleeve movement is not ideal, though, as there is some movement in the cuffs and hem when reaching up. Also at 820g (size L) this is pretty heavy when compared to others and so while this is called a Mountain Guide jacket it has a more general-purpose travel design than its moniker might suggest.

Weight 820g (size men’s L)

Fabric 2-layer Barricade

Lining polyester mesh

Men’s sizes S-XL

Women’s sizes S-XL

External pockets 4

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents no

Website www.rohan.co.uk

Verdict

The Rohan Mountain Guide is a long jacket with a good hood, but the weight and main pockets are not ideal for hillwalkers, making this best for low-level walking rather than mountain walking.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2013

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Rohan Pinnacle III (2013)

Rohan uses its own 3-layer Barricade fabric in the Pinnacle, which offers excellent waterproofness and breathability. The Pinnacle is 20 per cent lighter than in previous years but still weighs in at 599g (size L) so it is not among the lightest options. But this is one of the longer jackets we looked at by quite a margin, as it easily covered my bum and groin, meaning that it offers far more protection than some others. There is no waist drawcord, though, so it does billow a lot until a rucksack belt is put on. The front zip is one of the chunkier designs, and like most jackets these days it does not have an external stormflap, but instead an internal one to syphon away any leaks. The two main pockets are large and placed high enough to avoid rucksack straps, but you don’t get a third chest pocket, which is rather disappointing at this price. The pair of side vents provide additional cooling if required and are placed low on the sides rather than under the arms, so they can be accessed more easily while wearing rucksack shoulder straps. The Rohan Pinnacle III’s hood is very good thanks to a wired peak plus great use of drawcords to allow decent fit and movement.

Weight 599g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Barricade

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XL

Women’s sizes S-L

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.rohan.co.uk

Verdict

The main problem with the Rohan Pinnacle III is the billowing midriff area, which results in it being not quite right for use without a rucksack; but apart from that it is a good jacket if you don’t need a third chest pocket.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Rohan Elite (2013)

The Barricade Elite fabric used in the Elite is unique to Rohan and offers superb performance in lab tests as well as on the hill. The jacket weighs just 343g (size L) but still boasts a good set of functional hill-going features. So you get the typically short body of a lightweight jacket with a front zip that lacks an external stormflap, but there is a flap inside to allow any water that enters the zip to drain away. Then you get two very large chest pockets that aren’t mesh-lined, so they are better than other jackets at keeping the wearer dry. In addition there’s a large internal mesh pocket, which is a lot of pocketing for such a lightweight jacket, and these features underline how light the main fabric is to achieve all this. The Rohan Elite’s hood has volume adjustment drawcords that extend around the outside of the hood, which is a bit messy, but it works well enough, and there are more conventional face drawcords too. Once adjusted the hood fits and moves well with the head, and thanks to the addition of a wired peak this hood offers great protection in a mix of wet and windy weather. The fabric does feel almost too delicate, but if used for hillwalking it should be fine if you’re careful not to rub against too many jagged rocks!

Fabric Barricade Elite
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-L
External pockets 2
Stowable hood yes
Side/pit zips no
Weight 343g (size men’s L)
Website www.rohan.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Rohan Elite has excellent features for a lightweight hillwalking jacket, but the fabric feels less robust than some others, so it needs treating with a little more respect. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2013


Rohan Atlas (2013)

At last, I hear you cry, a jacket that’s long! Yes: the Rohan Atlas is longer than most waterproofs. It is in fact long enough to cover a suit jacket when in town, and long enough to protect your butt and groin when walking in the hills. The other advantage of all that extra length is that you can put your hands in the base pockets as they sit below the area where a rucksack hipbelt sits. There is a chest pocket too that’s ideal for maps, guidebooks or a GPS receiver. The hood has a wired peak and when adjusted this fits the head closely and moves really well with the head. The fabric is Rohan’s own Barricade with a mesh lining, which has breathability and waterproofing performance that’s up there with the best. So what’s the drawback? The sleeves do ride up a little when you reach up to clamber over rocks or a stile, the jacket is a little heavier due to all that extra length, and it is perhaps less ‘mountain fashion’. But for hillwalking, trekking and bagging British peaks it’s great. When walking into the eye of a storm, the Rohan Atlas provides more protection than any shorter jacket.

