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Best Mountaineering Jackets for Your Next Climb in 2022

by | May 3, 2022 | Men's Jackets, Mountaineering, SNOW / WINTER — General, Women's Jackets | 0 comments

Mountaineering jackets are the ideal outer layer to protect yourself from rain, snow, and wind. These are all desirable features when you are traveling through the backdoors. However, not all jackets offer the same level of protection. But, there are some situations where you might not need the same protection either. So, it all comes down to what your needs are.

But don’t worry. In today’s piece, you will find a model suitable for any situation. It doesn’t matter if you need something for backpacking or ice climbing. What’s more, it doesn’t matter if you need light protection from the rain or some insulation. Here, you will find an answer to all your prayers.

We’ve also added buying advice and a comparison table, explaining all the related features of such jackets. This way, you can make an educated decision on the matter and make the most out of your money. Let’s get right into it!


1. Best Mountaineering Jacket

RAB Kinetic Plus Slim Jacket ($141.95)

RAB Kinetic Plus Jacket - Men's Dark Horizon/Shadow Small
Amazon price: $141.95
  • Best for mountaineering
  • Sizes: Small and medium
  • Weight (ounces): 11
  • Polyester shell
  • PU membrane
  • DWR finish
  • Full zipper
  • Hand Warmers

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Are you looking for something slim and comfortable? If so, the RAB Kinetic Plus is a wise investment. There are four colors to choose from. However, the jacket is only available in two sizes: small and medium.

The jackets use RAB’s Proflex. The fabric is both flexible and light. Consequently, it doesn’t restrict movement as you make your way to the top. Although the fabric is slim, it does grant some sort of protection against cold. On the other hand, the adjustable cuffs, full zipper, and double hood protect you from cold and wind.

Although we recommend the RAB Kinetic for ice climbing, you should know that it is not helmet-compatible. It lacks space. So, you will need to use it on top of the hood.

As expected, the Kinetic Plus rocks a durable finish. Still, the inner lining keeps the interior breathable. Thus, granting decent weather protection.

The RAB Kinetic Plus comes with two large hand warmer pockets. They also offer enough room to accommodate more than just your hands. However, the zipper is not that durable. So, beware.

Likes:

  • Slim and comfortable 
  • Freedom of movement
  • Wind and waterproof
  • Double hood

Dislikes:

  • Delicate zippers 
  • The hood is not helmet-compatible 
RAB Men's Kinetic Plus Jacket - Steel - Small
RAB Kinetic Plus Jacket - Men's Dark Sulphur Small

2. Best Affordable Mountaineering Jacket

 Mountain Hardwear Microchill ($83.58)

Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Glacial Heather,...

Amazon price: $83.58

  • Best for backpacking
  • Sizes: Medium to XX-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 6
  • Fleece fabric
  • Two pockets
  • Full zipper
  • Breathable membrane

See additional sizes, colors, and prices on:

Light, slim-fit, and affordable. These are the three words we would use to describe the Mountain Hardwear Microchill. It is available in six colors and sizes, small to XX-Large. The weight is another lovely feature. It only weighs around 6 ounces, making it a great choice for summer mountaineering expeditions.  

The fleece jacket feels warm to the touch. However, the breathable membrane will keep you cool during the hottest of days. On the flip side, it doesn’t perform too well in extremely cold conditions.

The Mountain Hardwear Microchill is very comfortable. It provides enough slack to the arms, neck, and waist. Plus, the fabric is so slim that you can use it as an inner layer, making it suitable for backpacking adventures.

In addition, the jacket offers two hand pockets that aren’t quite large enough to accommodate your hands and are better used for small essentials. But chances are that you won’t be stuffing your hands inside as you make your way through the trails.

What we want to note, one thing that might be a deal-breaker for most people is that the jacket is not waterproof. So, you are better with something else if waterproofing is something that you need.  If you have treated non-waterproof jackets with NIKWAX and it worked, please let us know below!

What We Do Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Warm
  • Comfortable 
  • Slim-fit

What We Don’t Like:

  • It is not waterproof
  • Not the best choice for cold weather
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Moon Moss, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Hardwear Navy,...
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Caspian, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Black, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Surplus Green,...
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Washed Raisin,...

3 .Best Premium Mountaineering Hiking Jacket

 Arc’teryx Alpha SV 

Arc'teryx offlime mountaineering jacket
  • Best for alpine ice climbing
  • Sizes: Small to XX-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 17
  • Gore-Tex pro membrane
  • Two side pockets
  • Internal chest pocket
  • Pit zips
  • Harness and climbing helmet-compatible
  • DWR coating

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Now, it is time for something for severe weather: The Arc’teryx Alpha SV. This bad boy is arguably one of the best mountaineering jackets you can find on the market. However, you must be willing to pay top dollar for it. If you’re on a budget or a beginner, then this might not be right for you at the moment.

