What to Look For in a Women’s Lightweight Hiking Jacket

When you set off to go on a hiking adventure, you may end up hitting some unexpected weather like strong winds, heavy rain, or even just a light mist.

If you are ill-prepared with no hat, jacket, or the wrong shoes, you could end up miserable for the rest of the hike. We’ve put together a list of what to look for in a women’s lightweight hiking jacket.

You’ll want to be prepared for whatever weather, rain or shine, comes your way with a lightweight hiking jacket along with proper rain gear.

Keep reading for our top picks!


Quick Recommendations for Lightweight Hiking Jackets

If you’re short on time, we’ve put together a quick overview of each of the lightweight hiking jackets. If you have more time, we recommend you keep reading to learn all the specs about each!

Although each one of these jackets has its own specs and features, every one of these jackets has everything you need to be comfortable on a fun hike!


Best Women’s Hiking Jackets

Each one of the following women’s hiking jackets will most likely give you the basics you’d need for hiking! Our advice is for you to decide what is important to have in a hiking jacket.

  • Fit: Do you prefer slim, regular, or oversized?
  • Hiking jacket lining: Will you be wearing baselayers?
  • Activities: Shorter 1-2 hour hikes or longer thru hikes?
  • Weather: Warm rainy weather or cooler and wetter?to figure out which one seems like it would be the best fit for the type of hiking you’ll be doing.
ProductPockets
Hoodie?
Weight
Ounces
Stuff Sack?MaterialInsulationFit
Length
Rating
Ortovox Swisswool Piz Bial Jacket - Women's, Black Raven, Small, 6113900002-90201-S
Ortovox Swisspool Piz Bial
$126.00
2 front, 1 chest
no hoodie
12.7NoPertex Quantum (100% recycled nylon), DWR coating, [lining] 100% nylon88% virgin wool, 12% polylactideRegular
hip
Patagonia Torrentshell Black (Size: XL) Raincoat
Patagonia TorrentShell Women's Rain Jacket
Price not available
2 zipper
hand-warmers
Hoodie
10.09No[membrane/laminate] H2No (3-layer), [face fabric] 50D ECONYL (100% recycled nylon ripstop), DWR finish, [lining] tricot backerNot ProvidedRegular
Hip

Patagonia Pluma Jacket
$549.00
2 single pleat, 1 interior
Yes
18.5 OuncesNoGORE-TEX, NylonNo InsulationRegular
Hip

Rab Vital Hoody
$98.95
2 hand pockets
Hoodie
6.31 OuncesNoHyperliteNo InsulationRegular
Hip
Eddie Bauer Women's Cloud Cap Rain Jacket, Black Medium
Eddie Bauer Women's Cloud Cap Rain Jacket
$59.40
2 hand pockets
Hoodie
7.7 OuncesNo100% NylonNo InsulationRegular
Hip

REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket
$62.89
2 hand pockets
Hoodie
11.4 OuncesYesRecycled nylon ripstop (bluesign® approved)Not ProvidedRegular
Hip
Outdoor Research Men’s Motive AscentShell Jacket - Lightweight Durable Waterproof Jacket
Outdoor Research Motive AscentShell
$198.95
zip hand & internal chest pocket
Hoodie
11.36 OuncesAscentShell™ 3L, 100% polyester 50D mechanical stretch plainweave with 100% polyester 30D knit backerNot ProvidedTrim
Hip

The North Face Varius Guide Jacket
2 hand pockets
Hoodie
11.2 ouncesYesRecycled nylonNoneRegular
Hip
Marmot Womens Minimalist Waterproof Rain Jacket
Marmot Minimalist Jacket
$189.00
2 hand pockets
Hoodie
12.6 OuncesNoGORE-TEX PACLITE recycled polyester 3.2 oz/ydNoneRegular
Hip
The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket, TNF Medium Grey Heather, XS
North Face Women’s Venture 2
$98.94
2 hand pockets
Hoodie
14.11 OuncesYes[solid] 40D DryVent (2.5-layer), [heather] 70D DryVent (2.5-layer), [colored backer] 100% nylon ripstopNoneRelaxed
Hip
Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket - Women's Sapphire Large
Mammut Kento HS Hooded
$134.99
Chest pocket5.01 OuncesYes[membrane/laminate] DryTechnology Pro, [face fabric] nylonNoneRegular
Hip

Ortovox Swisspool Piz Bial

Ortovox Swisswool Piz Bial Jacket - Women's, Black Raven, Medium, 6113900003-90201-M

If you’re thinking you want to hit the trails and aren’t sure of the weather, then the Ortovox Civetta’s minimalist look offers extreme protection against the elements. Of course, you wouldn’t guess that by just looking at it or feeling it. 

