Outdoor jackets test & comparison »top 7 in january 2020

The 7 best functional jackets at a glance.

Jogging outside in cold air or walking the dog in the rain becomes a challenge for the nerves if the right jacket is missing. Normal jackets stick to the body quickly during sports and like to soak up water in heavy rain. Remedy here the outdoor jackets that are both breathable and waterproof.

But be careful: especially breathable jackets tend to lose their waterproofness, while waterproof jackets have less breathability. Do not get involved in a test here and can be found in our comparison table immediately the fitting Outdoor jacket for your activities.

The quality management for our test and comparison procedure is TÜV-certified according to ISO 9001

adjustable, can be integrated into the collar
adjustable, can be integrated into the collar
adjustable, can be integrated into the collar

Illustration * Compare winner
Price-performance winner
Model * Schöffel Women’s Jacket Newfoundland1 Marmot Ladies Precip Ultrasport softshell Estelle The North Face Women’s Resolve Jacket Geographical Norway ladies jacket Tassion Jack Wolfskin Women’s Northern Point Fjällräven ladies fleece jacket Stina
at Amazon *
12 reviews 8 reviews 824 reviews 191 reviews 392 reviews 12 reviews 8 reviews
Suitable season Spring | summer Spring | Summer | autumn Spring | Summer | autumn Spring | Summer | autumn Spring | autumn Spring | summer Spring | summer
Available sizes 34-46 XS – XXL XS – XL XS – XL S – XXL XS – XXL XXS – XL
important functions
breathable no manufacturer information
water column
20,000 mm 10,000 mm 5,000 mm no information on the water column no manufacturer information
windproof particularly windproof windproof particularly windproof particularly windproof windproof windproof no manufacturer information
Further data
Jacket Type
Fleece | 3-in-1 jacket | Hardshell jacket etc.
Hard Shell Jacket Hard Shell Jacket Softshell | fleece Hard Shell Jacket Softshell Jacket Softshell Jacket fleece
Processed material
  • Outer fabric: 100% nylon
  • Lining: 100% polyester
  • 100% polyamide
  • Outer fabric: 96% polyester, 4% spandex
  • Lining: 100% microfleece
  • Outer fabric: 100% nylon
  • Lining: 100% mesh lining
  • Outer fabric: 96% polyester, 4% elastane
  • Lining: 100% polyester
  • 100% polyester
  • 100% polyester
Additional information
With a hoodie
With inside pocket
Closure type of the pockets zipper zipper zipper zipper Zipper | zipper zipper zipper
Waterproof zipper
with fabric bottle
no manufacturer information available
Available in other colors
  • Sargosso Sea
  • Roan Rouge
  • Hawaiian Ocean
  • and four more
  • Black
  • Malachite
  • Persian Red
  • and many more
  • Brown / melange
  • Navy / Blue
  • Turquoise / White
  • and five more
  • Fire brick orange
  • Black (15) (in size S)
  • Orange (in size XL)
  • Black Tislande
  • Aqua / Anis
  • Coral / Anis
  • and eight more
  • Midnight Blue
  • Lemon
  • Dusty Gray
  • and two more
  • Dark gray
  • Navy
  • Deep Violet (463)
  • and two more
  • particularly waterproof
  • particularly windproof
  • available in many colors
  • available in many colors
  • suitable as a transition jacket
  • particularly windproof
  • suitable as a transition jacket
  • available in many colors
  • particularly windproof
  • suitable as a transition jacket
  • available in many colors
  • Inner pocket incl.
  • suitable as a transition jacket
  • available in many colors
  • available in many colors
Questions and answers about the product Questions and answers about Schöffel Women’s Jacket Newfoundland1 Questions and answers about Marmot Women’s Precip Questions and answers about Ultrasport Softshell Estelle Questions and answers about The North Face Women’s Resolve Jacket Questions and answers about Geographical Norway ladies jacket Tassion Questions and answers about Jack Wolfskin Women’s Northern Point Questions and answers about Fjällräven ladies fleece jacket Stina
To offer * To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer "
Available at *

