5 Of The Best... Waterproof Jackets Under £300 Reviewed (2019)

Whatever your budget there is a waterproof jacket that is right for you, so here’s our guide at the best jackets for hillwalkers with price tags up to £300.


Hoods

The hood should fit your head snugly so it does not blow off, but also it must move with your head so you can see where you are going. The hood peak may become bent when the jacket is stashed in a rucksack, so look for a wired peak that can be easily reshaped to allow good vision even in the wind. Lower priced jackets generally have hoods that don’t fit or move so well with the head and often lack wired or stiffened peaks.

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Fabrics

On the high priced jackets you can expect to find that the fabrics used are the most waterproof and breathable available. In contrast lower priced jackets generally have fabrics that are less breathable and may be less durably waterproof in the long term too. Materials described as 2 layer will more clammy than those described as 2.5 layer and these will in turn be more clammy than a 3 layer fabric or any jacket with a loose lining.

Zips

Normal zips used on jackets are not waterproof so they are normally covered by an external single or double storm flap. Water resistant zips are commonly used on high priced jackets but these are not waterproof either. As these zips may leak, they are often fitted with an internal flap that is designed to channel away any water than enters this area. 

Pockets

Big pockets are great for storing maps, guide books and gloves, but they can also be used to protect your hands from wind and rain. Rucksack belts obscure access to some pockets so make sure they are well positioned to avoid this problem. Lower priced jackets often have pockets that are not easily accessed while wearing rucksacks.

Ventilation

Even the best waterproof and breathable fabrics allow condensation to form, so it is important that you can increase ventilation of the jacket. A front zip can be used for venting, as can under arm zips, also called pit zips, while mesh linings in pockets can also increase airflow through the jacket. However, mesh pockets may also allow water to pass through the jacket. 


Salewa Puez 2 Powertex 3L £225

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  • Materials 3 layer Powertex Performance Ripstop Eco DWR

  • Sizes S-XXXL (men’s); n/a (women’s)

  • Weight 411g (size L)

It’s good

What sets this jacket apart from many others is the lower weight while still providing the core features a hillwalker needs. So you get a jacket made from a 3 layer laminate like others here but it has a thinner construction so it is more supple and lighter. You get two good chest pockets like other jackets too and these are easily accessed above a rucksack belt and they easily take an OS map. The hood has a wired peak and it fits nice and close and moves with the head better than most. The body is not the shortest either so you get a little more protection around the bottom and groin than some.

However

This jacket does lose some nice to have details. Firstly the sleeve movement is not quite the best, so you get so the cuffs tend to ride up a little more than the higher priced jackets here. Also there is no third external chest pocket. Then it is worth noting that this thinner material does feel a little colder as it tends to compress a little more than stiffer fabrics, so this is not the best for winter walks. The fabric is probably going to be slightly less durable than a heavier jacket but that should only concern the hardest of users, as for most walkers this is easily durable enough. Also there is no womens version.

Verdict

A superb hillwalking jacket if you want something slightly lighter and don’t need the best sleeve movement or a third external chest pocket.

  • Features 3/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation control 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 84%


Alpkit Definition £229

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  • Material 3 layer laminate with nylon face and PU/PTFE membrane 

  • Sizes S-XXL (men’s); 8-14 (women’s)

  • Weight 562g (size L)

It’s good

Like all Alpkit gear the Definition is extremely well priced for its features. It’s made from a layer laminate like other jackets here and the material is also nice and stiff to resist battering winds. The fit is quite close particularly on the sleeves, but you can still easily raise your arms without the cuff or hem riding up during scrambles. The hood fit and movement is also exceptionally good and it has a wired peak too making it ideal for hillwalking. There are two main pockets plus a third Napoleon chest pocket and all these are easy to access while wearing a pack. You even get pit zips for extra ventilation.

