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How to buy a waterproof jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to re-waterproof your rain jacket and other rainwear?

If you often have to wear a rain jacket, rain pants or other waterproof clothes, you have probably noticed that the performance of these garments decreases with time. While your new rain jacket kept you dry for hours, it can’t withstand more than half of an hour of rain after half a year of intensive use. The cause is usually that the garment’s DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating has faded. The good news is that you can re-waterproof your garments and thus prolong their lifespan. Re-waterproofing is also fairly inexpensive. All you need is a bottle of DWR spray which costs less than $20. DWR ensures that your garments don’t absorb the water but, as the name suggests, repel it. Applying DWR is a very easy and efficient method to increase the waterproofness of garments. However, this method will obviously only work on undamaged garments. There is no spray that will magically fix a torn or worn-out fabric.

In the following I’ll explain how to re-waterproof your clothes. Before writing this article, I re-waterproofed my Montane Atomic rain pants which showed indications of faded DWR protection. Rather than repelling water, they started to soak it up and therefore leaked very fast. For re-waterproofing I used the Eco Textile Proof DWR spray from the Swiss brand Toko. But let’s start with the basics and clarify which clothes can be re-waterproofed with DWR, why and when should you re-waterproof your clothes with DWR and which brands make DWR sprays.

Re-Waterproofing Rainwear:

Which clothes can you re-waterproof with DWR?

DWR should be applied only to clothes that were initially treated with DWR. Such clothes are rain jackets, rain pants, softshell jackets and some winter jackets. Nowadays, basically every high-quality garment that is designed for weather protection is treated with DWR. If you are not sure that your garment was treated with DWR, check the product’s technical specifications. You can usually find technical specifications on the brand’s website.

Why and when should you re-waterproof your clothes with DWR?

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

The garment is still water-repellent (see water droplets on the fabric) – no need for re-waterproofing!

DWR creates a hydrophobic (water-resistant) coating on the fabric. Therefore, DWR treated garments repel the water. If the fabric doesn’t repel the water, it will eventually leak because no membrane is 100% waterproof, despite the promises from brands like Gore-Tex. In case that the garment doesn’t repel the water, it also becomes much less breathable since the moisture from the inside (perspiration) can’t escape to the outside – it gets blocked by the water on the outside of the fabric.

DWR is applied to waterproof and water-resistant garments during the manufacturing process, but it eventually fades/washes out and needs to be reapplied. If you see that your garment is soaking up water, especially in light rain, it’s time to reapply DWR.

If you want to avoid reapplying DWR every several months, I recommend that you don’t wash your rainwear in a washing machine or with a detergent. Detergents accelerate DWR loss. I typically hand wash my rainwear gently and only with water to avoid washing out the DWR coating.

Which brands make DWR sprays?

The most popular brands that make DWR sprays are Nikwax, Toko and Grangers. These brands make DWR sprays as well as DWR laundry detergents. I decided to go for a spray since I don’t want to put my delicate rainwear such as the super thin Montane Minimus jacket in the washing machine. I’d rather apply it manually and see that all areas are covered evenly.

How to re-waterproof your clothes with DWR?

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Re-waterproofing rainwear with DWR spray

Before applying DWR, read the instructions on your DWR spray. However, the process is pretty much the same for all DWR sprays.

First you should wash the garment to remove dirt and body oils since these will prevent the DWR from sticking to the garment properly. Some DWR sprays like the Toko Eco Textile Proof, which I used, require that the garment is dry before the application while others require that the garment is damp (Nikwax and Grangers). Verify what your choice of DWR-spray requires in the respective instructions. Then hang or lay out the garment flat and start spraying it from 4 to 10 inches away (10-25 cm). Note that the DWR should be applied only to the outer side of the garment, not the inner. I recommend that you do the application outside in dry still weather or in a well-ventilated room because inhaling DWR can cause dizziness. It might also be smart to wear a pair of safety glasses since DWR can cause serious eye irritation.

After you applied DWR to the entire outer surface of the garment wait for several minutes and then remove any excess liquid with a damp cloth. It is very important that you remove the excess liquid as otherwise you will have ugly white spots all over your garment. When the excess liquid is removed, leave the garment to dry naturally for several hours – do not put it on a radiator or tumble dry. Now, your garment should be again reasonably waterproof.

Conclusion

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Do DWR sprays really work? Left is a piece of paper without DWR treatment and right is a DWR treated piece of paper.

So, do DWR sprays really work? Yes, they do. To prove this, I conducted a very simple experiment. I took two identical pieces of toilet paper and I sprayed one with the Toko Eco Textile Proof DWR spray and let it dry. Then I put both pieces in each their bowl of tap water. As you can see on the image the piece sprayed with DWR didn’t soak up water while the other piece absorbed the water in seconds and sank to the bottom.

DWR is an easy, efficient and inexpensive method to rebuild water resistance of your garments. My Montane Atomic rain pants restored waterproofness after I sprayed them with the DWR. However, they indeed aren’t as waterproof now as they were three years ago when I bought them. The fabric has unquestionably been worn out and no garment lasts forever if you use it on a regular basis. This is especially true for rainwear which is nowadays made of super delicate fabrics in order to be lightweight and pack small. Nevertheless, if your garment is losing waterproofness and doesn’t have any visible damages, I do recommend applying DWR to it. It’s very likely that this will solve your problem with waterproofness.

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on re-waterproofing clothes. Write them in the comments section below.

The best rain jackets seal out the elements, even in a downpour. Here’s how to find the right one.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Get Watertight If you’ll be riding in rain, choose a waterproof jacket instead of a water-resistant one (which might protect you against a light sprinkle, but will let a deluge soak through). Turn the coat inside out and make sure all the seams and stitching are sealed with tape, because even waterproof garments can leak in areas punctured by a sewing needle.

Air It Out
“It’s critical that a jacket releases body moisture,” says Bill Rudell, public relations manager at Sugoi. Otherwise your sweat won’t evaporate and you’ll get cold when you stop moving. Vents can help, as will fabrics like Gore-Tex that act as a one-way membrane, allowing heat and perspiration to escape without letting moisture in.

Go Slim
A rain jacket should fit snugly without restricting movement. In colder temperatures pair it with a wool or synthetic base layer, which will help pull moisture away from your body so it can evaporate through the coat. A few millimeters of air between layers can help make this magic happen. If the jacket is too tight or too loose it won’t allow proper airflow.

KEY FEATURES
1. High Visibility

To get noticed during a rainstorm, you want a jacket with reflective elements on the front, back, and sides. This will reflect lights approaching from any direction, making you more visible.

2. Comfortable Cuffs
To keep rain from creeping in around your wrists, the cuffs should fit tightly (without constricting) and extend over your gloves when you’re in the riding position.

3. Stash Pockets
Look for small compartments with waterproof zippers to keep money, lip balm, and other essentials dry. The pockets should be easy to reach on a jacket’s side or back.

Save yourself a few dollars by learning how to revitalize it with the right tools and a few simple steps.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

If you haven’t washed or treated your waterproof-breathable jacket, and it’s seen a few seasons of use, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t keep you as dry as it used to. One of the biggest misconceptions with waterproof jackets is that you should never wash them. If you don’t wash them, your jacket’s pores can clog and it will no longer be breathable. The oils from your skin can also lead to delamination in the liner of your jacket. There is a simple process for washing your jacket and revitalizing its waterproofing that will help you get more out of your jacket and help to extend its life for a few more seasons.

A Note on DWR

When you’re buying a rain jacket (here’s our guide to the best rain jackets available) or any outerwear for that matter, you’ll often come across the initials DWR, which stand for durable water repellent. DWR is a coating applied to fabrics that lets them shed fluids, and they’re commonly used in conjunction with waterproof membranes. DWR works by making the surface of the exterior fabric spiky at a microscopic level, which forces water and other liquids into rounder, beaded forms. That helps them roll off the garment instead of saturating it. DWR isn’t permanent, but it can easily be revived.

Related Video: Arc’Teryx Veilance Rhomb Lightweight, Breathable Rain Jacket

How To Re-Waterproof Your Rain Jacket

1 Take a look at your jacket. The first step in the process of getting your rain jacket ready for spring is to take a thorough look at it. Start with the inside. If the lining is peeling or bubbling and separating from the membrane, it’s time to retire your rain jacket. The next few steps will help to prevent this from happening to your new jacket. Secondly, apply some drops of water to your jacket. Does it bead and roll off? If you shake it does it come off? If so, you’re all set. But if the water sits on the fabric and starts to seep into the fibers (the fabric will darken), then it’s time to revive your DWR.

2 Wash your jacket. To wash your jacket, use a specially formulated detergent. We recommend Nikwax’s Tech Wash, though Granger also makes a suitable wash. Place your jacket in the washing machine. In a front-loading washing machine, make sure to remove any buildup in the detergent dispenser, then add the Tech Wash. For a top-loading washing machine, add the detergent once the machine has filled with water. A good rule of thumb is one capful of detergent for each jacket. (In hard-water areas, Nikwax recommends adding an additional capful.) Set the cycle to heavy (or synthetics if your machine has it) and warm water.

Dry your jacket according to the instructions on its tag. If the waterproofing hasn’t been revitalized, move on to step three.

3 Wash your jacket again using TX Direct. After you have finished washing the jacket, wash it again following the same guidelines, this time using Nikwax’s TX Direct Wash-In. This will revitalize the waterproofing in your jacket’s membrane and add fresh DWR.