Weight 790g (size men’s L)
Fabric 2-layer Barricade
Lining mesh
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes S-XL
External pockets 3
Wired hood yes
Side/pit zips no
Website www.rohan.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Rohan Atlas is a long jacket that offers more protection below the waist and benefits from a great hood, but it’s heavier to stash in your rucksack.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2013


Rohan Mountain Guide (2012)

A heavy-duty, smart-looking jacket made from soft yet tough fabric. The fit reaches down to the upper thighs, and even the size small we tested felt rather large. It protects well against the elements, performing well on low to mid-level walks. There’s a decent-sized, pack-away hood with a wired peak, although this doesn’t offer enough protection for the side of your face. The fabric breathes well and there’s a mesh lining to help wick away sweat. The large, wide-opening handwarmer pockets are mesh- and fleece-lined, and there are two large mesh-lined internal pockets too.

Sizes: S-XL
Fabric: 2-Layer Barricade Polyamide
Weight: 650g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 0800 840 1411; www.rohan.co.uk


Rohan Cloudcover

A roomy and comfortable jacket that’s cut long to keep your hips dry, although the arms are rather short. It’s quite a smart-looking jacket, made from soft polyester fabric that’s easy to move around in. There’s plenty of space in the hood to bury your head into, with adjustment at the side and back and a large stiffened peak. You can also pack it away in the collar if you don’t need it. The DWR-treated polyester fabric is certainly waterproof, and breathes fairly well, with a mesh lining inside to wick away sweat. Comes with four decent pockets, including an internal mesh pocket, a chest pocket that will take an OS map or guidebook, and two hip pockets.

VITAL STATS
Sizes
: S-XL
Materials: 100% polyester with Barricade™ with Active Diffusion™ and DWR™
Weight: 575g
Pockets: 4
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 0800 840 1411; www.rohan.co.uk


Rohan Mountain Guide 2011

Rohan is best-known for its travel clothing, but the company also makes some excellent gear for the more adventurous hillwalker too. The Mountain Guide jacket first appeared in 2010 and already it is a well-proven performer. It is made from Rohan’s own Barricade 2-layer fabric with a mesh lining. This is a very comfortable combination, although the use of a mesh lining adds greatly to the weight of this jacket (912g, men’s L).
There are two main pockets and these are located on the chest so they can be accessed easily while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt. The pockets are mesh-lined, so they increase airflow through the jacket when the zips are open – but of course if any water enters the pockets then it will also pass right through the jacket.
To keep the wearer dry the zips are protected by external stormflaps, including the pockets – few jackets feature this these days.
The hood fits and moves well with the head, and also benefits from a wired peak and can be rolled into the collar. The body is slightly longer than some other jackets here. The Rohan Mountain Guide comes in a men’s and women’s version.

Price £185
Weight 912g (size men’s L)
Fabric Barricade
Lining polyester mesh
Sizes men’s X-XXL; women’s XS-XL
External pockets 2
Wired hood yes
Side vents no
Website www.rohan.co.uk

Ratings
Features 4
Design 4
Comfort 5
Performance 4
Value 5
Overall 4

The Rohan Mountain Guide is a well-priced jacket that benefits from a mesh lining and mesh pockets for extra comfort, although that mesh lining also increases weight. It won the ‘Best Value’ award in our test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2011


Rohan Elite 2011

Rohan are best known for travel clothing, but in the 1970s they also made hill gear – and today some of their garments are great for hill-walkers. The Elite uses Rohan’s Barricade fabric, which is extremely lightweight with superb lab results for breathability.
 
Design
Barricade fabric is unique to Rohan, being a 3-layer construction consisting of a nylon outer, a Barricade membrane and a fine tricot backing that aids breathability, comfort and strength. In the lab the performance is up there with the best and once again in my view the key in part is the scrim lining, which does a great job of soaking up sweat that cannot escape and condenses on the inside of the jacket fabric. The fabric has an unusual ‘pinstripe’ look on the outside as well as a rather rustly feel. But the major benefit of using this fabric is its weight as the Elite jacket weighs in at only 328g (size L) while still maintaining a good set of features, like big chest pockets and a great hood.
 
