Standard and Winter Weight Waterproofs

In places like wet and windy Britain, a leaky jacket can ruin a day out. And if you're leaking in a storm you're risking hypothermia. Even a jacket that keeps the rain out can be annoying if you can't see properly out of the hood, if the peak flaps madly in your eyes, or the drawcords lash your cheeks. Pockets that aren't where you want them or which won't hold the items you want to carry in them also irritate.

Your waterproof is the most important item of your outdoor clothing - and finding one that has the features you want, that fits well and feels comfortable, is worth the time spent. Yet the choice is vast. 
The fabrics of all the jackets tested by Trailwalk are waterproof. If anything's going to let in the water it'll be design weaknesses - these are noted in the reviews. All the fabrics are breathable, though how much body moisture they let out varies - design and linings also affect breathability and none of the jackets I tested stayed completely dry inside when I was working hard. Some performed worse than others
Denise Thorn, who tested the women's jackets, doesn't produce heat and moisture in the way I do. She can stay dry wearing two fleeces under a waterproof when I'm sweating with half that amount on - didn't have any problems with breathability.

Women's Jackets
All the women's jackets tested were specifically designed to fit women, rather than being small size unisex or men's jackets. They were tested by Denise Thorn who, at 5 feet 2 inches tall and with a very short back, doesn't expect even jackets designed for women to have waists in the right place.
But she does prefer sleeves that aren't too long and looks for roomy hip pockets, pointing out that for women with more than a small bust chest pockets are not much use. Other likes are mid-thigh-length jackets that fasten with Velcro rather than studs and have a hood with a wired peak and good side vision. She also prefers semi-elasticated cuffs as these still allow for ventilation when undone without being bulky when fastened round her narrow wrists.

Detachable hoods aren't liked, as there's no point in taking a hood off for hill use. They're distrusted too as they could detach accidentally - in a strong wind for example or when fumbling with studs with cold fingers and tugging on the wrong one. Oddly five of the six women's jackets tested have detachable hoods while they appear on only one of the ten of the men's jackets. Why do designers think women want detachable hoods? Denise also doesn't see the point of zips for attaching fleece jackets for hill use.

Men's Jackets
Now there are a fair number of women's jackets available it's probably better to refer to other jackets as men's jackets rather than unisex ones.
Men still have a wider choice of waterproofs but the gap is narrowing. And I've got my own preferences as to which features I like and dislike - if yours are different you'll need to take this into account when reading the reviews.
I prefer hoods with wired peaks and retained drawcords as they work best in severe weather. Hoods that don't roll into the collar are best but if they do I'd rather they didn't have front flaps to wave about in the wind. I find chest pockets more useful than hip ones and like them even more if they are mesh-lined so they can be used as vents and if they are big enough for a map. Map pockets are essential, preferably on the outside of the jacket though under the flap will do. Because my arms heat up quickly, especially when using trekking poles, I like wide cuffs with no elastication.