Waterproof Recommendations

  • UPDATE - The main upgrade is now finished. The site should now be functioning as normal, I will be making tweaks over the weekend, particularly to look of the site. If you notice something is broken or have any comments please let me know. Many thanks Matt (Lithril)

Phaestos

Full Member
Sep 8, 2012
374
0
Manchester
I recently had the pleasure of being out in very heavy rain when i realised that my waterproof wasn't all that waterproof. It was just a fairly cheap Craghoppers Jacket so I didn't expect the world from it, and thankfully it all ended up ok as I had a good set of mid layers and a tarp to keep my dry and warm. So now I'm on the hunt for something better to keep me dry in god awful weather. I've already salivated over mighty expensive ventile and goretex shells, but realised I don't actually have all that much money to work with. Can anyone recommend a good waterproof shell, that is preferably lightweight. I'm fine with surplus. For the moment, lets pretend my budget is around £100 at the maximum.

Cheers!
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
For canoeing:
Ive got the british army dpm goretex jacket, without pockets, it was designed as a liner, brand new, for £20 off ebay. Specifically for canoeing, as its got the helmet hood, which is a perfect fit pulled over your tilley t3 hat, along with a pair of quite heavy duty bombproof green waterproof regatta over trousers for £7. So full set of brilliant canoeing waterproofs for £27 new! Good for bushwacking too. If I was out on the hills, [which im not much at all these days, Ive got lightweight gear for that]

For other activities, fly fishing, dog walking, Ive got other waterproofs.
 

Old Bones

Settler
Oct 14, 2009
733
58
East Anglia
Have a look at Cotswolds - sign up for their Explorer card (which costs you nothing), and you get 10% off the first purchase. They actually had a flash sale this weekend, but I have to admit around a ton is a bit tight - your going to get non Goretex at that price. Much the same goes for Go Outdoors, etc. Be realistic - buy once buy right. I have to admit that I'd never buy Hyvent again - just not very good. And if I can get a wired hood, I'll go for one - my old LA jacket had one and was fantastic, unlike the TNF I'm wanting to replace.

Avoid the Berghaus RG1 - rubbish fabric, rubbish fit, rubbish hood - I got one for a fiver in a charity shop, which was not a bad deal, but not paying full price! As for surplus, they tend to be heavy, camo (do you want to comute looking like you've come off an exercise?), often knackered, and often overpriced for what they are. Try Endicotts is you want to go down that route. personally, I'd wander round the hiking stores (including the small non chain ones), and see what works.
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
0
51
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
I've got a Mountain Equipment Ogre XCR goretex, and it is excellent. Has been superseded by newer models, and was never cheap, but you might find one on eBay within your budget. Good waterproof, with an excellent hood.
 

Chris the Cat

Full Member
Jan 29, 2008
2,850
13
Exmoor
For canoeing:
Ive got the british army dpm goretex jacket, without pockets, it was designed as a liner, brand new, for £20 off ebay. Specifically for canoeing, as its got the helmet hood, which is a perfect fit pulled over your tilley t3 hat, along with a pair of quite heavy duty bombproof green waterproof regatta over trousers for £7. So full set of brilliant canoeing waterproofs for £27 new! Good for bushwacking too. If I was out on the hills, [which im not much at all these days, Ive got lightweight gear for that]

For other activities, fly fishing, dog walking, Ive got other waterproofs.
What Dave said, hard to beat.

For your budget I would go surplus, Dutch or German if you do not fancy the UK version.
Or secondhand, good quality wax cotton .

C.
 

garethw

Settler
Yes agreed surplus is probably the best bet at that price. If you don't like DPM try Strikeforce surplus, they have the new MTP unissued gortex jackets, both light weight and heavy for around £50. I got the full set for less than £100. http://www.strikeforcesupplies.co.uk/index.php?method=cat&id=80 I kind of like the MTP even though I've never been a camo fan.

Perhaps try Decathlon.. they offer cheap fairly nice hitec clothing.. not top notch materials but most do their job. http://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-781138-waterproof-jackets#page2


cheers
Gareth
 

BigMonster

Full Member
Sep 6, 2011
1,052
70
Manchester
A different kind of advice. Even the best GoreTex/eVent fabric can only manage few percent of your body moisture. So it works really if you are standing still... As soon as you start going uphill or take a heavy pack your body will owerwhelm even the most expensive jacket.
Good fabric from a decent brand is important, but do pay attention to features like pit zips, two way main zipper or even back vents. Also comfortable and a little loose fit helps. No good beeing waterproof and swimming in your own sweat.
 