But, if you are willing to spend more for a quality mountaineering jacket, Arc’teryx Alpha SV, then you will get three layers of Gore-Tex Pro. Consequently, the jacket will cover your upper body from water and moisture. Keep in mind that the pockets are not waterproof. However, they can handle some water without giving in.

The hood is compatible with most climbing helmets available. It also features a cohesive hem that keeps the jacket from slipping while wearing a climbing harness. On the other hand, the jacket offers three zippered pockets and one internal chest pocket.

Additionally, you can choose between three colors and sizes from small to XX-Large. The relaxed fit means that the sizes remain true, making it an ideal outer layer. In addition, anatomic shaping offers unrestricted mobility, which is desirable for technical ice climbing.

Although the Arc’teryx Alpha SV features pit zippers for increased airflow, the ventilation department needs some work. That’s why we recommend using the Alpha SV for ice or alpine climbing.

What We Do Like:

  • Made for severe weather
  • Highly waterproof
  • Very warm
  • Internal pocket
  • Climbing harness compatible
  • True fit
  • Well designed hood and pocket location

What We Don’t Like:

  • Air pockets form under the face fabric after about 1 year.
  • Zipper catches

Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket (Amazon price: $433.14)

Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket cobalt/naval blue XL Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket cobalt/naval blue XL

Amazon price: $433.14

Features:

  • Best for ski mountaineering
  • Sizes: Medium to XX-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 25.5
  • Polyester, nylon, and spandex
  • Six pockets
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Wind-resistant
  • Full zipper

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Available in three unique colors, The Skyward II is a fashionable mountaineering jacket ideal for ski mountaineering. The polyester, spandex, and nylon composite softshell are delicate to the touch while protecting you from the elements.

The Skyward II exterior is fully waterproof. But it is breathable enough to prevent moisture build-up. As a result, your body temperature won’t ever be too low or too high. If you encounter warmer weather, then you can adjust how much cold or warmth you let in with the Skyward II full zipper.

The jacket comes with an adjustable hood to protect your head from rain and snow. The hood is also helmet-compatible. On the other hand, the full zipper allows you to open the jacket on hotter days.

Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket - Women's Waterfall/Celestial Blue, S Women’s

Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket - Women's Waterfall/Celestial Blue, S Women’s

The Outdoor Research Skyward II comes with two chest pockets, two side pockets, and two internal shove-it pockets. As you can see, there is plenty of room for your hands and belongings. One thing, though, the pockets on the chest are on the small side. As a result, they are of little to no use for large items.

If price is a concern, then something that could be a deal-breaker is the fact that the Skyward II retails for around 300 dollars, depending on the color and size you choose. Indeed, this might not be the best option for those on budget. But if you manage to muster the money, you’ll end up with one hell of a jacket.

What We Do Like:

  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Fashionable
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Helmet-compatible hood

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • It takes some effort to align the pulls of the front zipper
  • The sleeves feel a little tight

Black Diamond Men’s Deploy Wind Shell Jacket (Amazon price: $108.00)

Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Deploy Wind Shell - Ultra Blue - Medium

Amazon price: $108.00

Features:

  • Best lightweight jacket
  • Sizes: Small to X-Large
  • Weight (ounces): 1.7
  • 5D nylon shell
  • Waterproof
  • 3/4 zipper
  • Bluesign approved
  • Adjustable hem

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Although it looks more like a sauna suit, the Black Diamond Deploy offers enough protection against wind. Plus, since it is so light, you can quickly put it on when the wind strikes hard.

The Deploy wind shell only weighs around 1.7 ounces. Also, it packs small, making it a great choice for summer mountaineering. On the other hand, the 5D nylon fabric is so thin that you can easily layer it when needed.

Black Diamond added a DRW coating to the exterior. Still, it won’t protect your head from water since it lacks a hood.

Since the Deploy Wind is meant to be used for emergencies, it doesn’t come with usable pockets. The only one is for stowing the jacket inside. So, there is no way of keeping your belongings close.

The Black Diamond Deploy rocks a ¾ zipper, which zips and unzips with ease. However, it is difficult to squeeze the jacket even after unzipping it.

What We Do Like:

  • Very light
  • Packs small
  • Comfortable
  • DWR coating

What We Don’t Like:

  • It lacks a hood
  • It doesn’t have a full zipper
  • Thin fabric
Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Deploy Wind Shell - Alloy - Medium
Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Deploy Wind Shell - Black - Medium

MAGCOMSEM Hooded Waterproof Jacket ( $43.98)

Mens Waterproof Jacket Raincoat Windbreak Jackets Climbing Waterproof...