However

The third chest pocket is smaller than others and while its useful for a GPS receiver or phone it is not ideal for a map or even many guidebooks and this really lets this jacket down. The body is not the shortest but its not the longest either, so if you want a longer design others are better. Mountaineers may want an even more durable jacket with extra reinforcement but walkers will be fine with this as it is. If you did pay a lot more you can get jackets that have even better breathability and they may also be lighter but again only those in need of the absolute pinnacle jackets need bother.

Verdict

The Ladakh GV offers a solid reliable performance that for many hillwalkers will mean they need look no further but some others have small worthwhile benefits. 

  • Features 4/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation control 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 88%

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Rab Ladakh DV £275

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  • Material 3 layer Event

  • Sizes S-XXL (men’s); 8-16 (women’s)

  • Weight 561g (size L)

It’s good

 It is built with 3 layer Event so you get top quality condensation control and durable waterproofness. But importantly this is quite a robust fabric, so it blocks the wind without buckling an important benefit for colder and winder mountain days, and also it’s more durable than lighter jackets. The fit is slightly shorter than some options but fairly typical of modern jackets and the sleeves and hood fit particularly well. Waist and hem drawcords lock out draughts and you get good cuff and hood adjustment. The hood has a wired peak and turns effortlessly with the head. There are also pit zips for venting and a pair of huge chest pockets.

However

You do only get two external chest pockets as there is no third Napoleon style pocket for a guidebook, map or GPS receiver, although there is an internal Napoleon chest pocket inside the main front zip. It’s also quite a heavy jacket compared to what is available so if weight is your priority there are others to consider. It does have pit zips which you may not want and finding a jacket without them would lower weight and price, the two main factors that are drawbacks with this jacket. Some jackets are slightly longer and if you don’t need a helmet compatible hood then others would suffice. So for some users it may be worth looking elsewhere for design details that better suit your personal preferences.

Verdict

The Ladakh GV offers a solid reliable performance that for many hillwalkers will mean they need look no further but some others have small worthwhile benefits. 

  • Features 4/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation control 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 88%


Berghaus Extrem 500 Vented £280

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  • Material 3 layer Gore-Tex

  • Sizes XS-XXL (mens); 8-18 (womens)

  • Weight 584g (size L)

It’s good

This was new for 2018 and is an updated version of the Extrem 5000 that sees the addition of pit zips for improved ventilation when working hard and not wanting to remove the jacket due to wind or rain. It is made from 3 layer Gore-Tex so it is top of the breathability and waterproofness rating. Importantly it is also a little longer than some other jackets around the price point and that meant for me it protected my groin and bottom far better than some other jackets. Also you get a huge third external Napoleon chest pocket in addition to the two main chest pockets. The hood is stunning with a wired peak and excellent fit and movement while also being helmet compatible. 

However

Adding the extra length and chest pocket has added a few grams so this is a little heavy compared to some. Also there are of course lower priced jackets if you don’t need all those features and the more heavy and robust 3 layer Gore-tex that is used here. If you were to spend more money then you would get even better condensation control and perhaps a lighter fabric but apart from that it is really hard to see why you would pay more to be honest. For me this is pretty much an ideal jacket for harsh mountain walking trips if you can accept the weight and price tag.

Verdict

For this price band it is hard to find a fault with this jacket making it ideal for those who don’t want to break the £300 price barrier for even better performance. 

  • Features 5/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation control 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 92%

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Paramo Alta III £295

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  • Material Nikwax Analogy

  • Sizes S-XXL (mens); XS-XL (womens)

  • Weight 832g (size M)

It’s good

A well proven fabric that provides superb levels of breathability and weather protection and in winter its extra warmth is a real bonus when heading into colder mountain weather as there is less need to carry additional insulating layers. The design is longer than most too so you get far far better bottom and groin protection than other jackets. The sleeves are well designed and so is the hood so both move really well with the body when scrambling. The hood also gets a wired peak for clearer vision and you get four external pockets, which are all easily accessed while wearing a rucksack. 

