On Kilimanjaro, you will need several jackets. Here we will discuss your outer jacket, which should be windproof and waterproof with a hood.
When shopping for a outer shell, one should examine a few things. First, find a jacket that is actually waterproof, and not simply water resistant. A water resistant jacket is only good for light showers for a short period of time. A heavy downpour will get you soaked, which is a dangerous situation on any mountain. Hypothermia is a real risk anytime you get wet. A waterproof jacket is a must.
Secondly, the jacket should be breathable. Meaning that it will let body heat and perspiration escape through the fabric. This is important because a non breathable jacket, like say a rubber rain jacket, will trap so much heat inside that you will be drenched from sweating. A breathable jacket, with features like pit zips (zippers on the armpits), will help regulate your temperature so you stay dry from the inside (from sweat) as well as the outside (from precipitation).
Lastly, the jacket should be light and packable. Most outer shells are fairly thin and pliable, so you can roll them tightly into a small bundle. However there are some heavy shells, such as ski or snowboarding jackets that are quite bulky. I do not recommend these.
1. MARMOT PRECIP JACKET: $90
Marmot’s Most Comfortable Waterproof/Breathable Technology The seam-taped, waterproof and breathable Precip Jacket from Marmot turns rain or shine into an invitation instead of an ultimatum. The NanoPro fabric is waterproof and breathable which keeps you dry and comfortable. It’s Marmot’s most comfortable weather protection technology yet. Marmot Mens Precip Jacket features: Marmot NanoPro fabric is waterproof and breathable 100% seam taped protection Angel-Wing movement allows for full range of motion Attached adjustable hood rolls into the collar DriClime lined chin guard locks out the elements Adjustable Velcro sleeve cuffs Elastic draw cord hem Jacket packs into its own pocket 100% Ripstop Nylon Marmot…For Life.
2. THE NORTH FACE VENTURE JACKET: $100
The North Face Venture Jacket is a classic fully featured hooded waterproof jacket to protect from the elements. Full functionality coupled with added comforts such as a brushed chin guard make this jacket a favourite choice amongst travellers, trekkers and alpinist. Available in a great range of colour combinations. Fixed Hood, with external cordlocks and peripheral hood adjustment, Pit Zips, Velcro cuff tabs, Brushed knit at chin guard, Stow pocket.
3. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR PLASMIC JACKET: $120
Tough, everyday rain shell for backpacking and hiking. Dry.Q® EVAP technology offers great wicking, so you stay comfortable no matter how active you are. Dry.Q EVAP waterproofing technology accelerates evaporation for more breathability and comfort. 70D face fabric is tough, durable, and abrasion resistant. Two covered, zippered handwarmer pockets are harness- and pack-compatible. Standard Fit.
4. MARMOT MINIMALIST JACKET: $200
The Marmot Minimalist jacket offers waterproof, breathable protection in a lightweight, affordable package. Fully seam-taped Gore-Tex® PacLite delivers ultra-light, breathable, waterproofness. Trim external stormflap and an internal draft flap provide protection from wind and rain; DriClime™ lined chin guard. Attached hood features cranium cord adjustment for a personalized fit. Pit Zips™ offer adjustable ventilation. Hem drawcord and with hook-and-loop closures seal out the elements. Angel-Wing™ movement and anatomic articulation zones provide a comfortable fit and freedom to move. Zippered handwarmer pockets. Designed to fit over a fleece or soft-shell jacket.
5. THE NORTH FACE RESOLVE JACKET: $200
By choice or by necessity, we know you venture outdoors in the rain. Because of this, we’ve designed this waterproof, mesh-lined, seam-sealed rain jacket to keep you dry on your treks when it’s raining cats and dogs. Not literally of course. Attached, adjustable hood stows in its own collar. This waterproof, breathable technology utilizes a polyurethane (PU) coating that consists of a tri-component, multi-layer formula for waterproof protection, moisture permeability and durability. It’s been lab- and field-tested to ensure the best possible durability and function.