Choosing a waterproof jacket can be a surprisingly daunting task. There are so many models from so many manufacturers at a huge range of prices. We have tried to make our range as diverse, yet succinct as possible in order to offer you the best choice of waterproof coats, without you leaving more confused than when you started.
 
We have chosen our waterproof jackets by looking at as many manufacturers’ offerings as we can, and then choosing the models we feel are best. We currently have offerings from: Marmot, Rab, Sprayway, Crux, Patagonia, Montane and Arc’Teryx.
 
Our waterproof range can be broadly split into three categories:
  1. Chemical coated or similar (£60-120)
  2. Membrane with a polyester face fabric (£150-230)
  3. Membrane with a nylon face fabric  (£250+)

Chemic
al coated or similar (£60-120)
These jackets are generally lightweight, packable and good value. They are perfect for occasional use at relatively low aerobic intensity. This is due to the fact that they are not particularly breathable and although they are completely waterproof, if you are working up a sweat you may find you get wet from the inside anyway! They are also not the most durable of jackets as the chemical coating on the inside of the jacket is exposed and is easily worn away with frequent use and the face fabric tends to be a lightweight polyester. If you are often carrying heavy packs, winter climbing or just likely to give your jacket a hard life we’d probably steer clear. If, on the other hand you want something for walking the dog, packing away to take on holiday, strapping surf boards on the car or use for your daily commute these jackets are perfect! Jackets such as the Patagonia Torrent Shell is a good example and a staple of our range at Up and Under.

torrent shell
 
Membrane with a polyester face fabric (£150-230)
These are the jackets that suit most people. Rather than having a chemical coating on the inside of the jacket, these have a waterproof membrane (normally a form of GoreTex or eVent) bonded to the face fabric. This membrane is then protected by an inner ‘scrim’. This makes the jacket far more durable and also more breathable than chemical coated jackets.
We recommend this type of jacket for most people who want to use their jacket everyday, for hill walkers, backpackers etc.
Their only real downfall is that polyester isn’t as durable as nylon (more on that in the next section) and subsequently the face fabric is more prone to wear. This means the jacket either has to be relatively heavy or sacrifice a little strength meaning for really intense use in harsh environments spending a little more could pay off in the long run.
Within this category we have very light and packable waterproof jackets such as the Marmot Minimalist for men and women to the super tough but heavier Marmot Spire and Women's Marmot Spire. These both use GoreTex fabrics, if you think you’d prefer eVent (more breathable, less durable) check out the Rab Bergen or Rab Vidda for women- which has been our best selling waterproof jacket for a number of years.
marmot spirerab bergenmarmot minimaslist
 
Membrane with a Nylon face fabric (£250+)
In these jackets the waterproof membrane is bonded to a nylon face fabric rather than polyester. The advantage of this is that nylon is more durable than polyester. Subsequently the jacket can either be lighter for the same strength or similar weight but much stronger. The other advantage of nylon is that it is more hydrophobic (water hating). Subsequently water tends to shed from the jacket more easily keeping the jacket nice and light and breathable even when wet.
This makes these jackets great for people that want their jacket to really stand the test of time, or for those who are going to really give it hell on the mountain! They are perfect for winter mountaineering and skiing.
As with the previous category we have a range of jackets from the super light Arc’Teryx Alpha SL to the bomber Crux Shok. In between those we have the likes of the Patagonia Triolet - one of the nicest all round jackets on the market.
alpha slcrux shokpatagonia triolet
 
*****
So there you have it. Broadly speaking the same categories can be applied to waterproof trousers too. We hope this blog has helped explain our range and some of the technologies used. What we’d really like though is for you to pop in to the store. If you can’t do that don’t hesitate to pick up the call or drop us an email and we’ll be more than happy to help!

If you aren't sure whether to go for a waterproof jacket or a softshellclick here to check out our blog on waterproofs vs softshells.

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