4 Dry the jacket. To dry your jacket, tumble dry it on low heat for no more than ten minutes. This will help to shake off most of the water and start the drying process. Take your jacket out of the dryer and hang dry it overnight.

5 Inspect your jacket for holes and tears. Look for any tears, pinholes, or abrasions in your jacket. If your jacket has a pinhole or tear, use Gear Aid’s Gore-Tex fabric patches to patch the hole. Cut the patch in either a circular or oval shape to reduce the chances of peeling. For a stronger bond, use an iron on its lowest possible setting for a few seconds on the patch to bond it to the jacket. (Be extremely careful using an iron. If the iron is too hot, it will melt your jacket.) For abrasions, use Gear Aid’s Tenacious Tape to cover the abraded areas. Again, cut the patches in circles or ovals to reduce the risk of peeling.

Waterproofing a nylon jacket and other synthetic or natural materials is a great idea. Even though a jacket may have been waterproof when it was purchased, the water repellent may dissipate over time. Adding or restoring the water repellent to a jacket will provide a protective barrier that water, oil and most other solutions cannot penetrate. Adding a protective layer will also make the jacket stain-resistant. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will be able to extend the life of their jackets and not have to replace these items as often.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Things You’ll Need

Clean white cloth

Washing machine (optional)

Step 1

Test your jacket for colorfastness. Take the jacket outside and stand with the breeze at your back. Spray a small amount of waterproofing spray on an inconspicuous area of the jacket. Gently rub the sprayed area with a clean white cloth and see if any color from the jacket comes off onto the cloth. If the cloth remains white then continue to the next step. Otherwise, stop. You should not apply this treatment material to the garment.

Step 2

Wash your nylon jacket in the washing machine using warm water and laundry soap. The jacket must be rinsed thoroughly for the waterproofing spray to have the best adhesion. If preferred the jacket may be hand washed and thoroughly rinsed. Allow jacket to dry.

Step 3

Find a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. Breathing toxic fumes is not healthy and chemically sensitive people may want to wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of the spray. Choose an area that is not exposed to windy conditions.

Step 4

Hang the jacket on a hanger to ensure full exposure of the outer portion of the jacket. Hang the hanger at a height that allows for easy application of the spray.

Step 5

Spray the waterproofing silicone on the jacket with steady even strokes. Be sure to evenly coat all of the seams. Allow the spray to build until the jacket is evenly wet. Check to make sure the entire surface of the jacket is covered. Do not over spray or allow the waterproofing to become too heavy. Let the jacket dry until only slightly wet.

Step 6

Heat the jacket by one of the following methods: The best performance of the silicone is achieved by ironing the jacket on the highest heat setting allowed by the jacket manufacturer. Locate the tag inside the jacket and find cleaning instructions that should provide this information. The jacket may also be placed in the dryer or a hairdryer may also be used. The item should be completely dry before wearing.

Step 7

Apply a second treatment for maximum protection.

Be sure to rinse all soap residue from the jacket before waterproofing.

It is important to cover all seams in the clothing to prevent possible leaking.

Warning

Individuals with respiratory problems should wear a mask to avoid breathing silicone spray fumes.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

A waterproof jacket is an essential on most KE holidays, whether walking in the Himalayas or cycling in the Balkans. The weather can change within minutes and as we want you to have a great time, we want to help you as much as possible to get the right kit to take with you. Our recommended retailer Cotswold Outdoor have sent us their Waterproof Buying Guide to help you find the right waterproof jacket for your KE Adventure.

Whatever the activity, the requirements are the same.

What do you need your jacket for?

Many waterproof jackets are designed with a particular activity in mind. Some are made for high-intensity activities like running or cycling. These make breathability their main feature; helping to keep you comfortable by allowing all the extra heat to escape. Others balance durability, waterproofness and breathability, and are for sports such as mountaineering or ski touring.

These use hardwearing waterproof fabrics that may feel stiffer on the body but can stand up to the demands of the mountains, such as abrasive rocks or carrying a heavy rucksack. Most people, however, are usually looking for a jacket that provides everyday protection and sits between these two extremes. The selection of these jackets is much wider, covering a range of brands, prices, fits and colours, with some lighter in weight and others stronger depending on your preference.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

how is a jacket made waterproof?

Some jackets have a waterproof membrane – a highly sophisticated material with microscopic holes across its surface, which are so small that liquid water cannot get through, but vapour can pass freely. Other jackets have a ‘coating’ or ‘laminate’ instead, which involves covering the jacket in a rubber-like material that dries to seal the jacket in a similar way to a membrane. Jackets waterproofed in this way tend to be cheaper.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Does it have to be gore-tex®?

GORE-TEX® is by far the best-known waterproof membrane and is the choice of many brands thanks to its durability and reliability. However, some brands are so confident in alternatives that they choose not to use GORE-TEX® at all, whilst others choose to use it in some items and develop their own membranes in others. Cotswold Outdoor stock a wide variety of options, so you can choose which one is best suited to you.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

What features should i look for?

A comfortable fit

How a jacket should fit is entirely subjective: you should simply choose the one you are comfortable wearing. Some like a jacket long enough to cover the waistband, whereas others prefer it short and tailored. However, if you’re buying a jacket for a specific activity, there are a few things to consider when trying on. With climbing, for example, are the pockets high enough to be clear of your harness, or can you still see your feet? Or if you want it for running, is it tailored enough to sit close to the body and reduce drag?

More general considerations include: do the sleeves cover your wrists as you move your arms around? Is the material too tight across the shoulders and underarms? Remember, you may wear the jacket in a range of temperatures, so think carefully about the number of layers underneath and choose the fit accordingly.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Zips

To keep water out, some jackets use what is called a hydro-seal zip: a rubber mechanism that binds shut when closed. Others use a storm baffle, which is a piece of material that folds over the zip. Both methods are effective; a hydro-seal zip is lighter and less bulky, while a storm baffle tends to be more durable.

Some jackets also have pit-zips, which follow the underarms and can be opened if you get too hot. All jackets should be breathable, but this addition is great for comfort if you know you are prone to overheating.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Internal lining

A waterproof jacket acts as a shell, protecting you and the layers underneath from the elements. This means that many waterproof jackets have no insulating properties. However, 3-in-1 jackets are available which have a detachable insulating layer and make a great choice for everyday wear as they can be adapted to suit all weather.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

The Hood

A hood’s function is simple: protect your head and face from the elements. A well-designed hood can make even the heaviest rainstorm feel like a light shower.

Some hoods feature a wire peak, which enables you to ‘customise’ the fit and shape of your hood. Other jackets have larger hoods to accommodate a helmet, which is useful if you plan to wear your jacket for climbing or cycling. When putting the hood up, make sure it firmly fastens around your head and face without obstructing your vision; that the peak forms a protective shield for your eyes; and that it is easy to turn your head without limiting your movements.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Pull cords and velcro

Waterproof jackets should have good quality draw cord or Velcro seals at the head and wrists, to effectively keep water out. Velcro tabs should be easily accessed and sealed, and elastic pull-cords should be intuitively placed.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Expert Advice In-Store

Cotswold Outdoor’s in-store experts will be able to give you advice on the features of each jacket and help you select the most suitable waterproof for your activity from over 250 of the best brands.

Once you’ve found the perfect jacket, you’ll be ready for your next KE Adventure and don’t forget, all KE Travellers receive a 15% discount voucher to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow+Rock, Runners Need and Cycle Surgery.

need more help to choose the right jacket? watch this video.

When your waterproof jacket was new, you might have noticed the way water beaded up on its fabric. A quick shake was all you needed to get rid of that moisture.

But after a season of adventures, your shell might need a little TLC. Maybe it’s starting to look a bit soggy, like the jacket on the left in this photo – a phenomenon known as “wetting out.” Or maybe it’s just plain dirty.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof-breathable fabric wetting out (left) compared to the nicely beading water on the fabric on the right.

Test whether it’s time to wash your rain jacket by laying it flat and spraying it with water. If the water beads up, like it does on the fabric on the right, you’re all set. But if the jacket absorbs the water droplets, like the one on the left, it’s time to give it a wash and restore the waterproof finish.

Why wash a waterproof jacket or rain pants?

A waterproof-breathable membrane helps move moisture away from your body, while a durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment keeps rain and splashes out. But over time, the membrane and DWR finish can become clogged with dirt, sunscreen and oil from your skin, which makes them less effective. You know it’s time to wash your jacket or pants when they start wetting out, or when you see dirt or visible stains.

For small stains or dirt patches, try spot-washing with a wet cloth. But if your jacket’s really dirty, it might be time for a full wash.

How to wash a waterproof jacket

  1. Check the inner tag for the manufacturer’s washing instructions. We’ll go over the best practices for most waterproof-breathable fabrics, but it’s good to make sure they match what your jacket’s maker recommends.
  2. Rinse out your washing machine’s detergent dispenser, if possible, to get rid of any residue.
  3. Use a technical wash made especially for waterproof outerwear, or any mild detergent without additives like stain removers. Don’t use fabric softener, powder detergent or bleach – these could permanently damage the waterproof membrane.
  4. Close all zippers and hook-and-loop closures to prevent snags. Use a warm wash setting, an extra rinse to remove all detergent, and a low spin cycle.
  5. Dry your jacket by hanging it on a rack or hanger, or in the dryer on medium heat.
  6. Once it’s dry, put it in the dryer on a warm setting for 20 minutes. This heat helps reactivate the DWR treatment on the jacket’s outer layer. If you don’t have a dryer, put a towel or cloth over the jacket and iron it, using a low setting and no steam.
  7. Test your jacket’s water repellency by laying it flat and spraying water on it. If the water beads up, you’re all set – you’ve restored your jacket’s waterproofing. If your jacket still wets through, it’s time to reapply a waterproof finish.

