When it comes to buying a waterproof hiking jacket there are many different choices, but Gore Tex is definitely one of, if not the best. A Gore Tex hiking jacket will keep you dry, but will also breath very well, which is the ideal combination to have in a hiking jacket that you expect to get wet in. Gore Tex tends to be a bit pricier than other materials, like a coated nylon, for instance, but the quality is undeniably better, and you will thank yourself for making the investment in Gore Tex when it starts raining.
Gore Tex Hiking JacketWhat to look for when you want a Gore Tex hiking jacket.
- Type – There are actually a few different kinds of Gore Tex that you have to choose from. Paclite, for instance, is a thinner, more breathable kind of Gore Tex. It’s still a good choice, but isn’t quite as waterproof as something like 3L Pro Gore Tex, which is a much more dependable fabric choice, though it is thicker and heavier.
- Ventilation – Gore Tex will breath well, but even so hiking can be hard work, and a waterproof jacket is not going to do you much good if you end up getting soaking wet from sweat that hasn’t been allowed to properly ventilate. One of the most common, and most effective forms of ventilation are pit zips, which are zippered openings underneath the armpits.
Best Gore Tex Hiking JacketSome of the better Gore Tex hiking jackets for both men and women.
Men's Gore Tex Jackets
- Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - If you want the best, Arc'teryx is well known for making some really excellent jackets with Gore Tex. This particular jacket uses Gore Tex 3L Pro fabric, which is the good stuff, and has the essentials, like pit zips, 2 chest pockets and 2 hand pockets. It also has a whole bunch of more subtle features, like an extended length, a minimal amount of seams and a laminated drawcord and hem, rather than sewn, that help to separate it out from the competition. This is an expensive jacket, but then there's a reason for that.
- Marmot Minimalist - If you're not looking to spend the kind of money that Arc'teryx jackets command, then the Marmot Minimalist might be a better choice. It uses Gore Tex Paclite, which is the lighter, more breathable version of Gore Tex. It has a few essentials, like pit zips and a zippered chest pocket, but this jacket is designed to be small and lightweight, like the name suggests. Perfect for backpackers, hikers and campers looking for a packable Gore Tex jacket that you can wear around town too.
Women's Gore Tex Jackets
- Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - If you want quality, there aren't many options better than Arc'teryx. This particular jacket uses the very high quality Gore Tex 3L Pro fabric, which will keep you dry all day long while still breathing well. The jacket also comes with pit zips, to help with ventilation. But the real benefit of a jacket like this is all the small things, like as few seams as possible, an extra few inches of length to reach the hips, and a helmet compatible hood that help to make this a must for anyone looking for the best Gore Tex hiking jacket.
- Marmot Minimalist - The Minimalist is more suited to those who aren't looking to spend a whole lot, and also backpackers, hikers and anyone else who wears a backpack. It uses Paclite Gore Tex, first of all, which is lighter and breathes better than most other kinds of Gore Tex. It also has a few features like raised hand pockets, which will be accessible even when your backpack hip belt is done up, that really make it appealing to backpackers and hikers. But beyond that it's fairly minimalist, as the name suggests, and would be ideal for stuffing in to a backpack.