If you want to be well equipped for your next hiking trip read the following tips about the most important properties of a hiking jacket.

Source: Red Bull

Functionality

Your hiking jacket should be wind- and waterproof, and breathable at the same time. Ideally, it should fit like a second skin and weigh very little. It is membranes, thin films made from synthetic material, that make a jacket completely waterproof.

There are two kinds of membranes. Microporous membranes like Gore-Tex or NeoShell allow water vapour molecules to escape through the synthetic barrier. Non-porous membranes like Ceplex, Dermizax, Sympatex, Texapore or Venturi let water vapour escape through molecular units in the fabric. A jacket should be washed regularly with mild detergent so dirt does not impair the garment’s permeability. Regular reproofing prevents rain from going through the surface material and water vapour from being trapped inside.

Fit

While trying on jackets you should take into account that you will wear various layers underneath it during a hiking trip. The jacket should sit comfortably and should not restrict your movement. During colder temperatures or windy weather it is recommended you wear a longer jacket. The hood should be windproof and offer good all-round visibility. Brightly coloured jackets not only look good, they also ensure you are more visible in adverse weather conditions. The jacket should weigh no more than 400 grams and have a low volume.

Apart from wind-and waterproofing, Outdoor PRO Julian thinks having one or two chest pockets is essential as these are really the only pockets you will have access to when wearing a rucksack or climbing belt. Of course, the jacket has to offer a good outer layer but not necessarily a warm one – you can regulate your temperature with the lower clothing layers (the layering principle). As he uses this kind of jacket just as a back-up in summer, it should be small when stored and feel light in his rucksack. He finds it very important to be able to change temperature quickly between warm and cold, as your environment can soon change from windy to sunny to shaded. The jacket should be easy to open at the front and offer zips under the arms for perfect air circulation.

In our shop you can find the best outdoor jackets for your next mountain trip.