How to re-waterproof a jacket or pants

Restore your jacket’s DWR treatment using either a spray or wash-in treatment. A wash-in waterproofer gives you more even coverage and is less messy, while a spray-on DWR treatment lets you target areas that are most likely to wet out because they get more abrasion and contact, like the shoulders, waist and cuffs. If your jacket has insulation or a fabric lining, your best bet is a spray-on waterproofer.

Follow the instructions on the product. If you’re using a spray-on treatment, apply it evenly across the jacket, making sure not to miss seams and awkward spots like elbows.

Test your jacket one more time, and you’re good to go.

Can you dry clean GORE-TEX or other waterproof fabrics?

It’s best to wash your waterproof-breathable gear in a regular washing machine. You can wash these items alone, or with a small load of lightly soiled clothing.

If you absolutely have to dry clean your jacket or pants, Gore recommends asking the cleaner to use clear distilled hydrocarbon solvent to rinse it, and then spraying DWR on the outside before drying.

Omni-Tech jackets, made by Champion, are designed to be waterproof. They are also air permeable so moisture vapors can escape, allowing you to stay dry from the inside out. Just like with most other types of waterproofed gear, Omni-Tech jackets have a durable water repellent, or DWR, finish on the outside. This finish may deteriorate over time, but that doesn’t mean your jacket is no good. You can restore the DWR finish on the jacket to make it waterproof once again.

Empty all the pockets of the jacket. Close all zippers and fasten any buttons on the jacket.

Place the jacket in the washing machine. Run it through a complete wash cycle using warm water and mild powdered laundry detergent.

Tumble dry the jacket on low heat in the dryer until it is completely dry.

Lay the jacket flat on an ironing board and iron the outside of the jacket on the low steam setting. The heat from the dryer and iron will reactivate the DWR protective coating if it’s still present.

Check the jacket after washing, drying and ironing to see if the DWR finish is still intact. Place a few drops of water on the jacket. If the water beads up, the waterproof finish is still active. If the water soaks into the fabric, the finish will need to be reapplied.

Purchase a spray-on finish if the water soaks into the fabric. Read the instructions for applying the product, as this may vary among manufacturers. Generally, the product is sprayed evenly onto the outside of the jacket while it’s wet, then the jacket is dried on medium-heat in the dryer.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

This jacket is heavy-duty, warm and waterproof, making it the best option.

Soft fleece lining keeps you warm, while the waterproof exterior coating keeps you dry. Offers multiple pockets for storage. Gets top marks for the earphone line fastening and supporting fixture inside the jacket.

Some issues with zippers breaking or sticking.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

No-frills, high-quality rain jacket.

Lowest priced item on our list. The deep hood offers excellent coverage. Excellent protection against the rain.

Doesn’t last as long as other products.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Lightest weight rain-protection technology.

Ultra lightweight protection provided by full seam sealing and Omni-tech fabric. We love how the jacket can fold up inside its own pocket for easy storage.

Runs a little large.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Protects you from the elements and keeps you dry and warm.

2.5-layer system keeps runners protected from wind and rain but is still breathable. Lightweight and offers a great fit.

Not completely waterproof.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

A good buy if style is as important as function.

Stylish jacket that is designed to look good with all casual outfits. Multiple pockets to hold all essential items.

Customers have complained of ripped seams and broken zippers after minimal use.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Whether you need a jacket for hiking in light rain or commuting in a downpour, a waterproof jacket can save you the discomfort of soggy clothes. Like all outdoor jackets, waterproof ones vary in their materials, breathability, and insulation.

Most waterproof jackets fall into the category of “hard shell” jackets, meaning that they are fully waterproof and have a somewhat stiff outer layer. “Soft shell” jackets are designed to be worn over other insulating clothing or even as an additional layer under a hard shell jacket. Some waterproof jackets include additional insulated layers. The degree of waterproofing doesn’t vary much from one jacket to the next, but other factors like breathability and packability can.

A good waterproof jacket can be a modest investment, so it’s important to find the right one for you and your activities. Our buying guide explains the varieties of waterproof jackets available and their common features. We’ve also selected several that we think stand out from the rest.

Whatever your budget, we’ve picked the best kit to keep you dry

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

When it comes to parting with cash for a waterproof jacket, it’s important to remember author Alfred Wainright’s musings — “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. But, even in 2020, with functional clothing and performance gear at its zenith, people continue to get it wrong up and down the country. What’s more, with the tumultuous British weather showing no signs of abating, investing in a high quality men’s waterproof jacket should be at the top of your list. The best part? You don’t need to sacrifice your personal style or go-to colourways for picking a shell that suits. Here, we adventured through the digital aisles to find the best waterproof jackets that not only perform well, but look great also. You’ll find our pick of 13 below — unlucky for some, but handy for you.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Designed with the hardened city-dweller in mind, there’s no reason an avid hiker can’t don Adidas’ headline waterproof jacket this season. Part of the aptly-named ‘MYSHELTER’ collection, this ‘packlite’ jacket acts as second skin, while being totally waterproof — thanks to its Goretex membrane — and windproof. Simply put, it’s a commuter jacket on steroids.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

When it comes to waterproof jackets, subtle doesn’t have to mean boring. Farah’s Strode Hooded Coat — available in ‘moss’ and true navy colourways — is the ideal no-frills commuter jacket. With Aertex lining, zipped pockets and an elasticated hood, it’s the commuter’s best line of defence against the tumultuous British weather.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

With a brand name like ‘Rains’, you’d expect this Scandi-inspired brand to make some of the most versatile outerwear out there. Handily, that’s definitely the case. Spacious front pockets and adjustable cords feature to create a water-resistant jacket that’s as practical as it is stylish.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

No outdoor gear guide is complete without a contribution from The North Face, which has been supplying avid adventurers with top-draw jackets for decades. This packable ‘Fanorak’ waterproof jacket, as its names suggests, packs into itself while also being impenetrable against moisture and is made from recycled content. Great for comfortable adventuring, but fantastic for the environment.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

If a (faux) fur-lined jacket is more up your alley, Jack Wolfskin’s Point Barrow hardshell takes some beating. Featuring ‘Texapore’ fabric to keep water out and ‘Microguard Maxloft’ insulation to keep heat in, it’s the ultimate explorer’s jacket, whether you’re peaking Scottish munros or running for the night bus.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Don’t be put off by this puffer parka’s loud colourway — you’ll turn heads for all the right reasons and, once donned, you’ll never want to take it off. Filled with grey duck down, it’s water-resistant and can be packed away into a bag that’s smaller than your protein shaker.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Lululemon’s ‘Escape and Explore’ waterproof jacket is designed to help you do exactly that. There’s plenty of pockets to stow away your essentials — from smartphones to maps and compasses to bottle openers — and is built to help move without feeling restricted or stuffy. A winner for short-haul city breaks or weekend jaunts in the country.

STEEPED IN HISTORY AND HERITAGE

A BRAND DERIVED FROM A PASSION FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Berghaus is a brand born out of a passion and desire to create the very best outdoors gear and waterproof clothing. Its success is directly accredited to the quality of its products, ever since its conception in 1966. The Berghaus brand initially gained momentum because it was able to provide waterproof jackets, walking boots and specialist equipment which attained to what climbers and mountaineers actually wanted and needed, unlike the typical offerings at the time.

From day one, Berghaus has asserted itself as an authority on outdoors clothing, something that can only be achieved through a genuine passion for the great outdoors. To date, Berghaus maintains its position and remains true to its roots.

WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A WATERPROOF JACKET FROM BERGHAUS?

You’re not just buying an item of clothing; you’re buying a piece of history and supporting the Berghaus philosophy – to create clothing that likeminded enthusiasts want and need.

FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION

REVOLUTIONISING WATERPROOF CLOTHING

Waterproof jackets are an outdoor essential, which is why at Berghaus we’ve ensured that we’ve been at the forefront of waterproof innovation and development since our conception.

GORE-TEX® is the most widely recognised waterproof technology in the world and has been since its introduction in 1977 – by none other than Berghaus. Setting the benchmark for innovative outdoor performance wear has always come naturally to our brand.

Universally recognised as the first truly-breathable waterproof fabric, Berghaus was quick to incorporate GORE-TEX® into our waterproof jackets, rucksacks and more, thus transforming the outdoor experience for walkers, climbers and mountaineers alike. To this day, Berghaus still remains the biggest user of GORE-TEX® Paclite® fabric in Europe.

Whether it’s developing a new concept in effective layering – such as the Gemini concept – – or creating clothing designed to combat the most severe weather and conditions – like our Extrem range – Berghaus continues to improve the outdoor experience for everyone and anyone who enjoys being out in the elements.

WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A WATERPROOF JACKET FROM BERGHAUS?

Purchasing a Berghaus waterproof jacket instils confidence that you’re able to enjoy the great outdoors, regardless of your chosen passion, because you know your equipment has been exclusively designed for it.