Since this jacket is insulated by wool, your body stays at the right temperature when you are on a steep or long ascent approaching that crag.

Weight:

This jacket is ultralight and weighs in at 12.4 ounces. Because of how lightweight this jacket is it is also highly packable and easy to fit in any size backpacking gear you carry on your hike.

Pros:

  • This jacket has quite a few advantages, such as its lightweight and packable features. If you want a jacket that you can choose a color, then this one comes in a few different color options.

Cons:

  • The Ortovox Swisspool Piz Bial jacket is on the pricier side. If you’re not looking to drop a few hundred dollars, there are cheaper options you can go with.

Bottom Line:

Even though this jacket is lightweight, it offers similar protection to a hardshell jacket. In addition, because this jacket has microbeads on the inside, they absorb moisture and keep you feeling dry.

The jacket offers elastic waists and wrists to keep out any bad weather like rain. There is also a hood that offers more waterproof protection.


Blush
$126.00

Green Forest
$126.00

Black Raven
$126.00

Patagonia TorrentShell Women’s Rain Jacket

Patagonia Torrentshell Black (Size: XL) Raincoat

Since Patagonia is known for its sustainable and eco-friendly wear, this jacket is right up there with top sustainable hiking jackets for women. So it’s no surprise that it made it onto the list of best-hiking jackets!

Weight:

The Patagonia TorrentShell Women’s Rain Jacket is 12.5 ounces, heavier than some other jackets but still lightweight. Moreover, considering that it has three layers, it’s relatively light for a jacket of its caliber.

Pros:

  • The jacket has an adjustable hood and comes in a variety of colors for those looking for more options to choose from. In addition, the durable zippers are water-repellant so you don’t have to worry about water getting in.
  • If you want a jacket that stuffs into a small, compact size, then you’ve found a great one. What’s more, this hiking jacket stuffs into its own pocket!

Cons:

  • This Patagonia jacket doesn’t have any inner pockets, so it does not offer any extra storage options for a phone or chapstick other than the two outside pockets. A lot of reviews also state that the jacket is rather noisy when worn.

Bottom Line:

This Patagonia jacket’s sustainable build from recycled nylon waste makes it a favorite. Although it’s waterproof, it still offers more breathability than other jackets, especially because the armpit pockets can be unzipped to let more fresh air in. The elastic waist offers more protection from the elements as well.


Patagonia Super Alpine Jacket

Rated as one of the most durable jackets, this Patagonia will last you through any hike. Whether you are wandering through the woods in the Pacific Northwest or hiking on a glacier in Alaska, you won’t have to worry about this jacket lasting.

Weight:

The Patagonia Super Alpine Jacket weighs approximately 15 ounces. It is on the heavier side because of the extra layers it has.

Pros:

  • The GORE-TEX Pro material with a DWR finish makes this jacket protective from any cold or windy and rainy weather that comes your way. If it gets on the warmer side, you can unzip the zip pockets under the arm for a slight breeze and more breathability.

Cons

  • If it tends to be hotter where you hike, then the three-layer jacket may run a bit hot.
  • However, if it’s cold, without insulation, you’ll need to wear a few other layers underneath the jacket to stay extra warm.

Bottom Line:

Although there’s no insulation to this jacket, it keeps you warm because of the three-layer protection. The materials the jacket is made from are meant to protect you from any elements.


Most Lightweight Hiking Jacket: Rab Vital Hoody

The Rab Vital Hoody is known for its minimalist yet technical features that other jackets don’t offer. If you’re looking for a jacket that offers more for a cheaper price, this one may be the jacket for you.