Amazon price: $43.98

Features:

  • Sizes: Small to XX-Large
  • Weight (ounces): 10
  • Nylon shell
  • DWR treatment
  • Windproof
  • Full zipper
  • Adjustable cuffs

Hooded Lightweight Jacket Options & Colors: WOMEN

Sporty and comfortable, the MAGCOMSEM hooded jacket is perfect for those with a tight budget. The jacket rocks a durable water repellent treatment, which keeps the water out. However, there are some sections where water manages to permeate the nylon fabric. Still, this only happened while it was pouring outside.

The jacket comes with adjustable cuffs. As a result, you can shield your body better against wind and cold weather. In addition, it also offers two handwarmer pockets. There is also a small chest pocket which is really only useful for keeping things like keys.

Mens Waterproof Jacket Raincoat Windbreak Jackets Climbing Waterproof...
Mens Lightweight Jacket Rain Coats For Men Windbreaker Jackets Waterproof...
Waterproof Jackets For Men Rain Jacket Mens Windbreaker Jackets Lightweight...

The MAGCOMSEN rocks a high collar and zip cover. Due to this feature, the result is an incredible wind resistance for the price, making it a great budget option for mountaineering.

There are six unique colors available. In terms of sizes, you can choose between small and XX-Large. Since it is a slim fit, the jacket runs small. So, better go a size larger, especially if you are planning on layering it.

What We Do Like:

  • Comfortable fit
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Versatile
  • Zipper flap

What We Don’t Like:

  • Small chest pocket
  • Sizes run smaller than advertised
  • Not for pouring rain
Mens Lightweight Jacket Rain Coats For Men Windbreaker Jackets Waterproof...
Spring Jackets For Men Rain Jacket Mens Windbreaker Jackets Waterproof...
Waterproof Jackets For Men Rain Jacket Mens Windbreaker Jackets Lightweight...

Marmot Men’s Knife Edge Jacket ( $225.00)

Marmot Men's Knife Edge Jacket, Denim, Small

Amazon price: $225.00

Features:

  • Sizes: Small to XX-Large
  • Weight (ounces): 10.4
  • Polyester shell
  • Gore-Tex shell
  • Windproof
  • Full zipper
  • Adjustable cuffs and hem

See additional sizes, colors and prices

When it comes down to water resistance, there is nothing better than a Gore-Tex shell. But the Marmot Knife Edge also offers superior windproof, making it an ideal choice for those looking for protection against rain and cold.

Still, the jacket offers enough ventilation to keep you cool and dry during hotter days. In short, the Knife Edge adapts to whatever nature throws at you.

Marmot Men's Knife Edge Jacket, Denim, Small
Marmot Men's Knife Edge Jacket, Denim, Small

The polyester shell offers three pockets: two at the sides and one at the chest. All zippers feature a water-resistant coating. Consequently, everything you store inside the pockets will remain dry.

The Knife Edge comes with a built-in hood, adjustable cuffs, and hem drawstrings. This way, you can shield yourself better from the elements, or improve breathability during the summer. Although you can use the mountaineering jacket throughout the year, it is as warm as it looks.

What We Do Like:

  • The relaxed fit remains true
  • Ideal outer layer
  • Season-round jacket
  • Gore-Tex lining

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not ideal for alpine mountaineering
  • The side pockets are too high
Marmot Men's Knife Edge Jacket, Black, Small
Marmot Men's Knife Edge Jacket, Team Red, Small

Black Diamond Helio Active Shell ( $239.40)

Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Helio Active Shell - Bluebird - Small

Amazon Price: $239.40

Features:

  • Best jacket for ski mountaineering
  • Sizes: Small to X-Large
  • Weight (ounces): 12.8
  • Three Gore-Tex layers
  • Nylon shell
  • Waterproof
  • Full zipper
  • Bluesign approved

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Offering a relaxed fit, the Helio Active Shell is another Black Diamond mountaineering jacket for the most demanding users. Naturally, this means that it comes with a hefty price tag. But it deserved such a premium amount.

The Helio Active offers all the protection of a quality hardshell mountaineering jacket, with the comfort of soft shell models. Therefore, it is suitable for a wide range of activities such as ski mountaineering and similar high mountain adventures.

Black Diamond Helio Active Shell jacket rocks three Gore-Tex membranes resulting in a waterproof and windproof jacket that will keep you warm throughout the day. In addition, the helmet-compatible hood covers your head from heavy snow and rain.

There are two large pockets on either side of the jacket. Both offer enough room for your hands and some essentials. What’s more, even the zippers are waterproof as well. One thing that you might not like is that they sit higher than most other mountaineering jackets. That’s because they are harness-compatible.