COMPREHENSIVE PRODUCT RANGE

FIND A JACKET WHICH IS COMPATIBLE WITH YOU

Berghaus is proud to offer the largest range of outdoor clothing for men and women and is best known and associated with indsutry leading waterproof technology used in their waterproof jackets and equipment. Our renowned collection includes designs such as Hydroshell waterproof jackets, which are used to keep you dry, and Hydrodown insulated jackets; which are made to keep you warm.

Regardless of whether you’re an athlete pushing yourself to your limit or challenging yourself with a new goal or simply looking to get outdoors to escape, connect and have fun Berghaus offers a plethora of waterproof jackets which are not only able to fulfil certain requirements but are also versatile in design.

We want you to be as comfortable in your jacket as you are in your own skin; safe in the knowledge that you’re ready for anything that the outdoors can throw at you, whether it’s a simple commute or an arctic expedition.

WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A WATERPROOF JACKET FROM BERGHAUS?

Berghaus jackets have been designed with the purpose of allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors to whatever degree you choose.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

PRODUCT QUALITY GUARANTEE

50 YEARS OF MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Each Berghaus item carries a full Berghaus Lifetime Guarantee for added peace of mind.

Berghaus Lifetime Guarantee is not only a guarantee but a promise – a promise of a lifetime of adventures. The guarantee is a show of confidence that our products will provide the protection you need for your adventures and stand up to the task they’re intended for.

Committed to the relentless pursuit of excellence, Berghaus will never cease trying to improve its products. We are confident that our waterproof jackets make a difference to the people who use them and want to make sure that this is always the case.

WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A WATERPROOF JACKET FROM BERGHAUS?

We believe that our waterproof jackets are built to withstand the rigours of the most challenging adventures. However, if you believe that your product does not meet our standards – and it’s not genuine wear and tear – we’ll either replace or repair your product free of charge.

PASSION FOR OUTDOORS AND PEOPLE

FACE OF ACHIEVEMENT AND ENJOYMENT

Developing Berghaus waterproof jackets is not only about understanding what is required for the outdoors but also why people enjoy the outdoors. Our waterproof jackets are not only a trophy of mountains conquered and expeditions completed but they’re also a testament to the fun, enjoyment and memories made along the way.

Our jackets allow people the freedom to go outside and enjoy what they love doing, whether it is scaling mountains or exploring with friends. The most important aspect is that the equipment exists to allow people to get the most out of the outdoors.

WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A WATERPROOF JACKET FROM BERGHAUS?

There are many reasons why you may want to buy a waterproof jacket. Take our expert Mtnhaus™ range for example; below is a couple of reasons explaining why Mtnhaus™ is special:

Design and Development

Our Mtnhaus™ design and development department is a specialist facet to the Berghaus brand which brings together expertise from all of Berghaus to address specific challenges and to create products that deliver against the toughest expectations.

The team are comprised of talented designers and expert garment technicians who work closely with our athletes to develop specialist products and clothing which can cope with their demanding and ever-changing requirements.

Rigorous Testing

A typical Mtnhaus™ product will undergo an exhaustive series of in-house tests before it is then sent out into the field to be tested for over 200 hours by a team of experts to ensure that it meets the required standards.

Athlete Testing and Collaboration

We work closely with our team of athletes as their feedback is key; without their continuous involvement we would not be able to advance our products as effectively as we’re currently able to.

Q. I am looking to buy a waterproof jacket for walking. I do not want to spend much more than £150. I want it to be guaranteed waterproof as I do a lot of walking in rainy scotland highlands. Can anyone suggest a suitable garment?

Richard Howard, Bolton

I recently bought a TOG 24 Rip Stop Gortex Jacket in Red after my Berghaus one just gave up with a broken zip.

I must recommend this as a good buy as it was at the start of an extensive period spent in Cumbria taking groups ( I am a Mountain Leader).

I have just reproofed it after six weeks of getting wet and wetter and washed many times. Tog 24 reproofing bottles have really done themselves proud.

After all the wear I have out of this jacket I can recommend the TOG 24 Jacket to everybody with a genuine need for a high performance addition to their equipment.

Enjoy your Walks

A. Hello. First thank you for a first class web site – so useful.

I am 41 years old and I am lucky enough the live very near to the Snowdonia National Park. I am out walking in the mountains 2 to 3 times every month what ever the weather!

In December of last year I had been having some trouble with my Mountain Equipment Karkakorum 2 jacket which I had only purchased it in Feb 2001. I contacted the people at Ultimate Outdoors in Betws y Coed and they sent it off for testing.

After 2 weeks the results were that the Gore-Tex was faulty. All the new Gore-Tex jackets have ‘water proof pit zips’ and as a reader of TGO I had read that they don’t work very well. This was confirmed by one of the staff in Ultimate Outdoors.

I took a full refund of £250 and went into Stuart Cunningham’s store where, after a in-depth talk to one of the staff, I purchased a Paramo Alta jacket and a Paramo Explorer pullover. Both of these garments a just unbelievable.

I have been out in some really bad weather over the past 4 weeks and I have been really amazed as to how good the Alta jacket is. I have spent the past 7 years in Gore-Tex but I wouldn’t go back to it now.

For all the doubters out there Paramo does work. I have already purchased a Paramo Mountain Cap as well as Paramo Gaiters and they are just as good as the Alta jacket and will be adding to my collection in the near future.

Please keep up the brilliant work at go4awalk

All good wishes

NB. We have sent a copy of the email to Mountain Equipment and invited them to comment (nothing yet!)

A. Hi, I have a Paramo Alta Jacket. It is very warm and I find it too much for all but the most severe conditions. The jacket is durable and excellent value, mine has been in use for three years. It is still in good condition having been worn in the hills and shopping. The weather protection is excellent and the zipper seals in with a gutter in the flap and a second flap poppers over.

I have just invested in a Paramo Fuera Jacket and Tiaga Fleece combination. I find this far more flexible than the Alta and when combined with a Katmai shirt and Trail reversable top the result is all day comfort in all conditions.

A. I have had very good results with Paramo gear. The Mountain shirts are reversible for hot or cold weather – it really works. I have a Paramo Cascada jacket, which is excellent. It is windproof, waterproof and very breathable. Very different to coated synthetics – totally different proofing system, which can be re-proofed in the washing machine. Has a lifetime guarantee, too.

A. I do lots of walking in Scotland, in all weathers. I do not believe there is any such thing as a jacket that keeps you dry.

There are lots of waterproof jackets and lots of breathable jackets yet all have their limitations which have to be taken into consideration with the limitations of the person using the equipment.

Goretex is great when the exterior is newly reproofed and the ambient conditions are snow and extreme cold – heavy rain tends to clog the outer material preventing the breathability hence you get wet from the inside.

This is particularly true if you are prone to heavy persperation or are exercising heavily. I personally believe Goretex is overpriced and is not the best – some of my colleagues would argue.

I also have a Paramo Jacket. I find this far too warm in summer yet not quite warm enough in winter. It, however, in my opinion, is the best at keeping out solid torrential rain over a long period.

The manufacturers claims of indefinite reproofing also appear to be true – to date. (My friends jacket is 7 years old and still waterproof by reproofing annually.) Paramo ‘wicking’ qualities seem best for removing inner moisture – either through sweat or inadvertently letting rain in. (Lets face it we all wait till we are wet before putting waterproofs on.)

My own personal all season solution is a buffalo pile / windproof top which allows lots of ventillation and warmth against the coldest Scottish conditions.

If the rain becomes heavy, an inexpensive, breathable jacket – I use a Regatta extreme – put on top gives all the protection required. The Buffalo wicking properties and the ‘cheap’ waterproof outer provide the best price performance, I think.

It is certainly the only combination that covers all Scottish conditions and meets the questioner’s aim of costing less than £150.

Bud Campbell, Livingstone

A. I have a Paramo Alta Jacket, both waterproof and windproof.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

No matter your activity; be it hiking, camping or climbing your kit needs to be tough to withstand the wear and tear of the outdoors.

All fabrics have a denier count, this describes the thickness of the fibres it’s made from. The higher the count, the thicker the material and the more durable it is. But even with a high denier, waterproof jackets can get caught on rocks, thorns or branches and tear. Being able to repair a rip is essential to staying dry and warm.

Here’s a simple guide on how to make repairs to your waterproof jacket and other equipment.

Waterproof Jacket Repairs

Gear Aid Tenacious Repair Tape comes in a neat little container and rolls out to 50 cm x 7.5cm. Depending on the jacket and the tear you can place the tape on the inside (where the coat should be cleaner and less tape shows) or the outer. For the best level of protection put tape on both sides.

Once applied, the tape has several advantages over other more traditional DIY repairs (i.e. duct tape). It leaves no residue on the applied surface yet is very sticky, it’s lightweight/malleable and it colour matches to your jacket with a matte finish.

Apart from waterproof jackets, you can also use the tape to repair, rucksacks, tents, sleeping bags, waterproof trousers, tarps and even air mats.

  • 1. Clean and dry the area around the tear.
  • 2. Smooth out the coat and place it on a hard flat surface
  • 3. Place the tape over the tear and measure how much you need. Where possible leave 2.5 cm of excess tape around the rip.
  • 4. Use scissors or a knife to cut the tape and round off the corners (this reduces the chance of it from catching and peeling up).
  • 5. Line up the different parts of the tear as close as possible.
  • 6. Peel off the back layer and place the tape over the tear pressing from the middle out, smoothing the fabric and removing any air bubbles.
  • 7. The jacket can now be worn and is water-resistant, but it takes 24 hours for the adhesive to fully set.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Repair a GORE-TEX Jacket

Made from breathable GORE-TEX fabric, the repair kit contains two patches, one round patch – 7.6cm diameter and one rectangular patch – 10cm x 5cm. They can be used on GORE-TEX jackets, trousers and other water-resistant gear.