  • approx. 170 € To the offer »
  • 98 € To the offer »

  • Researched products

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  • Outdoor jackets (also functional jackets, jaket or trekking jackets) are so-called multifunction jackets. In contrast to normal jackets, they are not only particularly breathable, but also waterproof and windproof. These properties make them well suited as outdoor trekking jackets.
  • The efficiency of one function is always at the expense of another function in outdoor jackets. This means that waterproof and windproof functional jackets are less breathable. Breathable jackets, on the other hand, let wind and water through faster.
  • Trekking jackets are available in different versions. The 3-in-1 jackets offer a combination of the jacket types. In these, the upper jacket is a hardshell jacket, while the lower jacket is either a softshell or fleec jacket. This means that 3-in-1 jackets can be worn all year round.

During longer hikes or a tent trip, the clothing must adapt to the weather just like the tent. Jeans or leather jackets are hardly suitable because of their low breathability and poor waterproofness.

Do you want to optimally adjusted to all outdoor activities and weather conditions, you should instead prefer to use the so-called outdoor jackets (also called functional jackets). In order to additionally save some money when buying, it is also advisable to pay close attention to when you get a new jacket.

As a Idealo’s survey showed prices were up there in Germany in 2017 between the months of March and May at only around 145 euros (Source: Idealo). In contrast, the price was Functional jackets in December already at around 192 euros.

In our 2019/2020 outdoor jacket comparison, we summarized for you what functions you shouldn’t miss with your functional jacket, what exactly the water column indicates and between which different types of jackets you can choose your best outdoor jacket.

Only with waterproof outdoor jackets will you not get wet even in heavy rain showers. You can see how much water the jacket holds by the water column.

1. Buying advice: Athletes should use particularly breathable jackets, trekking friends pay attention to a high water column

Wet to the feet; despite the functional jacket

Jackets that serve as outdoor rain jackets should keep water well. In practice, however, this rarely works.

In its 09/2016 test, the Stiftung Warentest tested 14 functional jackets, among other things, for their water resistance. The result: only three jackets really withstood the rain.

The outdoor jackets offered by the manufacturer Schöffel came second in the outdoor jacket test. The Astral III Jacket from Haglöfs was the outdoor jacket comparison winner.

Functional jackets are subject to particularly high demands. Not only should they keep the wind out, but also protect clothing from the water in heavy and prolonged rain. Instead of a water-repellent jacket, we advise you now For longer trekking trips, buy a functional jacket that is waterproof.

Before you buy an outdoor jacket, you should, aside from the water resistance, however pay attention to additional functions such as good breathability. Only when all the necessary functions are available, you do not have to worry about the weather during your outdoor activities.

So that you can decide which multifunction jacket you need for your next trip and know what we mean the different functions this explained for you in a short table.

function description
If we do a lot of sport or are out and about in warm areas, our body heats up. To cool off, this produces sweat. This can be annoying, especially on longer trips, if the jacket sticks to us due to the absorbed moisture.

at breathable jackets this doesn’t happen. Here the moisture is absorbed and released into the air through the membrane of the fabric. This way the jacket stays dry despite sweat.

Even if the wind is cold or you are walking through snow and ice, the functional jacket must keep you warm. Do you want one Outdoor winter jacket for a snow hike down, you should therefore make sure that it is particularly windproof.

The windproofness of the jackets is either generated by a particularly dense tissue or by a additional membrane.

If you choose an outdoor winter jacket with a membrane, you have to expect the following advantages and disadvantages:

Jackets with membranes keep out rain as well as wind. In contrast to that Jackets that are only made of dense fabric are prone to rain showers.

With regard to water vapor Jackets with membrane practically impermeable. Use the jackets too on warm days, you have to be prepared for it to stick to your body.

