A good waterproof jacket is essential for hiking in Ireland, thanks to our weather. Here are our five favourites to keep you dry!
Sunshine is a rare occurrence on this island of ours. With that in mind, a good waterproof jacket is a necessity. When looking for a good waterproof be sure to look for the following features: The jacket’s material is the most important thing, you’ll have to find a balance between weatherproofing and breathability. Gore-Tex (GTX) has become increasingly common and scores high on both counts. Polartec and durable water repellent (DWR) are also very effective at keeping the elements at bay but in the case of the latter, they aren’t always very breathable. Strong seams are important as they are an obvious weak point in certain jackets, especially in heavy rain. Finally, a good hood is key for warmth and dryness, as most of your body heat is lost through your head. Remember that if you’re going to be climbing the hood will need to be compatible with your helmet.
1. Patagonia Torrentshell
This Patagonia jacket is well designed and has the features to back up the aesthetics. The Torrentshell jacket employs H2No protection to keep you, an effective DWR. In keeping with the company’s ecological ethos, it is made entirely from recycled polyester and packs away into the jacket’s pocket so takes up minimal space. The jacket is durable and breathable. It isn’t as lightweight as some of the alternatives but at this price, it’s hard to beat.
Available from: Cotswold Outdoor
2. Rab Firewall
Rab has grown an impressive following thanks to their high-end, high-performance products. The Firewall jacket employs a triple layer of the company’s own Pertex Shield+ that has the waterproofing of Gore-Tex with added comfort. The wired hood is easy to adjust and performs well under most conditions. It’s at the higher end of the market but it is an excellent investment if you’re planning on hiking through the year.
Available from: Wild Side Sports
3. Columbia Outdry Ex Gold Tech
Columbia utilises its own Outdry Extreme technology to keep the rain out. The water-repellent membrane is extremely effective while also allowing wicking and breathability. This jacket also features under-arm vents to keep the temperature down. The sealed seams are a bit of an eyesore but they do the job and ensure that there’s no way in for water. This is a jacket that offers excellent value for money.
Available from: Great Outdoors
4. Berghaus Hillwalker Gore-Tex
Berghaus is a British brand with a long history of producing high-quality products. This jacket is one of their latest designs. It is a durable, breathable and a great fit. It features a double layer of Gore-Tex material to provide high-quality waterproofing while maintaining ventilation. The pack-away hood was not the best we tested but proved moderately effective. In order to create a warmer jacket, there is the option to zip other Berghaus jackets inside the Hillwalker to provide extra layers. So, you could put a fleece in it for the colder months.
Available from: 53 Degrees North
5. Arc’teryx Zeta LT
This Arc’teryx jacket is a premier product when it comes to defeating the elements. The Zeta utilises a triple-layer of waterproofed material to keep the rain at bay and the easily adjustable StormHood is fantastic, which means your head and face will be kept dry too. The jacket is impressively lightweight, and though it doesn’t pack into it’s own stuff sack it’s very easy to compress down to a small size so it won’t take up too much space in your backpack. The Zeta usually retails at twice the price so snap it up at a lower price while you can.
Available from: Cotswold Outdoor