However

This jacket is warm which is a benefit on cold days but even on a warm winter day it can become quite hot to wear without venting extensively. Also it is quite heavy compared to others so if you stow it in your rucksack it is more of a load. The price is higher than others too, although for long term use it does work out at a good value as this jackets weather resistance is far easier to maintain than others due to its unique properties and construction. So overall there nothing wrong with the design but you do need to decide if the slight drawbacks mean other jackets are better options for your own walking needs. 

Verdict

Excellent design in many ways, with the fabric offering valuable benefits in cold weather in particular, but drawbacks are weight and warmth when the temperature rises but rain and wind persist.

  • Features 5/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation control 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 92%


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Berghaus Extrem 5000 Vented waterproof jacket review

It’s good

This was new for 2018 and is an updated version of the Extrem 5000 that sees the addition of pit zips for improved ventilation when working hard and not wanting to remove the jacket due to wind or rain. It is made from 3 layer Gore-Tex so it is top of the breathability and waterproofness rating. Importantly it is also a little longer than some other jackets around the price point and that meant for me it protected my groin and bottom far better than some other jackets. Also you get a huge third external Napoleon chest pocket in addition to the two main chest pockets. The hood is stunning with a wired peak and excellent fit and movement while also being helmet compatible. 

However

Adding the extra length and chest pocket has added a few grams so this is a little heavy compared to some. Also there are of course lower priced jackets if you don’t need all those features and the more heavy and robust 3 layer Gore-tex that is used here. If you were to spend more money then you would get even better condensation control and perhaps a lighter fabric but apart from that it is really hard to see why you would pay more to be honest. For me this is pretty much an ideal jacket for harsh mountain walking trips if you can accept the weight and price tag.

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  • Material 3 layer Gore-Tex

  • Sizes XS-XXL (mens); 8-18 (womens)

  • Weight 584g (size L)

Verdict

For this price band it is hard to find a fault with this jacket making it ideal for those who don’t want to break the £300 price barrier for even better performance. 

  • Features 5/5

  • Weatherproofness 5/5

  • Condensation control 5/5

  • In use 4/5

  • Value for money 4/5

  • OVERALL SCORE 92%



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Haglöfs Roc High (2013)

The Haglöfs Roc High is made from new Gore-Tex Pro so it is top of the league in terms of waterproofness and breathability, and it is a reasonably good weight too at 492g (size men’s L). But what really sets this jacket apart is the features and their design. Firstly it is slightly longer than the lightest jackets we looked at, but still not as long as the heavier options. There are two main chest pockets, plus a third small pocket on the sleeve. The two chest pockets are a good size, but they are Napoleon-style, so you cannot warm your hands in them for example, while the arm pocket is very small. There are good pit zips for venting the jacket and the shoulders are seamless to ensure there is no chafing when wearing a rucksack. There’s also a section of material at the chin that has laser-cut holes so you can breath through it when the jacket is fully battened down. The hood gets a wired peak, and it fits and moves with the head really well. All the Haglöfs Roc High’s features are well-designed and mountaineers may love those Napoleon pockets, but this is a lot of cash for the feature set you are getting. The weight is good, but there are lighter jackets at lower prices if that is your priority, while there are also jackets with better pockets at lower prices too.

Weight 492g (L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes XS-XXL (Roc High)

Women’s sizes XS-XL (Roc High Q)

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.haglofs.com

Verdict

The Haglöfs Roc High’s features are all well-designed and great for the mountaineer, but the price tag is not appealing when compared to other jackets and Napoleon pockets are not as advantageous as other pocket designs when not mountaineering.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2013

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Bergans of Norway Glittertind (2013)

