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10 best women’s waterproof jackets to weather any storm

You’ll be home and dry with these top-rated options

Clare O'Reilly
Tuesday 28 May 2024 14:18 BST
The jackets were tested for comfort, style, design and, of course, how well they coped in the rain
The jackets were tested for comfort, style, design and, of course, how well they coped in the rain (The Independent)
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When it comes to waterproof jackets, there’s a multitude of decisions to make. Something to fend off the elements while walking the dogs or hiking is an entirely different beast from something that will keep you dry during your morning commute into the office.

As well as factoring in style and colour, warmth is also worth considering. Are you likely to be wearing the waterproof during winter months for long periods of time or is it a spring and summer transitional jacket you’ll be wearing to the pub in the evening in case it rains during the walk home?

When April showers continue into May and beyond, a good waterproof becomes an essential. You don’t want to end up drenched at the office or dinner.

While running waterproof jackets are all about the lightweight and taped seams, there’s length, cuff, hood style, fastening type and colour to think about when looking for an everyday rain jacket or one for outdoor adventures.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and selected the best waterproof jackets on the market, to help make your search quicker and easier. They also happen to look great.

How we tested the best women’s waterproof jackets

A few of the jackets we put to the test
A few of the jackets we put to the test (Clare O'Reilly)

All jackets were worn over three test periods: on a short walk in lighter drizzle, on a longer walk in heavier rain, and in a commuting scenario where time was spent on public transport, with the jackets worn on either side of the journey. The jackets were tested for comfort, style, ease of fastening, design and how well they coped with rain run-off.

The best women’s waterproof jackets for 2024 are:

  • Best women’s waterproof jacket overall – Mountain Warehouse Rainforest II Extreme women’s waterproof jacket: £79.99,
  • Best budget women’s waterproof jacket – Mountain Warehouse Swerve women’s packaway waterproof jacket: £42.99,
  • Best plus-size women’s waterproof jacket – Adidas Marimekko Traveer raindry waterproof jacket: £24,
  • Best women’s waterproof jacket for dog walks – Adidas Terrex Skyclimb gore soft shell jacket: £44,
  • Best women’s waterproof jacket for the commute – Barbour Hebrides waterproof jacket: £219.95,
  • Best women’s waterproof jacket for hiking – Columbia Wyldwood waterproof jacket: £250,

Mountain Warehouse rainforest II extreme women's waterproof jacket

  • Best: Women’s waterproof jacket overall
  • Sizes: UK 6 to 22
  • Colourways: Burgundy, grey, jet black and navy
  • Why we love it
    • Great in heavy rain
  • Take note
    • Could do with a back pocket

This jacket fared brilliantly in heavy rain during testing. The taped seams meant not a drop of water got in, with the adjustable hood and cuffs helping us stay dry.

The mesh lining made the jacket feel breathable and allowed for a warm layer underneath. It’s also a great length. The water ran off this jacket brilliantly, while the zipped pockets kept our belongings safe and dry, too.

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Mountain Warehouse swerve women's packaway waterproof jacket

  • Best: Budget women’s waterproof jacket
  • Sizes: UK 6 to 22
  • Colourways: Charcoal, dusky purple and teal
  • Why we love it
    • Stylish
  • Take note
    • Limited colour choices

This is one of the most versatile jackets on our list, while also being one of the most budget-friendly options. The ripstop fabric and taped seams make it functional, while the slim fit makes it a stylish choice, too. It also packs away into its own carry case, so it’s a great option to take with you when you’re out and about, in case you get caught in the rain. We also loved the contrast zipper.

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Adidas Marimekko Traveer Rainrdy waterproof jacket

  • Best: Plus-size women’s waterproof jacket
  • Sizes: UK 16 to 32-34
  • Colourways: Orange
  • Why we love it
    • Stylish
  • Take note
    • Would be great to have more size variety

Adidas’s Rainrdy technology makes sure the rain is kept out, while the packable hood makes this a transitional jacket you can wear even when the sun is shining. The mesh lining makes it breathable and the adjustable cuffs and hood mean you can tailor the fit to suit.

Made from 100 per cent recycled polyester, it’s an ecological choice to boot. It also has zipped hand pockets with waterproofing on the zip, so, no matter how long you’re out in the elements, you can always keep your phone dry.