On the hill
I’ve been using the Rohan Elite since spring 2010 and it is a great jacket for stashing in a rucksack, or a travel bag, as it packs down so small. The fabric has performed really well in my experience and is up there with the best in terms of handling condensation, which means that you can get some condensation inside when working hard but not really any more than in other jackets. So once again the reason for choosing this jacket will be heavily influenced by the design and in this case the feature benefits need to be considered alongside the low weight. You get a front zip but no external stormflap, and while this has not leaked for me, I’d prefer an external stormflap for long-term use. The two chest pockets are great though, as they are massive and easily accessed while wearing a rucksack. The hood is excellent too although the peak is perhaps not quite as stiff as some others – meaning it does not offer the protection of others in a really windy storm. Like some others this is pretty short too. I’ve not torn this jacket but I do feel that I might if I am rough with it when scrambling around. Also as the fabric is so thin it does not trap air well, so it can feel a notch chillier than others. But this is about travelling light, and in that respect the Rohan Elite is superb.
 
Outer 3-layer Barricade laminate
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL
Weight 328g (size M)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 50
Stockist details – tel. 0800 840 1411; www.rohan.co.uk

The Rohan Elite is an excellent weight; two good external chest pockets; good hood; fabric offers good level of breathability. However, it is relatively short; fabric is very rustly; no external stormflap on main zip; only two external pockets; heavier fabrics trap more air and feel more durable. In summary, it’s an excellent lightweight waterproof for hill-walkers and travellers, but heavier jackets have advantages in terms of durability and comfort.
 
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2011


Rohan Elite 2010

The Rohan Elite uses an exciting fabric called Barricade Laminate, which offers superb performance and yet is extremely lightweight. The Elite also gets a good set of features to make it not only waterproof, breathable and lightweight but functional too. So you get a good length in the body, full-length front zip and those all-important two chest pockets. The pockets easily take an OS map and remain accessible while wearing a rucksack belt. Better still there is a great hood with a wired peak. This sits perfectly on the head with the lightest of adjustment so you are well-protected from the elements. At 318g the Rohan Elite is an excellent lightweight jacket that would be ideal for hill and valley walkers.  But the fabric is a little more rustly than some others. It does feel more delicate too, although it depends how careful you are with it as to whether this is really going to be a problem. Like most lightweights the front zip does not get an external stormflap, but at least it does have an internal one. You can get lighter jackets, though, and spend less of course.

Outer 3-layer Barricade laminate
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL
Weight 318g (M)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 50

The combination of materials and practical features make the Rohan Elite an ideal lightweight jacket. It won ‘Best in Test’.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Rohan Mountain Guide 2010

The Mountain Guide is a new general-purpose jacket from Rohan that promises a great deal in the name. The fabric is Rohan’s own Barricade fabric, which has excellent performance figures for both waterproofness and breathability. The front zip gets a double stormflap on the outside and there is a mesh lining too, so all that adds up to a very comfortably dry design. There are two main external pockets and these can be easily accessed while wearing rucksack belts. There are two more pockets inside the front zip stormflap, which are ideal for maps and guidebooks. The hood can be rolled into the collar, and its wired peak and ease of adjustment result in a good fit and good movement. The sleeves also move well and don’t cause the hem to rise as you clamber over a stile for example. The price is excellent for the features too. But at 854g (M) the Rohan Mountain Guide is very heavy, and so it is not something I would ideally choose to use on the mountains, despite the name. The body is relatively short too (although there are plenty of other jackets with the same problem). You can get a slightly better hood on some jackets perhaps. A jacket without a mesh lining would be lighter and less bulky, and more mountain guide-friendly.

Outer 2-layer Barricade
Inner polyester mesh
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 854g (men’s M)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 50

The Rohan Mountain Guide is a good jacket for general walking, but others are better (certainly for mountain guides) in terms of weight.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Rohan Cloudbase 2009

The Rohan Cloudbase multi-activity jacket uses very waterproof and extremely breathable fabric; very relaxed design; mesh lining adds comfort; hood rolls to collar; hood has stiffened peak. But 614g (men‘s M) is relatively heavy; pocket access is easily obscured by rucksack belts; hood drawcords are left to fly in face; hood fit and movement is not good.

Verdict: The Rohan Cloudbase multi-activity jacket a very good general purpose and travel jacket – but not for multi-activity action.

