Durable Waterproof Jackets: What Materials Offer the Best Protection?

Three-layer fabrics have a third liner that’s bonded into the membrane’s waterproof layer, shielding it from body’s oil and grit. They provide better moisture control and durability over two-layer fabrics but also come with an expensive price.

Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L (PS160) is an example of a hardwearing 3-layer jacket with a tough 50D ripstop face fabric and Gore-Tex Paclite Plus technology. It is devoid of the lining that is typically found on 2.5-layer jackets, and also reduces weight.

Waterproof and Breathable

Waterproof-breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent create jackets that are very protective in stormy weather. They allow sweat to escape however they also keep out water by adjusting the pressure between body heat and cool air in the jacket. The most comfortable waterproofs come with an interior layer which absorbs sweat while providing a smooth next-to-skin feel. These inner layers protect the membrane’s breathable from dirt as well as body oils and wear and require frequent washing to stay as breathable as possible.

Aristino jacket

Historically 2-layer jackets used to have an exterior face fabric bonded to a waterproof-breathable membrane and a loose (typically mesh) liner hanging on the inside. The type of jacket has largely fallen out of favor since more budget-friendly 2.5 layer jackets have taken the market by storm. All of these jackets should feature a waterproof (DWR) finish that keeps water off of the jacket. As time passes, these finishes will deteriorate and need to be retreated.


Many jackets feature two-layer membranes, but a few have gone one step beyond. The budget-friendly XeroDry GTX from Co-op ($169) features a GORE-TEX PACLITE two-layer membrane, providing a stout barrier against wind and moderate rain, while also allowing sweat to evaporate. The polyester mesh liner helps protect the membrane as well as helping lessen the clammy feel the wearer may experience while wearing an inexpensive waterproof jacket with a constant rain. To keep your two-layer jacket functioning at its peak, you’ll need to be treated with a DWR treatment (either spray-on or wash-in) when you’ve used it enough.

Three-layer jackets include a third waterproof layer of wicking that dramatically improves airflow and humidity management. The jackets that are constructed with this technology like Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L jacket ($179) is able to comfortably withstand all-day deluges.

The top three-layer membranes for performance are the polyurethane film and ePTFE. Polartec’s NeoShell is a popular choice for its high-elevation, trail-running-friendly balance of water resistance and breathability at 20,000 g/m2. While the Gore-TEX PRO membrane makes use of several ePTFE membranes that have been bonded together for exceptional water resistance (RET 13.3)) as well as breathability (24,000 g/m2). Based on the intensity of your activities and the weather outside such as a jacket with pit vents will likely be important for your needs.


Nearly any type of jacket is able to stand up to moderate rain. However, only the ones with waterproof and breathable technology are the most dry in heavy downpours. The jacket brands employ a selection of fabric types that face the outside and high-tech laminates in layered constructions however there is no consensus-based industry-wide standard for water resistance. Therefore, the comparison of claims for water resistance between various brands can be difficult.

The most common waterproof materials are coated fabrics, as well as a membrane slipped between tightly woven fabric layers. The coated fabrics are usually utilized in low-cost jackets but they’re also less breathable than the layered ones, but they offer decent waterproof protection.

For seriously wet conditions you should consider wearing a jacket that has three layers or the hybrid 2.5-layer design and click to read more https://aristino.com/ao-khoac-nam.html. The inner layer of most 3-layer jackets does a better job at protecting the second-layer membrane from oil, dirt and abrasions as opposed to the outermost layer of the 2.5-layer jacket. They’re typically bigger and heavier than 2-layer jackets.

Lightweight and Packable

Contrary to the old oil and wax-coated jackets which needed to be reapplied regularly and were heavy, the membranes that are used in today’s 2, 2.5-, and 3-layer designs keep water out without becoming stiff or heavy. They’re also light enough to be packed down to a compact case or pouch that makes them suitable to travel in the backcountry.

Most 2-layer jackets incorporate a bonded membrane with an outer layer of fabric in order to shield against abrasion and wear. A few of them, for instance Columbia’s 75-cent Watertight II and women’s Arcadia II, have a hanging liner that adds volume and weight while also helping to protect the waterproof membrane from scratches, skin oils, and clamminess.

This jacket from REI is made of Gore-Tex Paclite or Paclite Plus which is a great choice for use on the front and in casual settings. We love that it’s dry and machine washable because that restores DWR (durable water repellent) as well as breathability. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer for washing. It’s also fair-trade certified as well as made of sustainable products.