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Terrex skyclimb gore soft shell jacket

  • Best: Women’s waterproof jacket for dog walks
  • Sizes: UK 8 to 16
  • Colourways: Multi
  • Why we love it
    • Stylish colour scheme
    • Easy to wash

When it comes to waterproofing on the go, this jacket is a great choice. Its stylish colour scheme and slim fit are flattering, while the hood does the job of keeping you dry even in a headwind. It’s windproof, too, and the elastic hem and cuffs mean the rain can’t get where you don’t want it to.

Even better, it’s machine washable, so, bring on those muddy paws. This is a great option if you need a functional waterproof that won’t break the bank.

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Columbia Wyldwood waterproof jacket

  • Best: Women’s waterproof jacket for hiking
  • Sizes: XS to XXL
  • Colourways: Dark stone, juicy (coral red) and black
  • Why we love it
    • External taped seams
  • Take note
    • Could be longer in the body

If you’re after a utility jacket that not only looks amazing but functions fantastically (even in lashing rain), look no further. While taped seams have long been needed in the waterproof jacket world, the smart folks at Columbia have opted for external tape as a style feature, and it looks great.

The peripheral hood adjustment, water-diverting brim, drop tail, adjustable hem and cuffs all keep the rain at bay while you’re out and about. While this jacket kept us dry for hours in thundering rain, it also folded up neatly into a hand pocket when the clouds parted and the sun came out.

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Arc’teryx beta lightweight jacket

  • Best: For wet weather enthusiasts
  • Sizes: XXS to XXL
  • Colourways: Navy blue, black, lilac and hot pink
  • Why we love it
    • Great environmentally friendly credentials
  • Take note
    • Very expensive

While every jacket on this list is waterproof, Arc’teryx has invested a lot of technology into the beta. It’s lightweight, waterproof, windproof, breathable, fair trade certified and reflective. If you want a jacket that’s all things for all women, this is a great option. What’s more, the Gore-Tex is an environmentally friendly ePE fabric that offers a reduced carbon footprint.

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Barbour Hebrides waterproof jacket

  • Best: Women’s waterproof jacket for the commute
  • Sizes: UK 8 to 18
  • Colourways: Light beige or khaki
  • Why we love it
    • Slick, stylish silhouette
  • Take note
    • Best for urban use

While plenty of the other jackets on our list are versatile and as at home in the hills as they are on the streets, the folk at Barbour have designed a waterproof jacket that’s expressly for wet weather in an urban setting.

Barbour’s signature fawn-coloured trench coat vibe and stylish golden zip make this a jacket to be seen in. The detachable hood turns it from a waterproof into a smart work jacket, the signature tartan lining looks great when the jacket is open and the branded embroidery and big buttons make sure everyone knows it’s Barbour. It’s not cheap but this is a jacket that will last decades and never go out of style.

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Fjällräven keb eco-shell jacket

  • Best: For adventure sports
  • Sizes: XXS to XXL
  • Colourways: Brown, black, navy and dark green
  • Why we love it
    • Created with adventure in mind
  • Take note
    • Muted colours only
    • Expensive

Breathable, lightweight, durable, waterproof, windproof and with great ventilation, this jacket is the perfect option for adventurers. The pockets are designed in such a way you can access them while you’re wearing a climbing harness or a backpack with a waist belt, and the hood has been designed so there’s enough space under it for a helmet.

The jacket is made from recycled materials, and all emissions during production and transport are climate-compensated. It’s also been designed so it can be easily recycled at the end of its life. The two-way zipper means you can open it from either end to cool down and ventilate, too. If you want to stay dry while being active, this is the perfect option.

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Waterproof jacket FAQs

The verdict: Women’s waterproof jackets

While needs for a waterproof jacket will vary based on where you live and what activities you do, we found the Mountain Warehouse Rainforest II Extreme to be a great all-rounder. It’s at home in an urban environment but also coped well during a walk through wet woods. The higher price points of many waterproof jackets can be attributed to the technology needed to make them waterproof and breathable, but at just £79.99, this one is a bargain.

Special mention goes to Barbour, too, which has produced an exceptionally stylish waterproof coat that performed brilliantly in lashing rain while looking just as stylish in the boardroom as on the streets.

Need more rainy-day essentials? We’ve rounded up the best wellies for women

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