Girl in jacket

Finding the right type of jacket is important. But it also has to fit – and last.

  • Freedom of movement is crucial when you’re out walking in foul weather. Try doing up the jacket in the store – it should fit snugly against your other layers, but not move around much if you raise your arms or bend over.
  • Zips can often be the weak point in a jacket: if next time in the rain you start wondering how water managed to get in, start with the zip. Pay attention to the cover flaps that block the zips – and make sure the zip stitching is seam-sealed.
  • Reinforced patches in vulnerable areas of the jacket help it last longer through general wear and tear. If you’re taking your jacket into rugged conditions, make sure it’s reinforced in the shoulders and other parts.
  • Hoods are easy to overlook until it’s too late. You should be able to draw in the hood tight around your face. Also look for one with a stiff peak – it’ll help protect you from more rain. Lighter jackets may have a pocket around the neck that allows you to tuck the hood away.
  • Cuffs usually have draw cords or velcro to help prevent water getting in or heat getting out.
  • Pockets should be big enough to carry things like maps and snack food. Check where the outside pockets are positioned – your pack straps may go right on top of them, restricting access.
  • Ventilation is provided in the form of “pitzips” in some jackets. These zips are generally placed under the arm and run down the side of your chest. They provide more breathability than the fabric can give on its own – useful in warmer areas. 

Cost

Jackets are like tramping boots: you’ll have to pay extra for good quality. A low-range lightweight jacket might be as little as $300. The more durable four-season jackets can cost anything from $500 to $1000. Keep an eye out for sales – you might be able to improve on these prices.

Join now

Get full access to all Consumer reports for as little as $1.85 a week

  • Over 500 reports plus interactive tools and calculators
  • Independent advice from NZ's trusted source of information
  • Join over 65,000 members who help us get all NZers a fairer deal

Join Consumer now and make your decisions easy on a huge range of products and services

  • Over 500 reports, plus interactive tools and calculators
  • Independent advice from NZ's trusted source of information
  • Join over 65,000 members who help us get all NZers a fairer deal

from just $28

Join now
Read what our members say