BigMonster

Full Member
Sep 6, 2011
1,052
70
Manchester
It's better than a plastic bag but it's not a miracle material... For the above reason, if it's not raining horizontaly I will take a poncho any day...
 

caorach

Forager
Nov 26, 2014
156
0
UK
The truth is that no matter what you wear it will always manage to get damp from sweat somehow, at least if you do any form of exercise. A light cotton t-shirt will get damp under certain circumstances. There is simply no magic bullet when it comes to clothing.

The military surplus jackets are, in my view, hard to beat (see above - they aren't perfect because nothing is) as they were designed as a clothing system. Many people who reject the surplus gear overlook the fact that it is a "system" and so needs to be considered in these terms.

The windproof smock was designed to be worn on top - this is basically a poly/cotton jacket which is well designed and has lots of good pockets. The smock dries quickly and by its nature is very breathable so often you will be warmer and drier in it than in a waterproof layer. You can wash waterproofing into the smock and it will keep the water out for a surprisingly long time - maybe 3 - 4 hours in heavy rain.

As has been said above the completely waterproof "gore-tex" mil surplus jacket is designed as a liner and the intention is that it gets worn UNDER the smock. So, if you think it is going to be very wet or if you are caught in a long lasting period of rain then you put the gore-tex layer on under your smock. That way you keep all your pockets, the smock makes the gore-tex layer more silent and you are totally waterproof. As soon as the rain stops off comes the gore-tex layer and you go back to being much more breathable than you could possibly be in anything that is totally waterproof. Once you get into this you can walk in very bad conditions and stay drier than you might with just a waterproof jacket and in the end that leaves you warmer and more comfortable.

If you haven't tried a windproof smock, and I would imagine most on here have, they give it a try and see what you think. You can pick the older DPM ones up on ebay for not much more than £10 and in many respects they are simpler and better than the newer MTP pattern smocks. There are/were two MTP pattern smocks the Mk1 was basically the same design as the older DPM smock but the material was very strange and seemed to wear quite badly. The current Mk2 MTP pattern smock has lots of "features" such as fleece handwarmer pockets, pit zips and mesh lining and while this sounds great most of these features are not really required and things like fleece handwarmer pockets can increase the length of time the jacket takes to dry out. If you don't care about the pattern then get a DPM smock and don't pay much cash for it, then if you hate it put it back on ebay and get your money back. Don't forget to wash some waterproofing into it as you will be surprised at just how waterproof it becomes.

When it comes to the gore-tex layers then there are lots of options from countries all over the world. Perhaps the most common is the German flecktarn jackets or the British DPM or MTP ones. My experience has been limited to the DPM and Flecktarn jackets and they have both worked well for me, I think the British stuff is now better value for money. I've been told that the "lightweight" MTP pattern jackets were prone to leak and should be avoided but have no evidence to support this but I don't think they have hoods and that would rule them out for most purposes anyhow.

I'm out about 100 days per year probably split 50/50 between the more remote parts of Ireland and the most remote parts of the Outer Hebrides and have just counted that I have 10 jackets ranging from big ticket Mustos and similar to mil surplus stuff. With that choice it is now the mil surplus smock and mil surplus gore-tex layer that go out with me on almost every occasion with the others largely being worn when I need to look presentable. It may be that in the past mil surplus gear was a "poor relation" of the commercial gear but these days, in my view, the commercial gear is driven purely by marketing and the surplus gear is good quality and almost always the right solution when it comes to a jacket. When it comes to trousers I can't get surplus to work for me a lot of the time and wear Harkila.
 

Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
44
Harrow, Middlesex
I'd try and stretch my budget to a Keela Munro jacket.

Great hood, actually waterproof, good ventilation and bombproof build. Not ultralight, well, not even slightly light but great jacket and highly regarded by owners.
 

cbr6fs

Native
Mar 30, 2011
1,620
0
Athens, Greece
As soon as you start going uphill or take a heavy pack your body will owerwhelm even the most expensive jacket.
The truth is that no matter what you wear it will always manage to get damp from sweat somehow, at least if you do any form of exercise. A light cotton t-shirt will get damp under certain circumstances. There is simply no magic bullet when it comes to clothing.
It's true that if you put on too many layers and work hard you'll sweat, if that involves hiking uphill at a fair pace then you'll likely be sweating a lot.

