Though they welcome millions of foreign visitors each year, Scotland and Ireland are not known for their great weather, making finding the best jacket for Scotland and Ireland an absolute necessity when you are planning your trip.
While mapping out your itinerary or figuring what to see can seem far more appealing, ensuring that you have the best gear to help you stay warm and dry in the variable Irish or Scottish weather is also of paramount importance. And while we think that you need to make sure you have the best shoes for Ireland and Scotland, finding a solid jacket is just as pertinent.
If you’re wondering what the best warm jacket or rain jacket for Ireland or Scotland is, this detailed guide will tell you our top recommendations along with what to look for depending on the season.
Best Jacket for Scotland and Ireland Comparison
Scotland & Ireland Weather
If there is one thing that everyone knows about the weather in Ireland and Scotland it’s that it can be very very rainy! No matter what season you plan to visit these beautiful countries, you should always be prepared for at least a little bit of a daily drizzle, even if the day begins with brilliant sunshine. Despite this, there are still some to visit that are better than others when it comes to the weather.
If you plan to go to Scotland or Ireland in the summer months between June and August, you can expect to have the most sunshine and the longest days. The weather will be a lot warmer than in other seasons, however, you will definitely still get a significant amount of rain so you will need to make sure that you are adequately equipped with a waterproof jacket, a good umbrella, and some shoes that will keep your feet warm and dry.
It is unlikely that you will need a particularly warm jacket if you’re travelling to Ireland or Scotland in the summer, however, you should make sure what you bring is enough to keep you toasty on some chilly days, especially if you are planning on visiting the highlands or islands of Scotland, where high temperatures in the warmest months rarely soar above 16°C (60°F).
Finding something windproof is also a very good idea because even if it is not raining, the high winds in Scotland and Ireland have the tendency to whip right through your clothes and can make you very chilly indeed.
If you plan to travel in late autumn or in the winter months, you will need a proper winter coat, as Scotland and Ireland do get quite cold (temperatures will hover around freezing, with chances of snow and freezing rain).
Winters in Ireland and Scotland are very wet, meaning that your warm winter coat will also very much need to have water-resistant capabilities to ensure that it will keep you dry as well as warm! This is especially essential if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities.
Springtime can also stay chilly well into June, meaning that you will need to bring a warmer jacket with you for this season, as well, however, it is unlikely that you will need a full winter coat if you’re visiting between the months of late March, April and May.
No matter what season you are travelling, it is important to remember that layers will always be key in keeping your body temperatures regulated. You can easily experience four seasons in a day in Ireland and Scotland and the only way to be adequately prepared for this is by wearing many layers that you can peel off or add onto if necessary.
What to Look For in Jackets for Scotland and Ireland
Now that you’re aware of the general weather in Scotland and Ireland, it’s time to figure out what exactly to look for when purchasing your ideal jacket for Ireland or Scotland.
As mentioned briefly above, the most important thing to look for in the best jacket for Scotland and Ireland is its water-resistance capabilities. Because of both country’s tendency for wet weather, you are absolutely going to need a jacket that is going to keep you as dry as possible. It can also behoove you to find a rain jacket for Ireland or Scotland with a hood — especially if you don’t want to be at the mercy of a faulty umbrella.
Windproofing is also something that is pretty important when searching for outerwear for your trip. Both countries can get very windy, especially if you are in the plains or on the coast and it can make you very cold indeed if you’re not properly equipped to handle it.
Finding something that is lightweight and packable is also a really good idea, especially if you’re planning on travelling light or taking carry-on only. Bulky coats and jackets can take up a ton of valuable space in your luggage and it really isn’t necessary in this day and age considering all of the packable options available on the market.
The Best Jacket for Scotland & Ireland
For the most part, unless you’re travelling in the height of winter, you are going to want a rain jacket or raincoat for Ireland and Scotland rather than a heavy winter coat. No matter the season, if you put a few layers beneath a waterproof and windproof jacket (such as a North Face Glacier fleece!) and even an ultralight down jacket, you can keep as warm as you’ll need to be even on the chilliest of days.
