The 13 best waterproof jackets for women—stay dry and stylish during a downpour

Our edit of the best waterproof jackets for women features coats tested by our fashion team and expert guidance

Best waterproof jackets for women include coats from Boden and Joules
(Image credit: Future / Boden / Joules)

The best waterproof jackets for women are a necessity for many of us. If you live in a place where rain is always on the horizon, then it pays to be prepared. 

From hikes in the countryside, daily dog walks, or to avoid a soggy commute, a waterproof jacket is a wardrobe essential. The best waterproof jackets should help protect you from the elements and while many of them will keep you dry, high-performance pieces should also help battle gusts of wind and icy spells. 

Picking the best waterproof jacket is about more than just style. There's a lot to consider when purchasing, from how much water it can withstand, to what level of breathability it gives (to stop you from feeling too hot and sweaty). Of course, style will come into play too: because you might regularly pair your waterproof jacket with a pair of hiking boots, but you also want to be able to throw it on with your best jeans too. 

How we selected the best waterproof jackets for women

The best waterproof jackets chosen by our fashion team

Mountain warehouse

(Image credit: Mountain Warehouse)

1. Mountain Warehouse Alaskan Womens 3 in 1 Jacket

Best overall waterproof jacket


RRP: $249.99 / £199.99
Sizes: US 0-24 / UK 4-28
Material: 100% Polyester

Reasons to buy

Very waterproof
Can be worn in different ways

This three-in-one parka is one of the best parkas around this season and is a real game-changer. With a quilted lining that can be removed for warmer days, it's wearable all year round. It’s 100% waterproof and the adjustable cuffs tapered seams and hood ensure you're fully protected from rain and wind. It's also breathable so you're warm, protected and a comfortable temperature. And, considering its size, it's really easy to pack down. 

What the fashion team said: "It’s a good length for keeping almost all of you dry, covering your bum and some of your thigh (depending on your height). The only downside is it’s not particularly fashion-forward, but if it’s practicality you’re looking for, then look no further."

Waterproof rating: Tested to 10,000mm, it is suitable for heavy rain.

Breathability rating: It has a great breathability rating, measuring 5,000g in testing. This means during the 24 hour period it was measured over the fabric allowed sweat and other moisture to pass through the fabric and keep you cool, not sweaty.

Finisterre yellow jacket

(Image credit: Finisterre)

2. Finisterre The Rainbird Waterproof Jacket

Best all-rounder


RRP: $149 / £110
Sizes: US 4-12 / UK 8-16
Material: 100% Recycled Waterproof Fabric

Reasons to buy

Super soft fabric
Exceptionally waterproof

Customers absolutely rave about this waterproof jacket. It has a 10,000mm Hydrostatic Head waterproof rating, making it exceptionally waterproof and it has taped seams throughout, guaranteed to keep the water out. It has a little stretch so a strong contender for exercising in too and comes in three colorways: black, turmeric and orange—which is bright and fun. Crafted from recycled fabrics, this light jacket is also breathable. 

What the fashion team said: "While waterproof jackets generally have to be made of coated fabric, this does, in general, make them quite noisy, so the first thing to note about The Rainbird is how unexpectedly soft the jacket is with no noisy rustle, making it a joy to wear."

Waterproof rating: Tested to 10,000mm, it is suitable for heavy rain.

Breathability rating: 10,000g breathability rating so you stay dry, not sweaty.

Berghaus coat

(Image credit: Berghaus)

3. Berghaus Women’s Hinderwick Waterproof Jacket

Best for warmth


RRP: $266 / £190
Sizes: US 4-16 / UK 8-20
Material: Hydroshell 2L fabric

Reasons to buy

Warm and waterproof
Premium quality

Waterproofs tend to be packed full of great tech to stop you from getting soaked but they aren't always so good at keeping you warm. But with Berghaus, you get the best of both worlds. With a layer of insulation underneath a waterproof shell fabric, it keeps you delightfully dry and toasty. You can adjust the hood for a better fit—ideal when you're trying to keep the rain out, and the coat also features inner cuffs, to help you master the chill. 

