Hardshell or Waterproof Jackets
A Hardshell Jacket is basically a fully waterproof jacket. It may or may not be breathable.
Hardshell Jackets, or Waterproof Jackets, are essential items in your outdoor clothing, especially here in the UK. You can never underestimate the value of a good quality waterproof jacket.
There is a wide range of excellent high performance, waterproof jackets which combine functionality with fashion.
Look for high quality waterproof jackets, preferably made from the latest lightweight and breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex, and also consider waterproof trousers to provide you with all-over wet weather protection.
Most clothing fabrics that are both waterproof and breathable allow sweat to escape but do not allow rain to penetrate by having holes that are too small for moisture to pass through, but large enough for moisture vapour.
These holes will expand under pressure and eventually allow moisture through. The pressure the fabric allows water through is known as the hydrostatic head.
A good quality waterproof and breathable jacket will have high breathability AND a high hydrostatic head.
It costs nearly as much to tape the seams of a jacket as it does to make the jacket. This is why cheaper jackets often do not have taped seams.
If you expect to be out in anything more than light showers you definitely want to look for a hardshell jacket with taped seams.
Compact & Lightweight Waterproof Jackets
There is also a good range of waterproof jackets that are both lightweight and breathable, many of which, like the Regattta Packaway, can be packed away into their own carry bag or pocket.
They’re small enough to be carried in your fishing bag or rucksack, or they can be attached to your belt.
These lightweight waterproof jackets are ideal for the British summer, when you can easily be caught out by an unexpected shower.