The Rab Vital Hoody also features a fitted hood with a stiffened brim to keep any light rain out of your eyes, hence its name “vital hoody.”

Weight:

  • This jacket only weighs 4.2 ounces. This is one of the most lightweight hiking jackets out there.

Pros:

  • With extra pockets, this jacket gives you more storage space to put your chapstick, extra tissues, any snacks, and whatever else you want in your pockets on a hike.
  • There are two hand pockets, one inner pocket, and two higher pockets on the outside as well.
  • Internal stuff sack makes for easy packability

Cons

  • If you’re looking to pack this jacket into a small size, then you won’t have a ton of luck. This jacket has a larger packing size, which can make it tough to fit into a smaller backpack.
  • The Rab Vital Hoody has also been said to have uncomfortable wrist elastics that keep out the rain.

Bottom Line:

The wind resistance that this hiking jacket offers is one of its best features, along with the many pockets for storage. It also has water-resistant features to keep the elements in the air and not inside your jacket.

Wherever you decide to hike, the Rab Vital Hoody offers the performance you want and need.


Eddie Bauer Women’s Cloud Cap Rain Jacket

Eddie Bauer Women's Cloud Cap Rain Jacket, Black Medium

The Eddie Bauer Women’s Cloud Cap Rain Jacket is perfect if you think you’ll be hiking in super rainy weather. Storms will have nothing on you and your persistence when you wear this jacket hiking!

Weight:

This women’s hiking jacket weighs 8 ounces. Because of its smaller size, it stuffs into its own pocket and is easy to fit into your day pack.

Pros:

  • Since the zipper front is waterproof, there is no need for an extra storm flap which saves you from extra weight.
  • This jacket also offers an adjustable hood and adjustable wrist cuffs to fit snugly or more loosely – whichever you prefer!

Cons

  • Since this jacket is much lighter and made mostly for rainstorms, there is not much warmth to it. However, it is loose enough to put on a few extra layers under the jacket itself.

Bottom Line:

This lightweight jacket is perfect for warm and rainy weather. Its water-resistant material keeps the water away by making it form beads to roll off rather than soaking up the water and it isn’t too thick to make you uncomfortable in warmer weather.

Eddie Bauer Women's Cloud Cap Rain Jacket, Dk Plum X-Small
Dk Plum
$59.40
Eddie Bauer Women's Cloud Cap Rain Jacket, Black Medium
Black
$59.40
Eddie Bauer Women's Cloud Cap Rain Jacket, Dusted Indigo X-Small
Dusted Indigo
$59.40

Best Budget Hiking Jacket: REI Co-Op Rainier

If you’re just starting off as a hiker, you probably don’t want to make a huge investment. What if you end up hating hiking? You would’ve spent a fortune on something that you no longer need.

The REI Co-Op Rainier is one of the best of its kind and perfect for multisport activities. The best part? You won’t be breaking the bank when you purchase this jacket.

You will also find adjustable velcro cuffs to keep any unwanted weather from entering the jacket as well as pit zips if you are a little too warm on your hike.

Weight:

The REI Co-Op Rainier is 11 ounces. If you want to take it off and pack it up, it folds into its own pocket so you can tuck it into your backpack.

Pros:

  • Thinking you’ll be going on windy hikes? This jacket is windproof up to 60mph…that’s almost hurricane-force winds that this jacket can sustain!

Cons:

  • Although the jacket claims to be waterproof, after a few years of use, the waterproofing tends to wear off. People claim you get what you pay for with this jacket.

Bottom Line:

This jacket is cute and comes in many different colors, so if you’re looking for a bit of fashion on the trail, the REI Co-Op Rainier is for you. 

You can also feel good about this fashionable hiking jacket since it’s made with blue sign-approved shell fabric which minimizes its impact on the environment during manufacturing. This is a jacket you can feel good about!

Weighing in at 11.4 ounces is the REI Rainer Co-op Rain Jacket- it’s waterproof, breathable, and has pit zips.

Outdoor Research Motive AscentShell

If your goal is to go for a trail run with a jacket, this jacket will have you covered! It’s a no-thrills jacket meant for the active hiker.