Even if they like to be used synonymously, mean water-repellent and waterproof not the same thing.
  • that water-repellent fabrics are materials that keep water out for a short time. A two-hour walk through constant rain would make you wet with a water-repellent jacket.
  • that Waterproof fabrics are materials that keep the water out of all demands and with no time limit.

You can tell whether your outdoor jackets for women or men are waterproof by the so-called water column.

What does water column mean and what is it good for:

With the water column is indicated,how long a substance or membrane can hold water. The higher the water column specification, the longer you can stay in the rain without your functional jacket letting water through.

For the test, the outside of the tissue is exposed to a certain amount of water. The water pressure starts at zero and then increases (depending on the norm) either 100 mm or 600 mm water column per minute.

When this is done, the time is measured, how long it takes three drops of water to get through the membrane or fabric. The pressure prevailing up to this point is then given as millimeters of water.

From when a fabric is called waterproof is not uniform. So a material applies loudly German standard values ​​from around 1500 mm than waterproof, for that EMPA only applies this at around 4000 mm.

Three of the common values ​​are therefore:

  • 1500 mm: Starting from this water column in Germany materials as waterproof designated.
  • 4000 mm: After e >

For outdoor clothing such as Functional jackets are not only evaluated for the penetration of the fabric by water from the outside in, but also by water vapor from the inside out. This evaluation is done under the European standard DIN EN 343: 2010-05 (protective clothing against rain).

2. The different types of outdoor jackets compared

How good the individual functions of your outdoor jacket are depends not only on the processing of the materials. So are some types of jacket are already more waterproof due to their material, while others sit more comfortably and have greater breathability. You can also find functional jackets in different designs, such as 3-in-1 jackets or down jackets. You shouldn’t just decide which is the cheapest outdoor jacket for you based on its functions.

As a small guide, we have which functional jacket is best suited for your outdoor activities summarized some of the popular jacket categories for you and listed their advantages and disadvantages.

2.1. Hard and softshell jackets

Functional jackets can be divided into two jacket categories: Hardshell jackets and softshell jackets. Both types of jackets bring their own very individual advantages and disadvantages and are therefore suitable for very different weather conditions.

Hard shell jackets are best worn in changeable weather and in cold regions.

The hardshell jackets

at Hard shell jackets are outdoor jackets with a good membrane. Although you do are particularly waterproof, hardshell jackets can still transport water vapor to the outside. This way, you don’t have to do without breathability even with these jackets.

The jacket can only provide particularly good water vapor compensation if there is a large temperature difference (pressure difference) between the inside and the outside of the jacket. The The breathability of this jacket therefore decreases when a temperature of around 18 ° C is reached. For a hike in midsummer, we recommend you take a soft shell jacket.

In order not to freeze during a snow hike in the mountains, your hardshell jacket should have three layers.

Since you Hardshell jackets as two or three-layer jackets able to buy, this type of jacket is suitable for longer hikes in the mountains as well as for lighter outdoor activities on cold days. You should mainly use three-layer hardshell jackets for longer hikes in the mountains. These have the advantage that, in addition to rain, they also protect you from heavy snow and keep you warm.

In contrast to that Hard shell jackets with two layers are less warming, but lighter and are well suited for everyday sporting activities. In addition, with their low weight, they can be easily taken on camping and other excursions.

If you are still looking for a good hardshell jacket for yourself or your children, you will find it at the manufacturer The North Face or jacket Wolfskin.

See the here Advantages and disadvantages of hardshell jackets at a glance:

  • particularly water and wind resistant
  • can be used as a rain jacket
  • breathable up to a certain temperature (18 C °)
  • available as a three-layer and two-layer jacket
  • many possible uses
  • do not offer as much freedom of movement as softshell jackets
  • Breathability decreases from a temperature of around 18 ° C

To protect yourself from the wind on cold autumn days, put on a softshell jacket under your hardshell jacket. The advantage over fleece jackets: softshell jackets are windproof.