 

First published in Trail magazine November 2009


Rohan Hilltop 2009

Unlike most waterproof jackets, the Rohan Hilltop is very long in the body, so it offers far more protection to the thighs in wet and windy weather. This means you don’t have to get the overtrousers out so often either as you are unlikely to get soaked to your underwear – unlike when wearing some short waterproofs. The material is Rohan’s own Barricade waterproof and breathable fabric, and there is a comfortable mesh lining. That extra length also plays an important role in allowing easy access to the cavernous base pockets while wearing a rucksack hipbelt. There is a dedicated map pocket under the stormflaps that protects the main zip too. The hood is a fixed design that fits well and moves with the head. That all adds up to a very useful jacket for valley walks, travel – and hilltop exploring, as the name suggests. But at 740g (women’s S) the Rohan Hilltop is not the lightest jacket on the hill. Also, the hood peak is a soft, floppy design that could be greatly improved with a wire stiffener so that it can be shaped to shield the eyes rather than obscure vision. That extra length won’t make it a favourite for scrambling or looking cool and trendy … but it will keep you dry!

 

Outer Barricade
Inner mesh
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); XS-L (women’s) 
Weight 740g (women’s S)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 34

Verdict: The Rohan Hilltop is one of the few jackets that is long in the body, and for that reason alone it is a good option for hill-walking.

 

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009


Rohan Mountain Pass 2008

The Rohan Mountain Pass multi-activity jacket’s fabric rated as extremely waterproof and extremely breathable; mesh lining; rollaway hood with stiffened peak moves well with head; two deep hip pockets; dedicated map pocket; great price. But 832g (men’s M) is very heavy; access to base pockets is easily obscured; hem and cuffs tend to ride up when reaching up; no reflective material.Verdict
The Rohan Mountain Pass is a well-priced travel jacket with excellent fabric and hood, but it’s very heavy.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

Rohan Mountain Pas

A huge jacket, long at the hem and baggy in the body. Good adjustment at the cuffs and hood, though, and a pleasant rustle-free fabric. Soft fleece chin guard. Kept the weather out, but heavy and bulky in a pack and rather hot on milder days. The hood worked well, but the horizontal opening hip pockets were difficult to reach with a rucksack on.

VITAL STATS
Colours: Loden green, scarlet, moonlight blue, bronze
Sizes: S-XL
Fabric: 100% polyamide
Key features: Internal map pocket, one-pull adjustable hood with internal fleece ear-warmers, double storm flap
Weight: 925g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 0870 601 2244, www.rohan.co.uk
Verdict: A bomb-proof jacket with conservative styling, but heavy and bulky. It’s not that breathable, either, and quite expensive for what it is.

Rohan Cloudbase 2008

Rohan is best known as an innovator and maker of travel clothing, and in my view most of its products are better suited to travel than mountains and hill-walking. However, the Rohan Cloudbase is a new general-purpose jacket that pushes the boundaries of the brand and it is actually ideal for general walking on easier terrain as well as travel! Unlike most jackets destined for the outdoors it is long, which means access to the hip pockets is comfortably possible even while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt. It has just two hip pockets and a large map pocket on the chest that is accessed from behind the double stormflap. The hood rolls into the collar and benefits from a stiffened peak. Use this for general walking and it will do a good job. But the Rohan Cloudbase jacket lacks mountain style and tough sex appeal (but does that actually matter?!). In practical terms the hood and sleeve movement are not as good as some, and you can get better functionality and breathability, and lighter options, if you pay more.

Outer PU-coated polyester
Inner mesh
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); XS-L (women’s)
Weight 676g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 38Verdict: The Rohan Cloudbase is not cool, but it’s a superb, low-priced, functional jacket for valley walkers, hill-walkers, backpackers and travellers.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008

Rohan Vapour Trail

Review it has a good peaked hood. The polyamide fabric proved surprisingly waterproof, and while not as breathable as Gore-Tex rivals, a mesh lining helped wick away sweat.

VITAL STATS
Colours: Lagoon blue, titanium
Sizes: XS-L
Fabric: 100% polyamide with hydrophilic laminate and DWR
Main features: Two zipped hand pockets, adjustable cuffs, adjustable roll-away hood, internal pack pocket
Weight: 300g
Men’s version: Yes

Contact: 0870 601 2244
www.rohan.co.ukVerdict
A very lightweight and versatile waterproof. Not as breathable as some, but it has some excellent features, including a good hood and useful pockets.

Rohan Mountain Pass

This general-purpose waterproof jacket weighs 832g (size men’s M); fabric rated as extremely waterproof and extremely breathable; mesh lining adds extra comfort; rollaway hood with stiffened peak that moves well with the head; two deep hip pockets; dedicated map pocket; great price for what you get. But access to base pockets is easily obscured by rucksack belts; hem or cuffs tend to ride up when reaching up.

Verdict: A well-priced travel jacket with excellent fabric and hood, but others are better for hill-walkers.