What We Do Like:

  • Harness-compatible zippers
  • Waterproof shell and zippers
  • Helmet-compatible hood
  • Relaxed fit
  • Bluesign approved

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Poor moisture management
Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Helio Active Shell - Slate - Small
Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Helio Active Shell - Black - Small

Berghaus Cornice Interactive Gore-Tex Jacket ( $304.00)

Berghaus Men's Cornice Interactive Waterpoof Jacket, Black, Large

Amazon price: $304.00

Features:

  • Best hiking
  • Sizes: Small to 3X-Large
  • Weight (ounces): 27
  • Two Gore-Tex layers
  • Polyester shell
  • Waterproof
  • Full zipper

Are you looking for a hiking mountaineering jacket? Then take a peek at the Berghaus Cornice Interactive. It features a polyester shell with two Gore-Tex membranes. The great thing about this is that they keep the water out while allowing moisture to escape.

It is true. However, it might not be the best option in terms of style. But it still offers plenty of desirable features. For example, it comes with two zippered hand pockets and a map-compatible compartment. Additionally, you can also attach a compatible fleece and hem for extra protection.

Berghaus Men's Cornice Interactive Waterpoof Jacket, Black, Large
Berghaus Men's Cornice Interactive Waterpoof Jacket, Black, Large

You don’t need to worry about wind protection as the Berghaus Cornice Interactive delivers as expected. It protects you from the extreme cold of high-altitude hiking routes. But there is a catch. It is very heavy and baggy. So, it might be the best choice for those looking to keep weight down and move fast.  

Another thing that might be a deal-breaker for some is the fact that the seams are weak. So, take good care of the jacket.

What We Do Like:

  • Waterproof
  • Wind-resistant
  • Dedicated map pocket
  • The front zipper is compatible with aftermarket fleece jackets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Baggy
  • Weak seams
[/su_list]

Camel Crown Waterproof Rain Jacket ( $53.99)

CAMEL CROWN Men's Rain Jacket Waterproof Windbreaker Hooded Coat Shell for...

Amazon price: $53.99

  • Best for camping
  • Sizes: Medium to 3X-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 18.4
  • 210T Nylon fabric
  • Two side pockets
  • One internal pocket
  • Full zipper with flap cover
  • 3 in 1 jacket

See sizes and colors: WOMEN

Are you just getting started in the mountaineering world? If so, and want the best mountaineering jacket on a budget, then you might want to try this jacket. That’s the main reason for having this camping jacket on this list.

It rocks a 210T nylon shell with a waterproof membrane. Additionally, it will keep you dry even when it is pouring outside since it has a high collar and large hood to prevent water from getting inside the jacket. However, it is so large that it gets in your eyes if you walk with your head down. But you can tuck it while you are not using it.

The Camel Crown rain jacket offers two side pockets with zippers plus an internal pocket to keep your electronics safe.

CAMEL CROWN Men's Rain Jacket Waterproof Windbreaker Hooded Coat Shell for...
CAMEL CROWN Men's Rain Jacket Waterproof Windbreaker Hooded Coat Shell for...

The smooth two-way zipper offers a way to detach the rain cover. This way, you can cut some weight while also making the jacket more breathable. You can also tighten the cuffs and waist straps to improve airflow.

But not everything is perfect. The fabric is of questionable quality. Also, the color of the jacket is prone to wash away after many years of usage.

What We Do Like:

  • Affordable
  • Great value for your money
  • Internal pocket
  • Waterproof
  • True to size

What We Don’t Like:

  • Jacket has no give
  • Baggy
  • Large hood

RAB Kangri GTX Mountaineering Jacket ( $349.95)

Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...

Amazon price: $349.95

Features:

  • Best for hiking
  • Sizes: Small to X-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 19
  • Gore-Tex membrane
  • Two side pockets
  • Internal pocket
  • Reflective branding
  • Recycled outer shell
  • Pit zips

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Although it is not as good as the Arc’teryx Alpha SV, it is still a decent competitor. Besides, you can get it for around 300 dollars less. That’s quite a price reduction if you ask us.

The RAB Kangri jacket features a recycled 70D outer layer with three layers of Gore-Tex. As a result, the gore tex makes this is a water and windproof jacket that will protect you from both pouring rain and freezing cold. The Kangri hood is not compatible with mountaineering helmets, soIt fits so tightly around your head that there is no room for anything else. However, this is desirable for keeping the wind and water out.

Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...
Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...

On the other hand, the pit zippers enhance airflow, thus keeping you cool and dry in warmer environments. Nevertheless, it is not even near the lighter fabrics. But nothing that a fully-opened zipper can’t solve.

The RAB Kangrip GTX comes with two zippered hand pockets, two venting pit zips, and an internal where you can stash a GPS. What’s more, the zippers are highly resistant to water too!

The Kangri comes in sizes small to X-Large. However, the RAB Kangrip jacket runs a little small, which is kind of a deal-breaker for big guys. In addition, the jacket offers some restrictions to movement, making it unsuitable for ice climbing.

What We Do Like:

  • Fully waterproof
  • Fleece chin guard
  • Decent ventilation
  • three layers of Gore-tex, nothing is getting through

What We Don’t Like:

  • It runs small
  • It is not as flexible as other jackets
  • Delicate drawcords
Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...
Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...
Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...