What the fashion team said: "This coat is certainly more functional than fashionable and only comes in three colorways, but this is the most sensible of choices, it even has two zip closure pockets for your rainy day essentials."

Waterproof rating: No exact stats on-site, but they do mention the inclusion of Hydroshell 2L fabric which is lightweight and highly waterproof.

Breathability rating: No exact stats on-site, but the Hydroshell 2L fabric is breathable and the fashion team found this coat practical and comfortable. The customer reviews also give it a big thumbs up.

Columbia red jacket

(Image credit: Columbia)

4. Columbia Women’s Ampli-Dry Waterproof Shell Jacket

Best for hiking


RRP: $150 / £135
Sizes: XS-XL
Main Material: 100% Nylon
Lining Material: 100% Polyester

Reasons to buy

Good for exercise

The underarm venting and lightweight fabric mean this one is really breathable. This waterproof jacket will keep you bone dry without any stickiness, making it an excellent option for light exercise—and the stretchy fabric also moves with your body. Fully seam-sealed and finished with a coated zipper closure, it protects against any sudden gusts of wind too. 

What the fashion team said: "It isn't overly warm, but there’s plenty of room to layer knitwear underneath, try one of the best hoodies to keep in that sporty vein. Available in three colors—red, black, and pink. We love the lovely bright red."

Waterproof rating: Omni-Tech™ is a groundbreaking waterproof and breathable fabric. Again the test results aren't released as stats, but the fashion team found this one kept them super dry. 

Breathability rating: Omni-Tech™ is also fully breathable avoiding the stickiness that some waterproof jackets cause.

Hunter khaki coat

(Image credit: Hunter)

5. Hunter

Best for everyday


RRP: $195 / £150
Sizes: XXS-XL
Body Lining: 100% Polyester
Lining Material: Material (Face): 100% Polyurethane
Back Material: 100% Polyester

Reasons to buy

Fashionable look that works with different outfits
Very waterproof
Lots of colorways

The ideal waterproof for going about your day-to-day business, this is the perfect combination of practicality and style. Hunter already make some of the best wellington boots and best backpacks for working women, so it should come as no surprise that they also do great waterproof jackets too.

This khaki waterproof jacket is certified vegan and benefits from welded seams to keep you fully dry. Featuring the Hunter Tri-coloured zipper with snap storm flap for added protection. The coats hood has a drawcord to allow you to adjust the opening for added wind and rain protection and a second drawcord at the waist means you can adjust the fit according to your style. Your belongings will also stay dry with reverse entry welt pockets. 

What the fashion team said: "They really have thought of everything with this raincoat—and besides from keeping you dry, this coat also looks fantastic, you might even enjoy being out in the rain."

Waterproof rating: Hunter gives this coat a waterproofing level of three, although this isn't fully explained on their site, customer reviews are top-notch, suggesting this will keep you dry and stylish—great for dog walkers and festival-goers alike.

Breathability rating: Testing levels aren't revealed here but the coat has a breathable full mesh lining and underarm eyelets and back vents for added breathability. 

Merrell grey jacket

(Image credit: Merrell)

6. Merrell Women’s Whisper Rain Jacket

Best for traveling


RRP: $160 / £190
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: 41% Recycled Polyester, 40% Polyester, 19% Polyurethane

Reasons to buy

Brim on hood
Deep pockets

This one packs down neatly into its own left-hand pocket, making it easy to pop in your bag as you dash out of the house. 100% waterproof, the fabric is lightweight and soft with a four-way stretch for easy movement, making it a good choice for exercise (if you're updating your gym kit, you might also be interested in our guide to the best leggings). The pockets are pretty deep, allowing plenty of room for the essentials. 

What the fashion team said: "We loved the slight peak on the hood which helped to keep our face dry too. It can come up quite large so you may want to downsize or stick to your usual size if you want to layer up underneath. Available in 10 different colors, the burnt orange was our fave."

Waterproof rating: Durable Water Repellency (DWR) finish for wind and water resistance, they don't give the data on what level of rain it has been tested to, but the fashion team found this coat 100% waterproof. And it's highly recommended by website reviews. 