Weight:

This jacket weighs a little under 10 ounces. It stuffs into its own pocket and can clip right onto your carabiner for easy packing.

Pros:

  • This jacket doesn’t have any zip pits, and that’s because the material it is made from is extremely breathable and air permeable. It’s waterproof as well.
  • If you like extra pockets, this jacket has an inside pocket to put any important items you take with you hiking and backpacking.

Cons:

  • Some reviews complain of the elastic wrists. Although it creates a customizable size, velcro would make the wrist cuffs more secure for keeping the elements out of the jacket.

Bottom Line:

This durable, breathable, and waterproof rain shell is light enough to make sure it doesn’t slow you down on your hikes. Active hikers will enjoy the easy movement that comes with this jacket, giving you room to climb around and move freely while protecting you from rain or wind.

Outdoor Research Women’s Motive AscentShell Jacket - Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
Atoll
$198.95
Outdoor Research Women’s Motive AscentShell Jacket - Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
Burgundy
$198.95
Outdoor Research Women’s Motive AscentShell Jacket - Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
Black
$198.95

The North Face Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT™ Jacket

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket features a multi-layer formula for waterproof protection, moisture permeability, and durability for long-lasting wear. It’s sure to keep you dry in a storm due to all seams are sealed.

Additionally, it has a fixed and adjustable hoody, making it easy to flip up when you’re caught in a rainstorm. If you plan to carry only one rain jacket, this easily packs down into its hoody too! Another key point is you can add base layers or lightweight fleece since it doesn’t have a liner

Weight:

This jacket is on the lighter side of our lightweight jacket recommendations. It weighs a little over 10 ounces.

Pros:

  • The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket features zip pockets for extra breathability, a cinch cord along the adjustable hemline for extra waterproofing, and zip-in compatibility with other North Face garments.
  • This jacket also features a chest zip pocket in addition with the two hand pockets.
  • Certainly stylish
  • Lightweight rain jacket

Cons:

  • Possible quality control issues since some customers have complained about the jacket not being waterproof with water beading up on the inside.

Bottom Line:

As far as high-quality jackets go, North Face gives you want you’re looking for. You’ll get a great fit, a jacket that breathes, and a lifetime warranty if you don’t love it.


Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Marmot Womens Minimalist Jacket, Pink Lemonade, x Small

Whether you’re hitting the town during a rainy day or plan to go hiking and want to be prepared just in case, the Marmot Minimalist Jacket is perfect for either situation. The minimalist look makes this jacket versatile for different uses.

Weight:

The Marmot Minimalist Jacket weighs a little over 12 ounces. It’s made out of polyester and GORE-TEX for waterproof performance.

Pros:

  • If versatility isn’t enough of a reason to buy this jacket, there are plenty of other reasons to get it.
  • This jacket features zip pits, an adjustable hood and cuffs, sealed seams to protect against moisture, and zipper pockets.

Cons:

  • With such a minimalist look, there are only two pockets for your hands. There are not any extra pockets for anything else you want to hold.

Bottom Line:

Sustainably made from recycled materials, this jacket is great in more ways than one. You’ll feel good about wearing this environmentally-friendly jacket without sacrificing looks.

Marmot Womens Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Sleet , X-Small
Sleet
Price not available
Marmot Womens Minimalist Waterproof Rain Jacket
Enamel Blue
$189.00
Marmot Womens Minimalist Jacket, Deep Jungle, x Small
Enamel Blue
$189.00

North Face Venture 2 Women’s Rain Jacket

Are you interested in a hiking rain jacket that will keep away any rain? Whether you’re hiking or walking your dog on a rainy day, the North Face Venture 2 Women’s Rain Jacket will keep the rain away anywhere you go.

The North Face Women's Venture 2 Jacket, TNF Black/TNF Black, X-Small

Weight:

This ultralight jacket weighs around 10 ounces. Its small size allows it to stuff into its own pocket and fit in your backpack or even your purse if you’re walking around town!

Pros:

  • This waterproof jacket is just as breathable as it is waterproof. For extra breathability, there are also pit zips for an extra breeze if you need it.
  • It comes in many fashionable colors, so you’ll look good on a rainy day!

