Different Types of Hiking Jackets

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What types of hiking jackets are available?

Different Types of Hiking Jackets

Sierra Trading Post Tip: There are three basic types of hiking jackets. The jacket you choose should fit weather conditions, your own preferences, and your budget.

  • Soft-shell jackets often combine the insulation and outer layers of the three layer system. They are usually more flexible and breathe better than hard shell jackets. They are usually lighter, and can be used for a variety of outdoor activities besides hiking, such as skiing or climbing.
  • Hard-shell jackets are usually waterproof, and a bit more bulky that soft-shell hiking jackets. They often include hoods that help protect you from winds and rain.
  • Mountaineering or down jackets are the bulkiest hiking jackets, but they are the best for extreme cold weather conditions. They resemble a sleeping bag and often have down filling that keeps you warm and acts as insulation.
A good hiking jacket can last you for many years, so choose the right one for your taste and hiking skills.



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