Skip to main content

This waterproof jacket just might solve your rainy hike woes

Jack Wolfskin's newest offering is the waterproof jacket you need

Like its American peers The North Face and Patagonia, the German outerwear maker Jack Wolfskin originated as an entrepreneurial response to a lack of gear available in the 1970s. Founder Ulrich Dausien began selling tents, jackets, and sleeping bags, after earning about $6,000 in profits from selling Palestinian keffiyeh scarves on Frankfurt’s Eisernen Steg footbridge (per HighsNobiety).

Five decades on and that innovative spirit still lives on with its sustainable, high-quality products that are much more common on the other side of the pond. This year, that creativity and dedication to conserving the outdoors are expressed in the Tapeless Jacket, now available in select stores and on Wolfskin’s website. Looking for a waterproof jacket? The Tapeless Jacket eliminates 60 feet of seam-sealing tape, introducing Zero Tape Technology, a more breathable alternative to seam tape that won’t leak or fail while hiking or commuting.

A hiker in a Jack Wolfskin jacket pointing a camera.
Jack Wolfskin

At its core, the Tapeless Jacket is a breathable, comfortable shell created with hikes and adventures that demand high-quality technical apparel in mind. With comfort and performance always at the forefront of its design, Jack Wolfskin integrated its proprietary Texapore Core Fuse Stretch Ripstop into the new jacket. This triple-layer fabric offers superior weather protection and comfort, according to Wolfskin. The fabric, however, doesn’t result in a bulky coat. Europe’s leading technical and sustainable outerwear manufacturer is dedicated to a sleek fit, which is also expressed in waterproof zippers, an adjustable hood, hem and cuff adjustments, and a chest pocket. The Tapeless Jacket’s distinct cut also features no shoulder or hip seams, which helps to eliminate irritating areas when worn with a backpack.

This is a far cry from when Jack Wolfskin was founded, a time when outdoor activities were still pretty niche affairs, and there was no mighty outdoors industry offering a suite of goods to thrive in the great outdoors. Still, even then Dausien envisioned a massive market who would embrace playing outside.

“We offer inexpensive equipment for the backpacker as well as expedition equipment for the Himalayan expert,” he wrote in a 1979 advertisement.

Hikers wearing Jack Wolfskin tapeless jackets.
Jack Wolfskin

Today the company leads sustainable efforts like rewilding Canada’s Yukon wolves (Jack Wolkskin is, after all, named after the wolf and Jack London, one of the pack’s greatest chroniclers.) The outdoors manufacturer’s sustainability goals are at the forefront of its outdoors mission, developing green and Earth-friendly materials — products made of organic and recycled materials. As to what the firm doesn’t use, there is a companywide ban on PFCs, and Wolfskin rejects using fur and Angora wool in its products. It sources down, leather, and Merino wool from ethical suppliers and looks to wield a significant influence over its supply chain.

“For us, ‘living to discover’ not only means enjoying the natural world, but doing everything in our power to preserve and protect it,” states the Jack Wolfskin website.

The Tapeless Jacket is available in two colors with a medium piece weighing in at 13.5 ounces. Purchase one of your own for $480.

Shop Now

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
This is why your Gor-Tex jacket isn’t keeping you dry
What does breathability really mean, and how can Gore-Tex keep you dry?
A man in a yellow GORE-TEX jacket walks past a lake

Gore-Tex. It's become the brand name synonymous with waterproof outdoor gear. Sure, other brands offer the same thing — eVent, for example — and increasingly, brands are making their own, but Gore-Tex is still the market leader; there's no denying that. However, with great power comes great responsibility — not to mention a hefty price tag. In this sense, Gore-Tex's responsibility is to keep you dry.

That's what Gore-Tex promises: Waterproof and breathable materials, but it just doesn't match up. You spend hundreds of dollars on a Gore-Tex waterproof jacket, only to find a few months down the line that you're finishing your hike almost as wet inside as you would be without it. Sure, some of this is bad luck or manufacturing faults; always be sure to check your warranty, as it could be worth it. Sometimes, though, it might just be that all that glitters isn't gold, or perhaps those naysayers on forums worldwide are expecting a little too much from their outdoor gear. I've hiked, ran, skied, backcountry snowboarded, canoed, and done just about everything else you can imagine in Gore-Tex layers, and I've learned a lot along the way.

Read more
Barbour, Flint and Tinder, and more: Why your wardrobe needs a waxed canvas jacket (and the best ones to get)
Here's everything to know about waxed cotton jackets so you can pick the best one for you
Waxed jacket

Modern science has created fabrics that are remarkably light and breathable while providing complete protection from the elements. The functionality of these advanced materials can't be denied, but they lack the texture and character of those old-fashioned fabrics. A well-made and properly maintained waxed jacket provides both exceptional protection from the elements and a rugged beauty that modern science cannot match.

Talk about fashion meets function. If you prefer a more charismatic fabric, look, and style for your outerwear, then a canvas jacket or cotton field jacket is the way to go. If you are in the market to make an investment in a stylish but sturdy waxed canvas jacket, we'll take you on a ride about how these classic jackets came to be and the best ones for you to shop for.

Read more
You might be wearing your ski gloves and snowboard gloves (or snowboard mittens!) all wrong – what you need to know
We see it a lot on the mountain
A man walks up a mountain in deep snow with a snowboard.

Fashion or function: do you want to look steezy on the mountain, or do you want your ski gloves to stop that fresh powder from freezing your digits? Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to wear your ski gloves, snowboard gloves, and snowboard mittens, and there's a real possibility that you've been getting it wrong. How do we know? Well, we see it all the time on the mountain.

If we corrected everyone we saw on the hill wearing their gloves wrong — don't get us started on backward helmets and upside-down goggles — not only would we never get any snowboarding done, but we might end up with a black eye or two. But correct ski glove etiquette isn't just about snowboard snobbery; there's a reason that gloves and mittens are designed the way they are. While everyone has nailed getting their fingers in the right holes, the cuffs — or skirt — often let them down. So here's the right way to wear your ski gloves this year.

Read more