Any Hikers Frustrated with Expensive Jackets. You’ll be Shocked.

Washington Weather Tested Jackets

Over the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to test a number of so-called, water resistant “Gore-Tex” jackets. Each one of these jackets cost well over $100 each but only one out of the three truly did not “wet-out”.

Living in the pacific northwest gets challenging for hikers and backpackers when it comes to waterproof jackets, pants and shells. The Mountain Hardwear (red) seen on the left was the most expensive, Columbia (white) was next,The North Face (pink heather)  and then followed by Marmot (blue turquoise) being the least expensive.

I wore all these jackets all seasons with layers underneath. Three of these did not perform and one came out on top. If you are testing a new jacket, I highly suggest you bring a cheap plastic poncho because you will be shocked at the lack of results for the price you pay for all but one of these jackets. Keep in mind I hike in all kinds of extreme weather. Rain that soaks, completely soaks, is not uncommon in our neck of the woods.

Want to make a guess which one performed in the worst conditions?

Then click to picture to find out why…


Sometimes you don’t get what you paid for and in this case, always carry a $1.49 plastic poncho. I call it the 10 essentials +1 for Washington State.


6 thoughts on “Any Hikers Frustrated with Expensive Jackets. You’ll be Shocked.

      1. I should be able to wear it over my packable down jacket as well. I think it is going to work great. PS. I also purchased this garment wash at REI. I’ll post on that one next. Hopefully it will salvage the jackets I own.

  1. Like you I have spent tons of money on jackets and been less than happy with performance. Only two in all the years I have been happy with a neoprene jacket made by a French company (although many other small issues with the jacket, it kept me dry) and recently a LL Bean jacket. The Dutch rain is much like Washington Pacific Coast and so far this jacket has performed way above my expectations. Great blog review.

  2. Neoprene sounds interesting. I have ski pants that are of a similar fabric. Edleweiss Skiwear. Not in business any more. I still wear the pants though. They are classic, stylish and work!

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