The Bergans of Norway Glittertind is made from Dermizax, a 3-layer fabric with a membrane to keep water out while allowing sweat to travel out through the fabric to prevent condensation build-up. The lab results for the fabric are good and it certainly feels as good as other top-end fabrics. The design of this jacket appears quite good on first appearances, as it is average in length with four main pockets. The two main pockets are positioned so that can be accessed above the rucksack belt, while the two high pockets are Napoleon-style. However all these pockets have mesh linings, so they are not going to be best for keeping water out. Also the two Napoleon pockets are quite small, so they are of limited use, though the two lower pockets do take an OS map. There are pit zips to further improve condensation control. The hood is the main problem with this jacket however as its peak is not stiffened or wired and when adjusted it easily obscures vision. However the fit and movement of the hood are good. However at this price there are jackets with perfect hoods and so this feature is a major let-down for this jacket. If you can live with the hood then it would be a useful jacket for general hillwalking and mountain trips if you don’t mind having the mesh pockets, which do save weight of course. At 439g (size L) the weight of the Bergans of Norway Glittertind is appealing and so it could be useful for warmer weather trips when weight is a greater priority over water-resistant pocketing.

Weight 439g (L)

Fabric 3-layer Dermizax

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 4

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.bergans.no

Verdict

The Bergans of Norway Glittertind’s pocket and hood design are not as good as some other jackets at this price, but there are far worse jackets around too.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2013

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Adidas Terrex Advanced (2013)

The Adidas Terrex Advanced is made from Gore-Tex Pro, the latest version of Gore-Tex fabric, which is their most breathable to date. The design is fairly standard with two chest pockets and a hood, which makes this price tag appear pretty high compared with the price of other jackets made from the same material and with the same or more features. The jacket weighs in at a good 478g (size L) and it is also longer than many lighter jackets, with the hem covering my bottom and groin. However the fit of the jacket around the hem and hip area is far too tight; and I have never experienced a jacket so close-fitting in this area, so I don’t think it was my body shape that was odd.  The two chest pockets are not placed as high as other jackets and the result is the pocket bag extends down to where rucksack straps will be, making this far from ideal for use with a rucksack. The hood has a huge peak with a wire stiffener, and while I love big peaks this one was too big in my view as it always obscured vision a little too much. But the hood fit and movement were great. The sleeve movement was also great, making this jacket good for scrambling. A nice addition is a chinguard with small holes in it to allow face protection without impeding your breathing. However this was not enough to save the Adidas Terrex Advanced, as the price, pockets and hood peak let it down. There are much better jackets at around £280 to £350.

Weight 478g (L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes 42-46

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents no

Website www.adidas.com

Verdict

The Adidas Terrex Advanced has a longer body than average, but the pockets and hood are not ideal and there are better jackets at lower prices.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2013

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Arc’teryx Beta LT (2013)

The Arc’teryx Beta LT is new for autumn 2013 and features Gore-Tex Pro, the latest version of the well-proven waterproof and breathable fabric, which is now more breathable than before. The Beta LT stands apart from other Gore-Tex Pro jackets when it is placed on the scales, as it only weighs 371g (size L). The fabric is also very supple, which is good in terms of comfort, but not so good in terms of preventing a slight breeze from pressing the fabric against the skin and pushing out warm insulative air. Typically of Arc’teryx, you get profiled sleeves and a neat, close style, and this also retains good sleeve movement to prevent the hem or cuffs from riding up. The body is quite short, like many jackets these days, while the two chest pockets are a good size and well-positioned for easy access. The front zip is exposed, as on many jackets, and has a smaller-than-average internal flap to keep any wind and rain at bay. The hood does not have a wired peak, and its stiffening is not as good as other jackets, although the fit and movement are up there with the best. The Arc’teryx Beta LT has no pit zips and no third external pocket, and so while what you get is reasonably good, for this price I was expecting a little more, especially when you consider what other Gore-Tex Pro jackets offer for less cash.