Mountain Hardwear Acadia Jacket ($74.16)

Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Fiery Red, Small

Amazon price: $74.16

  • Best for backpacking
  • Sizes: Small to XX-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 10.16
  • PFC-Free DWR
  • Two side pockets
  • Storm flap
  • Recycled outer shell
  • Pit zips

See additional sizes, colors and prices

Impressively lightweight and affordable, the Acadia jacket is a superb option for those looking to get the best value for your money. Plus, you will love it if you are one of those that care about the environment.

Mountain Hardwear only used recyclable materials on the Acadia. In addition, the jacket rocks a durable water repellent coating with a front flap that covers the front zipper, making it next to impossible for water to get inside. Paired with the elastic drawcord hem, adjustable hood, and wrist cuffs, it keeps the wind out as well.

Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Icelandic, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Wild Water, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Fiery Red, Large

The Acadia tucks inside its own hand pocket. Then, you can stash it on your backpack while you hit the backcountry trails. The main disadvantage is that it doesn’t grant enough protection against severe weather. Nevertheless, it is more than enough for backpacking trips.

The jacket comes with pit zips that expel unwanted heat as you move through the trails. You can also tuck the hood away if you feel like it.  

The main complaint we have with this jacket is the side pockets. They are very small. Plus, the zippers are extremely delicate. So, don’t overstuff them.

What We Do Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Packs small
  • Pit zips allows sweat out

What We Don’t Like:

  • Delicate size pockets
  • Recycled fabric shell is prone to tear
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Icelandic, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Dark Army, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Golden Brown, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Dark Zinc, Small
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Olive Gold, Small
Mountain Hardwear Acadia Jacket Men’s Lightweight Rain Jacket for Hiking,...

Helly-Hansen SOGN 2.0 Ski Jacket ($350.00)

Helly-Hansen Mens SOGN Shell 2.0 Waterproof Ski Jacket, 983 Slate, Large

Amazon price= $350.00

Features:

  • Best for ski touring
  • Sizes: Small to XX-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 24
  • Helly Tech fabric
  • Adjustable hood and cuffs
  • Fully seal seams
  • High collar

See additional sizes, colors and prices

  • Amazon: MEN / WOMEN
  • REI: MEN / WOMEN
  • Outland USA: MEN / WOMEN
  • Moosejaw: MEN / WOMEN
  • Backcountry: MEN / WOMEN
  • Helly-Hansen: MEN / WOMEN
  • evo: MEN

With a high collar and helmet-compatible hood, the Helly Hansen SOGN 2.0 is an ideal choice for backcountry skiing. It’s also available in three different colors. In addition, the relaxed fit leaves enough room for you to layer up and move freely.

The SOGN 2.0 has three layers of Helly-Hanse’s proprietary fabric of durable water-repellent coating that neither water nor melting ice can beat. Basically, the breathability is adequate to prevent moisture build-up.

Helly-Hansen Mens SOGN Shell 2.0 Waterproof Ski Jacket, 674 Bourbon, Large
Helly-Hansen Mens SOGN Shell 2.0 Waterproof Ski Jacket, 983 Slate, Medium

Wind-proofing is fantastic, as you would expect for such a jacket. But it does lack insulation for extreme cold situations. Nothing that can’t be solved by adding an extra layer underneath the jacket.

Helly-Hansen SOGN 2.0 offers two harness-compatible hand-warmers pockets and a set of internal pockets, an adjustable hoody, and adjustable cuffs. Helly Hansen jacket construction also reinforced the shoulder areas so they can handle mountaineering backpack straps better.  

What We Do Like:

  • Superb waterproofing capabilities
  • It doesn’t restrict movements
  • Breathable
  • The hood is helmet-compatible
  • Durable

What We Don’t Like:

  • It doesn’t offer enough insulation
  • The jacket is not that comfortable
Helly-Hansen Mens SOGN Shell 2.0 Waterproof Ski Jacket, 674 Bourbon, Small
Helly-Hansen Mens SOGN Shell 2.0 Waterproof Ski Jacket, 300 Patrol Orange,...

Marmot PreCip Lightweight Mountaineering Jacket (Price not available)

Marmot Men's Precip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Gargoyle, Small

Amazon price= Price not available

Features:

  • Best for trekking
  • Sizes: Small to 3X-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 11
  • PFC-Free water-repellent fabric
  • Pit ventilation zips
  • Dual side pockets

See additional sizes, colors and prices

  • Amazon: MEN / WOMEN
  • REI: MEN / WOMEN
  • Outland USA: MEN / WOMEN
  • Moosejaw: MEN / WOMEN
  • Backcountry: MEN / WOMEN
  • Helly-Hansen: MEN / WOMEN
  • evo: MEN

Affordable and light, the PreCip offers a durable PFC-Free NanoPro nylon cover that will keep you dry even if it is pouring outside. You don’t even need to worry about water getting inside through the zipper, as it comes with a flip cover.