The patches affix to the garments via an adhesive layer on the back of the patch. Simply follow the same steps as above with the following exceptions:

  • Only attach the patch to the outside of the garment.
  • When you apply the patch, rub vigorously over it to generate some heat to help the adhesive bond.
  • If you are carrying out the repair at home, set your iron to a low temperature and quickly run it over the patch, this increases the adhesion of the patch.

For larger or more complicated repairs, please contact our customer service department to discuss what we can arrange with partners and manufacturers.

About the Author:

Pete Fletcher – Outdoor Expert

Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A decade later and you’re most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding or making a mean coffee.

We put these coats through their paces to find out which ones you can rely on, whatever the weather

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives. Find out more here

Getting the right waterproof jacket is vital if you want to make the most of the British outdoors all year round. Although it feels like a relatively simple addition to your outdoor clothing wardrobe, a good waterproof jacket is a technical piece of kit, so it makes sense to know what you’re looking for and to spend a bit of money to get it right.

Things to consider before buying

Various fabrics and layering agents are used to make the waterproof garments we buy do what they say on the tin, so pay close attention to the waterproof coatings and the material.

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In general, GORE-TEX is a safe option, and look for a rating (otherwise known as a hydrostatic head, or HH) of at least 5,000 to be confident in staying dry. Up to 1,500 is only water-resistant, and 10,000 and above are the serious heavy-duty waterproof numbers to be looking for.

Some brands have gone a step further, integrating their own waterproof technology into their designs, such as Pertex or Skoldr. These are bespoke fabrics that some of the more specialist manufacturers on this list, like Fjallraven and Jottnar, have developed through years of experience and testing in real-world conditions. You can expect these jackets to be slightly more expensive than the rest.

Some of these more technical jackets also include specific layering systems, which add to their ability to keep you dry. Two-layer jackets are usually soft, and treated with a waterproof coating. 2.5 and three-layer jackets are slightly stiffer – with the more advanced three-layer options having a membrane laminated between a face fabric and a knit backing for extra protection. We’ve included some information on the waterproofing technology in
the key specs under each jacket.

Also, keep a close eye on whether the jacket you buy has taped seams and good zips, as this is of vital importance if you want to keep anything that needs to stay dry in its pockets.

Technically speaking, making a good waterproof jacket is a balance between waterproofing and breathability, so if you want to stay active in your jacket too (which we’re sure most of you do!), look for a lightweight option that allows you to regulate your temperature and has some sort of inbuilt breathability or ventilation.

Here are the best waterproof options we tested that are currently on the market.

Waterproofs are listed in price order.

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I left my waterproof jacket on a bus and need to get a replacement. Does anyone know if there are any shops in Merida where I could pick one up as I’ll be there for a few days.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Many of those jackets are just too hot in steamy Yucatan. When it begins to rain heavily vendors appear out of nowhere selling large bin bags that people cover themselves with. You could blend in nicely with the locals by doing the same.

Alternatively a smart brolly, something no Brit should ever be without. You could find a good range in Chapur, in downtown Merida.

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One thing you need to know about waxed jackets?

They come in wide varieties.

Waxed cotton refers to the fabric and the properties of the fabric, so if you think about wax, what happens when water goes on wax or it goes on a duck or any type of animal or a piece of clothing which has a film on it?

It just rolls off – that’s the idea behind the waxed cotton.

Waxed cotton jackets have been with us for a long time.

So let’s go back and look at history.

How to Buy a Waterproof JacketWe see the Egyptians and they had sails.

They were out sailing on the ocean or the Mediterranean or the Red Sea, and we would see them that they figured out that if they waxed the sails, if they took those paper sails and they wax them, they did a much better job of catching air and they were a lot faster.

They were lighter than the other alternatives out there and it worked for them.

Fast forward to a few hundred years ago,

we still saw sails that would use a film and put it into the actual sheets and it would do a better job of not letting the wind go through and it would catch the wind pull.

We also see a lot of fishermen and a lot of clothing that would come from old sails and it would still have most of the same properties of being waterproof, which is very good if you work out on the open water.

Hence, this was brought into menswear.

One of the famous examples is the trench coat.

The trench coat used waxed cotton and that was used successfully in very bad weather in the trenches during World War I and beyond.

Waxed jacket brands:

Waxed jackets play a big role in hunting.

You see I’ve got a hunting jacket. One of the most famous hunting jackets you see out there is made by an English company, Barbour.

In this case, I’m not wearing a Barbour. I’m wearing one made by Eddie Bauer. I like the style. It’s pretty universal when it comes to hunting.

Timberland usually has this green drab color, which kind of just blends in to the natural environment. It’s not really camouflage, but it’s not sticking out either, as many hunters know.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

You have a place where you can basically put your hands in here on this jacket. I’ve got it right here.

On this jacket, they do not have that button over, but they do the same placement at this level for the arms and for the hands.

It’s higher so that if you have your rifle slung over, you can still comfortably put your hands in here.

They also have these large lower pockets.

And again, I see these on the Timberland and you’re going to see those on the Barbour as well.

Can anybody guess what the large lower pockets are for, anyone?

That’s where you would actually open this up and you could put large amounts of ammunition or anything else you need when you’re out hunting.

The inside of these jackets are insulated. There are more pockets but these are warm jackets.

The outside, which is waxed cotton, is water-resistant and not waterproof. Waterproof, you’ve got to have actual rubber, something that you could leave the water on there for a while. These are water-resistant so they will resist a high amount.

I mean, water is just going to roll off and you could be caught in a storm and you will remain dry underneath. It will absorb just a bit, but we’re talking a minute amount because the waxed cotton, is actually woven with a type of cotton that already has the film on it.

Normally for these jackets, you’re going to see that they used a good waxed cotton thread and afterwards, they treated it as well.

One of the things with waxed cotton why a lot of people want to avoid it and go with a modern equivalent or something different, is that they don’t want to deal with the upkeep.

Depending on how much you wear the jacket, I would say maybe once every few years, you’ll probably need to send it in or get a small kit in which you will apply a little bit of wax to this to reinforce what was originally put on these jackets.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

But overall, I think they’re very handsome jackets. I’m happy with this one made by Eddie Bauer. It’s harder in United States to find Barbour. They don’t make them easy to find.

You can occasionally find some in thrift stores or in the larger cities where they actually have stores but you can find a lot of companies like Eddie Bauer and Timberland.

So right now here in Wisconsin, it was just negative 20 the other day, and that’s Fahrenheit, guys.

I know for you Canadians that’s nothing and that you laugh at that but here in the United States, negative 20 is relatively pretty cold. This jacket I would not be wearing out there.

I would be wearing a parka which is a whole other style.

Alright, guys, hopefully you enjoyed this and that you learned something today.

I will see you in the comments!

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How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

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Why Buy a Waterproof Jacket?

A waterproof jacket is a great choice for industrial workwear.buy waterproof jacket industrial workwear These protective garments offer an excellent level of protection against the potential dangers of exposure to moisture, chemical and thermal stains, or any number of other conditions. In many cases, the production staff has to perform work under dangerous conditions, including high levels of humidity, strong odors, intense heat, and other irritants.

Workwear is designed to withstand these conditions, and to be able to resist them if need be.buy waterproof jacket industrial workwear Most jackets are designed for excellent abrasion resistance, high level of water resistance, UV and vapor barriers, ultra-violet protection, and chemical, thermal, and stain resistance. These are all features that can be very important to the staff member performing the job.

Water resistance is a prime feature in jacket construction. The standards for jackets have advanced quite a bit over the years. The jackets designed for industrial workwear today come with IP54 certification, which means that they are even more resistant to water than the previous standards. A waterproof jacket should also be UL certified.

Industrial workwear can be manufactured using any type of material. For jackets made from nylon or other such fabrics, the construction is extremely durable and resistant to both water and chemicals. Nylon is particularly suitable for industrial workwear, because it is tough, but still comfortable to wear, and is available in virtually any color that you could possibly want.

Clothing for work in factories can be found in a variety of colors, designs, and sizes, as well. Some jackets have metal buckles, some have Velcro fasteners, some have Velcro and laces, and some have not so much laces as flyaway collars. Of course, you can always just find one jacket that fits perfectly!

Industrial workwear can be made from a variety of fabrics. Almost every kind of fabric can be used for a jacket, but there are a few types that are especially suitable for such applications. Cotton works well for the most part, but nylon or other fabrics can also be used in industrial workwear.

You can get these materials in either 100% cotton or polyester blends. They all provide good protection, but with different levels of durability. The best option for your needs will depend on how long you plan to use the jacket, as well as the environment where you intend to wear it.

If you’re going to be working outside or out in the elements, then you absolutely need a waterproof jacket for your workwear. It’s vital that you buy the right one.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

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Enjoy the great outdoors? Thinking to buy clothing to wear while you’re out and about? Here we give you advice on what to look for when buying waterproof jackets.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Buying waterproof jackets

Waterproof jackets repel water in different ways depending on the design of the fabric, and you’ll see plenty of waterproofing jargon on labels when you’re out shopping. Thanks to technological advancements, however, it’s now rare for any waterproof fabrics to let in water, and it’s the actual design of the jacket that makes all the difference when you’re caught in the rain.