Weight 371g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes XS-XL

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents no

Website www.arteryx.com

Verdict

The Arc’teryx Beta LT offers superb weight and good general features; but for this price other jackets offer more for the money, unless ultra-low weight is your top priority.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Berghaus Civetta (2013)

The Berghaus Civetta uses the latest version of Gore-Tex and this new Pro version is said to be more breathable than previous Gore-Tex fabrics, so it’s about as good as it gets. The jacket design is fairly plain but functional. You get an averagely short body with a main zip that is very chunky, allowing easier use because it’s less likely to get clogged up; but there is no external stormflap, so an internal one drains away leaks. The pockets are big enough for maps and they’re placed high on the chest for easy access above rucksack belts. There are pit zips too for extra ventilation. Sleeve movement is good, although not quite as good as the best here as I did get some hem movement when raising my arms. The hood has a great wired peak, and it fits and moves effortlessly with the head even without the jacket fully zipped up – and this is the best feature of the Berghaus Civetta. The weight of 461g (size L) is good but you are getting fewer pockets and the design is quite short. The overall style is somewhat less fitted than other jackets and somehow it feels as if you are getting less finesse, but at £280 it is nonetheless probably ideal for most hill and mountain walkers and scramblers.

Weight 461g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.berghaus.com

Verdict

Not the most inspiring design, but the Berghaus Civetta’s basic feature set is well-designed to be practical on the hill. Relatively good value, and light, too.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Marmot Spire (2013)

The Marmot Spire has been around a few years and surprisingly it still uses standard Gore-Tex rather than the new Pro version, while it tips the scales at 713g, which adds up to this not being as instantly appealing as some other jackets. But on closer inspection it does have a snow skirt attached, which you can zip out and save 62g. It may not be the latest fabric but it works well enough when mountain walking in the UK. Also, this fabric has a stiffer and more robust feel about it, which is ideal for challenging weather as it helps trap warm air inside. Better still the Marmot Spire is 6cm longer than some jackets here so my groin had more protection from the elements! You also get a stormflap over the main zip so it is much less likely to leak in driving rain. There are pit zips too in case you need more airflow. The sleeves are not as well-designed as others, though, as the hem or cuff tended to ride up more easily than some jackets. The hood fits reasonably well, even without being fully adjusted – and it has a great wired peak too. There are only two chest pockets but these are big enough for maps and well-placed to allow easy access while wearing a rucksack. So the overall package is great.

Weight 713g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes XS-XL

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.marmot.cu

Verdict

A little heavy and not the latest version of Gore-Tex, but the Marmot Spire is a good price for a jacket that is longer than most and has all the most important features for comfort in the mountains in winter.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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The North Face Point Five VG (2013)

The North Face’s Point Five VG is built around Gore-Tex Pro, and in our test it was the lowest-priced Pro jacket we received. The design is fairly standard with two chest pockets, pit zips and hood, but all these features are very well-designed. The body is not as short as some, but you can get longer jackets, so it is of average length. There is an exposed water-resistant front zip, which is not one of the chunkier designs, but it is perfectly good. Inside you get a flap to manage any leaks, which, although not as well-designed as some others, is perfectly good enough. The two chest pockets are large enough for maps and well-positioned for good access when you’re wearing a pack, but you do not get a third chest pocket, which is a pity. The hood is exceptionally good and certainly better than I would normally expect from The North Face as it has a wired peak plus great fit and movement. When scrambling there is good movement in the sleeves to prevent cuff or hem lift. Overall the The North Face Point Five VG is a good jacket in terms of design and at 452g (size L) it is a great weight – but I’d prefer a third chest pocket, and to maintain the current weight and price I’d choose to ditch the pit zips. But you may like it as it is.

Weight 452g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes XS-L

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.thenorthface.com

Verdict

The TNF Point Five VG is the best-priced Gore-Tex Pro jacket in our test, and if you can live without an additional third chest pocket it is the ideal choice for hill and mountain walkers.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Mountain Hardwear Exposure II Parka (2013)

A well-established jacket that has been restyled. The Mountain Hardwear Exposure II Parka uses Dry Q Elite fabric with a nylon lining, which offers high levels of condensation control while feeling robust enough to withstand abrasion on rock. It does weigh in pretty heavy at 694g (size L), which is in part due to it having a loose lining and such a rugged outer fabric but probably also because it is so much longer than most jackets, completely covering my bum. The cut is not as well-fitted as other designs though, so on me the body ‘billowed’ in parts a little more than I would have liked. There are two great main pockets on the chest plus a third small pocket that just about takes an OS map at a tight squeeze. You get pit zips and the front zip is exposed as are most, with an internal flap to trap leaks. The hood fitted well and moved well with the head but the peak is not as stiff as other jackets around this price, which is a bit of a let-down. Overall, the Mountain Hardwear Exposure II Parka is reasonable for the price and the extra length is a real benefit, but the finer details could be better. But if £250 is your budget this is a great option as you will need to pay quite a lot more to get big improvements.