The PreCip comes with a high collar, adjustable cuffs, and two side pockets. Nothing else. Naturally, there is little room at this price point.

Marmot Men's Precip Jacket, Mallard Green, Small
Marmot Men's PreCip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Dark Rust, Medium

You can choose from a wide variety of colors and sizes, small to 3X-Large. The regular fit means that the jacket is roomy enough for you to walk comfortably. Plus, the outer layer remains breathable enough to allow moisture to escape, keeping you cool in the process.

The PreCip is ideal for those looking to spend a lot of time in the backcountry. However, it is not the warmest jacket for cold climates, so grab a baselayer before heading out.

What We Do Like:

  • Comfortable
  • Feather-like weight
  • Highly waterproof
  • Ventilated interior
  • Taped seams

What We Don’t Like:

  • Small pockets
  • The fabric doesn’t stretch much
Marmot Men's Precip Light-weight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Green Lichen,...
Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket | Lightweight, Waterproof, Blue Sapphire,...
Marmot Men’s PreCip Jacket | Lightweight, Waterproof, Black, Small
Marmot Men's Precip Jacket, Mallard Green, Small
Marmot Men's PreCip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Dark Rust, Medium
Marmot Men's PreCip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Denim, Small

CAMEL Outdoor Ski Jacket

CAMEL Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...

Amazon price= $39.99

Features:

  • Best for ski tours
  • Sizes: Small to X-Large
  • Weight (Ounces): 30
  • Detachable hood
  • Fleece internal lining
  • Internal pocket
  • Waterproof rating:13000mm
  • Waterproof zippers

See additional sizes and colors: WOMEN

Although this is not the best ski jacket on this list, it still offers a lot of value. So, take some time to look at the CAMEL Outdoor ski jacket, especially if you are on a budget.

One of the things that we liked the most about this ski mountaineering jacket is the fact you can detach the rain cover and fleece shell. This way, CAMEL gives you the ability to use three different styles. Only use the fleece jacket if it is cold and you are indoors. The rain jacket comes in handy during rain, but it isn’t freezing outside. Lastly, use both layers for backcountry adventures.

Camel Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...
Camel Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...

The rain cover is both water and windproof, which makes the CAMEL Outdoor suitable for backcountry ski tours. Despite being highly scratch resistant, the polymer blend outer shell loses its waterproofing quite fast.  

On the other hand, the fleece layer provides warmth and moisture-wicking capabilities. Nevertheless, ventilation is not enough to keep you cool in physically demanding trails. Neither layer stretches enough to allow freedom of movement. That’s why we won’t recommend using the CAMEL Outdoors for technical ice climbing.

What We Do Like:

  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Highly windproof
  • Waterproof zippers
  • Hidden internal pocket

What We Don’t Like:

  • The waterproof coating wears overtime
  • The jacket lacks stretch panels
  • Poor moisture wicking
Camel Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...
Camel Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...
CAMEL Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...

Comparison Guide to Mountaineering Jackets

Mountaineering Jackets

 Weight
(Ounces)
SizesHoodConstructionWaterproof 
RAB Kinetic Plus Slim
RAB Men's Kinetic Plus Jacket - Steel - Small
Amazon price: $140.43
11Small to mediumYesPolyester and PU membranesYesAdd to Cart
Mountain Hardwear Microchill
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Microchill Jacket 2.0, Glacial Heather,...
Amazon price: $83.58
6Medium to XX-LargeNoFlecee polyesterNoAdd to Cart
Arc'teryx Alpha SV
Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket Offlime 2XL
Amazon price: $799.00
17Small to XX-LargeYesGore-Tex ProYesAdd to Cart
Outdoor Research Skyward II
Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket storm/black L
Amazon price: $334.84
25.5Medium to XX-LargeYesPolyester, nylon, and spandezYesAdd to Cart
Black Diamond Deploy Wind Shelll
Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Deploy Wind Shell - Ultra Blue - Medium
Amazon price: $108.00
1.7Small to X-LargeNo5D nylonYesAdd to Cart
MAGCOMSEM Hooded
Rain Coats for Men Winter Jackets for Men Snow Jackets Ski Jackets Rain...
Amazon price: $43.99
10Small to XX-LargeYesNylonYesAdd to Cart
Marmot Knife Edge
Marmot Men's Knife Edge Jacket, Denim, Small
Amazon price: $225.00
10.4Small to XX-LargeYesPolyesterYesAdd to Cart
Black Diamond Helio Active
Black Diamond Equipment - Men's Helio Active Shell - Bluebird - Small
Amazon price: $239.40
12.8Small to X-LargeYesNylonYesAdd to Cart
Berghaus Cornice
Berghaus Men's Cornice Interactive Waterpoof Jacket, Black, Large
Amazon price: $304.00
27Small to XXX-LargeNoPolyesterYesAdd to Cart
Camel Crown Rain Jacket
CAMEL CROWN Men's Rain Jacket Waterproof Windbreaker Hooded Coat Shell for...
Amazon price: $53.99
18.4Medium to XXX-LargeYes210T NylonYesAdd to Cart
RAB Kangrip GTX
Rab Men's Kangri GTX Waterproof Breathable Gore-tex Jacket for Hiking and...
Amazon price: $349.95
19Small to X-LargeYesGore-TexYesAdd to Cart
Mountain Hardwear Acadia
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Acadia Jacket, Fiery Red, Small
Amazon price: $74.16
10.16Small to XX-LargeYesRecycled NylonYesAdd to Cart
Helly-Hansen SOGN 2.0
Helly-Hansen Mens SOGN Shell 2.0 Waterproof Ski Jacket, 983 Slate, Large
Amazon price: $350.00
24Small to XX-LargeYesHelly Tech MembraneYesAdd to Cart
Marmont PreCip
Marmot Men's Precip Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Gargoyle, Small
Amazon price: $100.00
11Small to XXX-LargeYesPolyesterYesAdd to Cart
CAMEL Outdoor
CAMEL Outdoor Jacket Men Winter Ski Jacket Windbreaker 3 in1 Hooded Rain...
Amazon price: $39.99
30Small to X-LargeYespolyester and nylongYesAdd to Cart