The softshell jackets

Softshell jackets are characterized by their good breathability and freedom of movement. Apart from longer hikes with a heavy trekking backpack, this type of jacket is suitable for use as a sports jacket. If you want to buy such a jacket, however, you should keep in mind that because of its high breathability only water-repellent, but not waterproof is. For a hiking trip in a rainy area, we advise you to buy a hardshell jacket.

With their great freedom of movement, softshell jackets are suitable for various sporting activities

Another positive function of the softshell jackets is their windproofness, which makes them very warm. The functional jacket has one high material quality, it can be worn under a three-layer jacket instead of a fleece jacket or fleece parts. However, a softshell jacket is not suitable for all-round weather protection. To be prepared for strong wind and rain, we always advise you to buy a hardshell jacket.

While you can find softshell jackets with inner fleece for men from Höhenhorn, the manufacturer Ultrasport offers softshell jackets with inner fleece for women.

See the here Advantages and disadvantages of soft shell jackets at a glance:

  • particularly high breathability and freedom of movement
  • well suited as sports jackets
  • can be worn under hardshell jackets instead of fleece pieces
  • not waterproof and windproof
  • unsuitable for hikes in strong wind and rain

Not just for sport: fleece jackets keep you warm and dry; with every sweaty task.

2.2. fleece Jackets

Fleece is a synthetic wool made from polyester. Just like softshell jackets this type of jacket is particularly warm and has high breathability. If you do a lot of sweaty outdoor activities even on colder days, this jacket is ideal for you.

However, if you want to wear your outdoor jacket in any wind and weather, we do not recommend a fleece jacket. This hardly keeps out strong wind and, unlike a softshell jacket, is also less water-repellent. We recommend that you wear the fleece jackets as a warming under jacket with a soft or hard shell jacket.

See the here Advantages and disadvantages of fleece jackets at a glance:

  • very warming and breathable
  • are suitable as sports jackets for cold days
  • can be worn as a warm lining under hardshell jackets
  • very permeable to wind
  • less water repellent than softshell jackets
  • unsuitable for hikes in strong wind and rain

Thanks to their integrated down, down jackets keep you warm on cold winter days.

2.3. down Jackets

Due to its integrated down, this type of jacket keeps you particularly warm. If you are looking for a jacket that you can put on when hiking in snow, skiing or hiking on cold days, you are on the safe side with a down jacket. Another advantage for longer trekking tours with the down jackets is that they can be stowed away and therefore take up little space in the backpack.

You only warm down, If you are dry. If your down jacket gets wet, the feathers clump and lose their thermal insulation.

On the other hand, we advise against using this type of jacket on rainy days, or if you want to do sports. So The down tends to clump when in contact with water, which greatly impairs the warming function.

At the same time, the down jacket loses its breathability for its high windproofness. Do sports with her that will make you sweat quickly, the water vapor cannot be released into the air. Here we advise you to buy a softshell jacket instead.

See the here Advantages and disadvantages of down jackets at a glance:

  • particularly warm due to down
  • are well suited as winter jackets for particularly cold days
  • can be stowed away to save space and are therefore suitable for longer hikes
  • are not waterproof
  • Down clumps on contact with water, which greatly reduces the warming function
  • hardly breathable (not suitable as a sports jacket)

2.4. 3-in-1 jackets

Do you want Spending money only once and still being prepared for any weather and activity, we recommend a 3-in-1 jacket. This all-weather jacket type consists of two types of jackets: the upper jacket is a hardshell jacket. The under jacket is either a fleece or a softshell jacket.

If you get too warm in your 3-in-1 jacket on autumn days, simply take off the hardshell jacket and only wear the fleece jacket.

The advantage here is that you who can use jackets in three different ways. For jogging you use the inner jacket in everyday life. When walking the dog use the hardshell jacket on rainy autumn days. Do you also want to go on vacation a trekking tour in particularly cold areas make it possible for you with this type of jacket, Put on under and top jacket on top of each other.