Weight 694g (size men’s L)

Fabric 2-layer Dry Q Elite

Lining nylon

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.mountainhardwear.eu

Verdict

The longer body length is the real benefit of the Mountain Hardwear Exposure II Parka, but the weight, third chest pocket and hood could all be better if you are looking for top performance and can afford to spend more cash.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Rab Nexus (2013)

Rab has used Polartec Neoshell in the Nexus, which is a relatively new 3-layer fabric that boasts excellent breathability in the lab. The theoretical drawback is that the material is not as waterproof compared to some higher-priced options, but according to Polartec this is plenty waterproof enough; increasing it just reduces breathability. To date the fabric has performed superbly on the hill and my view is that the design probably plays a greater role in comfort anyway. To that end the Nexus is also superbly designed. It’s a notch longer than some other jackets we looked at, so overtrousers won’t be needed quite so readily. The sleeves allow good movement and the cuffs can be adjusted to fit inside or outside gloves. The main zip is left exposed to the elements but it is a chunkier version than most, so it should keep water out pretty well – there is an internal gutter system too. There are just three pockets, which I think is ideal, and these are all large and easily accessed. The hood is excellent thanks to good adjustment and a wired peak. Although you don’t get pit zips or additional pockets, that does help to keep the weight down to a reasonable 511g (size L) and, when combined with the price, the Rab Nexus all adds up to a very good winter mountain jacket.

Weight 511g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Polartec Neoshell

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes 8-16

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents no

Website www.rab.uk.com

Verdict

In the Rab Nexus great design for mountain walking and scrambling is combined with a good price and a great fabric to create the perfect combination for most hillgoers. The jacket won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Karrimor Phantom (2013)

As the Karrimor Phantom is made from a pretty tough version of 3-layer eVent fabric, it weighs in quite heavy at 740g (size L). But you are getting plenty of great features here, so you may feel the extra weight is acceptable. First, it is very long by modern standards, being 8cm longer than some jackets here, meaning it covered my nether regions admirably! There is a good degree of space underneath for extra insulation as this is not a jacket with the close, athletic fit that some provide. The main zip is a chunky design that does not get an external stormflap, but it does have a small internal flap to keep leaks under control. There are pit zips for extra ventilation, although these are shorter than most. The four chest-mounted pockets are all big enough and accessible enough to be really useful on the hill. The hood is helmet-compatible with a wired peak and, once adjusted, it provided good movement and clear vision when I turned my head. However, I had to tighten it more than others, and when less tightly adjusted the fit and movement were not as good. So do try the Karrimor Phantom before you buy. An unusual addition is the rubber patches on the shoulders and hips to improve durability.

Weight 740g (size L)

Fabric 3-layer Event

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 4

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.sportsdirect.com

Verdict

The Karrimor Phantom is not quite as good as other jackets we looked at in terms of weight and hood design, but that extra body length is a real advantage when walking in the rain.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Páramo Enduro/Ventura (2013)

The Páramo Enduro (men’s)/Ventura (women’s) is a new jacket that features stretch Analogy fabric to allow it to have a closer, ‘athletic’ fit. The stretch fabric is situated across the shoulders, down the inside of the sleeves and down the sides of the body. Previously Páramo garments have generally been quite loose, so you may or may not like this new closer fit. What’s also a shift away from some other Páramo winter classics is that this is a much shorter style – and for me it just felt too short. However, the sleeve movement is excellent so at least the hem does not ride up when arms are raised over the head. You get four pockets on the chest and three of them are map-sized while the fourth is described as a ‘fast access’ pocket, with Velcro rather than a zip closure, and a smaller size. The hood is very good with a wired peak plus very good fit and movement. Overall I am sure that some people will love the Páramo Enduro/Ventura’s more athletic fit. As the fabric provides a good degree of insulation you won’t need to wear this over many layers, so the close fit is not likely to be a major problem. Also Páramo makes layers, such as the Torres, to be worn over its garments – and this would work well with that. But the price, weight and length are still drawbacks for me when mountain walking and scrambling.

