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4 Nov 2021

Nearly a quarter of waterproof jacket brands Which? readers rated in a recent survey might not actually keep you dry

Which major outdoor clothing labels did readers rate poorly for water resistance?
Walker wearing waterproof jacket

Six brands selling waterproof jackets may not keep you from getting wet in a downpour, research by Which? Travel has found.

The results from a survey of 3,997 Which? members show that while some waterproof clothing brands - such as Pu00e1ramo - will keep you dry, others might not be up to the task, gaining just two stars out of five for water resistance.

Readers rated 26 brands from one to five stars across seven categories including their performance in the rain*, durability, value for money and warmth, as well as giving labels an overall rating.

Some of those called out for failing to keep consumers from getting wet weren't cheap either, like Helly Hansen and Columbia's jackets, where the average price of a jacket from each comes in at more than £90.

In other words, our findings show you can't always guarantee that investing money in pricier brands will pay off with protection against the elements, so choose wisely when shopping for your next piece of outerwear.

The good news is that 13 brands scored an overall customer score of 80% or more, and you can find the best-rated waterproof jacket brands via our results table.

What was the worst-rated waterproof jacket brand?

Decathlon's jackets didn't impress readers. Overall the brand scored 69% and gained just two stars for water resistance. As one survey respondent put it: 'Not great in prolonged rain [as there are] too many ways for water to get in'.

Raters also deemed several other brands to have failed at their principal job. There were several complaints about Trespass jackets, with one survey respondent's damning review reading: 'Difficult to know whether it is rain coming in or sweat that makes you the wettest'.

Columbia, Karrimor, Peter Storm and Helly Hansen were all awarded just two stars for water resistance too.

Person wearing waterproof jacket at night

Red flags in a waterproof jacket

  • If the hood is overly big and can't be tightened it won't offer much protection from wind or rain
  • If you can see the seams, water will likely be able to seep through to the skin
  • A hemline that's the same length at the back as the front, as the jacket is more likely to ride up
  • Jackets without Velcro cuffs or pit zips - when it's not raining you'll want to let air inside for ventilation to avoid sweat building up

Best waterproof jacket brands

A good waterproof jacket is a must-have for most Brits' wardrobes - especially if you like to head out on long strolls in the country. So if you're looking to invest, choose Paramo, our best-rated brand in the survey. It is an investment, with an average jacket cost at £204.
But it's worth noting that some of the cheaper brands also scored well. Find highly rated, budget-friendly options - along with the best of the rest - in our waterproof jacket brand survey results.

*25 of the 26 brands were given a water resistance rating. M&S jackets did not receive enough water resistance ratings to be awarded a score in this category