Breathability rating: There isn't any mention of breathability but when our fashion team tried this jacket, they didn't find that they were overly warm. 

Boden floral print Mac

(Image credit: Boden)

7. Boden Morris Waterproof Mac

Best stylish waterproof


RRP: $198 / £150
Sizes: US 2-22 / UK 6-22
Outer Material: 100% Polyethylene
Backing: 100% Polyester
Filling: 100% Polyester
Lining: 100% Polyester

Reasons to buy

Super stylish design
Bright colors and prints

If it’s a stylish mac you’re after, then this one is a front-runner. We often turn to Boden for our wardrobe essentials, from the best shirts to the best dresses, they're great for eye-catching designs. And we love their modern take on this classic raincoat silhouette. Fully waterproof, this Boden raincoat features a snap-and-zip closure for extra protection against showers.

There is a smart internal pocket, so you can keep your phone and valuables both safe and dry, while the light quilted inner keeps you cozy too. With tapered seams for a waterproof finish, 

The rave reviews for this coat and the fact they repeat this style in new prints seasonally show it is a firm crowd-pleaser. 

What the fashion team said: "Boden might be a fashion brand, but don't underestimate this lovely spring buy. Fully lined and quilted in filling made from recycled materials, this waterproof jacket can hold its own."

Waterproof rating: The fabric has been tested to withstand 5,000mm of rain, which while it doesn't make it the most waterproof coat in this review, it puts it in a pretty good place. It's great for daily use during wet weather but is probably not the one to pick for outdoor hikes and camping. 

Breathability rating: Customers suggest this coat is warm but no one mentions feeling super sweaty in it. 

Jack Wolfskin

(Image credit: Jack Wolfskin)

8. Jack Wolfskin JWP Shell W Rain Jacket

Best lightweight waterproof


RRP: $129.95 / £130
Sizes: XS-XXL
Material: 100% Polyester

Reasons to buy

Packs down easily
Premium-feeling fabric

Crafted from recycled fabrics, this one has some serious eco-credentials. It packs neatly into its pocket, so you can stash it easily, making it a good choice for the daily commute and weekend adventures. Using lightweight premium-feeling fabric (which is breathable), it won’t keep you warm but it is perfect if you want an extra waterproof layer on warmer days—or style under one of the best gilets for added protection.

What the fashion team said: "The design is pretty basic with a simple hood and two hand pockets, but it still delivered on all the technicals, keeping us dry and comfortable during a downpour."

Waterproof rating: This jacket is very waterproof, with a rating of withstanding 20,000 mm of water/rain—making it probably the most waterproof jacket for women in this guide. 

Breathability rating: >15,000 g/m²/24h**— looks confusing? Essentially this formula means that this waterproof jacket has been tested for its breathability over a 24hr period and the result is excellent. Anything over 3000 is high performance and usually found in items such as ski clothing. Breathability is measured in grams and counts the speed at which sweat moves through the fabric, per square meter over a 24 hour period. 

Thought coat

(Image credit: Thought Clothing)

9. Thought Clothing Rachael Waterproof Organic Cotton Chambray Coat

Best for sustainability


RRP: $232 / £170
Sizes: US 2-14 / UK 6-18
Main Material: 100% Organic Cotton
Lining and Padding Material: 100% Recycled Polyester

Reasons to buy

Sustainable manufacturing
Flattering shape

If you’ve yet to discover Thought Clothing, now’s your chance. The Australian clothing brand prides itself on considered and contemporary clothing, all designed with sustainability at the forefront, making it one of the best sustainable clothing brands. This chic waterproof mac is made from organic cotton chambray with a fluorocarbon-free water repellent finish—the most sustainable method. Details such as storm cuffs, taped seams, and a double-ended zip make this a stylish and practical choice.

What the fashion team said: "It was by far the most flattering coat with a drawstring elasticated waist to cinch you in."