Weight 853g (size men’s L)

Fabric Nikwax Analogy Light treated with Nikwax TX Direct

Lining Nikwax Pump Liner

Men’s sizes S-XXL (Enduro)

Women’s sizes XS-XL (Ventura)

External pockets 4

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.paramo.co.uk

Verdict

The Enduro/Ventura needs to be viewed as part of a Páramo clothing system but its weight, short length and high price tag are still drawbacks compared to other options.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Mountain Equipment Lhotse/Manaslu (2013)

The Mountain Equipment Lhotse (men’s version) has previously been a firm favourite of mine and it’s regularly done well in Trail gear reviews. For 2013 this classic gets a few design tweaks as well as the new Gore-Tex Pro fabric, which boasts increased breathability over its predecessors. The jacket now has an ‘Alpine fit’, meaning it is closer-fitting than before, which is no bad thing as it had started to feel a bit ‘boxy’ compared with newer designs. But for me the new version is a bit short and I’d prefer a good 5cm extra in length. Like many modern designs the main zip is left exposed, with an internal flap to keep leaks under control, while the chunky nature of the zip itself should resist grit and mud easily. The three large chest pockets are ideal for hands, maps or guidebooks, while the pair of pit zips can be used to vent the jacket on the move. The hood is a typically good effort from Mountain Equipment, with a wired peak and excellent fit and movement making it a joy a wear. All that for 571g and £300 is pretty good by current standards, although for my money I’d like a bit more length to make it absolutely perfect when mountain walking, backpacking and scrambling. The Manaslu is the women’s version of this jacket.

Weight 571g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL (Lhotse)

Women’s sizes 8-16 (Manaslu)

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.mountain-equipment.co.uk

Verdict

A reasonable price and weight for a jacket that is generally well-designed for heading to the hills, unless you want a little more length on the body. The Mountain Equipment Lhotse/Manaslu won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published 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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Montane Alpine Endurance (2013)

The Montane Alpine Endurance is designed for alpine-style mountaineering, where a climber is belaying his mate one minute and then taking the lead. It is made from a good version of eVent, so it has proven waterproofness and breathability performance, but it’s also sturdy enough not to buckle in a breeze or tear when rubbing shoulders with rock. The length is typically short, but the rear is extended so your bum gets some extra protection. If you raise your arms over your head the cuffs and hem don’t budge, which is essential. A nice detail is the cuff adjustment, which is neat while allowing the cuff to be worn inside or over gloves. The front zip is a chunky design, so it is better able than some to resist snow and grit from impeding its action. There is no external stormflap, which is not ideal, although there is a good internal flap to act as a gutter to funnel any water away. There are four chest pockets and all are ideally designed with large zip pulls, and a nice addition is a small mesh vent at the top of the inner lining of the pocket to allow a little airflow. There are also pit zips for extra venting. The hood is helmet-compatible but it also fits the head superbly well, even when the face drawcords and front zip are not adjusted properly. But the Montane Alpine Endurance’s weight (642g, size M) is a drawback.

