Packable waterproofs

Our experts Oli Reed and Minnie Burlton pull the latest lightweight, packable waterproofs out of their daypacks and put them to the test.

Mens waterproofs

Haglöfs LIM Proof Multi Jacket

+ Stylish, waterproof and weighing less than 240g, this summer shell ticks all the boxes. It's roomy enough for a base layer and mid-layer combo underneath, and has nice features such as well-placed zipped hand pockets.

- Hood, cu_ s and waist are elasticated but not adjustable.

VERDICT: An excellent summer shell at a decent price but the weight savings come with a slight loss of functionality and there's no adjustment in key areas.

Outdoor Research Helium II

+ Super-lightweight at 180g, it scrunches down small into its own internal pocket. It's 100% waterproof, with fully taped seams, an adjustable hood and waist, zipped chest pocket and refl ective logos.

- Non-adjustable wrist cuffs, the material rustles and it has a fiddly main zip.

VERDICT: Designed to be stashed in your pack and pulled out in a downpour, it works best as an emergency layer rather than something you’d wear for a day of brutal weather.

Salewa Puez Aqua 3 *Great value

+ A great-looking jacket made from a 2.5-layer Powertex waterproof fabric that can handle everything from showers and wind to torrential downpours. Nice streamlined design with a well-fi tting elasticated hood, plus adjustable cuffs and waist. It packs down easily inside its own hood.

- The hood can’t be fully adjusted.

VERDICT: Like most Salewa gear, the look and feel is great, with a nice body-hugging fit. For the price, you’re getting an exceptionally highperforming and well-featured jacket.

Mammut Meron Light

+ Built for the mountains, the Meron Light is a durable three-layer waterproof jacket with a Gore-Tex Active lining. It has a nice athletic fi t; a tough, fully adjustable and protective hood; adjustable wrist cu_ s and two large external zipped pockets compatible with rucksack waistbands and climbing harnesses.

- There's no adjustment on the waist, the price is high and there's a jump in weight at 357g.

VERDICT: Ideal if you want a summer waterproof that can handle all terrain and all weather, but you pay for it with a huge hike in price compared to others on test.

Vaude Simony 2.5L II *Best in test

+ Fully waterproof and windproof, with a great set of features. You get two external pockets and one internal pocket, zipped underarm ventilation for hot days, a well-fitting and adjustable hood, plus fully adjustable cuffs and waist. It’s also comfortable and looks great.

- Negatives are hard to find, but a supplied stuff sack would be a nice addition..

VERDICT: The clear winner. Not just because it’s a great summer waterproof with every feature you’d need, but also thanks to its eco-friendly footprint and sustainable fabrics.

Berghaus Hyper 140

+ Brand new for spring, this is by far the lightest jacket on test and perfect for walking, running and cycling in summer. The weight of 138g is incredible for a 2.5-layer waterproof. It has two external zipped pockets and a supplied stuff sack that lets you pack it down to the size of an apple.

- Thin material with very little insulation, plus no adjustment on hood, cu_ s and waist

VERDICT: So small it could fit in your pocket, so perfect for days with just a risk of rain, but quite a lot to spend on a back-up emergency layer.


Packable overtrousers

Berghaus Paclite overtrousers
£110 (Men's)

They weigh less than 230g, have a waterproof Gore-Tex lining and are perfect in heavy rain. The trousers have venting zips, but not much ankle or waist adjustment.

Sprayway Hydrolite Rainpant
£90 (Men's)

Weighing 335g, these trousers have a roomy fi t and a thick 2.5-layer fabric that can withstand heavy downpours. Easily adjustable.

Vaude Yaras Rain Zip Pants II
£130 (Men's)

These are heavy at 370g but have a 2.5-layer waterproof fabric that can handle the elements. They have full-length side openings, adjustable ankle cuffs, and reflective details.

Sprayway Berbak Rainpant
£110 (Women's)

  These versatile rain pants have Velcro cuffs at the hem, and knee-to-hem zips. The inside waist belt is made of soft microfleece. Simple and functional, but with no inner pockets.

Berghaus Paclite overtrousers
£110 (Women's)

These are lightweight and comfortable, and have excellent breathability. The two-way side zips give further ventilation, and the trousers come in short and regular lengths.  

Rohan Vapour Trail overtrousers
£95 (Women's)

Lightweight, compact and easy to pull on, these trousers performed well in soggy conditions. They have an adjustable elasticated waist, an inner pocket and Velcro cuffs.

Womens waterproofs

Sprayway Kelo

+ A generous hood with a wired peak and adjustable volume and sizing that allows good visibility. There are two zipped hand pockets and adjustable cuffs and hem. It's a simple, minimalist jacket without any weighty or unwanted features. All seams have been carefully sealed and the waterproofing has been faultless so far.

- I found the arms a tad on the short side when stretching forward.

VERDICT: The Kelo offers a good balance of lightweight versus robust protection.

Helly Hansen W Verglas 3L Shell

+ This is an all-round jacket with a high level of protection. Unlike many lightweight jackets, it has pit zips to increase its ventilation. A good length and a generous helmet-compatible hood. It also has adjustable cuffs, drawcord hem and volume and sizing adjustment on the hood. Two well-positioned pockets.

- This is the most expensive in the women’s review, but it is a more substantial product than a simple lightweight jacket.

VERDICT: It's pared down with no unnecessary features, but it is a robust and durable three-layer jacket

Rab Kinetic Plus *Best in test

+ We love the stuff sack and the gloriously soft and stretchy material. Super comfortable and there is no danger of any rustling noise as you move. Generous long sleeves and jacket length. It has two large zipped pockets, superb fitting hood with wired peak and an elastic inner lining. Simple yet functional zip tags.

- The slim fit will not suit everyone.

VERDICT: An ultra-lightweight, beautifully designed jacket. It's high-quality and exceptionally versatile. The soft shell was surprisingly waterproof and I look forward to seeing how it endures over the next year or two.


Berghaus Women’s Paclite 2.0 *Great value

+ A good-length jacket that reaches the top of the thighs and is roomy enough for movement and extra layers. A good fi t and a sleek look. It has all the essentials: adjustable hood; two zipped pockets; decent metal zip; hem adjustable cord; and Velcro cuffs. It's windproof, waterproof and has a high degree of breathability.

- The hood doesn’t roll or fold away. I prefer a two-way zip, but this is a lightweight jacket so perhaps that’s asking too much…

VERDICT: For a lightweight jacket, I found this really delivered on packability and yet it coped admirably well with heavy showers.

Montane Minimus Jacket

+ Weighing in at just 163g (UK 12), this is a super-lightweight jacket that you would barely notice in your pack. For its weight, it is surprisingly well fitting and has some great features, including adjustable cuffs, internal and external hooks, wired peak and a volume and sizing adjustable hood, reflective patches and a drawcord hem.

- The jacket makes a distinct rustling noise as you move, and is expensive for the protection it gives you.

VERDICT: This is an excellent back-up layer to stash in your pack. It is an exceptionally lightweight jacket, but you may need a repair kit if you snag the lightweight material.

Regatta Leera III

+ The Regatta Leera III has simple but effective elasticated cuffs and hood bindings. The jacket gives sufficient protection against showers, and features include smooth-running zips with easy-to-grab pull tabs.

- I’m not a huge fan of the shiny shell-suit style. There's no adjustment available on the hood, and I didn’t find the breathability as good as the other jackets tested here.

VERDICT: This is a basic lightweight jacket that should give protection against summer showers.