You can find outdoor jackets for women and men that are 3-in-1 jackets at almost every brand. Jackets are already available here for less than 100 euros. But note that the functions of the cheaper jackets, such as water resistance, are less. If you are looking for a particularly waterproof 3-in-1 jacket that you will enjoy for a long time, we recommend the 3-in-1 jacket "Iceland". These outdoor jackets for women and men are from the manufacturer Jack Wolfskin. The costs here are between 110 and 200 euros.

See the here Advantages and disadvantages of the 3-in-1 jackets at a glance:

  • are all-weather jackets, which is why they can be worn in any weather
  • are suitable for demanding sports activities and for long hiking
  • can be used separately
  • Good 3-in-1 jackets with high water resistance cost more than 100 euros

3. Questions and answers about outdoor jackets

3.1. Why and when should I impregnate my outdoor trekking jacket??

As with any other jacket, wear appears on outdoor jackets. This is often shown by this, that the water protection of the jacket decreases. If you react too late and do not impregnate your jacket, water will eventually permeate through the fabric. Impregnation helps your jacket to keep you protected from the rain.

The more you wear your functional jacket, the more it should be re-impregnated. Experts advise this, Depending on the degree of use, re-impregnate the jacket after every second wash. With a small outdoor jacket test, however, you can really make sure that your jacket needs re-impregnation.

For this test, all you have to do is put a few drops of water on your jacket and see if the water is absorbed. If the jacket withstands the water, the impregnation is perfectly fine.

Do you want to save yourself the impregnation?? Here’s a little tip: Instead of impregnation, you can try out whether the old impregnation can be restored. For this you need your Just put the jacket in the dryer for half an hour. Dry them at medium temperature (approx. 60C °), you could be lucky to revive the old impregnation and save yourself the post-impregnation.

3.2. Do all hardshell jackets have the same membrane and what should I pay attention to when caring for them??

Right in front: Depending on the manufacturer, hardshell jackets use different membranes and functions to release water vapor. The best known membranes are from Polartec, Gore-Tex and Sympatex.

The Polartec Membrane works with large membrane pores. This allows the water vapor to escape from the inside of the jacket more easily; so it becomes more breathable. At the same time, the pores ensure that continuous air exchange between the inside and outside of the jacket becomes. Nevertheless the water column here is still a good 10,000 mm.

Do you want yours Wash hardshell jacket with Polartec membrane, you can wash it at 30 ° C in the washing machine give. To ensure that all detergent residues are removed well, you should remove them Rinse jacket well. An additional re-impregnation additionally supports the watertightness.

In the Gore-Tex membrane, the water vapor exchange is triggered via the temperature and the water vapor pressure. So if the temperature on the outside of the jacket drops so much that it is lower than the inside of the jacket and the water vapor inside the jacket rises to a certain pressure, this will pushed out through small pores in the membrane.

The pores themselves are so tiny that the water vapor molecules can penetrate to the outside, but the larger water molecules cannot get into the jacket. That way the jacket is breathable and waterproof.

You should never wash Gore-Tex membranes with fabric softener or bleach. At the same time, you should also keep the addition of liquid detergent low, in the worst case, these clog the pores, residues should remain. For cleaning yourself Put your jacket in the washing machine twice at 40 ° C in the warm wash cycle and rinse it thoroughly. Afterwards it is advisable, hang the jacket outside to dry. On On warm days, however, you should use the dryer instead of drying in fresh air.

The membrane from Sympatex works completely differently than the membranes from Polartec and Gore-Tex. Here the water vapor exchange is based on a chemical-physical principle. So the membrane has no pores, but it does water-absorbing components that absorb the moisture and release it to the environment through evaporation. Since the membrane has no pores in this case, it is completely waterproof.

For cleaning put your jacket in the gentle cycle at 40 ° C to 60 ° C. Make sure that you do not wash too much clothes, so the jacket too is rinsed well and there are no detergent residues left.You should also spin the jacket in a gentle spin cycle.


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