Weight 642g (size men’s M)

Fabric 3-layer eVent

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 4

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.montane.co.uk

Verdict

The Montane Alpine Endurance is a superb jacket for mountaineering but the weight is a drawback.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Mammut Crater (2013)

For £250 the Mammut Crater has a lot going for it. It’s made from standard Gore-Tex rather than the new Pro version, but that still offers plenty of breathability to keep you dry from condensation when hillwalking. The fabric’s quite robust as well, so it feels as though it can withstand plenty of abrasion against rocks during scrambles and does not deform too badly when battered by the wind. Get the jacket on and it’s noticeably longer in the body than many modern jackets, making it something of a rarity, and so it protects your groin and bum better. The sleeve movement is reasonably good too, so you can scramble without fear of the hem riding up too much. The front zip is exposed as per the current trend, but the zip is not as chunky as others we looked at and the internal flap is not as well-designed to funnel water down the jacket if the zip leaks. There are just two pockets but these are a good size and easily accessible, while pit zips aid ventilation. The hood doesn’t get a wired peak but it is stiffened, and the fit and movement were very good even when the face drawcords or main zip were not properly done up. For the price the Mammut Crater is a great jacket; although pay a little more and you could gain a third chest pocket, a wired peak and reduced weight.

Weight 563g (size men’s L)

Fabric Gore-Tex

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.mammut.ch

Verdict

The Mammut Crater is a great hill and mountain jacket for the price, though you do get slightly better features and performance if you can stretch your budget – but if this is your limit it is a winner.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Adidas Terrex IceFeather (2012)

The Adidas Terrex IceFeather is a very neat, well-designed Pro Shell jacket here, weighing a very reasonable 470g (size US8) and with good features for mountaineering and snow sports. There are four hipbelt-compatible outer pockets with water-resistant zips but no stormflaps, the lower two have venting mesh and glove-friendly zip pulls, while the upper two are smaller and could do with longer, more glove-friendly zip pulls. There’s also a stretch mesh inside pocket handy for small items. The main zip is water-resistant with a substantial stormflap behind it that withstands the elements well, and there are water-resistant pit zips for increased venting. The Adidas Formation design makes for excellent arm movement so there is no problem with the jacket riding up while scrambling, the cuffs are very easy to adjust and feature non-catching Velcro, and for snowy activities there’s a removable snow skirt (55g). The helmet-compatible hood fits well and adjusts well, but the vertical adjusters could do with looping through the jacket to neaten up the excess elastic created when the hood is pulled tight. The Adidas Terrex IceFeather’s wired peak is nicely broad, giving good protection from wind and rain, but there is no means of securing it when not in use.

Weight 498g (size UK12)
Material Gore-Tex Pro, 3 layer
Women’s sizes XS-XL
Men’s sizes n/a
Pit zips yes
Wired hood peak no
Stowable hood no
Website www.marmot.eu

 

Verdict

The Adidas Terrex IceFeather is a neat, well-featured jacket that’s good for winter walking and snow sports; but you can get even better features for less money.

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine November 2012


Marmot Terminus (2012)

This breathable, hard-wearing Gore-Tex Pro 3L jacket packs in a fantastic range of features and still manages to weigh just under 500g (size UK12), but it may have more going on than most walkers need. The Marmot Terminus has four hipbelt-compatible outer pockets with water-resistant zips but no stormflaps, the lower larger two with venting holes, and the top right with a hole for your iPod headphones, plus a small wrist pocket and one inner mesh pocket. The main zip is water-resistant and has a substantial stormflap behind, and there are water-resistant pit zips for increased venting. The Marmot Terminus’s arms are long and articulated, so there’s plenty of freedom of movement for scrambling, and there is a removable snow skirt (54g) for snowy activities. The helmet-compatible hood is great, with a wide wired peak, but there is a little extra material around the neck area and the side elastic loops stick out when you pull it in tight around your head, plus there is no means of stowing the hood away when not in use. The price is high when you consider you can get a jacket with all the features you need for £150 less. The closest men’s equivalent is the Cerro Torre Jacket (£430).

Weight 470g (size UK12)
Material Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3 Layer
Women’s sizes US6-10 (= UK 10-14)
Men’s sizes 32-54in
Pit zips yes
Wired hood peak yes
Stowable hood no
Website www.marmot.eu

 

 

Verdict

The Marmot Terminus has a great features and design for winter mountains and snow sports, but it may be more than some walkers need.

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine November 2012