If you already enjoy spending as much time as you can exploring the outdoors or fancy taking that first step into the wilderness to discover what will be your favourite treks and trails there’s no surprise having the right clothing and equipment can make all the difference in the overall experience, especially comfort wise.
One of the key garments that needs a lot of consideration is the jacket as there are a few types to choose from, some of which are better suited to specific weather conditions and others have features that may be dependent on individual preference, so to help newcomers find their first technical jacket or experienced outdoor enthusiasts acquire their ideal coat and maybe replace an old favourite this Top 5 Jackets for 2015 guide from Webtogs has been compiled to make it easier to decide which one is right for you.
Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket
There are a couple of versions of the Rab Microlight all of which have gender specific fits too, but the Alpine version is the most versatile as other than in heavy downpour you can wear it comfortably throughout the year. All of the synthetic fibres and fabrics have been cleverly designed and chosen for the best performance while being very lightweight and also packable. A Pertex outer with Durable Water Repellent coating and Nylon Ripstop ensures durability and keeps it dry during snowfall and light showers which is enhanced with the Hydrophobic down which resists moisture without losing the 750 Fill Power insulation. The Rab Microlight Alpine Shell Jacket also has a stitch-through construction and narrow baffle so the down stays even throughout and a full adjustable hood too for a nice comfortable feet without loss of visibility.
Montane Minimus Mountain Jacket
If you want to keep the weight and bulk of your gear to a minimum but still need weather protection in case of wet conditions on warmer Alpine treks, or lower altitude colder weather treks the Montane Minimus Mountain Jacket is a rain shell with it all. It is made with Pertex Shield + for complete windproofing, waterproofing to 20,000 hydrostatic head and effective breathability as well, for extra durable water protection the Minimus also have micro-taped seams and YKK Aqua Guard Zips. The articulated arms ensure complete motion is always available and the hood is both fully adjustable and helmet compatible as well for extra versatility. If the Montane Minimus isn’t needed it can be packed down to a very small size.
The North Face Victory Hooded Jacket
This Mountain jacket is similar to the previous two in regard to being lightweight and allowing for plenty of natural movement but has a lot more technical features. The North Face Victory Hooded Jacket is part of the Summit Series which means it has been tested by sponsored athletes on expeditions to ensure the jacket can withstand plenty of active use and provide respite from the elements and has the Bluesign Standard too. It has a Polyurethane water resistant coating on the shoulders and hood for greater water resistance while the main fabric is a durable Ripstop and breathable TNF Apex Aerobic. The insulation is Primaloft Silver Eco so not only does it really keep you warm during cold treks but even if it does become wet none of the heat retention is compromised and compresses down with ease of packing. The positioning of the pockets have been made to be compatible with a harness or backpack so smaller items are easy to access.
Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket
By itself the Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket is an all weather belay coat that is windproof, highly water resistant and breathable due to a DRILITE Loft outer that is primarily used to stop down from becoming damp. It is made with Primaloft Gold so will give plenty of insulation in the winter and in mountain trails or on expedition level conditions, resist water and is moisture wicking as well and is extremely soft to the touch giving plenty of lasting comfort so if you want something that will work in really cold, wet weather this is ideal. For even better performance, especially if the temperature drops and the snow falls this works well being worn over other layers to give even greater retention of warmth so whatever the weather conditions it will be a reliable and extremely functional garment.
Jack Wolfskin Svalbard Jacket
The last of our Top 5 is the Jack Wolfskin Svalbard Jacket which is tough and perfect for winter weather so you can enjoy exploring icy temperatures and landscapes. The exterior is an Airgrid 20D shell fabric which including being windproof and water repellent is also tear resistant which is ideal for hikes and rough trails. Internally is a down and duck feather combination for a 700 fill power and in the hood and shoulders is Microguard Maxloft which is a synthetic down that can be compressed by a rucksack without losing any insulation making it ideal for long treks where you have to carry plenty of gear. The hood itself is very light and fully adjustable in terms of size and field of vision so keeps the weather off your head without obstructing anything and the cuffs have a stretch fit with thumbholes to help with keeping warm and lessening spindrift. It also has four spacious pockets for maps and electronic equipment and even has a headphone port.
Hopefully one of these Top 5 Jackets will suit your needs to experience what the outdoors has to offer from a light rain shell for warmer woodland treks to an insulating belay that will take on icy mountain trails and all offering plenty of comfort and function with a bit of modern design and style as well.