A badly designed jacket, or one that’s poorly made, can allow water to seep in. In contrast, features that allow air to enter the jacket, such as vents and adjustable cuffs, can improve its breathability and comfort.

It’s best to try on a jacket before you buy to ensure the best fit. If you walk with a rucksack, then take it to the shop to see if it gets in the way of any toggles, pockets or zips.

Find out more: Waterproof jacket brand reviews – see which brands are rated highest by members

Waterproof jacket features explained

While waterproof jackets are not as packed with features or as technical as some other outdoor products, an understanding of the key features will help you choose the right jacket for you.

When trying on a jacket, look for the following features:

Adjustable hem

Having an adjustable hem and waistlines lets you use the waterproof jacket’s toggles to tighten the coat to improve fit and aid insulation. Feel where the toggles will rest against your body as they could dig in and prove uncomfortable during a long walk.

Drop tail

The drop tail of a waterproof jacket is where the back of the jacket is longer than the front. This feature gives you more coverage when bending forwards and is particularly handy for cyclists.

A well-fitted hood should protect your face from the elements without restricting your view. A stiffened peak will help prevent the hood from bending in the wind. You should be able to adjust the hood easily, even when wearing gloves.

Fixed hoods will prevent water from running down your neck and back, as will detachable hoods with a good overlap between the hood and collar. Some oversized hoods are designed for wearing with a climbing helmet, so may look a little untidy when adjusted.

Pit zips

Some waterproof jackets have zips under the armpits. These pit zips are designed to aid ventilation and are more suitable for cold, dry conditions.

Wearing a rucksack can make accessing your jacket’s pit zips trickier and could also distort the shape of the zip, increasing the chances of water entering, so take your rucksack along to the shop to try it on with the jacket.

Pockets

Your waterproof jacket’s pockets need to be easily accessible. Try the jacket on with a rucksack so you know what affect any pull will have on their positioning. Take along a pair of gloves so you can see how easy it is to open the pockets while wearing them. It’s best to keep items such as mobile phones away from potentially leaky external pockets.

Seams

The seams of traditional waterproof jackets are sealed or taped to prevent water getting in through the holes created during the manufacturing process. Only when the seams are sealed can the jacket be officially classified as waterproof.

Storm flaps

A jacket’s storm flap is a piece of fabric that covers the jacket’s zips and helps to prevent water from entering the coat via pockets or other zip openings.

Velcro cuffs

Velcro cuffs can help to keep out water and allow for ventilation in dryer conditions. Fabric adjustable cuffs are less likely to catch when accessing pockets, compared with stiffer cuff tabs.

How should I take care of my waterproof jacket?

The high price of some waterproof jackets makes them well worth taking care of. Here are some tips for prolonging the life of your jacket:

1. Scrunching up your jacket can stress the fabric, so carefully fold or hang the jacket to prevent damage.

2. Dirt can adversely affect the water repellency of the jacket, so keep it clean.

3. Coated and membrane jackets may lose their water repellency over time. Washing your jacket with liquid soap to remove dirt, then tumble drying and/or ironing it on a cool setting may help. If not, try using a wash-in re-proofing product available from outdoor retailers. Avoid excessive washing, as this will also reduce the coat’s water resistance more quickly.

WATERPROOF JACKET BUYING GUIDE

A great waterproof jacket is essential for the slopes, no question. But finding the right one for you isn’t always so simple. Finding a jacket with the right features, waterproofness and breathability for you will ensure many long days of shredding in comfort.

The Right Jacket

Different waterproof jackets are designed for different activities. Jackets designed to be lightweight and highly breathable, for example, are great for trail running or cycling, while a more hardwearing, stiffer jacket will be needed for dedicated mountaineers.

The first thing to do when you’re choosing a waterproof jacket is to decide what features matter to you. Does it need to be lightweight, or would you prefer a heavier jacket with better weather protection? How intense is your activity, so how breathable does the jacket need to be? Does it need to be extra-durable?

A jacket’s waterproofness is expressed as a rating called a hydrostatic head. Generally, a minimum of 5,000mm is good for both skiing and snowboarding in cold but clear conditions, especially if you’ll be taking regular breaks. 5,000mm-10,000mm is ideal for those who spend long days out on the mountain in all weather conditions, while 10,000mm-20,000mm is best for those in wetter climates, or backcountry skiers and boarders.

Does it have to be GORE-TEX®?

GORE-TEX® is the most well-known waterproof membrane thanks to its durability and breathability – but it’s not the only option out there. Some brands, including Rab and The North Face, develop alternative waterproof membranes, and others might use GORE-TEX® in some products and not others. Each one will offer slightly different benefits which will depend on your activity, so it’s all about finding the right one for you.

Most waterproof jackets use a 2-layer, 2.5-layer or 3-layer construction.

All three construction types have a durable water repellent (DWR) coated outer fabric, or face fabric, which helps to protect the rest of the jacket against moisture. The second layer is the waterproof part: the membrane which gives the jacket its water repellent and breathable properties.

The final layer is the one which differentiates the constructions. 2.5-layer jackets have a thin polyurethane (PU) layer painted onto the inside of the waterproof membrane, to protect this layer from being clogged up with sweat and oils. 3-layer jackets have a thicker PU layer on the inside, making them the most durable choice, but are usually not as breathable or lightweight as 2.5-layer jackets.

  • 26 Sep 2019, 9:59
  • Updated : 30 Sep 2019, 10:34

WHEN searching for the best women’s waterproof jackets, it’s good to invest in one that’s not just resistant, but fully wet proof.

If you want to guarantee you’ll stay dry then it’s also best to check the coat is lined on the inside and made of a breathable material – you don’t want it to make you all hot and sweaty on a hike.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Naturally more reliable options are often a little pricier and, from experience of being caught in a downpour in a cheap unlined pack-a-mac, we can tell you the extra spend is worth it – drenched doesn’t even cover it.

Expect to pay at least £40 for a decent piece of outerwear that’s built to last – even more for higher-tech options.

But whether it’s a lightweight and easy to carry jacket you’re after, or one with a longer length at the back (perfect for cycling), there are plenty on offer.

We’ve checked out user reviews and used our expert knowledge to line up some of the best women’s waterproof jackets to choose from.

1. Best women’s lightweight waterproof jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

When the weather is looking iffy, this lightweight option is perfect to wear over your outfit.

It’s not too heavy, is breathable and has zips under the arms for ventilation.

It packs away compactly too, perfect to store in your bag when not in use.

The adjustable hood is ideal for helping you stay dry and zipped pockets are handy for stashing those all-important snacks, maps and phones.

2. Best investment rain jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

This jacket is made to last.

Made from highly waterproof Goretex, it’s reinforced in the areas that tend to wear first like elbows and cuffs.

It’s got an adjustable hood too, so if you’re heading for a bike ride, it’ll flex around your helmet.

3. Best ladies cycling rain jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

This jacket is a must-have for cyclists, with its longline flap at the back that won’t ride up while leaning forward on your bike, like regular jackets would.

It’s fully waterproof, but is breathable too, so you won’t overheat or get sticky while out on the road.

The reflective strips will keep you visible, even when the sun is starting to go down, so it’s great if you’re hoping to squeeze in a quick post-work ride.

4. Best packaway waterproof coat

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

This anorak is perfect when you’re heading out on a run – it’s a topper to keep you dry but not make you hot.

It’s fully waterproof with sealed seams to ensure no rain will seep in and dampen those important training miles and folds away compactly into its own front pocket.

The pink colourway will make sure you’re seen while out on the roads too.

5. Most eco-friendly waterproof coat

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

This is a jacket that has been designed with the environment in mind.

The drawstring hem, zipped pockets and trims are made completely from recycled materials.

Its outer shell is waterproof, with those seams firmly taped in place – nothing is getting through there – not even the most determined drops of rain.

But it’s not a stuffy coat, it’s been designed to be breathable so you can ensure you’ll be feeling comfy, even on a long hike.

6. Best waterproof design

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

This design has been tried and tested by its designers to check it surpasses other jackets with how well it withstands water.

The industry standard for a waterproof jacket is that 1500mm water can sit on its surface for 24 hours and not leak, but this clever number can take up to 5000mm – so it’s great when it’s not just raining, it’s pouring.

How’s that for waterproof?

7. Best bargain women’s waterproof jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

We’re big fans of this jacket.

It’s a 3-in-1 design, so you get serious bang for your buck as it’s warm, waterproof and breathable.

The outer layer will keep you dry, while the inside helps to wick sweat away and keep you comfortable when out hiking.

A flap over the zip means no water can seep in there either – nobody wants soggy snacks.

It also boasts an inner fleece to keep you cosy, which can be removed when it’s less nippy out.

Heading out solo? The headphone compatible pocket allows you to feed the wire through an inside pocket – so you can listen to your favourite podcasts and music while you walk.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

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How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Unless you live in a place that always seems to be wet (Hey, Seattle!), waterproof garments may not seem like a hard necessity. But think about it: How many times have you gambled with a rain forecast, then wondered why you still haven’t purchased that rain jacket you’ve been thinking about?

It’s definitely time to invest, because there’s nothing quite like coming inside after getting stuck in the rain, removing your coat and realizing your clothes are totally dry. It’s like you’ve outsmarted the weather.

