How to choose: waterproof hiking jacket

Read this guide to choose the best waterproof jacket to bring on your hikes!


Quechua offers a wide range of waterproof jackets – lightweight, warm, 3-in-1 jackets, and jackets with or without ventilation that offer different levels of waterproofing.

Whether you're looking to stay dry during your commute or a trip out into the wilderness, we have reliable jackets to shelter you from the weather.

1. Level of waterproofing

Depending on the level of protection you need, you can choose between different levels of waterproofing. For each jacket, the level of waterproofing is graded on a scale of 1 to 5.

These ratings are developed through technical lab tests; the higher the rating, the more waterproof the jacket.  

Ratings of 2 and 3 indicate that the jacket can offer protection during a shower with 6-12 cm of rainfall in 1-2 hours  

A rating of 4 indicates that the jacket can offer protection during a thunderstorm with 30 cm of rainfall in 3 hours.  

A rating of 5 indicates that the jacket can offer protection during a storm, with 1.8 m of rainfall in 4 hours!

2. The temperature outside

We offer 2 kinds of hiking jackets: Lightweight jackets and warm jackets.

Lightweight hiking jackets are unlined or only have a lightweight lining so they are worn in warm weather, in mid-season or in winter with a warm layer such as a fleece or micro-padded jacket.

In cold weather, you should choose a warm hiking jacket with a warm lining; some of these jackets have a detachable lining and are called "3-in-1" jackets.

This means that, depending on the temperature, you can remove the inner layer (either a fleece or padded jacket zipped to the inside of a jacket) and convert it to a lightweight jacket.

How to Choose a Waterproof Hiking Jacket

3. Intensity of exercise

Finally, the last criterion to consider is the intensity of your hike.

The more intense the hike, the more you'll sweat which means you'll need a ventilated jacket. When there's a ventilation zip, we talk about mechanical ventilation. 

These are generally located under the arms but some pockets also have mesh which helps to wick perspiration.

For improved ventilation, wear breathable clothing under your hiking jacket and remember to leave the cuffs and bottom of the jacket unfastened.

If you plan to walk in the rain for a long time, wear a poncho over your jacket which will provide complete waterproofing and help protect your backpack!

We hope you found this article useful in helping you decide what type of waterproof jacket you should get to suit your needs accordingly. 

Click on the link below to view our complete waterproof hiking jacket collection!

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