So without further ado, these are what we think are the best rain and warm jackets for a trip to Scotland or Ireland:
The Best Rain Jacket for Scotland & Ireland
The North Face Resolve (also available on REI here for women and here for men’s version). is easily our top choice when it comes to finding the best rain jacket for Scotland or Ireland. It is the jacket that we both personally use and has withstood a number of years of wear and tear in some extreme climates (not only Ireland and Scotland, but it has kept us warm and toasty in Iceland as well!).
This breathable, lightweight rain jacket is equipped with advanced water-resistant technology and it is also fully windproof. It is also roomy enough to be able to put multiple layers underneath it while being light and breathable enough to wear on its own during a warm summer rainstorm.
The North Face Resolve can also pack down very small so it will take up minimal space in your luggage or day pack. It comes in both men’s and women’s versions and also has many different colour options.
Sharing similar attributes to the North Face Resolve listed above, the Columbia Glennaker (also available direct from Columbia here) is an excellent choice in men’s raincoat for Ireland or Scotland and the Arcadia II (also available on REI here or direct from Columbia here) is a fantastic women’s option.
Both made from a durable and lightweight material, the Glannaker and Arcadia are both waterproof and windproof and come equipped with a hideable hood, so you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way you’re not wearing it. They are also very breathable, meaning that they won’t make you sweat underneath.
Like the North Face option, these jackets are also well-suited for carry-on only travellers as they pack down small and can be easily thrown into a day pack or small backpack. All in all, you cannot go wrong if you choose the Columbia Women’s Arcadia II or the Men’s Glennaker.
The Charles River Pull-Over is an excellent packable option for those on the hunt for the best rain jacket for Scotland and Ireland.
This unisex jacket is lined with cozy flannel, ensuring that you will stay warm as well as dry. It is both completely waterproof and windproof and it is also roomy enough for you to be able to put a number of layers on underneath, to ensure you nice and warm on cold days.
The Charles River Pull-Over comes in a range of colours and sizes, however, it is recommended that women purchase a size smaller than they normally would as it is a unisex item and does tend to run large.
That being said, this is a great raincoat for Scotland or Ireland and it is sure to keep you bone dry on even the rainiest of days.
If you are looking for an economical addition to your trip’s wardrobe that will also take up the least luggage space, then the unisex Baleaf Packable Rain Jacket is a perfect choice for you!
This is the least durable of the options I’ve included in this list of the best rain jackets for Ireland and Scotland, however, it is a very good option if you are travelling carry-on only and want to take up the least amount of space in your bag as possible.
It is waterproof and windproof, however, reviews do state that it isn’t super breathable and can cause you to sweat more than the others. However, this may not be an issue if you want to trap in some warmth if it’s chilly outside!
All in all, if you want a super small, lightweight, and packable option, then the Baleaf Packable Rain Jacket is a great choice for you!
The Best Warm Jacket for Scotland & Ireland
Along with a rain jacket, you really can’t go wrong with bringing the Wantdo Ultralight Down Jacket (also available direct from Wantdo here for women and here for men’s version) with you on your trip to Scotland and Ireland no matter the season.
This jacket is incredibly lightweight and packs down into a compression sack so it will take up minimal space in your luggage or day pack while also not weighing it down. The breathable down interior means that it can help keep warmth in and makes it ideal for everything from mildly chilly temperatures or as a base layer for days closer to freezing.
If you’re travelling to Scotland or Ireland in the middle of winter, especially during the months of December, January, or February, you might want to have a coat that is a little bit heavier than the others listed above, which is why we recommend the North Face Gotham (also available from BackCountry here for women and here for men’s version).
Available in both men’s and women’s styles, this ultra-warm, waterproof, and windproof coat will ensure that you stay as warm as you possibly could be even if you’re spending hours at a time outside. It’s water-resistant capabilities guarantee that that you will be dry as well as warm if you’re caught in the middle of freezing rain or a snowstorm.
Finding the best jacket for Scotland or Ireland can be a daunting task when you consider all of the options out there. Just keep in mind that it’s important to find outerwear that will keep you dry and warm no matter what the Irish or Scottish weather will throw at you.
Are you searching for the best rain jacket for Ireland or Scotland? Have you found one? Let us know in the comments!