But when choosing waterproof outerwear, there are so many things to consider. For instance, is it actually waterproof, or is it water-resistant? What does that even mean? What will you wear it for? How long will it stay waterproof? Is it comfortable? Will it make you sweat?

We spoke to Daniel Brix Hesselager and Philip Lotko, co-founders of the Denmark-based rainwear company Rains, and Edita Hadravska, an apparel design manager for the outdoor clothing company Arc’teryx, to get the low-down on all things waterproof.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

First things first: What fabrics should we look for in a jacket?

Various fabrics and assembly techniques can be used for waterproof and weatherproof clothing. Polyurethane and PVC, a type of vinyl, have been go-to materials for years ― think the classic yellow fisherman’s raincoat ― while innovations like Gore-Tex, a material often employed in technical outerwear, are extremely effective in repelling water.

“Basically, rubber rainwear contains a woven textile with a coated front side in a rubberized material, which is a classic waterproof combination,” Hesselager and Lotko explained via email. “Within the classic rubber rainwear, you often refer to two common front side materials: PVC and PU.”

Rains uses a polyurethane-coated fabric ― PU ― for its coats, which are modeled after traditional rubber raincoats. The brand Stutterheim creates similarly classic-looking jackets, though it uses a PVC coating.

Outdoor brands, including Arc’teryx, The North Face and Marmot, make waterproof jackets using Gore-Tex, which, according to the brand’s slogan, is “guaranteed to keep you dry.”

Breathability is key for comfort.

While PVC and PU rainwear are effective in repelling water, they aren’t necessarily breathable. Technologies like Gore-Tex or Polartec’s Power Shield, on the other hand, offer more breathability.

Gore-Tex is a porous membrane made of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE), and “the pores are small enough that they don’t let water drops in, but they allow vapor to move out,” Hadravska explained.

For optimal comfort, the clothes you wear underneath your jacket or shell are also important, Hadravska said. Those should be breathable, too.

“You want moisture to be able to move away from your body and escape through the garment. You don’t actually want to end up with wet, sweaty garments underneath your shell because you will be cold.”

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Pay special attention to the seams.

As Hadravska explained, every design and manufacturing choice plays a part in how well a garment stands up to inclement weather, including how the seams are sealed.

“There’s a lot of companies that do . critical seam sealing as opposed to total seam sealing, like we do, so they will only tape seal the neck seam and shoulder seam or chest,” she said. “They will leave the sleeves out, for example, to save money, but that’s not really a complete solution, or completely reliable solution. It’s probably good 80 percent of the time, but not 100 percent of the time.”

There are different levels of waterproofness.

Here’s where things get a little technical.

A textile’s level of water resistance is measured in column pressure. As Hadravska explained it, “imagine a one-inch tube that’s sitting on top of the fabric, and it’s filled with water. At one point, the column is high enough that there’s so much pressure that the water will actually come through the membrane. That’s the number you’re looking for in terms of grading waterproofness.”

All three experts said products need to be tested to a column pressure of 5,000 millimeters to be considered waterproof for basic, everyday activities. More technical outerwear, including products created with Gore-Tex, can range from 15,000 mm to 20,000 mm in column pressure. In other words, they’re “definitely waterproof,” Hadravska said.

Of course, there is the slight possibility that if you find yourself in a wild storm in which it’s “raining sideways at incredible speeds, you could find there is some water coming through,” even with such highly rated fabrics, Hadravska noted.

“I’ve never seen it in my life,” she said, adding that the highest number that’s generally quoted is 40,000 mm, which is essentially equivalent to wearing plastic.

Hadravska also explained that the higher the column pressure number, “the lower, theoretically, is the breathability.”

And technically, she said, “nothing is 100 percent waterproof and breathable. It’s a balance between waterproofness and breathability. But in real terms, [a garment can be] completely waterproof, because you will never be in conditions [with] so much water and pressure for water to actually penetrate the membrane.”

When looking to buy a waterproof jacket, make sure you check the tags (or, if you’re shopping online, read the product specifications), as some brands will list the column pressure measurements, making it easier for you to determine whether the garment will suit your needs.

Not all brands list the column pressure on their products, but, for example, if you see a Gore-Tex logo, you’ll know it’s going to keep you dry, Hadravska noted.

At the very least, check to see that what you’re buying actually says it’s waterproof.

i have an old military field jacket, the outer shell is 50% nylon and 50% cotton with 100% cotton lining. it’s an awesome jacket, it’s warm enough to use through most of the winter with a detachable liner, but light enough without it to use through the spring and fall without being too warm. the only problem is, it’s only waterproofing is the fact that it’s kind of thick so it takes a while for the water to bleed down to where it bothers me. anyone know any good products for waterproofing this thing?

6 Answers

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

I waterproofed a jacket once, and it worked great, but I can’t remember what I used. I know it was a spray made for leather and boots and such, and I think I actually bought it in the men’s shoe department at Strawbridges. There are many different brands of spray out there, and you can buy them in department stores, sporting goods stores and even on the internet. You’d be looking for a “waterproofing spray” and it would say “for boots, leather, or canvas..etc..”

You will have to hang up the jacket, and then spray it evenly, all over. Let it dry, and it you feel the need to re-apply, go ahead. It’s going to be at least a couple of days before you wear it, because after it dries, it’s going to stink for a while.

When I waterproofed my boyfriend’s jacket, I sprayed down the entire jacket, and let it dry in between several coats. I have to warn you though, that stuff is REALLY potent. I sprayed the jacket outside, because I have a bird at home, and birds can die from certain fumes, but then I brought it in and hung it up in the closet. My closet smelled like leather spray for MANY weeks after that.

Since I noticed there were so many brands out there, and since I never waterproofed anything before, I bought it at Strawbridges thinking they would probably only carry the best brands. It would have cost me a TON if I had gotten it waterproofed at the cleaner’s.That’s why I did it on my own. It was a present for my boyfriend. I had bought him the perfect jacket, for Christmas , but the sales clerk didn’t know if it was water resistant, and I only wanted the best for him- so I took care of that part on my own. He loves it by the way 🙂

Here are some links to finding waterproofing sprays.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

We don’t need to look at the forecast to know that in true Great British fashion, we can expect wet weather this autumn/winter, and probably lots of it. It makes the inevitable downpours more bearable if we’re prepared for them; and thanks to Joules, we can be ready in style.

Their best-selling and much lauded coat, the Joules Coast waterproof jacket, is now on sale, at 30% off!

We got in touch with Joules this month to find out what their most popular pieces currently are, and they confirmed to us that at the top of the list is their classic waterproof coat.

The best part of this news is that coat in question, Joules’ Coast waterproof jacket, is currently on sale* with 30% off, reduced to £62.95 from £89.95. Which is a saving of over £25! And all three colour ways are on sale: antique gold (which is actually a lovely sunny yellow), French navy, and red.

Joules first dropped their Coast waterproof jacket back in 2015, and it became an instant hit. And every year since it has been one of their best-loved and best-selling products.

Why is it so popular? Well, not only does the style zip up, it can also be buttoned up to make it extra rainproof. Add to this the lovely classic striped lining inside of the hood, the flattering cropped length and practical cuff details, and you have a smart raincoat you’ll wear year after year after…

But if you prefer a longer length coat, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Joules Coast waterproof jacket also comes in a longer length too, the mid-length. It covers the bum and has a nice curved hem so that it’s not too boxy in shape. It’s also on sale at the moment, but only in stock in red. It’s reduced from £109.95 to £74.95, but sizes are limited.

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One of the things we like about shopping on the Joules website, is the handy feature that tells you how many people are looking at a particular item right now, and how many have been bought recently. Warning though, it’s addictive! Last time we checked, there were 35 people looking at Joules Coast waterproof jacket, and 101 customers who had recently bought it!

That tells us something useful though! This item really will sell out quite soon. Especially at 30% off in the sale. So if you’re tempted, move quickly…

*Price checked and correct at the time of publishing

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Over time, rain jackets can lose their water-repellency.

Waterproofing doesn’t last forever.

Whether from rubbing against a dirty car while packing up groceries, or a muddy dog wanting snuggles, a dirty jacket will stop repelling water.

Wetting Out: When your jacket stops repelling water.

Luckily, it’s easy to clean and re-waterproof your rain jacket so you can stay dry. The trick is to clean your jacket first. Most times, it’s dirt and crud that are covering the water-repellent coating, making your jacket soak up water.

Here’s how to clean:

Green Cap = Clean

  1. Place jacket(s) in washing machine. If you only have one jacket, maybe ask a friend if they want a clean jacket too. They can owe you.
  2. Add Nikwax Tech Wash. In a top-loading machine, add three full caps (150ml) for 1-3 jackets, or five full caps (250ml) for 4-6 jackets. In a front loader, it’s best to add no more than two jackets with two capfuls (100ml) of Tech Wash. Special note: If you live in an area with hard water, toss in an extra capful of Tech Wash. If you have an HE machine, use about half the recommended amount so you don’t suds up the place.
  3. Sit back with a good book and a glass of wine/beer/hot cocoa as the machine runs its course.
  4. More often than not, this single cycle will be enough to have revitalized your jacket.

But my rain jacket still isn’t waterproof!

That’s ok. Don’t panic. Over time the water-repellent finish can wear off. When that happens, it’s time to add more waterproofing.