Buying Advice

How to Choose a Mountaineering Jacket

Waterproof, windproof, and ventilation are desirable features anyone would like to have. However, not all of them are equally important, as it depends on the situation. For example, staying dry is crucial during the rainy season. That’s why a waterproof mountaineering jacket is a priority. On the other hand, during humid but cold months, ventilation is of the most importance.

Naturally, there are other things to take care of. For example, fabric, fit, pockets, zippers, cuffs, and hood. Which feature combination is the best for you depends on the usage you’ll give to the jacket. And, of course, your budget. Here you will learn everything you need to know about mountaineering jackets. This way, you can make an educated decision and get the option that best suits your needs.

Price: A Question of Budget

Naturally, the more you are willing to pay, the more you will get. So, it is important to think about how much money you can spare. We would suggest putting between 70 to 100. This way, you can get a decent mountaineering jacket that will last many years.

If you can spare more, then do it. You will get a better jacket, more durable and more suitable for harsh routes. But, this only applies to hardcore mountaineers who go out often. There is no point in getting such apparel if you are not using it regularly.

Mountaineering Jacket Fit: Slim, Regular, and Relaxed

How comfortable a jacket depends on several things, such as fit and size. Most options are available in sizes small to XX-Large. But there is a catch here.

You see, a slim-fit X-Large feels tighter than one with a regular fit. That’s why they are ideal for alpine climbs and technical routes. Consequently, the fabric won’t get in the way of your movement. On the other hand, baggy jackets are more suitable for layering up and sorting non-technical routes

Slim mountaineering jacket on man
The hardshells come in two different shapes. The first one is sleek and fits tightly so you don’t have any freedom of movement limitations, but it does restrict how much clothing moves with your body – this would be perfect for fast-paced activities like running or biking! Another type has an extra roomy cut that allows baseayers under the shell than what might usually show on top; we recommend using these during warmer months when there’s little risk involved (elevation change).

Wind and Waterproofing

Most will agree that wind and water resistance are two of the most important features of any mountaineering jacket. Naturally, not all jackets are equally water or windproof. It all depends on construction. Let’s see.

Waterproof and Water-resistant: Similar, Yet Different

Although many people use them as synonyms, they are not quite the same. You see, water will permeate a water-resistant fabric eventually. It might take a lot of exposure. But this doesn’t happen with waterproof fabric. Here, water won’t ever pass through it. So, with this in mind, let’s break down the waterproofing topic a little further.

Waterproof Fabric and Coating

Gore-Tex is arguably the preferred fabric for making waterproof mountaineering jackets. It has been around for many years and is used in many different applications. But there are other options such as H2NO. Still, they are similarly built.

To further increase waterproofing, some companies apply a durable water repellent treatment to the outer shell of the jacket. This way, they keep the fabric from getting saturated with water, thus, tempering with breathability.

However, DWR treatments wear off with time. So, you might need to re-apply it down the road. If you do need to treat your jacket, two of our favorite sprays are the Gear Aid REVIVEX and NIKWAX TX Direct Spray. These will restore the water repellency and give you more hours in the backcountry. You can also treat your waterproof hiking pants as well!

waterproof vs water resistant material
The durable water repellancy (DWR) coating on your jacket will wear off over time and need to be replaced.

How Does Gore-Tex and Gore-Tex Pro Work?

The beauty about Gore-Tex and many other waterproof fabrics is that they are also breathable! Yes, you read that right. So, how does it work? How does gore-tex manage to keep you cool and dry?