Few things i'd like to add from my experiences though.

Most folks hike wayyyyyyyyy to warm.
What i mean by that is, they have far too many layers for their activity levels.

Had a similar chat with a mate a couple of years back, he was moaning how his new waterproof jacket was rubbish, it was around 10c and the guy had a thick baselayer, a lightweight fleece mid-layer and his WP jacket, no wonder he was sweating.
We were hiking together and i had on a very thin baselayer on under my WP jacket and i was fine.

Second thing is, keep your jacket maintained well.
By that i mean keep it clean and keep the waterproof treatment in good condition.
If water stops beading off the jacket then it's going to soak into it, this will close the jackets pores and it won't vent as much moisture out of it.

Lastly,
If you're hiking up hill and you've sorted out your layering but are still sweating then you always have the option of slowing your pace, this can make a massive difference if you are not in a rush.

If you've sorted out both of those then a modern eVent or Neoshell jacket should allow a fair bit of sweat out.
Recently had a hike where it rained non stop from leaving my house at 02:00 till returning at 00:00.
It rained on the drive to the hike ad didn't stop for even 1 second on the entire hike.

It was around 5c and we climbed around 2000m, all i had on was a very very thin baselayer and my WP jacket.
Only part of me that was wet was my shoulders where the rucksack straps had been and the bottom of my back, to be honest though those areas would be wet with sweat even if i wore a string vest.

So it is possible for modern fabrics to work well, they don't work miracles though so they do need some help
 

ZEbbEDY

Nomad
Feb 9, 2011
266
0
Highlands
karrimor do eVent jackets for 80 quid (got some for 60 in fact - navy blue)

im far too snobby to wear it ;) but it is what it is

also echo the above sentiments its not the rain that gets me soaked in much more expensive jackets but being a big sweaty beast, ok if you are standing at a bus stop though ;)
 
Last edited:

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
266
69
SE Wales
karrimor do eVent jackets for 80 quid (got some for 60 in fact - navy blue)

im far too snobby to wear it ;) but it is what it is

also echo the above sentiments its not the rain that gets me soaked in much more expensive jackets but being a big sweaty beast, ok if you are standing at a bus stop though ;)
What's a bus stop? :)
 

bigbear

Full Member
May 1, 2008
760
23
Yorkshire
Or you can buy a Paramo second on Ebay, fully guaranteed, for a fraction more than your budget, superb kit, long lasting and well designed and most of all, comfortable in the wet.
 

Andy_K

Tenderfoot
Nov 29, 2014
74
0
Harwich
jackslrf.co.uk
A golfing brolly with 300° surround in clear, thick polythene would be my ideal choice!

I can stand on the beach "all day" in my breatheable waders. But the moment I go in the water and stay, say, up to my waist in the sea for a while, I begin to get wet from the sweat.
Th4 sweat vapour needs unblocked "pores" in the clothing fabric to escape, but when it's raining or the material has a barrier of water on one side of the fabric, then it simply stops allowing the garment to breathe as it was supposed to. So, if I am not up to my nuts in cold seawater, but merely walking along or sat down having a break, then I personally opt for a large umbrella overhead to keep me dry(er). I suppose if I extended the handle, it would also make a handy walking pole when its closed, as well as its primary function.
 

Doc

Need to contact Admin...
Nov 29, 2003
2,109
10
Perthshire
I'd try and stretch my budget to a Keela Munro jacket.

Great hood, actually waterproof, good ventilation and bombproof build. Not ultralight, well, not even slightly light but great jacket and highly regarded by owners.
I see the original poster is in Manchester. So assuming you are planning on being out in the Peak District or Cumbria, I would second the Keela Munro suggestion. About £125-ish if you shop around. Very waterproof, robust, proper mountain hood, available in a discreet green/black for wildlife watching. It is entirely suitable for extreme conditions such as winter mountaineering in Scotland, is very breathable, used by several mountain rescue teams, has pit zips and superior build quality. It is however heavy and perhaps too warm on warm summer days.

The Karrimor eVent suggestion is also a good one - more breathable, lighter weight, the fabric is arguably the best available, though reports on build quality are a bit variable.

If you want something year round, I'd go for the Munro. For mainly summer use I'd pick the Karrimor eVent.

A lot of military surplus is actually goretex and pretty good, though heavier/bulkier than civilian versions.

With good mountain country on your doorstep, I think I'd go for the Munro. They last well too.