Different Types of Outdoor Jackets

If you are new at hiking, you could quickly get confused about the type of outdoor jacket  to put on.

There seem to be various types of outdoor jackets; it can be overwhelming to know when to wear each of the different types.

For this article, we’re not looking at the entire range of outdoor jackets, and our focus is on the ones that can be used in during hiking. Other outdoor jackets exit though, explicitly designed for other outdoor sports and activities, e.g. running, skiing, etc.

Rain Jackets

Well, this one is straightforward. A rain jacket (often referred to as a rain shell) primary purpose is to protect you from the rain. For hiking purpose, the rain jacket ought to be very lightweight and packable.

These jackets are constructed in such a way that allows your sweat to get out, so you don’t get wet from the inside. They also allow free movement and room for more clothing such as helmet, layering, etc.

Rain jackets are ideal for hiking but are also versatile and can be used for other outdoor activities, and daily use.

Down Jackets

Down jackets are made from the warm and soft feathers from the underbelly of geese or ducks, just like when you personalise polo shirt.  The primary purpose of the down jackets is to provide warmth.

While some down jackets are built with some waterproof features, they are not good to get wet.

Fleece Jackets

A fleece jacket typically makes the gear list of hikers.

They are not typically meant to protect from the rain or wind, although with some crossovers you can get some rain resistance.

They mainly provide warmth while also allowing your torso to breathe.

Hard Shell Jacket

A hard shell jacket like the name suggests is hard and protects you from wind and rain.

Hard shells provide better rain protection than rain shell jackets. However, they can be heavier and costlier than a simple rain shell jacket.