Gore-Tex membranes have over 1400 million pores per square centimeter. Also, these pores are small enough to keep water molecules out, but large enough to allow vapor molecules to escape. That’s how Gore-Tex membranes do it. Certainly, the added benefit and technology make the fabric pricier to use when constructing jackets. That’s why such jackets are so expensive and one of the best as well.


Windproof

Windproof refers to the ability to keep the wind out. In other words, even if the wind is howling, it won’t get under your skin.

So, which fabrics are the best? The same we mentioned before. Gore-Tex and other similar membranes are ideal for keeping the wind at bay.

Durability and Thickness: Two Linked Words

Mountaineering apparel needs to be durable since it has to handle rough weather, regular wear, and the occasional scratch from rock or trees. But, how can you tell which jacket is more durable just by looking at it? Basically, by checking the fabric’s denier number.

The thicker the fabric is, the heavier it gets. While this might not be a problem if you want your winter jackets for running errands, however for wilderness and outdoor adventures, every chance to save weight should be top of mind. Especially in the mountaineering world, cutting weight is key. That’s why you can’t go nuts in this department.

Denier Fabric

Denier refers to the fabric thickness. Naturally, the thicker the membrane is, the more durable it gets. But there is an important thing here: Weight.

Thankfully, most of the best mountaineering jackets available use 30 to 80-denier fabrics. Of course, thicker jackets are more suitable for alpine climbing. In contrast, for backpacking purposes, we recommend getting a jacket with a lower denier. The same goes for rain jackets.

Mountaineer descending a mountain
In order to keep your body temperature steady and warm, you need protection from rain or snow. If these things get into the clothes that are being worn, then they will cause discomfort by warming up parts of our bodies outside its intended purpose- this is why it’s important not only for insulation purposes but also when considering water resistance qualities like durability!

Weight and Portability

Weight is also important because every ounce matters when you ascend and are carrying mountaineering gear. Indeed, mountaineering packs, ice axes, tents, and sleeping bags are some of the essentials. If you’re a beginner, look for ways to shave weight without sacrificing warmth.

I know. Most of you think that you will have your jacket on most of the time. But there are situations when you will need to stash your jacket in the pack. When this happens, you will pray for your mountaineering jacket to be packable.

There are some jackets that you can even stash in their own pockets. Indeed, these are ideal for backpackers that are constantly moving around.

Jackets on mountaineering men
When mountaineers reach higher altitudes, the temperature becomes colder and they must wear clothing that will protect them from hypothermia.

Stretch and Freedom of Movement

Another problem that comes with thick, heavy mountaineering jackets is rigidity. Generally speaking, heavy jackets provide more protection against wind and water. They are more durable as well. But this comes at the expense of mobility.

That’s why it is not uncommon to see jackets with slimmer panels around the arms and waists. By design, brands manage to reduce stiffer material. Other brands offer panels with 4-way stretch. But it is nothing like having a slim jacket that moves with you.

Hood and Helmet

Having a hood is a must for alpine climbing and situations where your skin is exposed to the elements.

Nevertheless, for alpine use, you need to make sure that your jacket has a climbing helmet-compatible hood. It will certainly need enough room to accommodate a climbing helmet. If possible, it has to be adjustable. This way, you can reduce the bulk while you don’t have the helmet on.

Pit Zippers: A Way to Improve Ventilation

Mountaineering, even in the death of winter, still means you will sweat and may overheat. As a result, many of the best mountaineering jackets come with pit zippers. This way, you can open the zippers and allow air to pass through.

Because these zippers are under the arms, it is quite unlikely that water or snow will find its way inside the jacket. Most alpine and ice climbing jackets come with pit zippers. On the other hand, backpacking and light mountaineering jackets neglect such a feature in favor of cutting weight.

Outdoor Research Men's M's Guardian Jacket, prussian blue, SBlack Diamond Equipment - Men's Alpine Start Hoody - Smoke - SmallMountain Hardwear Men's Standard Stretch Ozonic Jacket, Caspian, Small
Jackets with zip pits and helmet compatible hoodies

Best Mountaineering Jacket: RAB Kinetic Plus

Although it is not cheap, the RAB Kinetic Plus offers a lot of desirable features such as wind and waterproofing, while remaining breathable even during high-intensity activities.

What’s more, the slim profile and stretchy panels offer more than enough flexibility to move around. The flipside is that it is harder to layer up. So, let’s pray that you don’t ever need some extra warmth.

Another great thing about the RAB Kinetic Plus is that it is quite light. So, you can use it during your backcountry tours too. The only problem we’ve found with this bad body is that it is not helmet-compatible. Still, this only matters if you are engaging in ice climbing or alpine use.

Need More Advice on Gear and Footwear?

Here are some links to our most popular articles:

Last update on 2022-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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