Waterproof rating: No exact test results are revealed but if you want a waterproof coat that also considers the environment then Thought should be high on your list. With a new fluorocarbon-free repellent, they also heat sealed taped seams to make this totally rainproof. 

Breathability rating: As a general rule, natural fabrics such as cotton (this is 100% cotton) are really breathable. 

Northface blue jacket

(Image credit: NorthFace)

10. The North Face Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT Jacket

Best breathable jacket


RRP: $230/£200
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: Recycled Polyester

Reasons to buy

Regulates body temperature
Uses recycled materials

Made using Futurelight technology, the waterproof fabric provides an excellent moisture barrier, whilst remaining breathable too, regulating body temperature, keeping you comfortable and sweat-free. Not only that, it’s made from recycled materials to reduce landfill waste. 

What the fashion team said: The North Face has really pulled it out of the bag with this iteration. Plus points include a snap-locking storm flap to keep the wind out, secure zip pockets and adjustable hem and cuffs—oh and it comes in four stylish colors too.

Waterproof rating: Using seam-sealedUTURELIGHT™ 3L this coat should give good waterproofing, giving it an own-brand website level rating of three—for waterproofing (higher than repellent and resistant). It is also windproof.

Breathability rating: Although the jacket doesn't specifically discuss breathability, the fashion team found this waterproof jacket did help regulate body temperature and stopped them from feeling sweaty. 

Rains coat

(Image credit: Rains)

11. Rains Long Jacket

Best for commuting


RRP: $125 / £95
Sizes: XXS-XL
Material : 64% Polyester, 36% Polyurethane

Reasons to buy

Lots of colors
Long length for better protection

Getting caught in the rain has never looked so chic, thanks to Danish brand Rains’ waterproof coat. This long jacket is an extended version of their ever-popular classic basic jacket and we love the extra coverage. It has the same unstructured silhouette for a fuss-free finish and the matte texture adds a more luxe appearance. 

What the fashion team said: Admittedly this coat is not as waterproof as some of the others but can hold its own in a heavy downpour. It's lightweight and extremely elegant, making it a good option for work and smarter occasions. It's also available in eight elegant colors.

Waterproof rating: This waterproof jacket can withstand up to 4000 millimeters of water and features ultrasonically welded seams and a placket with snap fastenings for strong protection.

Breathability rating: To keep you cool, the coat utilizes eyelets at armholes and a back yoke with concealed vents for extra breathability.

Ilse Jacobsen khaki army coat

(Image credit: Ilse Jacobsen)

12. Ilse Jacobsen

Best long waterproof jacket


RRP: $149/£129
Sizes: 34-48
Material: Shell: 94% Polyester, 6% Elastane
Bonding : 100% Polyester

Reasons to buy

Lightly tailored shape
Number of colorways

The Army long raincoat is made from a breathable and stretchable softshell material, with a lightly tailored silhouette to give a feminine finish. The coat features a YKK AquaGuard 2-way zipper and the surface is treated with an Ecorepel dirt and water repellent coating that creates an invisible shield. 

What the fashion team said: Functional and stylish, Ilse Jacobsen is minimalist Scandinavian design at its finest. With a huge array of raincoats, it was hard to pick our standout style. There are lots to choose from, so it's well worth a browse and they also have a number of colorways, depending on if you want something sleek and subtle or an iteration that will feel cheery on a rainy day. 

Waterproof rating: The coat has been tested to withstand up to 5000milimeters of rain, making it a high-quality rainwear item.

Breathability rating: With a test result of 3000 G/M2, this jacket has medium breathability, so it should stop you from getting too warm too—anything over 3000 is considered highly breathable, so really this one is right on the cusp.

Joules beige parka

(Image credit: Joules)

13. Joules Loxley Longline Waterproof Jacket

Best for playful waterproof jackets


RRP: $179.95 / £129
Sizes: UK: 6-26
Material: Main: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
Lining 1: 100% cotton
Lining 2: 100% polyester

Reasons to buy

Attractive lining
Fashion-forward shape

Fashion brand Joules makes great wellies, so it stands to reason they would know how to make standout waterproofs too. The hood also features a toggle system so you can adjust your protection. For an added touch of Joules magic, the lining of the coat is a print of a hand-drawn design.

