Waterproofs

There is probably more hot air expanded in the outdoor press on the subject of waterproof shells than just about any other subject. Without going into all the contradictory figures that every manufacturer produces to prove their waterproofs are the best, we can safely state that you will get wet when wearing waterproofs, but not, in certain circumstances, as wet as you would get without them!

Waterproofs are also known as Hard Shell. The best waterproofs are not only waterproof, they also "breath" (ie let your sweat out) to some extent. Anyone who has had the misfortune to use a non-breathable waterproof will realise how effective modern breathable waterproofs are, but unfortunately even the best, as they rely on a gradient of higher humidity on the inside passing to lower humidity on the outside, do not tend to work as well when wet (which is of course when you need them to work most).

Apart from rain trickling in the hood and sleeves, the major source of moisture is your own sweat. The ability to disperse this sweat is known as "breathability". In general, the more expensive waterproofs tend to be the most breathable - however even these have their limit and that limit is currently well short of what a sweaty body carrying a large rucksack up a steep hill can produce.

The result of all this is that they are not as breathable as they really need to be and you will be better off trying to avoid wearing them as much as possible.

Although the most expensive waterproofs tend to be made of the most breathable fabrics, this does not mean that cheaper waterproofs are no good - it all depends on the use you intend to put them to. For instance it makes little sense to carry a top end waterproof in the alps where it will just be extra weight in your rucksack as it will almost certainly weigh more than a cheaper one. Take the cheap lightweight one - if the weather turns so bad that you actually need to wear it you'll probably be descending anyway.

We also certainly cannot tell you what the "best" waterproof shell is; this is because that too depends on what you want it for, but there is a good selection here, of some of the best designs available in the UK. Most of them have been selected for their ability to take a large Ordnance Survey map in the chest pocket (something many foreign designs can't do) and for the ability of the hood to cover your helmeted head leaving just a slit for you to peer out through at the Cairngorm blizzard - amazing how many "top end" jackets can't do this properly.

Heavy Duty Waterproofs: Tough but still surprisingly lightweight - designed for climbing and walking in winter conditions.
Lightweight Waterproofs: Lightweight for situations where weight saving is more important than performance or durability.

Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On Charcoal
Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On
£99.00
£110.00
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OMM Men's Kamleika Jacket Green
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OMM Men's Kamleika Jacket
From £133.00
£190.00
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OMM Women's Kamleika Jacket
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OMM Women's Kamleika Jacket
£133.00
£190.00
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Montane Men's Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket Flag Red
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Montane Men's Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket
£148.50
£165.00
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2 In Stock
Montane Women's Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket Cerulean
Montane Women's Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket Cerulean
£148.50
£165.00
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2 In Stock
Rab Men's Firewall Jacket Firecracker
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Rab Men's Firewall Jacket
£202.50
£225.00
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3 In Stock
Rab Women's Firewall Jacket Blueprint
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Rab Women's Firewall Jacket
£202.50
£225.00
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2 In Stock
Rab Men's Spark Jacket Firecracker
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Rab Men's Spark Jacket
£144.00
£160.00
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4 In Stock
Rab Women's Spark Jacket Sagano Green
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Rab Women's Spark Jacket
£144.00
£160.00
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2 In Stock
Rab Men's Mantra Jacket Merlin
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Rab Men's Mantra Jacket
£172.50
£230.00
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1 In Stock
Rab Women's Mantra Jacket Serenity
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Rab Women's Mantra Jacket
From £172.50
£230.00
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2 In Stock
Rab Men's Kinetic Plus Jacket Ink
Rab Men's Kinetic Plus Jacket Ink
£162.00
£180.00
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Rab Women's Kinetic Plus Jacket Steel
Rab Women's Kinetic Plus Jacket Steel
£162.00
£180.00
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1 In Stock
Rab Men's Kinetic Alpine Jacket Firecracker
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Rab Men's Kinetic Alpine Jacket
£189.00
£210.00
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2 In Stock
Rab Women's Kinetic Alpine Jacket Atlantis
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Rab Women's Kinetic Alpine Jacket
£189.00
£210.00
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1 In Stock
Rab Men's Ladakh GTX Jacket Oxblood/Ascent Red
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Rab Men's Ladakh GTX Jacket
£306.00
£340.00
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Rab Women's Ladakh GTX Jacket Celestial Blue/Polar Blue
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Rab Women's Ladakh GTX Jacket
£306.00
£340.00
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1 In Stock
Patagonia Men's Rainshadow Jacket Fire
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Patagonia Men's Rainshadow Jacket
£180.00
£200.00
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Patagonia Women's Rainshadow Jacket Classic Navy
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Patagonia Women's Rainshadow Jacket
£180.00
£200.00
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2 In Stock
Patagonia Men's Triolet Jacket Fire Red
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Patagonia Men's Triolet Jacket
£292.50
£325.00
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Patagonia Women's Triolet Jacket Regen Green
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Patagonia Women's Triolet Jacket
£292.50
£325.00
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2 In Stock
Patagonia Men's Galvanized Jacket Crater Blue
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Patagonia Men's Galvanized Jacket
£288.00
£320.00
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1 In Stock
Patagonia Men's Insulated Torrentshell Jacket Barn Red
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Patagonia Men's Insulated Torrentshell Jacket
£234.00
£260.00
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1 In Stock
Mountain Equipment Men's Tupilak Jacket Mango
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Mountain Equipment Men's Tupilak Jacket
£342.00
£380.00
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1 In Stock

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