Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

Why You Need a Wind Jacket, and 5 Great Ones to Buy

Considered alongside every other layer and item that goes into a backpack, a wind jacket might seem superfluous.


Considered alongside every other layer and item that goes into a backpack, a wind jacket might seem superfluous. After all, even though wind jackets are light, they’re often not waterproof enough to ward off a full-on deluge, or even a day’s trek through drizzling rain. Despite that, wind jackets have their uses and should be considered as an essential item in any outdoor kit.

What is a wind jacket in the first place? Also called windbreakers, wind jackets are lightweight, wind-resistant (duh) outer layers that can be worn over other layers to cut wind chill while recreating outside. They’re often compared to rain jackets, but there’s a fundamental difference between the two: wind jackets are often treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish but are lighter than rain jackets and don’t come equipped with a waterproof membrane. That means that they’ll wet-out faster and more easily than a rain jacket, but they’re also much lighter and more breathable.

That breathability is the main reason why wind jackets are essential. Hiking in a rain jacket can quickly turn into a sweaty endeavor — not so in a wind jacket. Having a layer of protection against the wind can be vital in particular environments though; wind can slice through fleece and baselayers, and windchill can be enough to cause cold-related injuries such as frostbite. The solution? A wind jacket. Here are five great ones to consider.

Houdini Jacket by Patagonia $99

Squamish Hooded Jacket by Arc’teryx $159

Ghost Lite Jacket by Mountain Hardwear $100

Abisko Wind Jacket by Fjällräven $180

Flyweight Hoody by The North Face $80

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Buying Guides