There is no such thing as bad weather if you have the right waterproof jacket
If you love being outdoors in all weathers, then you've got to equip yourself with a waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers. Today, men and women’s waterproof jackets aren’t only used as protection against the rain.
Modern hardshell jackets come with a reliable coating, which will protect you against the rain, the cold and the wind. As a result, waterproof jackets have become one of the most important elements for skiing and hill walking, and they're trusted climbing companions.
Hardshell jackets for optimal performance
Hardshell and softshell jackets are used for all kinds of mountain sports. Their materials have been composed differently depending on the purpose. For example, there are ultralight and extremely breathable hardshell jackets for particularly active sports, such as trail running or ski mountaineering. Most waterproof jackets are equipped with breathable membranes, such as those from GORE-TEX or Sympatex.
As for multi-layered waterproof jackets, they’re a lot more tough and durable. When it comes to challenging activities, such as climbing and trekking, these jackets will be able to withstand even the greatest strains. In addition, whilst carrying a heavy backpack, you should make sure your waterproof jacket is durable enough to resist permanent strains over longer periods. Ultralight waterproof jackets are not designed for such challenges. On long hill walks, you can either opt for a rain poncho or a waterproof coat. Some waterproof ponchos are even big enough to be worn over your backpack, so you’ll be kept dry down to your ankles and your waterproof shoes will protect your feet. At this point, only your hands will be exposed to the rain, but you can even wear rain gloves to protect them.
Waterproof and breathable - a waterproof jacket will keep its promises
Waterproof jackets are the functional link between your body and the environment. That’s the reason why almost every hardshell jacket is a so-called membrane that ensures a balanced microclimate in all weather conditions. If you break out into a sweat, the moisture will be wicked away from your body, whilst keeping the cold and rain out. When choosing a jacket, checking its hydrostatic head and RET value will give you an idea of how waterproof and breathable it is. The higher the stated values, the denser the material of the hardshell jacket, and the better the heat regulation will be. However, if your jacket reaches its limits in terms of temperature-regulation, then you can use the ventilation openings to help cool you down.
The most important features of a hardshell jacket
A waterproof jacket should become one with your body, which means it shouldn’t restrict your movements, hinder your performance or let you down in crucial moments. To ensure this, modern jackets are precisely designed and are guaranteed to meet even the highest expectations. In addition, the jacket’s pockets are typically positioned in such a way as to ensure that you can reach your essentials whilst carrying a backpack or wearing a harness. The hood should be wide, it should have a drawstring for quick adjustments and you should be able to wear a helmet underneath the hood without your field of view being restricted.
Bergans, Vaude and The North Face produce high-quality jackets that are brimming with amazing and functional details. And to maintain your jacket’s durability, you should regularly clean and care for it. By using special detergents for membranes, you can even wash your hardshell in the washing machine. After washing, you should restore the beading effect by using a DWR spray.