Cons:

  • The bottom of the jacket tapers around your waist, so depending on your body type it may be tight-fitting.
  • It also tends to run on the smaller side, which makes it difficult to layer in colder weather.

Bottom Line:

Since this model has been around for over 10 years, you know North Face is doing something right with this rain jacket. If you’re looking for a waterproof rain jacket that will keep you dry without the frills, look no further than this jacket.

The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket, Deep Garnet Red, XS
Deep Garnet Red
$108.00
The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket, Ashen Purple, XS
Ashen Purple
Price not available
The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket, TNF Medium Grey Heather, XS
Heather Grey
$98.95
The North Face Women's Venture 2 Jacket, Sulphur Spring Green, XS
Sulphur Spring Green
$72.22

Mammut Kento HS Hooded

Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket - Women's Marine Small

The Mammut Kento HS Hooded was designed with hikers and climbers in mind, making sure that climbers do not have to work around the jacket to figure out their gear. It has both harness-friendly pockets and a helmet-friendly hood. Unquestionably, you will feel safe and protected even with the jacket on.

If you’re looking for a jacket with various color options, then this jacket has five options to choose from.

Weight:

The Mammut Kento HS Hooded is 13 ounces. The lightweight style of this jacket won’t slow you down on your climbs or as you ascent up the mountain on a hike.

Pros:

  • The jacket features waterproof zippers to keep water out of pockets and the jacket itself. The jacket also features zippered vents to give you extra breathability on difficult climbs or hikes.

Cons:

  • This jacket does not feature any inside pockets for keys or small items.

Bottom Line:

With harness and helmet designs in this jacket, this jacket is a climber’s dream.

The Dry Technology Pro also makes sure that no matter the weather, you don’t overheat when you’re actively climbing or hiking. It seals out any moisture and rain while also allowing any sweat vapor to escape the jacket from the inside.

Mammut Women Kento Light Hooded Hardshell Jacket
Peacoat
$157.24
Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket - Women's Sapphire Small
Sapphire
$134.99
Mammut Women Kento Light Hooded Hardshell Jacket Bright White
Bright White
Price not available

What Should I Look for in a Lightweight Hiking Jacket?

When it comes to researching hiking jackets, you want to make sure you are getting everything you need to be comfortable and happy on a long hike. Depending on where you’re hiking, you also want to make sure the jacket keeps you safe from any environmental aspects.

Comfort

First things first. You want to make sure that you are not uncomfortable when you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime hike! 

Certainly, you should be able to move freely in a women’s hiking jacket with room for a baselayer. In addition, you should also like the material that it is made from — it should not be itchy, scratchy, or too warm of a material.

Weight and Packability

Throughout your hike, you’ll most likely take your jacket on and off. When you take it off, you’ll want to be sure that it can fit into your backpack with everything else you’ve brought on your hike.

Most of the best hiking jackets are easily packable and fold or roll up nicely to fit in smaller spaces. If you can find a hiking coat that can pack into a pouch or stuff into its internal pocket, that makes it even more packable.

Along with the size, you don’t want a heavy jacket. This can make you feel weighed down on your hikes and keep you too warm.

Durability

When looking for the best hiking jacket out there, you want one that is going to last you a long time so you don’t have to buy one for each new trip you go on.

It’s important to keep in mind that lighter materials usually wear out quicker.

Price

Most hiking jackets that are worth your money is more expensive! You may think it’s better to find a cheaper alternative to save money, but the best hiking jackets are going to cost you more money.

You’ll be grateful in the long run that you invested in a nicer jacket since they will last you through the years and through all of your hikes.


Go Hit the Trails

Once you have your lightweight hiking jacket, nothing will stop you from hitting the trails every weekend.

Whether you need a jacket to protect you from the wind or rain, or a jacket that has multipurpose uses, there is one out there for you that will get the job done. After narrowing down your main needs for a jacket, you can choose the one that is right for you.

Before you hit the trails, be sure to check out our other hiking blogs for more tips and tricks for your outing! 

Last update on 2021-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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