What the fashion team said: Rainwear can be quite bulky, but Joules' use of toggles and adjustable waist channels allows you to adjust your fit. 

Waterproof rating: No test results have been released, although the coat is made from 100% waterproof fabric and reviews from shoppers on the site are positive. the coat has fully taped seams, zip and popper fastening and hood with storm peak to ensure no droplets make it through.

Breathability rating: The coat uses underarm eyelets for ventilation and breathability—style, and practicality together, effortlessly.

How to choose the best waterproof jacket

There are some key things to look out for when choosing the best waterproof jacket. The lingo can be confusing and sites use a lot of abbreviations for technical terms that can make you think a product has higher specifications than it actually does. 

It's important to establish what level of waterproof coat you need. Many brands offer coats that give a level of 'shower protection' which is fine for most daily occurrences, light rain between home and the car or nipping to the shops. However if you like to get out and get off-road, go for long walks etc, then beside from the best hiking boots, you'll need to invest in a raincoat that can really withstand a downpour.

Sometimes the most practical and functional rainwear isn't the most stylish, so again you need to consider if you're happy to compromise on fashion credentials to get the maximum level of protection. 

We've added a handy guide to some terminology to look out for when you're shopping for the best waterproof jackets for women.

Why does breathability matter, what to look out for and how is it measured?

The breathability of a coat or jacket ensures you don't get too hot and sweaty while wearing it. This is particularly important in waterproof jackets, as they are often coated in finishes or made from non-breathable fabrics, so they can be quite warm and make you feel sweaty. 

Look out for...

  • Eyelets under armholes to increase breathability and ventilation
  • Conceal vents in the back of a jacket—same great protection from rain but again with added ventilation.
  • This formula g/m2/d represents the level of breathability of a fabric. It is sometimes found in the product specification, take note of the number preceding it. Anything below 800 doesn't have huge amounts of breathability. Between 800-3000 has a medium level of breathability—the most common level for good quality, water-resistant coats as it gives breathability and still protects from the rain. Anything over 3000 is high-end and most common in high-performance weather wear and offers the highest level of breathability. The breathability test is done by measuring how much sweat or moisture the fabric allows through over a 24hr period, as letting it out through the fabric stops you from getting too warm.

A number of brands we looked at did not list breathability test results, but if coats have vents and underarm eyelets, these are also good indicators for good breathability. 

How can you tell if a coat is really waterproof, what to look out for and how is it measured?

When picking the best waterproof jacket for women, it's important to learn the right keyphrases to look out for. For starters, remember that there is a difference between water-repellent, water-resistant and waterproof.

Water-repellent: You'll have seen water-repellent fabric, this is where the beads of water sit and roll off the top of the fabric. It repels water, however it is not impervious to water like waterproofing. 

Water-resistant: This means it is made from fabric that resists water, meaning it is super hard for water to penetrate the fabric's top layer. But it is not necessarily a complete, hard, barrier.

Waterproof: No water should be making it through a waterproof jacket, but you also need to take note of just how waterproof a jacket is, what level of rain or water they have measured its waterproof-ability to. 

When you look at the specification for a waterproof jacket, look out for test results of their waterproof abilities. This is measured in millimeters and is regarding the amount of water pressure the coat can take before it starts to let water in. 

  • Anything from 1000mm-3000mm has a low resistance to water, probably only appropriate for light showers.
  • 3000mm-5000mm gives a strong resistance. This is probably the most likely level you will see both from coats in this guide and from waterproof jackets on the main market.
  • 5000mm is high resistance and what you should look for from high-quality rainwear specialists.
  • 10,000mm excellent level of rain protection, most likely from activewear/outdoor clothing labels or highly specialized brands.

Other things to look out for include:

  • Taped, sealed or bonded seams—usually a seam is where two pieces of fabric are stitched together and if you see seams on your regular clothes, they would leave you open to the elements. For rainwear look for covered seams or those bonded with glue to help with water resistance. 

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.