Here’s how to waterproof:

Purple Cap = Proof

  1. Clean first. Always clean first. Use Tech Wash like before. Then…
  2. If you have a top-loading machine, let the machine fill, then add a maximum of 3 jackets and 300ml of TX.Direct Wash-In. Run a heavy/warm cycle.
  3. If you have a front-loading machine, add a maximum of 2 jackets and 200ml of TX.Direct.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to whether your garment should be line or tumble dried. Nikwax does not require heat for activation, so you’re good to go either way.
  5. Put your jacket on and admire your waterproofed duds in the mirror.

There you have it! Now you’re ready to step out into the rain without fear of getting wet.

Unfortunately, in the UK we see a lot more rain than we do sunshine. That’s why it’s important to own a good waterproof because even if the sun is out, you never know when a rain shower might sneak up on you!

Keeping waterproof jackets clean is also important. Whether your child’s rain mac has picked up some mud stains after some puddle jumping, or your Gore-Tex™ jacket needs a wash after you’ve been on a country walk or extreme hike, we’ve got some handy tips on washing Gore-Tex™ and other water-proof jackets in this article.

Before you wash waterproof jackets:

  • Always check the care label for instructions on the best way to wash the material
  • Check to see if the jacket has any trimmings, such as a leather collar, that may need to be washed using an alternative method
  • Empty all pockets
  • Do up the zips and fasten any flaps or straps

Tips for washing most waterproof jackets:

  • Depending on what the label says, either dry clean or wash in the washing machine with a cleaner specially designed for waterproof outerwear to help maintain your coat’s waterproof qualities
  • For most waterproof jackets, you should not use your ordinary detergent
  • If you see a care label on a waterproof garment that says it can be washed in an alkaline free detergent, then it’s fine to do so. A silk & wool detergent will do the job – it’s pH neutral and therefore alkaline free
  • After washing, line dry or check the garment care label and tumble dry on a low heat, if allowed

Tips for washing Gore-Texв„ў jackets:

  • Wash with your ordinary liquid detergent – you should never use a powdered detergent
  • Be sure to wash the clothes on a gentle cycle
  • Do not use fabric conditioner or chlorine bleach
  • Dry outside on the washing line, or tumble dry on a warm, gentle setting. Once the item is dry, you should then tumble dry it again for 20 minutes. This will reactivate the durable water-repellent treatment on the outer material

The trick to knowing how to was Gore-Texв„ў jackets is to make sure you preserve their water repellency. Gore-Texв„ў garments are treated with Teflon, which makes them water repellent, and fabric conditioner or bleach can remove the Teflon, affecting the performance of the garment. It would still be waterproof, so water would not reach your skin, but the garment itself could become heavy and water-logged.

If you notice that your waterproof jacket is absorbing water rather than repelling, you may need to top up the water-repellent coating on the outside. You can buy specialist treatments from local outdoor retailers. For more information on washing Gore-Texв„ў, visit: http://www.gore-tex.com/

Washing Gore-Tex™ jackets isn’t something you should have to do regularly, but with these simple tips when it is time to refresh your waterproof, you’ll be sure to get them job done efficiently!

Spring is just around the corner—time to reapply that good ol’ water-repellant finish.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Getting caught in a downpour is unpleasant in the first place. It’s even more unpleasant when your raincoat fails to be a raincoat any longer because, ahem, you have not been giving your jacket the proper annual care.

I found myself in this particular circumstance during a rainstorm in Bushwick, Brooklyn, back in 2014, when my trusty Patagonia raincoat proved to be no longer waterproof. I decided it was high time to re-apply some waterproof coating, but found out that I’d been waiting about six years too long—you should re-waterproof about once per year.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket

Rain jackets are coated in durable water-repellant (DWR) finish, a hydrophobic glaze that allows the coats to be breathable, yet waterproof. It lets water vapor—like sweat—out, but keeps rain from getting in. This coating thins throughout the course of normal wear, and it’s susceptible to harsh chemicals like DEET, the active ingredient in insect repellent. Without a DWR, the raincoat is just a coat. So, you’ll need to recoat it.

But first, you need to wash it, because when the DWR wears away, it lets in nasty particles, like sweat and dirt. Use a detergent meant for waterproof clothes, like Nikwax Tech Wash, which won’t ruin the fabric (a regular detergent might), but will remove whatever’s been building up in the absence of a repellant coating.

After washing the jacket, rinse it and, while it’s still wet, hang it. Now comes the time for re-waterproofing: Spray the jacket—and spray it really well—with a waterproofing spray. I like ReviveX Spray-On Water Repellent. Then put the jacket in the dryer, and when it comes out, it should be hydrophobic again. You can make sure by sprinkling some water on it. If it beads up, you’re all set.

Now, if your raincoat is less-than-waterproof for any other reason—like a hole in the sleeve from getting too close to a fire or snags from brambles in the woods—no waterproofing spray is going to save you, there. In that case, it’s time for an upgrade.

A leather jacket can add a touch of style to any wardrobe. Leather is a material that is able to maintain its beauty, while maintaining the ability to endure years of use. It’s a durable fabric, but it only lasts in its original condition if you provide proper care. If your jacket is not cared for, over time the leather can become cracked and worn.

Manufacturer’s Directions

The quickest way to find out how to care for a leather jacket is simply to read the manufacturer’s directions. If these instructions are available, refer to them for the care of your coat. Since there are many types of leather available on the market, the manufacturer will know best which type of leather your jacket is made from and the best way to care for that particular type of material.

How To Care For a Leather Jacket By Sealing It

The most important step in caring for your leather jacket is to use a waterproof sealant spray to protect it from water damage. This treatment also helps prevent stains. You need to spray any part of the jacket that will be exposed. Leather is prone to stains from water and moisture if it is not properly sealed – that’s why it’s important to seal the jacket as soon as possible. This product is available at most stores that sell leather garments.

General Care For a Leather Jacket

The general care of leather is the same for most types of leather. While some feel it’s not important to know exactly what type of leather a jacket is made from, every itsy bitsy bit of knowledge goes a long way in helping you in taking good care of it and cleaning it correctly. The types of leather differ in a few ways. Leather comes from a variety of animals including exotic ones like ostrich, python and kangaroo. The type of process used to tan the material also produces different types of leather. Leather can be tanned to be soft for a dress or tough for a drum skin.

Leather care begins with wiping down the jacket to remove visible dirt. This can be done with a damp, but wrung out cloth. Doing this will remove most marks, dirt and grime from your coat. If the dirt or stain is not completely removed from the garment by wiping it, you’ll need to take further steps to clean the jacket.

Leather Cleaning

There are a number of products specifically designed to clean leather products. These products can remove most stains without damaging the leather. However, you’ll want to do a spot-test before using the product on a visible surface. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly and follow them carefully to ensure you don’t damage your jacket. If the stain is tough, this process may need to be repeated multiple times.

Some stains may not come off with a commercial leather cleaner. Other leather care websites recommend the removal of Road salt with a solution that is equal parts white vinegar and water. However, it is always better to use a commercial leather cleaner as the first and safer option unless it is not available on hand and you urgently need to treat the stain promptly before the stain sets in.

These same websites go even further and claimed Ink stains can be removed with non-acetone nail polish and some tough stains can be removed with an aerosol hairspray or toothpaste. If the commercial product does not work, these DIY alternatives may be able to remove the stain BUT they are highly likely to cost you dearly!

Just stop and think for a moment. Commercial leather conditioner manufacturers are in the business to make money and would have carried out extensive research and testing on their products before releasing them to the market. They seldom release a defective or ineffective product unless they enjoy being sued by customers and giving business away to their competitors. Their products usually work within set safety perimeters so if it can’t do the job within safe limits, then so be it, as there is often a reason for it!

If the nail polish remover and aerosol hair spray were able to remove the Ink stains and other stains, that’s only because those stains were seating on the thin layer of clear coat sealant protecting the leather surface. The nail polish and hairspray had dissolved the sealant and you were able to wiped it away together with the stain.

Now, what if the stain had penetrated the clear coat protective sealant all the way through to the leather surface? When you attempt to remove the stain(s), you are very likely to set the stain permanently into the leather and then you are basically screwed.

So, if your first attempt at removing stains on your leather jacket using commercial leather cleaners was unsuccessful, then it is time to bite the bullet and leave it to the leather professionals to handle the job because if they screwed it up, at least you have some legal recourse against them rather than sending nasty but untterly useless messages to those leather care websites for dishing out bad advice.

Conditioning the Leather Jacket

Weather and environmental conditions can be tough on your jacket. Conditioning helps to protect the jacket from the elements. Use a leather conditioner to keep the jacket from getting dry. Dry leather tends to crack and wear faster. If the leather is smooth, you can use leather polish to make it shine. Because leather polish can stain and discolor leather, it’s important to know how and where to test the cleaning or conditioning solution on your leather jacket before applying it to the exterior of the whole jacket.

Hang Your Jacket Properly

You want to avoid wrinkles in your jacket, which is why you need to hang your garment on a wide, padded hanger. Since leather is a natural material, it needs to breathe in a dry environment. Do not cover your jacket in a plastic garment cover. If you’re going to cover the jacket use a nylon or cloth garment bag.

If the jacket gets wet or is damp, hang the jacket, at room temperature, to dry. Before hanging a wet jacket, ensure the pockets are empty and that the jacket is not placed near a direct source of heat. After drying, condition the jacket.

Care For a Leather Jacket By Visiting a Professional

At least once a year, pay a professional to clean your jacket. A professional cleaner will be able to properly clean your jacket and condition it and this will extend its life.

How to Buy a Waterproof Jacket